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Council appoints new Chief Officer – Corporate and Community

Armidale Regional Council’s Manager Communications and Marketing Darren Schaefer has been appointed as the new Chief Officer Corporate and Community to join Council’s senior leadership team and help guide the organisation on its change journey.

An extensive recruitment process for the role began earlier this year based on Council’s restore and thrive turnaround strategy, and Mr Schaefer was successful in his appointment based on organisational fit and his capabilities and commitment to the organisation.

Mr Schaefer will lead Council’s corporate and community functions including customer experience, governance and risk, information technology, libraries, community services, visitor information centre, preschool and airport.

Taking the bull by the horns and commencing in the role immediately, Mr Schaefer said he is thrilled by the opportunity and eager to help drive long-term stability and organisational performance.

“The organisation has been following a back-to-basics approach and I hope to continue this methodology for improved customer experience, better alignments between council and the community, and enhanced proficiency and productivity across our core functions,” he said.

“I bring a strong combination of executive level experience and connection to the Armidale region, and I have history in helping organisations in a variety of industry sectors to realise their potential through effective change management.”

Mr Schaefer has been working at Armidale Regional Council for the past two-an-a-half years and acting in the role of Chief Officer Corporate and Strategy for the past seven months.

“Acting in the role has allowed me to get my feet under the desk and identify areas for improvement. There is a lot to do and it will take a team of dedicated people to help turn this organisation around and that’s what I intend to foster; a culture of high performance and continuous improvement, one that is stable, cohesive and we as staff and community can all be proud of,” said Mr Schaefer.

During his engagement at Armidale Regional Council Mr Schaefer has been part of the execution of the Big Chill Festival and ice-skating rink, food markets and murals in the mall, the redevelopment of tourism websites, exchanging land sales at Armidale Airside Business Park, Guyra Preschool facility upgrades and the soon-to-be completion of the digital makerspace at Armidale library.

General Manager James Roncon said he is optimistic about the future of the organisation with Mr Schaeffer joining him at the helm.

“Mr Schaefer epitomised the right fit, the right commitment and the right capability and capacity to continue his growth within the organisation and in the role as Chief Officer Corporate and Community,” said Mr Roncon.

“I believe we are on the right path to transforming Council into a high functioning and progressive organisation and delivering better outcomes for the community.”

Mr Schaefer formally commenced in the role from Monday 25 July 2022.

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