A farewell message from Kiama’s General Manager of 17 years, Michael Forsyth:
I have been privileged to have a long and successful career in local government and it could not have been the satisfying journey it has been without the people I have worked with and the wonderful community I have served.
As General Manager I have been privileged to lead a workforce that has been inspirational, innovative and hard working. Our achievements in this time include development of the Elambra Estate at Gerringong, the new Kiama Library, the Kiama Pavilion, Gerringong Old School Park, extensions to the Leisure Centre, Stage 5 of the Blue Haven Independent Living Units and new wings at the Blue Haven Aged Care Facility, and the start of work on the Kiama Aged Care Centre of Excellence at the former Kiama Hospital site.
In 2012 I had the misfortune and also the honour of being involved in Council’s response to the tornado that tore through our beachside paradise. I was proud to see the work Council staff undertook in removing debris and making areas safe for those affected by the disaster.
I have also been fortunate to see Kiama Council staff and their innovative projects receive national and international recognition for their efforts including but not limited to Dementia Friendly Kiama, the Intergen Munch Out and OK Organics.
The State Government’s Fit for the Future program and the threat of amalgamation was a shadow over all of us for a lengthy period of time. It was with great pride and enormous relief that I was able to announce that Kiama Council had been found ‘fit for the future’ and would no longer need to amalgamate with Shoalhaven City Council.
This was only possible because of the dedication of staff and the Kiama community, my thanks to you all.
I am excited at the prospect of spending more time with family and friends, continuing to ride my bike in areas near and far and to perhaps take on some community projects but it is also bittersweet to say goodbye.
Kiama Council and its staff have been my second family for over 27 years and I have watched them grow and mature into a formidable yet caring team. A team that I am extremely proud to say I have been part of and also lead during that time. It has been an incredible privilege and I am very proud of the high regard for which the Kiama Municipality is held and the excellent standard of facilities and services is due to the innovation, commitment and teamwork of all staff.
I congratulate Kerry McMurray on his appointment as the new General Manager. I am certain that under his leadership the Municipality will remain strong and resilient to meet the future challenges.
I wish you all the best for the future.