Who We Are

Who We Are

The Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) is an independent, member-based, not-for-profit organisation representing and supporting the WA Local Government sector.

Our membership includes all 139 Local Governments in the State. WALGA uses its influence, support and expertise to deliver better outcomes for WA Local Governments and their communities. We do this through effective advocacy to all levels of Government on behalf of our Members, and by the provision of expert advice, services and support to Local Governments. 

WALGA’s vision is for agile and inclusive Local Governments enhancing community wellbeing and enabling economic prosperity.

Our Members can access the LGIS local government mutual indemnity scheme. LGIS is entirely owned and controlled by its members who are made up of Local Governments in Western Australia. 

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  • Our Sector Vision

Our vision is for agile and inclusive Local Governments to enhance community wellbeing and enable economic prosperity.

  • Our Purpose

To leverage the collective strength and influence of the Local Government sector for the benefit of WA Local Governments and their communities.

Find out more about our focus and strategic intent

WALGA's History

The WA Local Government Association was formed on 6 December 2001 to provide a truly representative and united voice for Local Government in WA. Prior to this, a number of membership-based representative structures existed to represent Local Government in WA.

President and CEO

Cr Karen Chappel AM JPPresident, Cr Karen Chappel AM JP 
Elected Deputy President of WALGA in March 2020 and President on 2 March 2022, after acting in the role since 1 December 2021. Karen Chappel has been a Councillor at the Shire of Morawa since 2005 and a President since 2009. A WALGA Life Member and a graduate of the Local Government Diploma, Cr Chappel is also a member of the Local Government Advisory Board and was appointed twice by the Minister for Local Government to a mentoring team for Elected Members.  
Cr Paul KellyDeputy President, Cr Paul Kelly
Cr Paul Kelly was elected WALGA Deputy President in March 2022. He has been a Councillor at the Town of Claremont since 1994, serving more than 10 years as Deputy Mayor, and was previously WALGA Deputy President between 2004 and 2005. A WALGA Life Member, Cr Kelly has been a strong supporter of the Association since its inception serving on numerous committees such as Finance and Services, Governance and Audit. He has been a member of the Local Government Standards Panel, and is also a Board Member of the Local Government Insurance Scheme and the Local Government House Trust. He has very extensive experience on a variety of Boards and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 
nick sloanCEO, Nick Sloan
Prior to joining WALGA Nick was the Executive Director, Planning and Service Delivery at the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries. Nick has worked in Ministerial offices at State Government levels as Chief of Staff to the Minister for Local Government; and Principal Policy Advisor to the Minister for Sport and Recreation, Racing, Gaming and Liquor. Nick has extensive experience at Executive level in State Government including roles in regional WA. During this time, Nick managed complex policy agendas at both State and Local Government level. Nick is a Director on a number of Boards including LGIS, an industry based self-insurance Scheme for Local Government in WA; and Nature Play WA, an NFP established to increase the time Western Australian children spend in unstructured play outdoors and in nature.

To contact WALGA President or CEO, please email Kelsey Nicholson, Executive Assistant

Executive Team

Executive Director, Member Services, Tony BrownTony Brown
Executive Director of Member Services at WALGA, Tony boasts over 15 years of dedicated service to the organisation. Beginning as the Governance Manager, he ascended to the role of Executive Manager, overseeing Governance, Procurement, Employee Relations, and Training. In 2022, Tony's responsibilities expanded to include WALGA’s Preferred Supplier Program and LGIS contract management, culminating in his promotion to Executive Director, heading the organisation’s largest portfolio. Tony's extensive experience extends beyond WALGA, with significant tenure in Local Government as a CEO and Deputy CEO, notably at the Shire of Wyndham - East Kimberley. Driven by a passion for Local Government, Tony holds an MBA and a Diploma in Local Government. His commitment to the sector is further evidenced by his involvement in various boards and committees, including NFP charity Nudge and national workforce development groups. At WALGA, Tony administers critical committees such as Finance & Services, Selection, Honors, and Council Zones.

Nicole MatthewsExecutive Manager, Policy, Nicole Matthews
As WALGA’s Executive Manager of Policy, Nicole spearheads policy development and advocacy across critical areas such as environment, waste, emergency management, community development, planning, building, and economics. Joining WALGA in 2017 as Policy Manager, Environment, Nicole's leadership during the COVID-19 crisis prompted her promotion to the Executive Manager role in 2022. With a wealth of experience, Nicole has navigated diverse roles in the Commonwealth Public Sector, including serving as Director of the WA office of the Commonwealth Department of the Environment. Trained as an economist, Nicole is passionate about leveraging government and public policy to achieve economic, social, and environmental goals. Nicole's proactive, member-centric approach is evident in her commitment to achieving positive outcomes for Local Governments and their communities. Nicole also serves as the executive sponsor of WALGA’s Reconciliation Action Plan Committee and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Ian Duncan Executive Manager, Infrastructure, Ian Duncan
As the Executive Manager, Infrastructure since 2012, Ian empowers Local Governments to enhance service delivery capacities, with a focus on effective asset management, particularly in roads and transport infrastructure. Ian and his teams conduct research into emerging issues, develop robust policy positions, offer technical advice, and advocate for Local Governments to State and Federal Government and stakeholders. Joining WALGA in 2007, Ian initially managed economic policy and financial sustainability. Ian's previous nineteen-year career in senior leadership within the Wesfarmers group honed his strategic planning, analysis, negotiation, leadership, and project management skills. Ian represents Local Government on various interagency groups, including the Underground Power Program Steering Committee and the State Electric Vehicle Strategy Implementation Group. He's a Fellow of Leadership WA, a board member of the Planning and Transport Research Centre, and a member of the Institute of Public Works Engineering Executive Committee.

Rachel Horton Executive Manager, Advocacy, Rachel Horton
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Inside WALGA: Governance, Reconciliation, and Work Culture


At WALGA, we believe that engaging in Reconciliation fosters a deeper appreciation and mutual respect among diverse cultures.

Work at WALGA

At WALGA, we prioritise the wellbeing of our team members and offer a range of benefits such as 30 days of annual leave, a comprehensive health and wellness program, study support, and access to modern facilities to ensure a healthy work-life balance.

Partnered Service

LGIS is the WA Local Government Mutual Indemnity Scheme. It’s WA local governments working together to protect their organisations, people and communities. LGIS is managed by JLT Risk Solutions as appointed by WALGA through a trust arrangement.
As the protection partner of choice for WA local governments, LGIS understands the complexity of the sector like no other – they know that protection is only the beginning. They care about local government and work together to provide protection, claims and risk management services to ensure peace of mind, so that members know that everything they need covered is considered.
Since inception LGIS services have grown to provide members with a range of risk services which meet the needs of modern local governments. They work together with members to manage risks and drive down claims – protecting the Scheme, containing contribution costs, and ensuring the sustainable protection of the WA local government sector.
For more information about LGIS please visit their website at www.lgiswa.com.au 

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