Recognising Councils high achievers - This month from Balranald Shire Council, NSW
Aaron Drenovski is the General Manager of Balranald Shire Council in New South Wales, and was nominated by Councillor Steve O’Halloran.
Aaron commenced his career in local government in 1999 with the former Delatite Shire Council as a Project Officer/engineer.
“It was the first year they introduced a double degree engineering & business at Swinburne University when I commenced my studies and found that I enjoyed the finance and management streams of businesses.
“This lead me to complete a MBA with Charles Sturt University which has no doubt assisted me to get to where I am today.”
Aaron said the best aspect of his job is the diversity it offers.
“In any single day I can be having discussions on behalf of Council ranging from multi-million dollar projects right through to local service delivery of parks, gardens and maintenance and they can all be equally as important.
“Ultimately my role is to deliver on behalf of the Council the best outcomes for the community with the resources available.”
Aaron said the key challenges in his role are Fit for the Future reform and ensuring that the community gets the best deal possible from the government.
“I am strong believer in local government and its importance to the community.
“Strong local stakeholder involvement is critical and many small rural communities rely on their local Council to do more than provide services, they rely on them to advocate on their behalf.
“If there is no or limited local advocacy then small communities will not be represented on large decisions and they will continue to suffer population decline and social disengagement.”
Currently Balranald is working on opening it’s $1.5 million Discovery Centre before Christmas, ensuring it’s local court facility is maintained and that the various water authorities can work together to ensure the river height fluctuations are kept to a minimum.
“We are also planning for the development of our aged care facility.
“The highest impact on our community however will be the development of mineral sands mining in the region.
“This will have significant economic and social effects and it will be important to manage these new developments to ensure as seamless integration with the community as possible.”
Aaron said being appointed as General Manager has been an early highlight in his career.
“Having previously worked with Council to then return several years later as General Manager is a great privilege.
“The first few months have been about establishing the major tasks and building a new management team that will address the key strategic issues that Council is facing.
“It will now be important to develop the team and work with Council on their objectives.
“In my limited time to date other highlights have included meeting senior representatives of government with Council in order to advocate for improved service, funding and grants.
“I really enjoy working with the community and seeing a project completed.
“In small communities you are able to get a real sense of satisfaction at the impact that Council can have.
“With an engineering background it is always nice to see works completed that make life easier for residents, it might be better roads, water or sewerage or community based projects such as aged care facilities, they all have an impact.”