The new chief executive officer (CEO) of the Karoonda East Murray Council says he’s looking forward to working closely with the community to create a long term vision for the region.
On Wednesday, council Mayor Kevin Burdett announced the appointment of Matthew Morgan, who would start his new role on January 8.
“I am pleased to welcome Matthew and his wife and children to the community of Karoonda,” he said.
“We’re looking forward to the next few years under his leadership.”
Mr Morgan had over a decade of experience in the Local Government sector, coming from various senior management roles including Acting CEO at the state's largest cemetery and funeral complex, Centennial Park.
Prior to that, Mr Morgan was the Manager of Governance and Information Services at Hepburn Shire Council at Daylesford in country Victoria.
Having grown up in country Victoria, Mr Morgan said he was looking forward to moving his young family to Karoonda and getting involved in the community’s daily life.
“Jen and I love the fact that we will be able to bring our boys up in a small town and I’m very much looking forward to be able to live where I work,” he says.
“I’m used to a round trip of three hours each day to get to work, so being able to walk out my front door and arrive at work within a few minutes will certainly be a different experience for me.”
Working at Centennial Park during a significant time of change for the organisation and industry, Mr Morgan said he learned the importance of building and developing relationships at a regional and state level and he hoped to bring these experiences to his new role.
Mr Morgan said Karoonda was a small town with huge potential and would be seeking to generate economic prosperity and develop “vibrancy” within the community on multiple levels.
“We need to support current industries to remain strong and viable and in the long-term, provide initiatives to encourage new businesses to the region,” he says.
“If we can create strong industries and encourage new ones to transition and prosper, it will encourage more families to move here and provide opportunities to keep younger people here, and wanting to live here, for longer.”
Mr Morgan said he would also look at ways to increase engagement between Council and its ratepayers through technology, a strategy which he has used to success in previous roles.
A CASA-certified drone pilot, Mr Morgan hinted at perhaps melding his hobby into his role, allowing ratepayers a bird’s eye view on council activities and operations, when time permits.
As for his first few weeks in the job, Mr Morgan plans on spending the time getting a feel for his new home town its residents.
“I’ll be getting out and meeting the locals and talking to them about everything from farming to sport and industry and where they believe the town’s future lies,” he said.
“It’s the only way to understand the issues and opportunities that face the community.”
The new CEO said those voices combined would form a roadmap for plans to create a long-term community vision.
“We care about our community and we want to work together towards a great future.”