Our People

Our purpose is to leverage the collective strength and influence of the Local Government sector for the benefit of WA Local Governments and their communities. We achieve this through a team of subject matter experts who are professional, agile and committed to driving outcomes for the sector.

President and Deputy President

President, 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.   

Deputy 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.  

Contact the President or CEO

Would you like to get in touch with our President or CEO? Please contact Executive Assistant, Kelsey Nicholson.

Executive Team

CEO, Nick Sloan

Nick Sloan has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) since 2019. 

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 in the Senior Executive in State Government, including roles in regional Western Australia. 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 Mutual Indemnity Scheme for Local Government in WA; Auspire (Australian Day Council WA); and is Chair of Nature Play WA, an NFP established to increase the time Western Australian children spend in unstructured play outdoors and in nature. 

Committed to driving better outcomes for the Local Government sector, Nick has structured and mobilised WALGA to ensure a member focus throughout the organisation. Nick’s inclusive leadership style has engendered a high-performance culture of subject matter experts committed to supporting the sector. This member-centric approach combined with specialist teams means WALGA can provide optimum support and advice to Local Governments, resulting in better outcomes for WA communities across the state. 

Executive Director, Member Services, Tony Brown 

Executive Director of Member Services, Tony has committed 17 years of dedicated service to WALGA. 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.

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 Panel, Zones and State Council.

Executive 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. 

Nicole joined WALGA in 2017 as Policy Manager, Environment and led WALGA’s COVID-19 response during the pandemic before being promoted to the Executive Manager role in 2022.

With a wealth of experience, Nicole has navigated diverse roles in the Commonwealth Public Sector in Canberra and WA, including serving as Director of the WA office of the Commonwealth Department of the Environment where she was instrumental in progressing regulatory reform across WA, NT and SA. Nicole also held senior roles at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Trained as an Economist, Nicole is passionate about leveraging government and public policy to achieve economic, social, and environmental goals 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.

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, developing robust policy positions, offering technical advice, and advocating 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, the State Electric Vehicle Strategy Implementation Group and the ALGA Roads and Transport Advisory Committee.

Ian is 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.

Executive Manager, Advocacy, Rachel Horton

Rachel is a Marketing and Communications specialist with over 20 years’ experience working with complex brands in the commercial, government and not-for-profit sectors in Perth, London and Toulouse.

In London, Rachel delivered significant campaigns for Accenture, Airbus and the MI5 Security Service and garnered pertinent experience as the Account Director for the London Borough Consortium. 

Sponsored to emigrate to Australia to support INPEX to establish their brand in Australia, Rachel provided specialist communications advice and led multiple brand development projects to the resources sector, including PTTEP, Roy Hill and CITIC Pacific Mining, before taking leadership and Executive roles at Rocky Bay and PCYC. 

A member of the Institute of Marketing with multiple creative awards under her belt, Rachel is passionate about innovative solutions with a track record of developing and implementing effective marketing and communication strategies to achieve organisational goals and mitigate risk. 

Spending her previous eight years supporting Western Australian for-purpose organisations, Rachel is driven to lead the WALGA Advocacy portfolio and deliver results for the long-term benefit of the sector and communities across the state.

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