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Q+A with CEO – Peta Mabbs

CEO Town of Bassendean, Peta Mabbs

CEO Town of Bassendean, Peta Mabbs

​Name: Peta Mabbs

Local government: Town of Bassendean

Date commenced as CEO: 22 October 2018

Tell us a bit about yourself/your background  

I was fortunate to have grown up in the Town of Bassendean, having spent the first 30 years of my life here. As a result, I have fond childhood memories of family and friends, shaped by the local environment. This included attending Bassendean kindergarten and one of the local primary schools, where my mother also taught. The community was a big part of my life through participating in Girl Guides, Venturers and sport.

What was it that attracted you to the role of CEO?

Since the age of 18, I have worked in state government across many portfolios including justice, policing, child protection, communities, housing, land information, corruption and integrity – all of which have critical links to our community. I have been committed to ongoing development through postgraduate studies in public sector management, policy, public administration and leadership – all of which have complemented my career. Having previous experience as a CEO, I am driven by the challenge to reinvigorate organisations, inspiring a sense of purpose and direction and importantly delivering value for the community based upon their needs. 

Can you give us a quick snapshot of your town and community?

Beginning as a small settlement called West Guildford in 1829, Bassendean was renamed in 1922. Bounded on two sides by the Swan River, Bassendean became a separate local authority in 1901. The town now has a mix of housing, parks and recreational areas, as well as light industry and commercial areas. It also has riverside public open space, some of which was land used by Aboriginal people for thousands of years as ceremonial places.

Our town comprises 10.3 square kms, 95 kms of roads, three train stations, with a population in excess of 16,000 people – 15.8 per cent are aged 65 and over, 66.3 per cent are aged between 15-64 and 17.9 per cent are children aged between 0-14. The median age is 39 and the average household contains 2.4 people.

What do you hope to achieve in your new role and what has been the biggest learning so far?

Through genuine engagement, I hope to create a strong and sustainable community that we can all be proud of for future generations.

My biggest learning so far is the sheer breadth and diversity in services delivered by local governments.

Tell us about something great your town is working on and how it is delivering for your community?

The town has been awarded the Organisational Achievement Award for the Regional Youth Driver Education (RYDE) Program at the 2018 WA Youth Awards.

The RYDE Program, has been a great success since it launched less than two years ago. The program fills a need in the community whereby many young people requiring to complete their log book hours to become eligible for 'P' plates, are struggling to do so due to the unavailability of a suitable vehicle.

Volunteer mentors are recruited and trained through the Bassendean Volunteers Centre.​

The town has commenced licensing the program to other local governments and bodies. The Foyer Youth Hostel, Cities of Cockburn, Bunbury and Mandurah have commenced operations, while the City of Joondalup is gearing up to commence operations in the new financial year. Others expressing interest include Clontarf and Mercy Care.

This is an award winning innovation that makes a real difference to the lives of our young people.