Shoalhaven Council CEO announces his retirement

September 19, 2023 9:20 am in by

Shoalhaven City Council’s CEO, Stephen Dunshea has announced his retirement, ending a career in Local Government spanning more than 40 years.

Since joining Council in 2018, Mr Dunshea served as Director Finance, Corporate and Community Services before taking the helm as GM/CEO in early 2019, implementing organisational change during some extraordinarily challenging times in the city’s history.

“When I started, I could never have imagined that coming off the back of drought, we would be confronted with devastating bushfires, repeated flooding events, a global pandemic, and major landslips, all of which have tested every inch of the organisation and the city – and yet, memories of everyone rallying together to do what needed to be done to respond to eleven natural disasters in three years will stay with me forever,” Mr Dunshea said.

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“I am incredibly proud of the transformational change that has been implemented during my time here, particularly to our customer experience and disaster recovery function, and I’m confident that these initiatives will continue on a positive trajectory,” he said.

“Personally, this is the right time for me to retire, to take stock, focus on my health, and to set a future direction.”

Mr Dunshea is leaving Council having delivered the necessary restructure of the organisation to meet the contemporary challenges of a growing city.

During the past four years, he has overhauled the customer experience process, instilled the introduction of core values, progressed leadership development and process improvement strategies within the organisation to enhance service delivery to the community.

“Stephen has worked tirelessly to guide change within the organisation to better serve the community during a tumultuous time of natural disaster events,” said Mayor Amanda Findley.

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“I have valued Stephen’s leadership and he has never once shied away from the complex and challenging. He is respected by his peers at adjoining councils who are members of the Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation and played an integral part in guiding the financial sustainability of the Joint Organisation,” Cr Findley said.

“I appreciate that he now needs to focus on himself and would like to thank him for all he has done to the benefit of the Shoalhaven community,” she said.

Mr Dunshea’s career started at Campbelltown Council in 1983, before moving through the ranks at Blacktown Council and taking on senior executive roles at Wagga Wagga City and Woollahra Council, prior to his relocation to the Shoalhaven.

He will remain as the Chief Executive Officer of Shoalhaven City Council until Friday 9 February 2024.