Thursday night marked a new era in the Horsham Rural City Council with a first time councillor elected the 2020-21 mayor.
Cr Robyn Gulline was unanimously elevated to the prestigious title following a nomination from Cr Penny Flynn.
She thanked the councillors for bestowing her with the honour, promising to support the community in any way she can.
"Horsham Rural City is a wonderful place to live, work, play, visit and invest. We are a community with diverse interests and needs that must be considered in our decision-making deliberations," Cr Gulline said.
"While our economic base is strongly focused on agriculture, social services and tourism also make important contributions to job creation and our prosperity."
In a meeting closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the new mayor noted that 2020 has impacted the community in a myriad of way.
"Some businesses and individuals have thrived, while others have and continue to face unprecedented challenges," Cr Gulline said.
"Council is committed to continuing the COVID response and developing and implementing programs that support the community through the long recovery process.
"Horsham Rural City Council is a regional leader. As Mayor, I commit to enriching the partnerships with our neighbouring councils, Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership, Regional Development Australia Grampians, Grampians Tourism, Wimmera Development Association, GNet and others, for the benefit of our regional population.
Cr Gulline said advocacy on behalf of the community is one of the council's key roles.
"This is achieved through respectful relationships and working constructively with our local MPs, Emma Kealy and Dr Anne Webster," Cr Gulline noted.
"Ensuring that the policy settings, and delivery and provision of services by Government and other agencies are appropriate and adequate to fulfil the needs of our community members is our priority.
"As a small regional council, we have limited financial capacity to deliver various infrastructure and services our community needs. I look forward to working in partnership with the state and federal government to achieve delivery of much needed infrastructure for our region."
Whilst originally form Queensland, Cr Gulline has called Longerenong home for 25 years, moving to the Wimmera after meeting her late husband Don.
A prominent farmer in the region, she is an experienced teacher from pre-school and primary to TAFE and university levels.
Before joining the council, Cr Gulline served the Wimmera through involvement in organisations such as Wimmera Development Association, Regional Development Australia (Grampians) and Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership.
A deputy mayor was not elected.
The next scheduled Meeting of Council will be on Monday, November 30.
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