Executive Leadership Team and Organisation Structure

City of Newcastle is organised into five groups, each with a range of responsibilities.

Jeremy BathChief Executive's Office

The Chief Executive Officer is Jeremy Bath. Areas of responsibility include overseeing the operations of the administration, internal audit and organisation performance and improvement.

Before joining City of Newcastle, Jeremy worked as the Chief Executive Officer of Hunter Water Corporation and before that in executive roles for ClubsNSW and Clubs Australia.

He joined City of Newcastle in 2017, as CEO and has steered the organisation through some of the most significant and ground-breaking changes in its history.

With a vision to bring private sector learning to local government, Jeremy spearheaded the move to the City's Administration Centre at 12 Stewart Avenue, which is home to NSW's first Digital Library, as well as its award-winning mobile Chamber and an acknowledged best in State Emergency Operations Centre. The resulting sale of the former Administration Centre "The Roundhouse" saw it developed into Newcastle's first 5-star hotel. The 'City Change' project brought with it new flexible ways of working, which ensured a seamless continuation of service during the State-wide lockdown in 2020.

Jeremy's drive to deliver year on year record capital works programs is seeing the delivery of some of the largest infrastructure renewal projects in the city's history, including the restoration of the Newcastle Ocean Baths and construction of a commercial food and garden waste organics facility at the Summerhill Waste Management Centre.

Committed to fostering and managing City of Newcastle's stakeholder relationships, Jeremy's goal is to realise Newcastle's transformation into a smart, liveable and sustainable global city.

Jeremy is a Director of Newcastle Airport Pty Ltd and its subsidiary Greater Newcastle Aerotropolis Pty Ltd. The former was the recipient of $66 million in Federal Government funding in 2021 to enable its runway to be upgraded to allow for international travel to occur to all corners of the globe. Jeremy also sits on the Board of Arrow Collaborative Services and the Hunter Regional Advisory Committee.

As part of Council's Open and Transparent Governance Strategy, the Chief Executive Officer's diary is published on a quarterly basis. See Open Diaries for further information.


David Clarke

The Director of Governance and Chief Financial Officer is David Clarke. Areas of responsibility include finance, legal services, regulatory planning and assessment and transport and compliance. The purpose of Governance is to:

  • Lead financial, legal, risk and governance functions to ensure compliance, good governance and evidence based decision making throughout the City of Newcastle (CN).
  • Lead urban planning, development assessment and regulatory functions to facilitate, enable and regulate development and related activities.
  • Lead strategic planning and operations for transport and traffic.
  • Lead parking and ranger compliance functions.


David joined City of Newcastle in August 2018 and has 20 years experience working with communities, stakeholders and governments on natural resource, coastal, public land, renewable energy and agricultural research initiatives.

From 2013 - 2018, he was Group Director Governance and Strategy with NSW Department of Industry - Lands and Water where he led Crown land legislative reforms, Aboriginal and Council land negotiations and governance functions.

David was born and raised in Newcastle and holds environmental qualifications from the University of Newcastle.

Strategy and Engagement

Brett SmithKathleen Hyland is the Interim Director for the Strategy and Engagement Directorate.

Areas of service responsibility include Customer Experience, Corporate Affairs including media relations and community engagement, Economic Development, Tourism, CN's Major Events Program including Supercars Newcastle 500, as well as Innovation and Futures, which includes the Smart City Program. Kathleen also oversees Community Planning and Development, CN Grants and Sponsorships and CN's Corporate Performance and Reporting.

Kathleen performed the role of Public Information Coordinator as part of the organisation's COVID-19 Emergency Response Team and is currently leading the delivery of the 2021 COVID-19 Community and Economic Resilience Package.


Kathleen joined City of Newcastle in 2015 and has six years' experience as a senior executive with the local government organisation.

Highlights include the delivery of the Newcastle 500 in 2018 and 2019, the establishment of a new arts festival (New Annual) in 2021, the development of the Newcastle Destination Management Plan and leading a corporate brand review that saw CN transition to 'City of Newcastle', with all facilities and services brought under a unified brand. This has enabled residents and visitors to confidently recognise CN facilities and programs.

