We are pleased to have the following Mentors as part of the Pay It Forward Mentoring Program:


Tara Choudari

Leisure and Aquatics Facility Manager, Maroondah City Council

With over 15 years experience in local government and a passion for community service, Tara has a solid track record of achievement. Influencing and leading teams is one of Tara’s strengths and as a strong and innovative leader, Tara has the capacity to develop a clear vision and build a dynamic and corporate culture across multiple sites. Learning from others and implementing best practise from inside and outside the leisure industry are key skills that Tara has used to create industry leading facilities including Victoria’s newest premium facility, Aquanation. Tara strives for continuous improvement and can confidently say that the teams she has led have flourished under her leadership and have shown commitment to the organisation goals.




Daniel Davison

Manager AquaHub, Maroondah City Council

Daniel’s agile leadership draws on over 20 years of experience in developing high performing teams for corporate outsourcing providers, not for profit organisations and local government. Known for being a persuasive communicator with a smile, Daniel challenges the status quo. His style is fast paced, innovative and transparent. With a natural curiosity for finding the gaps, Daniel delivers practical techniques to build individual and team effectiveness in the areas of leadership, process improvement and organisational culture change.



Kerryn Ellis

CEO, South Gippsland Shire Council

Kerryn is a passionate public sector government leader with over twenty years’ experience, who is energised by working with the changing environment and external pressures currently facing the sector. Kerryn’s main professional love is building high performing and agile organisations with positive, values-based leadership that can work in partnership to deliver great outcomes for their communities.  Prior to her role as CEO of South Gippsland Shire Council, Kerryn held the role of Director Corporate Services at IBAC.  Before making the move to IBAC Kerryn was the Director of Corporate Performance with the City of Greater Bendigo. She has also held roles as the Manager Governance and Innovation at Knox City Council and has previously worked for the City of Melbourne and Bayside City Council.  Kerryn holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Master of Commerce and a Graduate Diploma of Public Policy and Management, and completed the LGPro emerging leaders program in 2005, and the XLP in 2016.  Kerryn has also had the privilege of serving as an LGPro board member in recent years.



Anita Holman

Coordinator Youth Development, Yarra Ranges Shire

Anita is a creative and pragmatic worker, drawing on years of experience in Youth Development Coordination, Indigenous Development, Event Management, Project Direction, Performing Arts Administration and Nature Based Therapy. Anita’s passion in leadership is building resilient and authentic teams who understand the importance of meaningful partnerships in their work for community. Anita has worked across Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania with Indigenous communities, community service organisations, local government and the education sector. Anita is focused on developing resilience and resourcefulness, working to highlight inclusiveness and diversity across teams and organisations.



Nicole Hunter

Manager, Agency Connections | Outer East | East Division, Department of Health and Human Services

Nicole has over 16 years local government experience and is an experienced leader of high-performance teams, delivering projects throughout diverse communities, and designing and building strategies for economic, social, built and environmental growth and development. Qualified, with a Master of Public Health, Diploma in Community Services, and with training in Negotiation, Mediation and Influencing skills. Nicole has led a range of successful teams both in business units and cross-functional project teams through the development of key Council and community priorities including the Municipal Strategic Disability Leadership Model and Outer East Preventing Violence Against Women in Our Communities Program and Community and Council Plan.




Bernadette Thomas

Manager Sustainable Environment, Hume City Council

Bernadette is a collaborative leader, working with others to achieve multiple outcomes; she brings a whole of organisation perspective to any task. Bernadette inspires and can lead and motivate others to bring their best to any situation – she gets the best from and for people. She places a lot of value in building and maintaining strong relationships and has significant experience in change and people management – one of her key strengths is in supporting her staff and others to develop their own leadership skills. She is a values-based leader, emphasising the need to reflect, consider others’ perspectives, acting with respect, and to always be herself – recognising her strengths and weaknesses.

Bernadette has over 20 years’ experience working mainly in the local government sector, but also in state government, at a regional level, and in the community and education sectors. She has worked across a wide range of portfolio areas including environment, sustainability, waste and resource management, community engagement, and community development. She is an excellent communicator who can tailor a presentation to a community, political or technical audience.

Bernadette is an alumnus of the Women’s Environmental Leadership Australia and has a Master of Arts (Professional and Applied Ethics), Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Education, and a Bachelor of Education (Social Science).