Executive management team

Sue Wilkinson, Chief Executive Officer


Sue Wilkinson.

Sue Wilkinson has more than two decades of experience as a leader in planning and community development.

Prior to her position at Colac Otway Shire Council, Sue worked in senior roles at Monash City Council, at the City of Port Phillip, the City of Greater Bendigo and the State Government's Department of Planning and Community Development and had a strong career managing major strategic planning, economic and community development projects.  Ms Wilkinson has also served on several boards including the business incubator at Monash, the former Building Appeals Board and is currently serving on the boards of the G21 Alliance and Great South Coast.  

Ms Wilkinson is highly regarded in the sector for her ability to engage with people and establish partnerships. 

Since joining Colac Otway as CEO Sue's focus has been on working with Council  to support the delivery of high quality services, strengthen the shire's reputation in the community and to attract investment that create jobs and help the region remain strong.


 Ingrid Bishop, Infrastructure and Leisure General Manager

Ingrid Bishop.

Responsibility areas
Asset management
Port of Apollo Bay
Building maintenance
Strategic property management, including leases, licenses, committees of management and airfields
Parks and gardens
Road construction and maintenance
Bridge maintenance
Plant and equipment maintenance
Bluewater Fitness Centre
COPACC (Colac Otway Performing Arts & Cultural Centre)
Arts and culture
History Centre
Recreation and open space
Project management
Capital works
Technical works
Major projects

Ingrid Bishop has extensive experience at executive level across a range of portfolios in local and state government, as well as the private sector.  Ingrid has also held positions encompassing international, state and regional responsibilities, and prior to her appointment with the shire, Ingrid owned and operated her own consultancy business servicing the local government sector in strategic and operational areas.

Ingrid’s strategic approach and her strong track record in business and change management, workplace cultural and service delivery is a great asset to the shire.  Ms Bishop has also served on several boards, including the South Australian Premier’s Social Inclusion Board and the Adelaide Fringe.

Ms Bishop is highly regarded for her ability to put the ‘customer’ front and centre, engage stakeholders and drive change.

Ingrid’s passion is to improve ‘the customer experience’ through relevant, accessible and cost effective service provision.


Mark Lyons, Corporate Services General Manager

Mark Lyons.

Responsibility areas
Training and development
Corporate development
Council and business planning
Compliance reporting
Information technology
GIS mapping
Strategic financial planning
Financial management and reporting
Accounts and payroll
Customer service
Service improvement
Governance and corporate functions
Grant management
Contract management
Waste management
Human Resources
Risk Management

Mark Lyons joined Colac Otway Shire Council in October 2015 as the Director of Corporate Services and leads the Finance, Governance, People Performance and Culture and Information Services portfolios.

Mark has over 15 years experience in Local Government in both Victorian and Queensland jurisdictions.  Having had responsibility for Corporate Services functions in small, medium and large Local Governments, Mark brings a broad and diverse knowledge base with him to ensure outcomes are delivered for Colac Otway residents.   Prior to commencing a career in local government, Mark had a career spanning more than 11 years in the private sector.

Mark has had experience in delivering outcomes in improving long term financial management, asset management and business improvement generating real cost savings and improved access to services for the community.   

Mark has considerable expertise and experience in leading large teams in complex environments with a focus on driving performance improvements and building resilient and thriving organisational culture He has a strong track record in driving large-scale organisational change that includes driving cultural change in operating environments through alignment of staff to workplace values.

Mark has a Degree in Business, Masters in Business Administration and is a qualified CPA. 


Gareth Smith, Development and Community Services General Manager

Gareth Smith

Responsibility areas
Statutory and strategic planning
Emergency management and fire prevention
Local laws and compliance
Planning enforcement
School crossings
Visitor information centres
Economic development
Family day care and Maternal and Child Health
Older persons and ability support, rural access
Social policy

Gareth has extensive leadership experience in local and state governments. Gareth was previously CEO with Corangamite Catchment Authority where he was well regarded for his ability to develop strategic partnerships and positive relationships to enhance the Authority and sector.

Prior to joining the Authority, Gareth was CEO of Adelaide Shores, a national award-winning tourism and recreation precinct in South Australia established by the state government to develop and manage state signifi cant tourism, leisure and sporting facilities.

Gareth has significant experience in enhancing customer experiences and operating environments, increasing benefi ts from community assets and services, seeking new investment, driving change to better align resources and culture to organisational strategy and supporting boards to achieve their governance and strategic imperatives.