A communications professional with 20 years of experience in the public and private sector, Kathleen has a strong track record of issues management and a keen understanding of major media organisations, having spent 13 years working in Australia and internationally as a journalist and producer.

Prior to joining CN, Kathleen worked at BBC World Television in London and ABC television in Sydney, Canberra and Hobart, including a five-year stint as the presenter of the ABC TV program, 7.30 Report ACT (Stateline Canberra). Kathleen has also worked as a consultant with an international public relations firm.

Kathleen has a Bachelor of Arts (Hon) Communications from the University of Canberra and a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration from the University of Newcastle.

People and Culture

Fiona LeathamThe Director of People and Culture is Fiona Leatham. Areas of responsibility include Safety and Wellbeing, WHS Recovery and Support, Learning Planning & Engagement, Payroll and Rewards, Business Partnering and Talent, Diversity & Inclusion.


Fiona has over 11 years experience working in Local Government across a range of business areas including: Strategic Planning; Infrastructure and Asset Planning; Projects and Contracts before leading the human resource functions and People and Culture team in June 2017.

Focus areas for Fiona include leading and managing organisational change initiatives that position people first and enabling training and development opportunities that strengthen the workforce while retaining our talented employees. People and Culture’s primary focus is on the safety and wellbeing for all employees recognising that a strong and positive workplace culture underpins our ability to deliver on our strategic objectives.

Fiona was born and raised in Newcastle and holds post graduate Project Management qualifications and a Masters of Business Administration majoring in Human Resources from the University of New England. With a strong passion for life-long learning, Fiona continues to pursue knowledge through education and opportunities for working together with a broad and diverse range of people on a daily basis.

City Wide Services

Alissa JonesIn December 2020 Alissa Jones was appointed as the Director of City Wide Services after occupying the role since September 2019. During this time she also simultaneously held the Deputy Response Controller position from March 2020 to June 2020 as the organisation responded to COVID-19.

Areas of service responsibility within the City Wide Directorate include Newcastle Art Gallery, Newcastle Museum, Fort Scratchley, Civic Theatre and Playhouse, City Hall, Visitor Information Centre, Libraries and Learning, Beresfield Child Care Centre, Parks Services, Open Space Recreation, Aquatics, Blackbutt, Natural Areas and Waste Services.


In 2018, Alissa was appointed as the Chief Financial Officer and was a finalist in the 2019 Minsters’ Awards for Women in NSW Local Government receiving a Highly Commended Award for Women in a Non Traditional Role due to her appointment as first female CFO for the City. Alissa’s Finance career with the City has involved leading a dedicated team of financial professionals and driving a culture of excellence to support the organisation’s $300 million annual budget and long term financial plan.

Alissa has also held numerous leadership positions as well as being appointed by the CEO as Program Manager for the Newcastle 500 during which she oversaw the inaugural 2017 Supercar event. Alissa also worked in the Financial Services Industry prior to joining CN.

Alissa holds tertiary qualifications in Commerce with a double major in Finance and Financial Accounting from the University of Newcastle. She has also completed a Certificate IV in Frontline Management, the Emerging Leadership Program through Work Smart Australia, a Local Government Leadership short course through UTS and Project Management qualifications through the Australian Institute of Management (AIM). Alissa is also a Certified Practising Accountant (CPA), a member of CPA Australia and a Member of the Institute of Company Directors (MAICD).

Infrastructure and Property

Ken LiddellThe Director Infrastructure and Property is Ken Liddell. Areas of responsibility include depot operations, assets and projects, civil construction and maintenance and property.


Ken is approaching his 40th year working in either federal, state and local government and has resided in the Newcastle area for approximately half of those years.

Apart from his work with local councils, Ken has worked in senior executive roles across the health, housing, public works and water industries.

Ken holds engineering qualifications, post graduate qualifications in project management and a master's degree in business administration.