Outgoing Mildura Rural City Council CEO Gerard José.

THE search to replace outgoing Mildura Rural City Council CEO, Gerard José, is expected to begin later this month, with MRCC hoping to appoint Mr Jose’s replacement by April. 

Mr José shocked many two weeks ago when he announced his resignation after more than four years in the role to take up a position as Chief Executive Officer of Bendigo Community Health Services. 

He will continue to act as MRCC CEO until Friday, February 15.

Mildura Council yesterday confirmed that the process to appoint Mr Jose’s successor is expected to begin later this month, with a tender to be undertaken for a recruitment agency to conduct the process.

It is hoped that the successful agency will begin advertising for the position in February, before interviews begin in March. Depending on availability of potential candidates, Council is hoping to have the position filled by April, with the new CEO to commence in the role by June.

A Council spokesperson said that at this stage, timelines for the process were a general guide only.

Interim arrangements to appoint an Acting CEO once Mr Jose’s tenure officially comes to an end on February 15 are yet to be finalised. Historically, Council’s three General Managers have alternated monthly in an Acting CEO capacity.

Mildura Councillors are expected to decide on what arrangements will be made in this space at the January Ordinary Council meeting.

Mr José, meanwhile, said that while he was looking forward to his new position – and the challenges associated – it was with some sadness that he would be leaving the Mallee.

“I have treasured my time here in the Mallee, and believe that I have embedded within the role of the Chief Executive Officer transparency, a sense of humour, visibility in towns and villages and a willingness to resolve issues that impact on the governance of the organisation,” he said.

“I have shared my mantra that the community is at the centre of everything we do, and acknowledge the leadership of Council in championing improved relationships and reconciliation with our wonderful Aboriginal community, White Ribbon Accreditation and addressing violence in our community, and building Respectful Relationships with many key partners.”

Mr José also paid tribute to Mildura Councillors and Council staff.

“Council is blessed to have very talented staff working in varied roles across this wonderful organisation,” he said. “They continue to demonstrate a passionate focus to work in partnership with others in our region to help improve our residents’ quality of life.

“I wish to thank all current and previous Councillors that have supported myself and my family during our time in the Mallee. I’ve also been fortunate to work with many individuals and organisations outside of Council that have enriched my time here.”

Mildura Mayor Simon Clemence also highlighted Mr José’s leadership qualities and commitment to the region.

“As CEO, Gerard has provided diligent and ethical leadership to Council, and shown great passion for the community in which he and his family have lived,” Cr Clemence said.

“He has demonstrated an outstanding capacity to engage with the community and partner agencies in our region and forged strong ties which will be among his lasting legacies.

“I’d like to congratulate Gerard on his new role as CEO of Bendigo Community Health Services, and wish him and his family the very best for the future.”