Your Councillors

Cr Sharon Cadwallader


Cr Sharon Cadwallader was elected to Council in March 2004 and elected as Mayor in December 2021.

She is a current company director, Justice of the Peace, Registered Civil Celebrant, Chair of the Australian Coastal Councils Association and Deputy Chair of both Rous County Council and the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation. Sharon is a past director of Summerland Credit Union and a former Regional Manager of Northern Rivers NSW Business Chamber. Accreditations include Dental Nursing, Marriage Celebrant, Marketing and Management and UTS Executive Certificate in Local Government.

Currently, Sharon is a Patron of Far North Coast Legacy - Ballina Division. She has also represented the local community on many committees, including 17 years with Essential Energy on the Customer Council, Chair of the Richmond Tweed Regional Library, Chair of the B Ward Committee and a Delegate of the Ballina, Alstonville/Wollongbar and Lennox Head Chambers of Commerce. 

Sharon is very interested in affordable, accessible housing, protecting and enhancing our lifestyle and the natural beauty of our area with a focus on preserving our heritage, the beautification of our town and villages and provision of more walkways and cycleways, as well as creating jobs, through sensible and sustainable economic development. Working regionally is also seen as very important to ensure the best value for money for ratepayers ensuring equity of State and Federal grant money.

Sharon realises the importance of making it simpler to deal with council by removing layers of bureaucracy and having a “Can Do” culture which provides the best outcome for the environment, including climate change and mitigating against the impacts.

She is married to Bruce and they share five children and 11 grandchildren with three generations living in the Ballina Shire.

Her open for business policy encourages input from the community, preferably by text or email.

mobile: 0428 339 023

Cr Phil Meehan

A Ward

Councillor Meehan was first elected to Ballina Shire Council in 2016. This is his second term representing A Ward and Ballina Shire. He is a long term Ballina resident with four generations of his family living here.

Phil had a career as a PDHPE Head Teacher, High School Deputy Principal, Education Consultant and Regional Equity Programs Manager with the NSW Department of Education. He is currently semi-retired, operating a Bed & Breakfast with his wife Susan and is also a Director of The Ballina Jockey Club.

Councillor Meehan is an active sportsperson with surfing, walking our coastline and mountain biking his passions. He is dedicated to maintaining and protecting the natural environment of our coastal zone.

As a Councillor, Phil believes that working hard to represent the Shire's residents in a responsible, informed and equitable manner is paramount to his role. He is very focused on Council working within its means, providing quality core services and maintaining "what makes Ballina a great place to live."

Councillor Meehan welcomes contact from residents right across Ballina Shire.

phone: 0408 349 833 

Cr Rod Bruem

A Ward

Rod Bruem was elected to Council in 2021 after a career spanning five decades in media, business, agriculture, politics and the community sector.

Coming from a dairy farming family, Rod began his career in country newspapers before moving into radio and television news in companies including Prime7 and the Nine Network in Sydney.

Rod spent 16 years as a corporate advisor to CEOs and the senior executive team at Telstra, working across corporate affairs, legal, regulatory, public policy and government relations capacities.

He entered politics in 1996 as Chief of Staff to Federal independent MP Peter Andren, later becoming an advisor to Ministers in the Howard, Turnbull and Morrison Governments, covering diverse portfolios including immigration, industrial relations, small business, environment and heritage.

Moving to the Ballina hinterland in 2014, Rod became more involved in environmental and community work, restoring riverbanks, tree planting for koalas and rebuilding a wetland for migratory birds. He is a co-founder of Richmond Rivers Rescue, a community lobby group established to fight more funding to rehabilitate local waterways. He has also been active in community radio as a member of the team at Ballina’s Paradise FM.

phone: 0419 508 753

Cr Stephen McCarthy

A Ward

Councillor Steve McCarthy's journey in Ballina began in 1974 when his family purchased a bakery on River Street. Completing his high school education in the area, he vividly recalls the challenges faced when high seas overwhelmed the old Missingham Bridge, temporarily cutting off access to his home. Following high school, Steve immersed himself in the family bakery business, eventually expanding to establish a second bakery in Alstonville. With 35 years of trading in Ballina and 30 years in Alstonville, Steve is dedicated to local business.

His connection to Ballina runs deep, not only through his professional endeavours but also through his family. Steve takes immense pride in his three young adult children and two grandchildren. Committed to lifelong learning, he pursued a Diploma of Sport Development and a Diploma of Web through Wollongbar Tafe before completing a Bachelor in Software Development at Southern Cross University in 2023.

