Executive committee

  • Cr Kylie Spears

    Cr Kylie Spears

    President of ALGWA Vic & President of ALGWA National

    Cr Kylie Spears was elected to Maroondah City Council in October 2016. Kylie was re-elected in 2020 and was sworn in as the Mayor for Maroondah for 2020/2021.  Kylie has successfully run her own local business for the past 12 years; She is a qualified workplace trainer and assessor with over fifteen years of event management experience.

    Kylie has an active involvement with many local community groups, including a number of volunteer roles; She has been President of Melbourne East Netball Association since 2010.

    Kylie brings a strong commitment to, and passion for, social justice and inclusive communities, community engagement, the provision of library services, Family Services, advocacy for community needs, opportunities for women and ensuring development in Maroondah is well designed, sustainable and responsive to community needs. Kylie wants the decisions we make today to be the best they can be for now and the future.

    Kylie is married to Malcolm and has two daughters - Caitlin & Aimee and a Labrador retriever named Maverick.

    Kylie represents Council on the Maroondah Arts Advisory Committee, Audit and Risk Advisory Committee, Maroondah Disability Advisory Committee, Maroondah Business Advisory Committee, Eastern Regional Libraries Corporation, and the Victorian Local Government Women’s Charter and was Deputy Mayor in 2018-19.

    As President of ALGWA’s Victoria branch, Kylie is focused on continuing to grow participation and strengthen supports for women in the Local government sector.

    In 2023 Kylie was elected the National President for ALGWA. 

  • Cr Michelle Kleinert OAM

    Cr Michelle Kleinert OAM

    Executive Officer

    Cr Michelle Kleinert OAM has been a Councillor at Manningham since 2012 where she has been a passionate advocate on behalf of her community on especially youth, mental health and equality issues.

    As Manningham Mayor in 2016/17,  and again in 2021/22. Michelle led the charge in establishing a youth mental health outreach service with headspace Hawthorn, helping to raise more than $100,000 towards establishing a program for young people aged 12 to 25 in Manningham.  Michelle holds a Mental health first aid certificate.

    A graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), Michelle was President of ALGWA Vic Branch  2019-2020 before taking on the role of Executive Officer.   Vice President of the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA), 2015 - 2019.

    A passionate mental health advocate, in 2020 Michelle became a Multicultural Ambassador for the Mental Health Foundation Australia.

    With a vivacious personality and a background in theatrical arts, she is well-known for her ability to connect and engage with people of all ages. As President of ALGWA’s Victoria branch, Michelle was focused on growing and strengthening support for women to become an ever increasing and valued voice in the Local Government sector.  

    Michelle was awarded an OAM  in 2023 for her work in local government and to the community of Melbourne.

  • Cr Denise Massoud

    Cr Denise Massoud

    Metro Vice President

    Cr Denise Massoud has served as a Councillor for City of Whitehorse since 2012 and elected Mayor for 2016/2017 year. Her interest in local government was initiated by issues around the local environment, aged care, sporting facilities, youth and inclusiveness. Denise was elected to the ALGWA Vic Executive in 2020. Importantly, Denise believes that women should be strongly encouraged to put their hands up and realise they have a significant contribution to make to their community.

    Prior to becoming a councillor, Denise served on local school committees (kindergarten and primary), secretary and girls coordinator for one of the largest domestic basketball clubs, basketball coach, volunteer and committee member for a parkland advisory committee, volunteer for a local education program to support primary and secondary school excursion groups.

    Denise has completed a Bachelor of Science (Hons), Diploma of Education, Graduate Diploma of Computing, Executive Management (University of New South Wales), is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and current member of AICD, and is a Registered Electrical Contractor. Her career has encompassed secondary and tertiary education, Information Technology (eCommerce and Business Intelligence) for large corporate organisations and government agencies plus project coordination for domestic and commercial electrical projects. Her diverse background and training in Governance have supported her in her councillor role.

