The Fraser Coast's new CEO Ken Diehm was appointed to the role in a unanimous vote earlier today.
The Fraser Coast's new CEO Ken Diehm was appointed to the role in a unanimous vote earlier today. Contributed

CEO Diehm to push Geraldton vision into Fraser Coast

HE has been charged with the task of rebuilding the culture of the Fraser Coast Regional Council, but incoming chief executive Ken Diehm will use the same strategies from his last post here on the Fraser Coast.

And he wants to start it as soon as possible.

Announced as the organisation's new CEO on Monday, Mr Diehm said he would come into the role with the intention of improving the "prolonged period of disharmony and unrest” the staff had experienced.

While admitting he would "keep an open mind” on the best strategies, Mr Diehm said he would focus on building "an effective organisational platform” using a model from his time spent working with the Greater Geraldton council.

"The direction of Fraser Coast Regional Council will largely depend upon the expectations and aspirations of the council and the community,” he said.

"My role is to ensure that I provide soundly based strategic advice to the council... focused on achieving community outcomes.”

Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting, Maryborough Chambers -
Fraser Coast Regional Council meeting, Maryborough Chambers - Valerie Horton

The Organisational Effectiveness Profile used by the Greater Geraldton council assessed the council's performance against 19 strategies recommended to improve the organisation's culture, including clarity of vision and future direction, proper individual training and identifying meaningful core values for the organisation.

Mr Diehm suggested a number of similar options from the planned transition management plan which would be applicable to the Fraser Coast, ranging from building teams to developing a vision for the near future.

But one of the challenges he outlined would be preserving the character of smaller communities across the Fraser Coast, having earlier stated he wanted to "enhance their lifestyle and economic opportunities.”

Mr Diehm reasoned the 2008 amalgamation of the council brought in different community lifestyles and characters from across the region that needed to be factored into planning.

"The council needs to ensure it has programs, policies and strategies that take into account the unique nature of the communities... (like) the Mary Poppins festival,” he said.

"(It) not only celebrates the birth and life of the author of Mary Poppins, but also celebrates and showcases the history, heritage, and character of Maryborough.”

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Mr Diehm's work with Greater Geraldton council saw him win the 2016 national award for Organisational Change & Development from the Australian Human Resource Industry Association.

Fraser Coast mayor Chris Loft was enthusiastic about recommending Mr Diehm for the role, citing the transformation of the Greater Geraldton council from his leadership.

"As the CEO of the City of Greater Geraldton, Ken was responsible for developing a change management program to simultaneously address the organisation's significant annual operating losses and poor culture,” he said.

Mr Diehm will replace interim CEO Ray Burton when he arrives in June.



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