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Mayors, Councillors and CEOs Forums

RCV holds two Mayors, Councillors and CEOs Forums each year.

Members come together to discuss relevant policy matters, receive updates on issues affecting rural Victoria, hear about new and innovative projects funded through the Stronger Rural Councils Initiative (SRCI), contribute to setting the future direction of RCV and hear from Ministers and other relevant speakers, government departments and experts.

The Forum is also a valuable networking event, facilitating discussion among members, providing a platform for engagement between the State Government and members, and promoting the activities of RCV to a targeted audience.

2018 April Forum

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

9.30am to 4pm

ZINC, Federation Square, Melbourne

Learn more about the role Rural Councils Victoria is taking in advocating for a better life for rural Victorians.

Guest speakers to include:

  •  The Hon Jaala Pulford, Minister for Regional Development
  • The Hon Matthew Guy, Leader of the Opposition, Leader of the Victorian Liberal Party
  • James Flintoft, Chief Executive Officer, Regional Development Victoria
  • Graeme Emonson, Executive Director, Local Government Victoria
  • Alistair Maclean, Chief Executive Officer, Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission
  • David Wolf, Chief Municipal Inspector, Local Government Inspectorate
  • Dean Landy, Chief Executive Officer, Tribus
  • Paul Shipp, Director, Urban Enterprise
  • John Stevens, Director, Dench McClean Carlson
  • Matt Pfahlert, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship

Inquiries: secretariat@ruralcouncilsvictoria.org.au


2017 October forum

Our second Mayors, Councillors and CEOs Forum for 2017 was held on Wednesday 18th October at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.

Some speaker presentations have been uploaded to the RCV website, and others will be added as they become available.

More than 80 representatives of our member Councils heard from speakers including:

  • The Hon Matthew Guy MP, who committed to reinstating the Country Roads and Bridge Program if the Liberal Party is elected to Government in 2018
  • Corrina Bertram from KPMG, who presented the interim findings from the consultation phase of the Regional and Rural Councils Sustainability Reform Program
  • James Flintoft, Chief Executive Officer of Regional Development Victoria, and his executive team
  • Gerry Smith, Director Sector Innovation, Performance and Resilience with Local Government Victoria
  • Matt Pfahlert from the Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship, who is delivering RCV’s Understanding Social Entrepreneurship workshops across the state
  • RCV Committee members Cr Mary-Ann Brown and Cr Jenny O’Connor (Population Attraction and Retention Strategies for Rural Victorian Communities) and Lenny Jenner (Victorian Government Budget 2018/2019 advocacy campaign)We had some very positive feedback from attendees at the Forum, including:
  • 95% agreed/strongly agreed that the topics discussed were relevant to them
  • 95% agreed/strongly agreed that the speakers were interesting and well-informed
  • 68% agreed/strongly agreed that they now have a better understanding of the role and work of RCV
  • 96% agreed/strongly agreed that they would attend the Forum again in the futurePresentations:Population Attraction and Retention Strategies for Rural Victorian Communities – Cr O’Connor and Cr Brown
  • Social enterprise workshops – Matt Pfahlert, CEO, ACRE
  • We also received some very constructive feedback on how the Forum can be improved, and this feedback will be incorporated into our planning for the 2018 Forums.
2017 May Forum

Rural Councils Victoria welcomed delegates from each of our 38 Rural Council Members at the Mayors, Councillors and CEOs Forum n Thursday 11 May 2017.

Delegates heard about RCV’s Advocacy efforts and the Budget Submission, the Foundation Project which focuses on the Sustainability of Rural Communities and the work that is being done with the Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship to grow Rural Victoria’s capacity for entrepreneurship, particularly among young people.

Guest speakers from Local Government Victoria, the Local Government Investigations and Compliance Inspectorate and Regional Development Victoria joined the Forum provide updates on their work and how it impacts on Rural Councils.

Attendees also heard from David McKenzie, Chair of the Regional Development Advisory Committee and Jack Archer, CEO of the Regional Australia Institute.


2016 September Forum

The second forum of 2016 was held on Wednesday 7 September. You can read the Agenda here.