    Council committee roles have included Domestic Animal Management Plan Advisory Committee, Visual Arts Committee, Audit Advisory Committee, CEO Development Review, Whitehorse Business Group, Sport & Recreation Network, Disability Advisory Committee, Reconciliation Advisory Committee, LG Waste Management Forum, Eastern Region Group of Councils, Eastern Affordable Housing Alliance, Environment and Sustainability Reference Group, MAV Representative.

    Denise works actively to represent her community including advocacy for planning issues, parking issues, trees, project funding, sporting facilities and clubs, drinking fountains, lifts at local railway station to improve accessibility, facilitation to network local community groups. She has a strong focus on good governance, works closely with her community and is responsive to their issues to find resolutions.

    In August 2021, Denise was appointed as the Metro Vice President. Denise is the current President of VLGA (Victorian Local Governance Association).

  • Cr Janet Pearce

    Cr Janet Pearce

    Rural Vice President

    Janet Pearce was first elected as a Councillor in Macedon Ranges Shire in 2016 and was Mayor for two years, 2018/2019, 2019/2020. Her involvement volunteering over many years in many community groups and graduation from the Loddon Murray Community Leadership Program (LMCLP) reinforced her belief that supported and resilient communities can achieve amazing things and are the heart of regional and rural areas. Janet believes strong connections to Council are important.

    Working as a Registered Nurse and Midwife over the last 36 years drives Janet’s passion for social justice and mental, physical and social health. She is also invested in a small business in the shire, where she lives with her husband and three teenage children.

    Currently Janet is a member of several committees including Council committees such as the Health and Wellbeing Advisory Committee, Audit Committee, Agribusiness Forum and the Central Ranges Local Learning and Employment Network (CRLLEN).

    Janet is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD), Understanding the importance of good governance processes, strategic planning and long term vision.

  • Helen Coleman OAM

    Helen Coleman OAM

    Committee Member

    Helen was a Councillor at the Nillumbik Shire Council from 2004 to 2016, and first elected as Mayor in December 2010; serving a second term in 2014/15. Helen has been a member of the Executive Committee of ALGWA Vic since 2008 serving as President 2016-2018 and Metro VP 2018-2020. Helen has a professional background in Community Development and has worked in the volunteer sector and is currently working with the state government. Helen has remained active in her local community and within the local government sector.

    Helen is a former board member of the Municipal Association of Victoria 2015 – Oct 2016 and joined former President Coral Ross. It is believed to be the first time that two committee members had been on the Board together. Helen was also Chair of the MAV Environment Advisory Committee.

    Helen is a Fellow of the AICD, and has been appointed to a number of boards, the State government’s Adult Community and Further Education Board (ACFE) from 2017, Women’s Health Victoria, 2011 - 2019 and was Chair of the Counterpart Advisory Committee (formerly Breacan), a former Member of the Ministerial Council for Volunteers 2016 - 2019 and was appointed in 2016 as Deputy Chair of the State governments Northern Metropolitan Partnership. Helen is also a member of the VLGA.

    Helen was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia [OAM] in January 2019 for service to the community through a range of organisations.

  • Coral Ross AM

    Coral Ross AM

    Committee Member

    Coral is passionate about gender equality and local government.

    Coral is the Chair of the Australian Gender Equality Council and has had a long career in local government. Until October 2020 Coral was the President of the Municipal Association of Victoria and on the Board of the Australian Local Government Association. Coral was a local government councillor at the City of Boroondara, in Metropolitan Melbourne, for more than 18 years and served as Mayor three times. She was on the MAV Board for nearly eight years.

    Coral was previously the National President of the Australian Local Government Women’s Association and ALGWA Victorian President – she is currently the National Treasurer. A professional journalist with more than 20 years’ experience, Coral was awarded Churchill Fellowship in 2018 to improve gender equality in local government by increasing the number of women councillors. She found that whilst there are many overseas programmes to elect women which can be implemented in Australia, parity will not be achieved until the systemic and cultural barriers which prevent women being elected are addressed.

    Coral was made Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2021, in 2019 she was inducted into the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll and in 2014 she was named as one of the 100 Women of Influence by Westpac/Fairfax. She is also a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Director and has a Certificate in Leadership and Strategy having successfully completed the Australian Institute of Management coaching and mentoring course.

