Rhonda a Hills trailblazer

Rhonda Hardy in Kalamunda this week. d404228
Rhonda Hardy in Kalamunda this week. d404228

The former shire director of corporate services, who had been acting chief executive officer with director of development and infrastructure services Clayton Higham since last January, was promoted to CEO at a special council meeting on Monday.

A council employee since 2011, Ms Hardy has seen the shire claw its way back from financial trouble after it committed to undertake some projects that racked up a multi-million-dollar bill.

She took on the shared role of CEO following the controversial departure of former CEO James Trail after an external audit of the shire’s finances.

Ms Hardy said it was a thrill to be the shire’s first female CEO.

‘I am one of three female CEOs in the Perth metro local governments,’ she said.

‘There are 31 local governments, so females make up about 10 per cent.’

She said it had always been her ambition to be a local government CEO.

‘Since my 20s I knew I would get there,’ she said.

‘My background has always been working with people and how they behave in the workplace.

‘I have learnt from the mistakes of my former leaders throughout the years.’

Ms Hardy said she wanted to introduce contemporary management styles in her new role.

‘We have been going through some of the backlog of issues and are planning ahead and seeing what forums to hold and which community groups we need to meet with to address them,’ she said.

Shire President Sue Bilich said Ms Hardy had shown a strong understanding of local government and had been a valuable asset to the shire.

‘Her understanding of the Local Government Act, financial management regulations, qualifications and experience were all deciding factors in the appointment,’ she said.