News: Media Release - New CEO Appointment

Council Appoints New Chief Executive Officer

Posted: Thursday, 30 May 2024


The Official Manager Mr Peter Holt has announced the successful appointment of the new Barkly Regional Council Chief Executive Officer, Mr Chris Kelly at today’s Ordinary Meeting of Council

Chris Kelly has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Barkly Regional Council at today's meeting of council. 

Mr Kelly brings a wealth of experience and a diverse skill set honed through a long career in leadership marked by managing large, geographically dispersed, and demographically diverse workforces. Chris has consistently demonstrated his ability to drive financial growth and sustainability and with a strong focus on community engagement. Chris will commence his role with the BRC on July 1, 2024, with Mr Jeff MacLeod continuing as Acting CEO to that date. 

Mr Kelly has served as the Chief Operations Officer at West Arnhem Regional Council (WARC), where he managed an extensive portfolio spanning community services and remote operations across Arnhem Land and its offshore island communities. His strategic leadership resulted in a significant cultural shift, elevating WARC's engagement and alignment rating to the top 10% nationally. Chris's efforts led to a 25% decrease in staff turnover, saving approximately $1.5 million for the organisation, and fostering community rejuvenation through various infrastructure and community development projects. 

Mr Kelly's leadership skills and ability to build cohesive teams stem from a foundation of knowledge and experience, underscored by his training at the Royal Military College where he graduated as a Commissioned Officer in the Australian Army. This formative experience instilled in him the values of discipline, teamwork, and effective communication, which have been instrumental throughout his career. 

In his most recent role as Chief Executive Officer at Tropical Vets, Chris demonstrated exceptional leadership by overseeing four businesses covering a vast area of 146,000 km2 and managing over 100 employees. Under his guidance, Tropical Vets experienced remarkable growth, with a net profit exceeding budget projections by nearly 50% and with a 150% increase in property portfolio value. Chris spearheaded initiatives diversifying into remote community support and portable equipment supply while achieving accolades such as accreditation as an Employer of Choice. 

With a proven track record of effective management and leadership in diverse settings, Chris Kelly is poised to lead Barkly Regional Council through the implementation of its 2024- 25 Regional Plan with a refreshed focus on strategic development and community engagement. His expertise in driving organisational growth, fostering positive workplace cultures, and implementing strategic initiatives align seamlessly with the council's vision, promising a transformative journey ahead.

Media Contact: 
Peter Holt 08 89620000