Ex City of Swan CEO gets OAM in Queens Birthday honours

A former chief executive of Perth’s largest urban council was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours this week.

Michael Foley, who was chief executive officer of the City of Swan for 14 years until his retirement in 2020, was recognised for his service to local government.

During his time as CEO, the city’s population grew by more than 41,000 people.

Apart from a period working at Main Roads Western Australia as a civil engineer, Mr Foley spent his entire career with the City of Swan (formerly Shire of Swan), starting as a construction engineer in 1981.

He was appointed CEO in 2006, overseeing rapid urban growth and development in what remains WA’s largest metropolitan local government.

New suburbs established during Mr Foley’s time as CEO included Ellenbrook, Dayton, Bennett Springs, Brabham, Aveley, The Vines and Bushmead, as well as the growth of Malaga as a major industrial area.

City of Swan Mayor David Lucas said Mr Foley’s time in the local government sector was marked by exemplary service.

“He made a significant contribution to the City of Swan, and his dedication to our community is indisputable,” he said.

Albury City Deputy Mayor Steve Bowen was awarded a Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for service to the community of Albury-Wodonga.

Cr Bowen, who was Albury Citizen of The Year in 2007, is a former Ambassador of Kirinari (aged care & disability support) and a strong advocate for people of all ages and abilities.

Peter Laird, a long-serving councillor of Carrathool Shire and founder of the Lachlan Catchment Management Authority, was awarded an OAM for service to the community of the Carrathool shire.

Mr Laird served on the council for 35 years, beginning in 1984. He was deputy mayor between 1994 and 2004 and mayor from 2004 to 2019 when he stepped down.

Other former local government elected officials awarded OAMs for services to their local communities included Ray Fairweather (a former mayor at Maitland City Council), Gail Nixon (a former deputy mayor at Central Highlands Regional Council), David Lavell (a former councillor at the Shire of Mundaring), and Graham Carter (a former councillor at Naracoorte Lucindale Council).