Steve's commitment to Ballina Shire is unwavering. He is determined to foster a healthy local environment, support small businesses, and promote growth for the benefit of all residents. As someone who understands the value of sports in teaching life skills, Steve is dedicated to listening to the diverse voices within the community and ensuring that decisions reflect the collective "common good" while upholding the dignity of every individual.

Councillor Steve McCarthy's personal journey, combined with his professional accomplishments and dedication to Ballina, make him a compassionate and capable leader poised to serve the community with integrity and determination.

phone: 0435 759 987

Cr Jeff Johnson

B Ward

Cr Jeff Johnson was elected to Council in 2008. He is a business graduate from Southern Cross University and has worked in management and small business for a number of years.

Jeff stood for election because he believes it is important that Ballina Shire Council is proactive as well as reactive in responding to the economic, environmental, cultural and social needs of the Shire. Addressing climate change, expanding our cycleway network, cleaning up the Richmond River and establishing a kerbside green waste collection are some of the many issues he believes are important.

Jeff intends to work in partnership with other Councillors, as he believes mutual respect, teamwork and cooperation get better results than conflict and opposition. Jeff supports the principles of environmental sustainability, social justice, non-violence and grassroots participation in government and intends to uphold these principles in his decision making. He will work closely and cooperatively alongside local people and businesses in order to represent them on Council and achieve positive outcomes for Ballina Shire.

phone: 0428 970 112

Cr Eva Ramsey

B Ward

Eva Ramsey has been a resident of Lennox Head for more than two decades, having moved to the coastal village with her husband in 2000.

Since relocating to the Ballina Shire, Eva has been an active member of the community. A keen sportsperson, coach, referee and mentor of young athletes, Eva was instrumental in the successful campaign to fund and build the Ballina Indoor Sports Centre, which the Ballina community can boast as the best sporting facility on the Far North Coast. Eva received a Community Recognition Statement in the NSW Parliament for her tireless work to make the sports centre a reality.

Eva brings to the Council extensive experience in Asset and Project Management and has widespread knowledge of administration. Eva also for a period was NSW Secretary for the Program of Appliances for Disabled People (PADD). Having a history of teamwork and collaboration, Eva will work constructively as part of the Ballina Shire Council to set the vision and direction for the shire to continue its growth and thrive in its diverse location.

Eva is excited that her appointment to Council will give her the opportunity to contribute to the delivery of vital services and the prosperity of the community.

She is passionate about her community and the privilege and opportunity being a councillor presents. She is a great listener and sincere activist who will represent the views and needs of the community. Eva is available to discuss and explore any issues of community concern. 

phone: 0419 542 905

Cr Kiri Dicker

B Ward

Kiri grew up in the Ballina Shire, attending Lennox Head Public School and Ballina High School, later returning to raise her family in Lennox Head.

Her career has been dedicated to working in the social and community services sector in a diverse range of roles and contexts, including case management, community development, policy analysis and management consulting. Her work has taken her all over the work, including over a decade spent working in the aid and development sector in the Asia Pacific region providing technical advice to governments, UN agencies and not-for-profit groups. 

Kiri currently works as the Community Impact Manager for the Northern Rivers Community Foundation where she oversees the organisation’s grants and research portfolios across seven Local Government areas.

Kiri holds a Bachelor of Criminology and Criminal Justice/Behaviour Science (Griffith University), a Master’s Degree in Community Development and Emergency Management (Southern Cross University) and a Graduate Certificate in Gender Mainstreaming, Policy and Analysis (Flinders University).

Kiri’s key interests include environmental protection, sustainable waste management, climate action, affordable housing, and diversity in local government. 

You can read more about Kiri’s work on Council and sign up to receive her emails at 

phone: 0419 493 898

Cr Eoin Johnston

Deputy Mayor

C Ward

Cr Eoin Johnston is serving his second term as a Ballina Shire Councillor.  He lives at Rous on the Alstonville Plateau. Eoin has a diverse history and left school early to become an apprentice building tradesman on Sydney's northern beaches. Travel followed as did a variety of jobs including seismic surveys in North West Australia and West Africa and underground mining in Queensland and Canada before he returned home to resume his trade.

Eoin and his wife Christine built their home on a small farm at Rous in 1976 and remain there today. They have three children and five grandchildren.