  • Cr Clare Williams

    Cr Clare Williams

    Committee Member

    Clare Williams is a Councillor in the beautiful South Gippsland Shire, in Southern Victoria. A first term Councillor, Cr Williams is delighted to have been elected as Deputy Mayor by her colleagues for the 2022/2023 year, and is relishing the opportunity to work closely with the Mayor and Chief Executive Officer in this leadership role. In addition to her Councillor role, Clare is a local small business owner in partnership with her husband Brenton, and a very active volunteer and member of a number of community organisations and committees.

    Outside her Councillor and working life, Clare is a Mum to three active children, and values time out with her young family in the beautiful natural environment of South Gippsland. 

    Clare is delighted to have been appointed to the Executive Committee of the Australian Local Government Women’s Association – Victorian Branch, and is looking forward to supporting the organisation’s important work.

  • Cr Cuc Lam

    Cr Cuc Lam

    Committee Member

    Deputy Mayor Cr Cuc Lam is in her  third term as a Councillor at the City of Maribyrnong, including a year as Mayor.

    Cuc was first elected in 2000, then again in 2016, serving as Mayor in 2017/2018, before being re-elected in 2020.

    Cuc has received the Refugee Recognition Record Award and Victorian Honour Roll of Women and was instrumental in the implementation of the pop up park in West Footscray.  

    Currently Cuc is on the Board of Director for Western Health Foundation and recently elected as board member for the Australian Vietnamese Women’s Association and a member of GAICD. 

    Cuc is a strong advocate for multicultural communities, and she seeks to create safer and cleaner neighbourhoods while supporting sporting and community groups and local businesses.

  • Cr Despi O'Connor

    Cr Despi O'Connor

    Committee Member

    Cr Despi O’Connor was elected to the Mornington Peninsula Shire Council in 2020 and subsequently elected as Mayor by her peers. She has served as council representative on Council’s Literacy Advisory Committee, the Interface Councils, Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), South East Melbourne (SEM) and the Mornington Peninsula Cemetery Trust. She is currently an appointed representative on the Community Consultative Committee on Gaming, Mornington Liquor Industry Accord and MAV Emergency Management Committee. The Victorian Government has also appointed Cr O’Connor to its 2021 Local Government Mayoral Advisory Panel.

    Despi has a Bachelor of Applied Science in Human Movement, a Master’s in Education (Research) and a Graduate Diploma in Education (Primary) achieving Dux of 2009. Her career has spanned 3 sectors, recreation, local government and education. And currently teaches 2 days per week.

    She has been an active member of her local community for many years as a volunteer through sport, lifesaving, local Landcare groups, schools and kindergartens.

  • Cr Natalie Duffy

    Cr Natalie Duffy

    Committee Member

    Cr Natalie Duffy was elected to Nillumbik Shire Council in 2020. Putting community at the heart of Council is her focus.

    As a first term Councillor, Natalie valued the “sisterhood of support” offered through the ALGWA Victoria mentoring program. She believes when we work together, we can achieve great things for our communities.

    Natalie lives with her husband and two teenagers in leafy North East Melbourne. She is passionate about protecting the environment and creating opportunities for people of all ages to thrive. Her goal is to empower people to have confidence to make positive change in our world.

    Natalie has a Bachelor of Business (Marketing), a background in business working in tourism, travel, technology and recruitment coupled with a period of running her own small business. Natalie has active community and volunteer involvement in education, sport and reconciliation.

    A board member of Yarra Plenty Regional Libraries and charity Imagine Re-evolution, Natalie is Chair of Council’s Health and Wellbeing Advisory Committee and also serves on Nillumbik’s Positive Ageing Advisory Committee, Inclusion and Access Advisory Committee and Youth Council. She is Council’s delegated representative on the Nillumbik Reconciliation Group, Eltham Chamber of Commerce, and Diamond Creek Traders Association.

    Natalie’s battle with breast cancer early into her term has made her empathetic to the struggles of the most vulnerable members of her community.