High achiever - Glenda Teede CEO Shire of Victoria Plains
Shire of Victoria Plains, Western Australia, with a population of only 1000 people needs a point of difference to put it on the map. As luck would have it they have several.
Firstly, it is the site of Australia’s only monastic town, New Norcia, founded there by Spanish Benedictine Monks in 1847 on the banks of the Moore River.
Secondly, only 160km north of Perth, the shire is situated in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt giving it a rich agricultural legacy.
And thirdly, the shire was chosen for the European Space Agency’s first deep space ground station thanks to its perfect weather and high quality telecommunications infrastructure.
Plenty to celebrate
Council’s Chief Executive Office, Glenda Teede, is a proud host and recently had the pleasure of a behind the scenes tour of the facility just 8km from New Norcia when plans to expand the facility were announced.
This is not the only area in which Teede is pleased to advocate on behalf of the Shire.
“With the current expansion of the European Space Agency in our district, together with ever growing tourism numbers for the New Norcia Benedictine Community (currently approximately 250,000 per annum), we have plenty to celebrate.”
Food production and agricultural technology are growing areas of interest, and there is plenty of scope for various projects.
Teede has worked at Shire of Victoria Plains for three years originally drawn by the rustic beauty of the area and the sense of community.
“It’s quite fascinating how such a remote farming community is within two hours of the City of Perth.
“Local Government is renowned for providing diversity in opportunity and I have thoroughly enjoyed the challenges, community triumphs and the fact that every day is so different in Local Government. The sector, as a whole, has skilled, tenacious talent and I am privileged to be amongst them.”
Teede’s varied background in private enterprise and the public domain, has given her valuable experience and insights in her current role.
“Having a strong practical association with indigenous communities, I understand the world we live in is a diverse place and that developing and fostering relationships with residents and interested stakeholders is essential for the development of the community and its long term success and progress wherever the location. With over 15years Senior Executive experience from the private sector such as Horizon Power, charitable boards and various local governments, I have grown and adapted within a variety of regional locations.
A fresh approach
Mayor, Pauline Bantock, nominated Teede as a Local Government Focus High Achiever citing that she brought to Council ‘outside experience which highlighted some gaps in financial and governance that needed addressing’.
In response Teede said, “Many smaller country shires struggle with locating experienced, knowledgeable people and I invest in finding the right staff for the required role. Whilst this is time consuming it pays dividends in the long term as having the job done correctly the first time saves time, money and headaches! This comes down to due diligence and process.
“In essence, having worked at Shires with financial difficulty, I understand budgetary pressures and restraints and therefore the necessity of following protocol to manage monetary affairs, and of course, being regional means country shires need to be ever more resourceful and pragmatic with a keen eye for opportunity. There is a crossover sphere of the right people at the right time progressing the right projects.”
Teede said she appreciates the complexity of maintaining her sense of self and strongly adheres to her principles and values.
“This is often appreciated, and as I prefer to take a methodical approach to work, I have developed a strong network of likeminded colleagues and to me this is an achievement in itself.”
“Being one of just a handful of women who hold this role in Local Government I appreciate the fine line of ‘holding my own’, not being ‘dismissed for my opinions’ and for being a valuable team player regardless of gender. Gender is not relevant to capability of role and I appreciate the opportunity to bring a different perspective to a very much male orientated sector at this level.”
Teede enjoys being part of a small but energetic community.
“It is wonderful to see the community events and projects that occur within each town in the district such as the Piawaning Expo for their Centenary anniversary or the Mogumber Rodeo, which is hugely popular. These are just a few examples of the many events across the towns of Bolgart, Calingiri, Mogumber, Piawaning, Gillingarra and Yerecoin as they encourage visitors to the area.
“An example of community spirit, which was supported by Council, was back in 2018 when the farmers of the area shipped approx. 10 tonnes of grain to drought affected areas on the eastern seaboard to feed livestock.
“After it all, I wish to look back at my time as a CEO with memories of having contributed something meaningful to the communities I lived in.”