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CEO and Executive Leadership Team

Our organisation structure is based on 5 Directorates that collectively manage and coordinate the full range of activities and services to the City of Whittlesea community.

Each Directorate is led by a Director who reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Our Executive Leadership Team includes the:

  • CEO
  • 5 Directors

Find out more about our organisational chart/structure.

Executive Leadership Team

Chief Executive Officer - Michael Wootten


The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) provides leadership to the organisation and works both for and with the Council, to implement the lawful decisions and policies of the Council made at its Council meetings and represent the interests of Council to senior government officials, Members of Parliament, key business and other community leaders.

Michael Wootten joined the City of Whittlesea as CEO in April 2016 bringing with him 35 years’ experience in both the public and private sector, including extensive senior executive experience.

Most recently, Michael held roles as Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer with Victoria’s Country Fire Authority where he was employed since 2001. Prior to that, Michael spent 7 years working for various state water authorities and 13 years in the Commonwealth public sector.

Michael is a qualified accountant, holds a Master’s Degree in Business and has attended the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Fellow of Certified Practicing Accountants of Australia.

According to Michael, business success is optimised in a team-based environment that exhibits great leadership, values-based behaviours, and a constructive organisational culture. This philosophy drives his leadership at the City of Whittlesea.

Director Planning and Major Projects - Steve O’Brien

Steve O'Brien, Director Planning and Major Projects

Our Planning and Major Projects Directorate coordinates the City of Whittlesea’s land use growth, planning it to ensure a sustainable future.

Planning and Major Projects is designed to provide a streamlined link through everything from strategic planning across the City, to the delivery of both private development and public infrastructure.

This significant, diverse portfolio includes sustainable, strategic and statutory planning for development across the City, building standard compliance, as well as the coordination and implementation of the City’s new works program.

Director Community Services - Russell Hopkins

Russell Hopkins, Director Community Services

Our Community Services Directorate oversees many service areas that impact the day-to-day living and wellbeing of City of Whittlesea residents.

The Directorate works collaboratively with the State and Federal Government to provide many of these services, and operates in partnership with a variety of community service organisations to meet the needs of our diverse and vibrant community.

Director City Transport and Presentation - Nick Mann

Nick Mann, Director City Transportation and Presentation

Our Infrastructure Directorate provides a diverse range of infrastructure services to the community.

With the high level of growth within the municipality and an increasing number of residents, there is a need to be responsive to community needs.

Some of the Directorate’s key functions include managing parks and open spaces, road, road-related and footpath construction and maintenance, building maintenance, engineering services, traffic management and road safety.

Director Partnerships and Engagement - Liana Thompson

Liana Thompson, Director Partnerships and Engagement

The work of the Partnerships and Engagement Directorate is critical in taking the voice of all Whittlesea residents to Members of Federal and State Parliament and Senior Government Officers.

It also ensures our residents, businesses, government authorities, strategic partners and staff are informed about important Council events, services, programs and initiatives.

Director Corporate Services - Helen Sui

Helen Sui, Director Corporate Services

Our Corporate Services Directorate ensures that Council has the funds available to provide safe, useful and sustainable assets and services to our community.

This directorate monitors, manages, researches, reports and provides advice to Council on all financial and organisational matters and ensures good governance.

It directs and assists the organisation to achieve its goals by providing accurate data and introducing efficiencies and enhancements that best utilise Council’s resources.