City of Newcastle is organised into five groups, each with a range of responsibilities.
Chief Executive's Office
The Chief Executive Officer is Jeremy Bath. Areas of responsibility include overseeing the operations of the administration, internal audit and organisation performance and improvement.
Jeremy Bath began as CEO of City of Newcastle in May 2017 following 20 years' experience in the private sector, as well as in local, state and federal government.
This role assumes ultimate responsibility for managing its 1,300 employees and contractors, it’s $320 million budget as well as setting the vision and business strategy underpinned by the day to day operations of the Council.
Jeremy was born and raised in Newcastle, and graduated from the University of Newcastle. He first worked locally in communications before relocating to Japan for three years, then returning to Australia to commence a career with the Federal Government and then shortly afterwards in local government at Fairfield City Council.
In 2004 he accepted a senior public affairs role with ClubsNSW, where he ran successful campaigns opposing state and federal government legislation relating to gaming machine reform and gaming taxation, as well as alcohol laws.
He returned to Newcastle with his young family in 2013 to accept a role with Hunter Water Corporation, managing its government relations team. After two-and-a-half years he was appointed by the NSW Government as Hunter Water's Interim Chief Executive Officer for a period of 12 months. Upon completion, Jeremy joined international political and corporate strategists Crosby Textor. But the opportunity to lead City of Newcastle at a time of unparalleled revitalisation - including a $650 million urban transformation and transport program by the NSW Government – and supported by the City’s own record annual $100 million works program, was too strong to resist and so in 2017 he relocated back to Newcastle where he continues today as the City’s chief executive office.
Jeremy also sits on the Board of the Newcastle Airport Pty Ltd and its subsidiary Greater Newcastle Aerotropolis Pty Ltd, which is delivering the Astra Aerolab advanced manufacturing space with an expectation of creating 5,500 new jobs.
As part of Council's Open and Transparent Governance Strategy, the Chief Executive Officer's diary is published on a quarterly basis. See Open Diaries for further information.
The Director of Governance is David Clarke. Areas of responsibility include legal services, regulatory function, development and assessment and finance. The purpose of Governance is to provide legal compliance and advice to inform evidence based decision making throughout and across Council.
David has 20 years experience working with communities, stakeholders and governments on natural resource, coastal, public land, renewable energy and agricultural research initiatives.
From 2013 - 2018, he was Group Director Governance and Strategy with NSW Department of Industry - Lands and Water where he lead Crown land legislative reforms, Aboriginal and Council land negotiations and governance functions.
David was born and raised in Newcastle and holds environmental qualifications from the University of Newcastle.
Strategy and Engagement
Brett Smith leads the Strategy and Engagement Directorate with responsibility for corporate and community planning, public relations and events, and information technology services.
Brett has 20 years of senior management and leadership experience in the NSW and Tasmanian public service sectors. Most recently, Brett was the CEO of the Cradle Coast Authority with responsibility for economic development, destination management and natural resource management across the nine local government areas of NW Tasmania. Brett has 15 years experience in the urban water industry with roles responsible for regulation, government relations, policy, governance and commercial arrangements with the private sector for the delivery of infrastructure to support new housing.
Brett has graduate and post graduate qualifications in environmental management, urban and regional planning and business administration. Brett is an evidence-based leader focused on delivering enduring social legacies by developing the capacity and capability of the communities he serves; empowering communities to take responsibility through collective action.
People and Culture
The Director of People and Culture is Fiona Leatham. Areas of responsibility include Human Resource Operations, Organisational Development, Training and Learning, Payroll, WHS and Injury Management.
Fiona has over 11 years experience working in Local Government across a range of business areas including: Strategic Planning; Infrastructure and Asset Planning; Projects and Contracts before leading the human resource functions and People and Culture team in June 2017.
Focus areas for Fiona include leading and managing organisational change initiatives that position people first and enabling training and development opportunities that strengthen the workforce while retaining our talented employees. People and Culture’s primary focus is on the safety and wellbeing for all employees recognising that a strong and positive workplace culture underpins our ability to deliver on our strategic objectives.
Fiona was born and raised in Newcastle and holds post graduate Project Management qualifications and a Masters of Business Administration majoring in Human Resources from the University of New England. With a strong passion for life-long learning, Fiona continues to pursue knowledge through education and opportunities for working together with a broad and diverse range of people on a daily basis.
City Wide Services
In September 2019 Alissa Jones was appointed as the Interim Director City Wide Services. Areas of responsibility include the Newcastle Art Gallery, Newcastle Museum, Civic Services, Customer Service, Libraries and Learning, Parks and Recreation and Waste Services.
In 2018, Alissa was appointed as Chief Financial Officer for City of Newcastle (CN) and is the first woman in the history of the Council to serve in this role. Alissa has a 15 year finance career with CN and leads a dedicated team of financial professionals in this permanent role and has driven a culture of excellence to support the organisation’s $300 million annual budget and long term financial plan.
In 2017, Alissa was hand-picked by CN’s Chief Executive Officer to be Project Manager of the inaugural Supercars Newcastle 500 event held in Newcastle in November 2017. As Project Manager, Alissa oversaw delivery of all infrastructure, governance, financial and stakeholder issues for this major event held for the first time in the heritage listed east end of the city which boosted the local economy to the tune of $30 million and strengthened the city’s capacity to host major events.
As well as her Local Government specialist experience Alissa also worked within the Financial Services Industry prior to joining CN and was born and raised in Newcastle living locally all her life.
Alissa holds tertiary qualifications in Commerce with a double major in Finance and Financial Accounting from the University of Newcastle. She has also completed a Certificate IV in Frontline Management, the Emerging Leadership Program through Work Smart Australia, a Local Government Leadership short course through UTS and Project Management qualifications through the Australian Institute of Management (AIM). Alissa is also a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA), a member of CPA Australia and a Member of the Institute of Company Directors (MAICD).
Infrastructure and Property
The Director Infrastructure and Property is Ken Liddell. Areas of responsibility include depot operations, assets and projects, civil construction and maintenance and property.
Ken is approaching his 40th year working in either federal, state and local government and has resided in the Newcastle area for approximately half of those years.
Apart from his work with local councils, Ken has worked in senior executive roles across the health, housing, public works and water industries.
Ken holds engineering qualifications, post graduate qualifications in project management and a master's degree in business administration.