Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding has been awarded the 2021 McKinnon Emerging Political Leader of the Year for her commitment to transparency and public accountability.
The national non-partisan award recognises courageous, visionary, and collaborative political leadership each year and is determined by a panel of distinguished Australians.
Mayor Harding said she was humbled to be announced the 2021 McKinnon recipient and believed the accolade was a testament of the teamwork and combined efforts of the city’s councillors in driving a positive agenda for the council.
“This award shines a light on the amazing work our team achieved in 2021,” Mayor Harding said.
“The Ipswich community has been through so many challenges in recent years and the community needed a dedicated and strong council to address current and future issues, while also developing and delivering sustainable future opportunities for its continued growth.
“This council is fully committed to the local community, and it is very rewarding being able to give back deliver on the transparency and openness I promised.”
Emerging Political Leader of the Year Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding and Political Leader of the Year former Speaker of House of Representatives Tony Smith.
Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) CEO Alison Smith said Mayor Harding was an extremely worthy recipient of the prize.
“Throughout the past 12 months, the LGAQ has seen the impact Mayor Harding has had on the Ipswich region and local government sector broadly through her hard work and fearless leadership,” Ms Smith said.
“Being awarded the coveted McKinnon Prize, which is a national prize, is a marvellous achievement – and one that is truly well deserved.
“I congratulate Mayor Harding for her commitment to transparency and public accountability.”
Mayor Harding’s contributions and invaluable leadership have made the Ipswich City Council one of the most transparent government institutions in Australia and transformed council governance to rebuild the trust and respect of the Ipswich community.
Council’s Transparency and Integrity Hub provides the community with unprecedented access to the city’s finances and provides greater scrutiny over how council spends ratepayer’s money.
The selection panel commended Mayor Harding for her work to introduce transparency reforms and noted her leadership to improve the accountability of officials elected to local government, particularly amid an unprecedented period of pandemic-related disruptions.
Mayor Harding received the prize on Tuesday 28 June in Melbourne at The McKinnon Prize in Political Leadership gala event.
Further information about the McKinnon Prize in Political Leadership can be found at mckinnonprize.org.au
Further information about council’s Integrity Hub can be found at open.ipswich.qld.gov.au