FOR Corangamite Shire councillor Ruth Gstrein, there is far more to local government than all the negativity it attracts.
In her 11 years with Corangamite, Cr Gstrein said she had got a lot of personal fulfilment from the role.
Cr Gstrein has been recognised with a Victorian Councillor Service Award from the Municipal Association of Victoria. The award recognises the decade of service she has given at Corangamite Shire Council.
“The thing about local government is most people think it’s all about doom and gloom,” she said.
“I like that I represent the community and I’ve met some great people.”
Cr Gstrein said people often didn’t realise that council had to work through a lot of processes over a long time to make things happen. “Those outcomes are what we want,” she said.
Cr Gstrein worked as an administration officer for 16 years with Heytesbury Shire before its amalgamation with Camperdown Town and Hampden Shire in 1994 to form Corangamite Shire.
Seven years later, a couple of people suggested she run for council — she did and was elected in 2002.
“I thought I’d throw my hat in the ring and see how I go,” she said.
“I get a lot out of it personally.”
Cr Gstrein has served three terms as mayor from 2006 to 2009.
“While there can be many difficult and challenging issues serving as a councillor, I really enjoy working with local communities to achieve projects and goals that have a positive impact on the community,” she said.
She said the construction of the Camperdown stadium and the Terang gym were both good examples of where council and the community had come together to work in a partnership approach, along with other levels of government, to deliver facilities that brought great benefits to residents.
She said although it still had a way to go, she was looking forward to seeing the Camperdown play space come to fruition.
“I have had wonderful support from the Corangamite community during my time as a councillor and really appreciate that,” she said.
“There have been so many highlights over the past 10 years, including working with Aussie Farmers Dairy to bring their operations to Camperdown, the Terang streetscape project and advocating for the duplication of the Princes Highway to Colac, to name a few.
“Just as importantly, I have enjoyed being able to help and assist local individuals with their concerns.”