New CEO announced for Queensland’s fastest growing city

18 November 2021

Ms Sonia Cooper was officially named the new Chief Executive Officer of Ipswich City Council at a Council meeting today.

Ms Cooper’s appointment represents the first female CEO in the Council’s history, and makes Ipswich City Council one of only six in the state to have a female Mayor and a female CEO.

Ms Cooper said she was honoured and excited to be entrusted with the role of leading Council’s service delivery to the Ipswich community, and the city’s elected representatives.

“I’m incredibly excited by the opportunities we have before us and am absolutely committed to leading the Council team to bring our best and work together for the community we are here to serve,” Ms Cooper said.

“As Queensland’s fastest growing city, I understand the importance of the role, and the significant priorities, opportunities and challenges facing Council and the community.

“I welcome the opportunity to partner with Mayor Teresa Harding and our Councillors in leading our Council and its 1,400-plus employees.”

Ms Cooper added her priorities are to:

*             Continue re-building the trust of the workforce in the leadership of the organisation

*             Lead the re-building of trust by our stakeholders and the community we serve and deliver on our new customer experience vision of ‘We listen, we care and we deliver great everyday experiences – every day’

*             Deliver on the five-year corporate plan iFuture with our vision that she deeply believes in - ‘Ipswich, a city of opportunity for all…. Join us’.

Mayor Teresa Harding said the appointment ends a rigorous process to find the most suitable candidate that could bring stability and build trust in Council operations.

“Sonia is already well known and respected across Council for her dedication as well as her leadership approach. This appointment marks an exciting new chapter for Ipswich, Council and our community,” Mayor Harding said.

The appointment follows an extensive search with executive recruitment firm Davidson, which led to Council receiving 84 applications from a high calibre pool of candidates from across Queensland and interstate.

The final candidates provided a presentation to Council in a closed session at a Special Meeting on 2 November, followed by a question-and-answer session with all Councillors.

The CEO Recruitment Panel consisted of Mayor Harding, Councillors Jacob Madsen, Marnie Doyle and Andrew Fechner, and independent member, former State Government Minister the Hon. Rachel Nolan.

Ms Cooper said she was grateful to have had the opportunity to lead the organisation for the past seven months, since 12 April 2021, as Acting CEO.

Ms Cooper was appointed to the role of Council’s General Manager, Corporate Services in February 2020. Previously, Ms Cooper was a Deputy Commissioner with the Queensland Public Service Commission, a position she held since April 2013.