Elizabeth Hayes
Legal Officer 

Phone: 02 9242 4125

LGNSW offers free and confidential mentoring services to both new and existing councillors.

Our highly experienced mentors provide guidance via phone, email, Skype or in person on a variety of issues, including governance, local government reform, conflict management, meeting procedures, relationship management, code of conduct, conflict of interest, contractual negotiations, and more.


LGNSW’s mentoring service provides elected members with:

  • Contact with colleagues with understanding, knowledge and experience of issues in a local government context
  • An independent sounding board
  • Flexibility in timing and frequency of contact.

Issues discussed with mentors

LGNSW has been offering its mentoring service since 2012. Mentors’ advice has been sought on a range of issues including:

  • Relationships with general managers and other elected members
  • Managing disruptive behaviour of fellow councillors
  • Financial sustainability and possible solutions
  • Conflict of interest
  • Code of conduct complaints
  • Local government reform
  • Contractual negotiations
  • Meeting procedures.

Feedback from mayors

'I have found [my mentor] a great support when dealing with difficult issues'

'The advice is honest and accurate. Emails and phone calls were returned promptly'


Communication with mentors can occur via phone, email, Skype or in person, depending on the location of the mentor and the elected member. The mentoring service does not cover accommodation and transport costs to councils outside of the region where the mentor resides.

Mayoral Mentors

  • Jenny Dowell OAM (former Mayor Lismore City Council)
  • Genia McCaffery (former LGA President, former ALGA President, former Mayor North Sydney Council)
  • Peter Speirs OAM (former Mayor Temora Shire Council, former Chairperson Goldenfields Water)

Councillor Mentors

Julie Hegarty (former Director LGNSW, former Councillor Pittwater Council)

For more information about LGNSW mentoring, please email