Councillors and Wards



Gannawarra Shire Council is the local government body responsible for the municipality of Gannawarra. The Council consists of seven councillors, including the mayor and deputy mayor. 

Elected by the community, the Council is the decision-making body that sets the strategic direction and policy of the municipality. It delivers the four-year Council Plan which sets out what the Council will achieve during its four-year term to further the community vision; an Annual Action Plan; and Annual Budget which describes Council’s key objectives and activities for each 12-month period.

The role and powers of Council, the Mayor and the Councillors are prescribed in the Local Government Act 2020.

Councillors and Wards

Gannawarra Shire Council covers approximately 3,735 square kilometres and is separated into four wards. Each ward is a different size, has varying numbers of people and has different levels of infrastructure.

Seven Councillors make up Council - three for the Patchell Ward; two for the Yarran Ward; and single representatives for the Avoca and Murray wards.


Avoca Ward

Towns/districts: Benjeroop, Lalbert, Lake Charm, Mystic Park, Quambatook


Cr Charlie Gillingham

Deputy Mayor

Phone:0457 719 874

First elected:October 2016


Charlie has lived in the area for more than 50 years and operates a family farm at Lake Charm.

Charlie has a current interest in the local environment, health, irrigation, social and sporting groups.

With our various existing qualities, Charlie believes that the area we live in is very dynamic and has a huge potential for further innovative agricultural pursuits, tourism opportunities, new industry, renewable energy and increased residential development around our lakes and waterways.

With a reinvigorated Council, Charlie is looking forward to working with the Councillors and the community for the benefit of the whole shire.  He believes that with a common sense approach, these goals can be achieved and we can continue to make the Gannawarra a fantastic place for all.


Murray Ward

Towns/districts: Koondrook, Murrabit


Cr Ross Stanton


Phone:0417 515 769

First elected:October 2020


Ross Stanton was born in Cohuna and spent most of his life living and working in the Gannawarra. Ross has recently retired after 31 years with Goulburn-Murray Water (GMW).

Ross classifies himself as a volunteer, always willing to step in when help is needed. A life member of the Murrabit Football Club and past president of the Murrabit Football Club and Murrabit Netball Club, Ross has also served at league level, having been Deputy Chair of the Central Rivers Football/Netball League Board. Ross likes to relax with a game of golf and fishing, neither successfully!

Ross believes Gannawarra is a great place to raise a family and enjoy all the assets this area has available. He sees a role in Council to focus on the strategic side of local government and look for ways to enhance the opportunities for our youth and maintain our link to agriculture, renewable energy and environmental based tourism. 

Patchell Ward 

Towns/districts: Kerang, Macorna, Tragowel


Cr Kelvin Burt

Phone:0407 319 414

First elected:October 2020


Kelvin has lived and worked in Gannawarra for the majority of his life.

After leaving school, the family farm was his first passion, this then led him to becoming a fencing and haycarting contractor. Many other jobs followed, including wood merchant, barman, backhoe operator, Mawsons Concrete and a management role with Lipps Bulk Super in Wakool.

Looking for a stable future, Kelvin returned to Mawsons, where he still employed.

A love of the Gannawarra and a passion for his community has led Kelvin to become the President of Kerang Progress Association and, in 2020, a Councillor.


Cr Travis Collier

Phone:0433 269 577

First elected:October 2020


Since moving to Kerang in 2011, Travis has been an active member of the community in a variety of different roles. Travis is currently president of the Kerang Technical High School Council and Murrabit Netball Club, as well as involved with the Murrabit Tennis Club, Kerang-Swan Hill Rams AFL Masters football team, Rotary Club of Kerang and the Murrabit Advancement Association.

Travis is looking forward to working alongside his fellow Councillors to develop a strategic plan that makes our Shire a destination for tourists and businesses alike.



Cr Jane Ogden

Phone:0476 786 051

First elected: October 2020

Jane has lived in Kerang since 2006 and has worked for Gannawarra Shire Council in various roles such as Coordinator Community Engagement and Grants and Community Development Officer. Jane has also co-owned a small business in Kerang and coordinated a seven-year community drought support project out of Barham for New South Wales and Victorian small towns.

In collaboration with her fellow Councillors, council staff and our Gannawarra communities, Jane looks forward to using her skills and experience to help create agreed upon projects for the mutual benefit of the people of the Gannawarra Shire through the development of the Council Plan 2021-2025.


Yarran Ward

Towns/districts: Cohuna, Leitchville


Cr Keith Link

Phone:0427 564 138

First elected:October 2020


Keith grew up in Melbourne and in 1976 together with his wife, decided on making a “tree change” and bought a small farm in Leitchville.

During the next 40 years the Link’s expanded and developed their piggery, during which time Keith was involved in Leitchville’s Lions Club, Pony Club, Pre-School and Scout group, and was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1983.

Currently, Keith is studying at university online and is well into an Arts degree, majoring in Geography. His main hobby is aviation and enjoys flying his Cessna 172 when time permits.

Keith is finding being a Councillor both quite challenging and rewarding and remains committed to working hard on issues that affect the Shire’s ratepayers.



Cr Garner Smith

Phone:0418 871 054

First elected:October 2020

Garner was raised on a dairy farm in Leitchville and completed his HSC at Cohuna High School in 1989. Garner undertook tertiary studies at the Melbourne University graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) and undertaking a Postgraduate Honours year in Economics.

Garner has had significant experience in working in Politics, as an Electorate Officer for Senator Julian McGauran and Ministerial Advisor to the Hon. Bill Baxter in the Roads and Ports portfolio. In addition, Garner was the Young Nationals State President for two years, the National Party Victoria Junior Vice President for a year, undertook at delegation to Shanghai, China as part of the Young Leaders Conference as well as a Political Exchange Tour of Japan.

Currently, Garner and his wife are busy running their businesses, Riverland Milk and Trading, Rural supplies in Cohuna and Gunbower, as well as irrigated beef farms in Cohuna and Leitchville.