Mayor Gail has lived in the City of Willoughby with her husband Jon, and children Miriam and Lincoln, since 1996.
She is passionate about community.
Mayor Gail was first elected as a Councillor for Sailors Bay Ward in 2009, became Deputy Mayor in 2013, was elected Mayor of Willoughby City Council in 2014 and was re-elected with 69% of the primary vote in September 2016. She is Willoughby’s second popularly elected mayor and is the 50th Mayor in the City’s 154 year history.
Since joining Council, Gail’s priorities have included improving traffic and parking congestion; working to optimise sport and recreation facilities available to residents, both young and aged; continuing to encourage Council’s arts and entertainment offerings; supporting our City of diversity; and ensuring appropriate protection for our unique natural and built heritage.
Since taking office as Mayor, Gail has sought to promote Chatswood as an economic and cultural hub. As a result of her leadership, the exciting Vivid Light Festival has been a part of the Chatswood calendar since 2015, bringing many first time visitors to the area. Mayor Gail has also been pleased to support a number of initiatives enhancing Chatswood’s reputation as a genuine food destination; been excited to have led discussions that have resulted in Council acquiring the Artarmon Bowling Club site for the long term benefit of the Willoughby community; and been committed to working with Federal and State Government to facilitate a long term plan for the Gore Hill precinct.
Mayor Gail has excellent working relationships with businesses and professional groups in the Chatswood CBD, and is Council’s representative on the Sydney (North) Planning Panel, which considers major planning initiatives in the region. She is currently President of the Northern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (NSROC). She regularly advocates to protect and enhance the amenity enjoyed by many residents in our area, including in the “villages” of Artarmon, Castlecrag, Castle Cove, Chatswood West, High Street, Naremburn, Northbridge and Willoughby. She is also a strong supporter of Bushcare, having been a significant part of the establishment of the national Bushcare Major Day Out event.
Mayor Gail does not shy away from the tough decisions. Since being elected Mayor, Gail has been actively involved in the restructuring of Willoughby Council, under a new General Manager, to ensure efficient value for money services for Willoughby rate-payers. She also supported, following extensive community consultation, an infrastructure levy introduced to ensure the long term serviceability of essential infrastructure like road, parks and storm water. Critically, Mayor Gail and Council also took a measured approach to the State Government’s Fit for the Future initiative, ensuring Council and residents interests were protected without significant legal costs. This approach, Council’s strong financial condition and first class regional facilities including The Concourse, mean that Willoughby Council is well positioned for the future.
Mayor Gail is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, holds a Bachelor of Business degree from UTS and was previously a Project Manager with significant Australian financial services organisations. Prior to being elected to Council, Gail was President of the Wenona Parents’ Association, Vice President of NSW Parents’ Council and was actively involved with the SHORE community.
Gail has been Patron of:
- Castlecove Golf Club
- Chatswood Golf Club
- Chatswood RSL Club
- Chatswood Sub-Branch of Returned Services League of Australia
- Club Willoughby
- Kooroora Tennis Club
- Northbridge Golf Club
- Northbridge Amateur Swimming Club
- Northern Suburbs Tennis Association
- U3A Choir
- UTS Northern Suburbs Athletic Club
- Willoughby District Historical Society
- Willoughby Park Bowling Club
- Willoughby Theatre Company
Mayor Gail’s other community commitments have included:
Sydney North Planning Panel – formerly the Joint Regional Planning Panel
2014 – Present
Joint regional planning panels provide independent, merit-based decision making on regionally significant development.
Northern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (NSROC)
President 2018 – Present
Vice President, 2014 – 2017
The NSROC member Councils collaborate on key issues and develop strategies to benefit the region as a whole.
Cancer Council NSW
Regional Advisory Committee and Community Speaker
2007 – Present
As a community speaker for the Council Cancer, Gail undertakes education programmes in the community relating to a wide variety of cancer issues. Such topics are health and wellbeing and save your own skin.
Bushcare’s Major Day Out
Executive Committee Member
2010 – 2016
Bushcare’s Major Day Out (BMDO) is an annual national event designed to promote awareness and participation in caring for our bushland.
Willoughby Retirement Community Association
President and Board Member
2014 – 2015
The Willoughby Retirement Community Association is a non profit community association providing self care and hostel accommodation for retired and aged people, with a priority for those from Willoughby and neighbouring areas.
Independent Assessment Panel for the Local Sporting Champions Program
2010 – 2015
The Local Sporting Champions program is an Australian Government initiative designed to provide financial assistance for young people aged 12-18 towards the cost of travel, accommodation, uniforms or equipment when competing, coaching or officiating at an official national sporting organisation (NSO) endorsed state, national or international sporting championships or a School Sport Australia state or national championships.
NSW Parents’ Council
At various times, Vice President, Exec Committee and School Liaison
2001 – 2014
The NSW Parents’ Council represents the interests of families attending Independent Schools. The Council provides advocacy on a variety of issues including funding and children with disabilities