Published on Friday, 30 July 2021 at 3:20:34 PM

The Shire of Exmouth appointed Shire of East Pilbara Deputy CEO / Executive Manager Commercial Services Benjamin Lewis as its new Chief Executive Officer.

The announcement was made by the Shire President Matt Niikkula after the unanimous Council decision during the July Ordinary Council Meeting (Resolution 11-0721) and Mr Lewis' acceptance of the position on Monday, July 26. Mr Lewis is an accomplished and highly regarded Public Sector Executive with over 20 years of experience in regional WA.
His proven track record in leading high-performing teams across business operations, in addition to his background in stakeholder engagement, and his passion for delivering business excellence, made him the perfect candidate to take over the helm as Chief Executive Officer at the Shire of Exmouth.
In his current role at the Shire of East Pilbara, Mr Lewis is responsible for Contracts and Procurement, Development Services, Economic Development, the Martumii Art Centre, as well as the Airport Operations for Newman, Nullagine and Marble Bar.

After a four-month recruitment process, with a large field of quality applicants, Mr Lewis will commence in his new role on September 13, 2021, with a five-year contractual agreement.

The recruitment process has been carried out in compliance with the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) "Guidelines for Local Government CEO Recruitment and Selection, Performance Review and Termination" (February 2021); this process has been adopted in an Ordinary Council Meeting in April 2021 and is published as Council Policy 1.25 on the Shire of Exmouth's website


"On behalf of Council, I would like to congratulate Ben Lewis on being appointed by the recruitment panel and welcome him at the Shire of Exmouth. We are looking forward to the experience and knowledge he is bringing on board and the positive developments this future Council will bring for our community." "I sincerely want to thank Executive Manager Commercial & Community Matt Bird for his valuable contributions and outstanding work ethic during his time as Acting CEO. Matt's commitment to Exmouth and this community, before, during and after this recruitment process, has really shone through and will help to smoothen the transition in September."


"I am very excited about this great opportunity and am delighted to work with such a dedicated and engaged group of Councillors and staff. I am looking forward to starting my new role in September and becoming an active part of the Exmouth community."



Benjamin Lewis has more than twenty years of experience working in regional Western Australia. He holds a Masters in Business Administration and Graduate Certificates in Management, Business Administration and Human Resources Management while having a solid background in Building Surveying and Registration.

Joining the Shire of East Pilbara in 2017 as the Acting Director of Community Services, Benjamin quickly moved into the role of Manager Assets and Procurement. Since 2018 he fulfils the position of Executive Manager Commercial Services, where he managed a budget of $28m and was held accountable for the areas of Contracts and Procurement, Development Services (Building, Health & Planning), Economic Development, the Martumii Art Cente and Aiport Operations.

Some of his key achievements with the Shire of East Pilbara have been:

  • Implementing a workforce reform within the Commercial Services Division, including a restructure process to focus on cost reduction and service delivery
  • Acquisition of additional housing from BHP to alleviate Council's housing crisis
  • Successful implementation of the Aviair inter-regional flight network linking the Pilbara towns with the Kimberley
  • Review of Local Planning Strategy and Scheme to facilitate townsite boundary expansions in rural communities
  • Successful completion of design and specifications for a $14M youth and family hub

Benjamin also served as a Local Government Councillor in the Shire of Roeburne, while being successful as Superintendent of Project Engineering at Rio Tinto, and later as General Manager and Registered Builder, in Karratha – before making a move to the Shire of East Pilbara.

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Media contact:
Sandra Flint, Coordinator Communications & Marketing, Shire of Exmouth
M: 0459 431 439 | E:

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