Michelle Byrne 2014
Councillor Michelle Byrne, Mayor of The Hills Shire Council
Mayor Byrne is the youngest Mayor ever to have served The Hills Shire Council and only the third female Mayor in 106 years. This area has never had a female State or Federal Member of Parliament.
Mayor Byrne is highly accessible and has paved the way in connecting Council with its community in a meaningful way. Mayor Byrne has achieved this by instituting the ‘Meet the Mayor’, street stalls, ‘Mayoral Commendation Awards’ and founded the ‘Hills annual Christmas lights competition’.
In addition, Mayor Byrne has developed Council’s mental health prevention strategy, advocated the role of local government in reducing the impact of mental illness on the community and founded The Hills Mental Health Inter-Agency Inc.
Mayor Byrne has established ‘The Hills Mayor’s Care Fund’ raising over $28,000 in 2013 for the Salvation Army’s Bundaberg Disaster Relief and acted as Chair and co-chair for many other charities. As part of her deep commitment to social justice, Mayor Byrne is in the process of establishing a Hills based legal centre.
Mayor Byrne introduced ’International Women’s Day Awards’ in 2013 to celebrate the achievements and contribution of women to the local community and to encourage women to get involved in local government, whether through volunteering or in elected capacity. Mayor Byrne also uses her respective roles as Patron of the Hills Women’s Forum and Honorary member of The Hills Soroptimists to encourage women. (Soroptimist International, is a worldwide organisation for women in management and the professions, is a global voice for women through Awareness, Advocacy and Action)
Mayor Byrne is an inspiration to other young women, her drive and determination to carve a successful career in local government, an industry that has been traditionally dominated by men, is to be applauded.
Mayor Byrne was nominated by David Elliott, Member for Baulkham Hills, NSW Parliament.