Meet Your Councillors

Snowy Valleys Council is made up of nine publicly elected Councillors


 James-Hayes Cr James Hayes, Mayor

 “As Councillors, we need to do more listening and less talking.”

 James Hayes has proven strong links with the community and was serving   his third term as a Councillor with Tumut Shire Council prior to the   amalgamation, including six years as Deputy Mayor.

James is a fifth generation grazier from Adelong. James, along with his wife, owns and operates a small sheep and cattle grazing property close to town.

James would like to be a voice for the rural ratepayers of the Snowy Valleys Council area.

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Email: [email protected]


John-Larter. Cr John Larter, Deputy Mayor

“It’s about being able to promote the region, and look for opportunities for businesses.”

John Larter has four years’ experience as a former Councillor for Tumut Shire Council, three years serving as Deputy Mayor, and one as Mayor.

John’s key aims for Snowy Valleys Council is to provide opportunities for the region’s children and youth to be healthy and active, through infrastructure investment in sporting facilities.

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Email: [email protected]


Andrianna-Benjamin Cr Andrianna Benjamin

“It’s time for us to have younger blood and more ideas, moving forward and making things happen.”

Andrianna Benjamin may be new to Local Government, but she has an esteemed track record of career achievements for a young person, including running her own business since she was just 13 years old.

Andrianna’s key aims for Snowy Valleys Council are to upgrade sporting facilities and promoting the area as a tourist destination, along with relocating the Tumut Region Visitor Information Centre.

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Email: [email protected]


Cate-Cross Cr Cate Cross

“I’d like to work together with the community to make it work well, and to be the best. Not just better, but the best.” 

Cate Cross has enjoyed an extensive career working with vulnerable people. Cate feels that this experience prepares her for her role as Councillor.

Cate aims to be a voice for people who may not have necessarily felt heard.

Cate’s list of professional achievements includes working with long term unemployed people, Director of Capper Kindy day care centre and facilitating the Schools as Communities Centre at Franklin public school in Tumut.

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Email: [email protected]


Julia-Ham Cr Julia Ham

“We live in the most beautiful shire in Australia. We’ve got so much potential here, but it has to be run well, and it has to be fair from down in Brungle to all the way out to Khancoban."

Cr Julia Ham lives in the Oberne Creek on a merino sheep property. She is the Chairperson of the Tarcutta Valley Landcare group which incorporates part of the Snowy Valleys Council area

Julia is a teacher with a special interest in Early Childhood Education. She runs a success consultancy business advising and providing training for educational services.  Julia has been instrumental in starting the Snowy Valleys Council’s Children’s Services committee. 

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Email: [email protected]


Margaret-Isselmann Cr Margaret Isselmann

“Being a bigger council will give us a stronger voice to lobby other levels of government on larger issues.”

Cr Margaret Isselmann had her first term as a councillor for Tumut Shire Council cut short with the amalgamation, making a public commitment to the community to serve at least two terms on council.

Margaret’s key aim for Snowy Valleys Council is to upgrade the Brindabella Road to capitalise on the opportunities that opening up a transport link to Canberra will present.

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Email: [email protected]


Geoff-Pritchard. Cr Geoff Pritchard

“I think we have to work together and aim for the future, and I think we need some old hands in the mix; old and new.”

Cr Geoff Pritchard is very experience in the realm of Local Government, having served 17 years on the Tumut Shire Council with ten of them as mayor.

He believes his nearly two decades of experience will be valuable during what will undoubtedly be a challenging term for the new Snowy Valleys councillors.

Geoff is future focused and wants to draw Tumbarumba and Tumut, and all the other towns, closer together, through the reestablishment of the Southern Harvest Trail.

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Email: [email protected]


Cor-Smit Cr Cor Smit

“I think being people-oriented rather than process-oriented; that's an important thing.”

Batlow resident and businessman Cr Cor Smit sees Snowy Valleys Council as one big opportunity. He believes this whole region has enormous potential, especially for tourism, and wants to work together to see that potential realised.

Cor has owned the Laurel Hill Berry Farm for nearly two decades. Before that Cor established the Revival Church in Wagga, which grew to over 200 members, and worked in the retail furnishing and wholesale trade in Canberra.

Cor sees that council has a role to play in encouraging business and bringing new businesses into the area.

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Email: [email protected]


Bruce-Wright Cr Bruce Wright

“I think at the end of the day, at the end of everything we do, we should say, “is that fair?” And if we walk away saying, “yes, that is fair,” then we’re doing okay.”

Cr Bruce Wright is a familiar face in Tumbarumba. He’s been a member of the Rotary Club for over thirty years. He’s the former environmental manager and maintenance manager at the Hyne Timber Mill, and an owner/manager of the Neville Smith Timber Industries sawmill in Laurel Hill. He’s the founder and key organiser of the Tumbarumba2Kokoda trek to Papua New Guinea.

Bruce believes that he has plenty to offer our communities, and would like the opportunity to work towards unity and good governance for the new Snowy Valleys Council.

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Email: [email protected]