Later in life Eoin started studying law by correspondence while still working as a tiler by day and ultimately became a Barrister in 1998. He is proud of his input with both his family and his community and has the honour of being awarded five life memberships. Eoin was the previously the Judiciary Officer for NSW Country Junior Rugby Union. Eoin is still an active patrolling member of Ballina Surf Lifesaving Club, something he had commenced at South Narrabeen in late 1960. His days in "retirement" are busy with Council, family, farm work, staying fit and writing a book. He has visited over 70 countries and is keen to get about, but mostly in Australia.

phone: 0407 416 149

Cr Simon Chate

C Ward

Simon Chate lives in Alstonville with his partner, Shirley, for the past 20 years. They love Ballina Shire. They love the warm and friendly community, the easy-going lifestyle and spectacular landscape.

As well as being a family man, Simon is a musician, a choir director and music educator. He has had extensive community interaction through his role as a teacher at Alstonville High School where he has been in a position to affect change through his membership of the school P & C committee. Simon is also a member of the Rous Mill Hall committee and the Summerland Toastmasters Club.

Simon has extensive national and international performance experience having sung tenor 2 with acclaimed SCU group, Isabella A Cappella for almost 10 years, and since 2004 he has held the position of musical director for Coolangatta-based entertainers, Men Wot Sing.

Since 2012, Simon has taken strong leadership roles within the community, both through the creation and running of Alstonville’s community choir, Awesome Voices, and through co-founding and organising the monthly, fund-raising community performance event, Rous Unplugged, which has raised over $30,000 for local charities and causes.

Simon’s qualifications include Bachelor of Contemporary Music (Southern Cross University), Graduate Diploma of Education (Southern Cross University), Diploma in Music Technology in Education (Newcastle University), Cert III – Live Production and Services (NIDA) and Cert IV – Training and Assessment (Aust. Forensic Services).

Simon feels passionate that protecting our environment (an ultimately finite resource) is of the utmost importance and he joined the Greens in 2019. He feels that environmental factors are too often given insufficient consideration or are dismissed outright. He believes we need to find the right balance in addressing the climate emergency and protecting our environment whilst facilitating our community’s continued growth and change in a sustainable, family-friendly, and culturally sensitive way.

As well as providing infrastructure and recreational facilities, Simon believes Council must look at increasing the availability of longer-term rental properties and find a way to make local housing more affordable. Simon is also keen to ensure transparency around big decisions in Council and straightforward access to community consultation.

phone: 0419 593 233

Cr Nigel Buchanan

C Ward

Nigel was elected to Council in December 2021.

phone: 0419 590 661



Contact your Councillors


Post: c/- Ballina Shire Council  |  PO Box 450  |  Ballina 2478

Local Government Election Results

Election results for A Ward, B Ward, and C Ward were announced by the NSW Electoral Commission on 22 December 2021 and can be viewed at

Ward boundaries

Ballina Shire is divided into three wards, A, B and C ward for election purposes. Three Councillors are elected from each of the three wards. From the 2008 election onwards a popularly elected Mayor is elected resulting in a total of ten councillors.

Details of the current ward boundaries are outlined in the following maps:

Councillor expenses

In accordance with the Councillor Expenses and Facilities Policy, detailed reports including expenditure summarised by individual Councillor are now publicly tabled at a Council meeting every six months and published in full on Council’s website.

Disclosure of Interest Returns

Clause 4.21 (in part) of the Council’s Code of Conduct states: A councillor or designated person must complete and lodge with the general manager, a return in the form set out in schedule 2 to the code, disclosing the councillors’ or designated person’s interests as specified in schedule 1 to the code within 3 months after:

(a)        Becoming a councillor or designated person, and
(b)        30 June of each year and

(c)        The councillor or designated person becoming aware of an interest they are required to disclose under schedule 1 that has not been previously disclosed in a return lodged under paragraphs (a) or (b).

Clause 4.27 of Council’s Code of Conduct states: Information contained in returns made and lodged under clause 4.21 is to be made publicly available in accordance with the requirements of the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009, the Government Information (Public Access) Regulation 2009 and any guidelines issued by the Information Commissioner.

Council has identified its designated persons as Councillors, the General Manager and members of Council’s Executive Team.


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Postal Address

The General Manager
Ballina Shire Council
PO Box 450
Ballina NSW 2478

View more contacts

40 Cherry Street
Ballina NSW 2478


Opening Hours

8:15am - 4:30pm

Monday to Friday