Presentations included:

RCV Advocacy – David Hawkins, SOCOM

RCV Incorporation and introduction to Permanent Host Council Secretariat – Jo Shannon, RCV Secretariat

RCV Sustainable Rural Communities – Andrew Mason, CEO, Corangamite Shire Council

Rural Living Campaign – Jason Russell, CEO, Campaspe Shire Council

Regional Development Victoria Update – James Flintoft, Chief Executive, Regional Development Victoria


The keynote address was presented by Matt Pfahlert, cofounder and CEO of the Australian Centre for Rural Entrepreneurship (ACRE). You can find out more about ACRE by visiting their website.


2016 May Forum

The first Forum for 2016 was held on Thursday 12 May. You can read the Agenda here and the Minutes here.

Presentations included:
RCV Advocacy – David Hawkins
Stronger Rural Councils Initiative – Lenny Jenner
RCV Legal Entity – Kate Oliver, Maddocks
Summit Evaluation – Margaret Abbey
Local Government Victoria – Graeme Emonson
Rural Living Campaign – Cr Reid Mather
3,16,81 Campaign – Cr Murray Emerson & Cr Tony Driscoll

Information relating to RCV legal entity:
Rules of Incorporation
Model Council Report
Proxy Form

2015 October Forum

Forum Agenda

2015 May Forum

Speakers included:

The Hon Natalie Hutchins, Minister for Local Government
The Hon Richard Wynne, Minister for Planning
Dr Ron Ben-David, Chairperson, Essential Services Commission – Presentation
Alistair MacLean, CEO, Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission – Presentation
Colin Morrison, Executive Officer, Victoria Grants Commission and Director of Governance and Funding at Local Government Victoria – Presentation
John Hicks, CEO and Cr Reid Mather, Mayor, Buloke Shire Council – Presentation
Sustainability Project Presentation

2014 October Forum

2014 October Forum

The second Forum was held on Wednesday 22 October and included a presentation from the Australian Centre of Excellence in Local Government.

2014 May Forum

2014 May Forum 

The first Forum for the year was held on Thursday 15 May, 2014.  You can read  the Agenda here, presentations included:

Benchmarking Tool – Findings and Planned Tool – Steve Piasente, Corporate Services Director, Bass Coast Shire Council

LGV Procurement Project–  Anthony Maclean, Executive Manager – Business Collaboration, Towong Shire Council

Wimmera Development Association Model – Jo Bourke, Director, Wimmera Development Association

Update from Local Government Victoria–  Nick Foa, Executive Director, Local Government Victoria, DTPLI

Summary of RCV Projects and RCV Tomorrow – Olwyn Redshaw, RCV Program and Policy Manager

2013 October Forum

2013 October Forum

The second Forum was held on 23 October 2013. Presentations included:

Transport in Rural Victoria – Minister for Roads, the Hon. Terry Mulder

Regional Development Victoria Update – Lachlan Bruce, CEO Regional Development Victoria

Rail Freight Update – Professor Bill Russell

Rural Migration Toolkit – Kevin Johnson, Geografia

Open Day – Robynne Berg, Berg Consulting

Yarriambiack’s Open Day Experience – Ray Campling, CEO Yarriambiack Shire Council

RCV Tomorrow – Olwyn Redshaw, RCV Program and Policy Manager

2014 Rural Summit Hindmarsh Shire – Tony Doyle,  CEO Hindmarsh Shire Council

2013 May Forum

2013 May Forum 

The first forum for the year was held on 15 May 2013. You can read the agenda here, presentations included:

How engaged are you with RCV communications? – Birgit Schonafinger, Fishbowl PR

Rural Migration Trends and Drivers toolkit – Kevin Johnson, Geografia

Growing Efficiently: Understanding the cost of settlement – Daniela Jovanovic, SGS Economics and Planning

Rural Recruitment and Retention: Wimmera Pilot – Jo Bourke, Wimmera Development Association

Regional Collaboration – Fleet Management – Duncan Kinnard, Landell

Stronger Planning Enforcement Framework – Marcus Heath, Russell Kennedy

The Forum Report presents a summary of the event and discussion.

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