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Organisational structure

Executive team

Brett Luxford — CEO

Brett joined Mitchell Shire Council in August 2020, having previously served as Director of Economy Investment & Attraction at Greater Geelong Council.

A strong leader, Brett has a wealth of experience in economic development, planning and environment, and revitalisation.

Brett has been successful in executive leadership roles across several Councils within high-growth, peri-urban and rural areas. He also has a strong knowledge of our region having held senior roles at Hume City Council, Macedon Ranges Shire Council and Swan Hill Rural City Council.

With over 20 years’ experience in the local government sector, Brett is great at building strong relationships with local individuals, groups and businesses to build prosperous outcomes for the community.

Brett’s achievements include leading the development of a partnership with the Victorian Government to revitalise Central Geelong and increase local investment, supporting business and development in regional and peri-urban Councils to build local job opportunities, and activating land development for long-term employment opportunities.

Employment in growth areas has been a real passion for Brett, particularly opening opportunities for families to remain localised within a municipality.

Brett lives in the Mitchell region with his family.


Brett is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He holds a Bachelor of Business, and a Graduate Diploma of Planning and Environment.

Mary Agostino — Director Advocacy and Communities

Mary commenced with Mitchell Shire Council in July 2017, having previously been the Manager Community Support at the City of Wyndham.

Mary is a highly experienced local government senior executive with an extensive record of achievement.

She has previously worked as the Director of Partnership and Engagement and as the Executive Manager of Advocacy at the City of Whittlesea.

Mary has had a prime focus on planning for growth areas and delivering quality services and infrastructure to the community to support their needs, aspirations and health and wellbeing.

Mary has achieved success through developing strong and enduring relationships, both within the organisations she has worked in and with key stakeholders including politicians, business, the not for profit sector and community.

She has developed strong business cases, supporting all strategic activity to ensure long term financial and social viability that meets municipal and regional needs.

She is always exploring continuous improvement and best practice opportunities in all the roles she is responsible for and is committed to ensuring best value for the community.

Her passion is to drive innovation and to support sustainable communities.

As Director Advocacy and Communities, Mary’s leadership portfolio includes:

  • Community Planning and Delivery
  • Life Stages
  • Customer Experience and Engagement
  • Community Amenity and Emergency Management.


Mary has a Post Graduate in Business Leadership and is a Williamsons Community Leadership alumni.

Laurie Ellis — Director Organisational Performance

Laurie commenced with Mitchell Shire Council in February 2016. He brought substantial expertise and experience in directing and managing corporate services within the local government, not-for-profit and small business sectors. Laurie has held numerous leadership roles throughout his career, including having served as Director of Finance and Director of Corporate Services at Whittlesea Council in the 1990s.

Passionate about delivering high quality customer service to both internal and external clients, Laurie’s strong community focus and values system position him to work well as part of Council’s Executive Leadership Team.

As Director Organisational Performance, Laurie’s leadership portfolio includes:

  • Finance and Assets
  • People and Culture
  • Information and Business Transformation
  • Governance and Risk.


Highly qualified for the Director Governance and Corporate Performance role, Laurie has an MBA, a BBus Accounting and is a qualified CPA.

Suzane Becker — Director Economy, Growth and Infrastructure

Suzane has 25 years of urban planning and policy experience, having worked at the Victorian Planning Authority and the following local councils:

  • Macedon Ranges Shire
  • Mitchell Shire Council
  • Melton Council
  • Moonee Valley Council
  • Frankston Council

She has a detailed understanding of growth area planning, overseeing several major growth area precinct structure plans, township structure plans and activity centre plans. She is also an experienced manager and member of organisational executive teams.

Suzane has held a range of management portfolios covering:

  • statutory and strategic planning
  • economic development
  • environmental planning
  • transport engineering
  • urban design
  • social planning
  • open space


Suzane holds a Bachelor of Applied Science in Town Planning and a Masters in Business Administration from Southern Cross University.

This page was last updated on 15 March 2022.