Councillor profiles - Mayor Kim O’Keeffe City of Greater Shepparton
A city of opportunity
Greater Shepparton, Victoria, is many great things from delicious food, a unique Indigenous culture, amazing people and a diverse multicultural community.
We offer an incredible lifestyle with affordable housing, progressing educational opportunities, investment, health services, employment opportunities and a relaxed lifestyle.
One of Australia’s most liveable and progressive cities, Greater Shepparton is at a very exciting stage of progress and opportunities.
We have become the regional sporting capital attracting national and international sporting events with our recently completed $21 million sports city precinct. This has led to incredible economic benefits and future opportunities, together with many other great events.
Our new $40 million, Shepparton Art Museum is beginning soon. Known as ‘SAM’, the five-storey building will be positioned on the lake right at the gateway of Shepparton.
SAM will be a significant landmark and destination that will create many opportunities including increased visitation and tourism.
A chance to lead
I was elected onto Council in October 2016 as a first time Councillor. I went in as Deputy Mayor and now, in my second year, am Mayor. I became involved in local government to do more for the community, as well as to take on a leadership role. I could see the community was looking for some change within Council.
I have two daughters and have run my own business in the training and service industry for 30 years here in Shepparton and my husband has a menswear store. So we have a long history living here and I feel I have a lot to offer the community with my business experience, passion and love of the region.
I have always volunteered and I see that being a Councillor is the next step in a continuation of that role.
I am currently the National Education and Marketing Manager for a company called the Salons Group. I look after their online training program, something I have been able to continue in my Council role. I also have my own make up brand that I sell across Australia. Life is very busy but very exciting at the same time.
The challenges of working within budget and rate capping are always present but I feel we are doing really well covering all the daily needs of running a region. As our region grows so do our needs and one of greatest priorities is for a bypass road to cater for the increasing trucks coming through our region.
We also have some very exciting projects that are progressing including the Education Plan, hospital upgrade and central business district revitalisation to name a few.
I do find one of the most exciting things about being a Councillor is being part of that progress and feeling the satisfaction when things are achieved, but also being part of the process that makes it happen.
Recently we took over Federation Square in Melbourne for two weeks and ‘Fed Square’ became ‘Shepp Square’. This was a very innovative concept that gave us the opportunity to share with the people of Melbourne all the great things about Greater Shepparton. The event brought attention to our region that already has led to interest in investment and our lifestyle. I am heading to China, Hong Kong and Jakarta this year, which is an exciting opportunity to showcase our region and attract international investment.
Making a difference
The best part about being on Council is the breadth of experience that being involved in so many things brings, and the incredible growth and learning along the way.
It’s also the amazing opportunity you get to make a difference in the community, and to be able to lobby for the things we need not only now but also for the future growth of our region.
I hope to continue to pursue opportunities that will allow our region to thrive and prosper as it really is a wonderful place to live and work and I encourage people to come to our region and have a truly wonderful life.