The MWA Board has the authority to nominate and confirm life membership for individuals who have provided outstanding service, commitment, and dedication to support the Association’s objectives and values. At its meeting on 21 September 2023, the Board considered the life membership nomination received for Colac Otway Shires’ long-serving employee, Ray Leak.
During Council amalgamations (circa 1995) Colac Otway Shire Council (COSC) were looking at budget costs which included making approximately 20 outdoor work staff redundant. Most of the staff affected had worked for Council for long periods in specific roles. The work climate at the time would have made job prospects very low for them.
As The Works Supervisor, Ray was integral in negotiating a deal with a Private Enterprise Company (CSR Emoleum) that would see the 20 Council staff contracted with CSR to work inside & and outside of the municipality and across regional Victoria. The income generated from the arrangement enabled COSC to retain the 20 staff and brought additional income to COSC. The staff would often be required to work away from home for months. Ray always went with the staff both as Supervisor and to keep morale high. The arrangement continued for many years and was very successful.
Ray was proactive in his staff’s learning and always looked for ways he and Council could help them add to their skillset / personal development. Ray quite often (in his own time) also spent many hours providing staff with support and guidance to deal with personal/financial issues.
Ray has been a dedicated and loyal MWA / Local Government Servant for over 32 years. His experience, knowledge and professional networking skills are highly valued by The MWA Metro & Country Branches as well as our Interstate Associations. Ray has actively been responsible for providing pathways for many staff to increase their learning and development. His ability to transcend the traditional boundaries of Local Government and successfully orientate others to see things from a practical perspective has held him in high regard in the Industry.
Various long-standing stakeholders, including some life members of the association and long-standing corporate members, canvassed about the recommendation. Each provided unanimous support for the proposal. For this reason, it is recommended that the Board unanimously endorse the proposal to elevate Ray Leak as a life member of Municipal Works Australia.
Thank you Ray, for your lifetime of dedicated service to your fellow municipal works colleagues.