Executive Leadership Team

CEO Brett Walsh

Chief Executive Officer

Brett Walsh

Brett Walsh is an experienced public administrator with a background in managerial finance and strategic leadership. Brett joined Longreach Regional Council in October 2022, bringing with him over 14 years executive management experience in local government at Barcaldine Regional Council. Prior to joining Barcaldine Regional Council, Brett was an experienced external auditor to local governments throughout regional Queensland. 

His financial abilities are complemented by a wealth of experience in strategic governance, having delivered countless projects in community development, organisational reform, asset management, planning and policy development, and regional coordination. Brett is passionate about achieving economic and social development in rural communities to support small businesses, create employment, and improve liveability for all residents. 

Brett was recognised in 2008 for his contribution to rural communities, receiving a Department of Local Government’s Community Hero Award. Brett was further recognised in 2018, winning the inaugural Butch Lenton Memorial Bush Heritage Innovation Award, presented by the Local Government Association of Queensland. The $10,000 bursary saw Brett complete a study-tour of small-town America, looking at the key success factors for growing compact communities and how their experiences might translate to western Queensland.

Brett holds a Bachelor of Commerce, is a Chartered Accountant, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD). He is glad to be remaining in the central-west, which is home, and he looks forward to making a lasting contribution to the ongoing development of our region through his work with Council. Brett lives in Longreach with his wife Debi.

DoW Andre Pretorius - Web

Director of Works

André Pretorius

André has over 20 years’ experience in the design, operations and management of roads, waste, water, waste water and associated infrastructure. 

He is actively involved in the future planning and augmentation of schemes, various feasibility studies and business cases, identifying training needs, conflict management and resolution, budgeting, etc. He is also involved in the review of designs and reports done by others. During his career, he has worked in several countries with multidisciplinary teams on a wide variety of projects. 

André's project management and coordination skills involves an independent approach, originality and judgment, which together with his broad knowledge in civil engineering adds value to the services that can be provided. With experience in both private and local government sectors, he can bring two worlds together.

André is currently halfway through in completing his Master’s Degree in Engineering and has previously completed training in the Australian Business Excellence Framework. Part of this framework identifies process improvements, data capturing, setting realistic targets and how to avoid rework.

André is a member of Engineers Australia.

DoC Karyn Stillwell - Web

Director of Communities

Karyn Stillwell

Karyn started with Council as Director of Communities in June 2023, and has operated at a senior level in the local government sector in New Zealand for over 15 years.  She has worked in several councils in the Wellington region (as well as central government departments) and specialises in parks, sport and recreation issues, community and stakeholder engagement, communications, and project management.

Karyn holds a Master’s in Public Management from Victoria University, Wellington, as well as qualifications in Agile Project Management and APMG Change Management. Karyn and her husband Richard are based in Longreach and look forward to joining the community.

CFO David Wilson

Chief Financial Officer 

David Wilson

David joined Council as Chief Financial Officer in January 2022. With over two decades of experience in manufacturing, property development and finance companies, including as Chief Financial Officer of an ASX listed company, David brings specialist expertise in building value-adding finance teams and strategic financial management. David has a Bachelor of Accounting and is a member of CPA Australia.

Grace Jones

Manager of Human Resources, Safety and Wellness

Grace Cronin-Jones

Grace joined the former Longreach Shire Council as a trainee in 2008, prior to amalgamation, and has been with Council ever since. A proud Longreach local, Grace has spent just under fourteen years working for Council in a variety of increasingly senior roles across the organisation. Her broad range of experience with Council has included roles in Tourism, Accounts Payable, Finance, Customer Service, Administration, and Rates. 

Grace holds Diplomas in Leadership & Management and Local Government Administration, as well as a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.