What we do

Southern Metropolitan Partnership

The Southern Partnership will engage with the wider community to identify issues and opportunities, and advise State Government on the priorities for this region.


The Southern Metropolitan Partnership is an advisory group established by the Victorian Government. The Partnership is a way for local communities to engage directly with state and local governments, and advise the Victorian Government of the top priorities for jobs, services and infrastructure across the region. This advice will be become part of the government’s key decision-making processes.

Throughout August, September and October 2019, the Southern Metropolitan Partnership will be seeking your feedback to help shape Melbourne’s south for the future. If you live or work in the Southern Metropolitan Partnership region, then we want to hear from you.

This year, the Southern partnership is taking a deeper dive into their priority issues to explore how we can better connect people in the Southern region to: learning and skill building opportunities, mental health services, jobs and each other. We want to know what you think a well connected community would look like.

Have Your Say

Following engagement with the Southern community throughout 2017 and 2018, the Southern Metropolitan Partnership has developed its advice to the Victorian Government on the regional priorities for the Southern region.

The Partnership's advice for 2018 included:

Housing Provide greater access to affordable housing options across the Southern region.

Transport Improve access to employment, education, services and recreation across the region with higher frequency public transport and greater connectivity and integration of services

Education and youth engagement Increased engagement and retention in education for pre-school-aged children and supporting mental health at secondary schools

Jobs and skills– 
Better education and training opportunities and pathways to employment for young people in the region.

Broad scale uptake of fit-for-purpose recycled water across the Southern region providing a climate resilient water resource for long term economic growth and environmental benefit.

How Government is responding: The 2018 Report Back

The Partnership held its second annual Assembly on Wednesday 1 August 2018 at Patterson River Secondary College, Seaford, where it heard directly from the community about how to further progress priorities for the region. Watch the video below to see the 2018 Assembly in action, or read the 2018 Southern Assembly Summary Report.

What we heard from young people in the Southern region

In May 2018, young people from the south shared their ideas for maintaining and improving the livability of their community at the first Metropolitan Partnerships Youth Forum.

Students and young people 15-19 years of age from schools and youth organisations across each of Melbourne's six regions were invited to attend the Metropolitan Partnerships Youth Forum at the State Library of Victoria

To find out what participants had to say about what's important as a young person living, working and studying in Melbourne read the 2018 Metropolitan Partnerships Youth Forum report and watch some of the highlights from the Southern breakout discussions.

Storyboard of Youth Forum discussion

On 11 October 2017, 136 community members, business representatives, councillors and mayors came together to help determine the key priorities for the Southern Metro region. The outcomes of the Assembly have been used by the Partnership to inform its advice to government on the priorities for the Southern region.

Watch the video to see the 2017 Assembly in action.

You can also download a copy of the 2017 Assembly report

Southern Assembly Summary Report.pdf

Southern Assembly Summary Report.doc

The Southern Region

Melbourne’s Southern Region spans bayside, growth areas and regional hubs of Frankston and Dandenong, and extends from its northern border at Cheltenham and Moorabbin, to the southern tip of the Mornington Peninsula and the eastern limits of Pakenham and Officer.

We acknowledge the Aboriginal people as Australia's first peoples and as the Traditional Owners and custodians of the land and water on which we rely.

Read more about the Southern Region.

Who to talk to and look out for

The Partnerships are generally made up of 15 members from across each of the six metropolitan regions. Membership includes up to nine community and business representatives with varied backgrounds, experiences and networks, the CEO of each of local government in that region and a Deputy Secretary from the Victorian State Government.

Elizabeth Deveny  Elizabeth is CEO of the South Eastern Melbourne Primary Health Network. She was formerly the CEO of Bayside Medicare Local and has worked at the University of Melbourne building and coordinating activities of the general practice practice-based research network. Chair
Andrew Simmons  Andrew is CEO of South East Local Learning and Employment Network, where he works to improve outcomes for young people in the education, training and employment sectors through the development of strategic sustainable partnerships. He also sits on a broad range of committees, task forces, networks and boards. Deputy Chair
Shabnam Safa Shabnam co-founded Noor Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation, to help newly arrived refugees and migrants with their settlement in Australia and to foster a positive connection between young people and their community. She has represented Australia at the UN and other international summits and has also earned her black-belt in karate. Member
  Jillian Walsh Jill is a Partner with Actco Pickering Metal Industries. Ms Walsh is an accountant by profession and has spent more than a decade working in Dandenong where she is well known for her passionate advocacy for local content in government procurement, together with support for local and Victorian manufacturing across all sectors. Member
Andrew Gardiner Andrew is the CEO of Dandenong & District Aborigines Co-operative Ltd. (DDACL). He has more than thirty years’ experience working in the Indigenous sector in Victoria and Far North Queensland, including seven years with the Office of Aboriginal Affairs Victoria and the past eight years with DDACL. Andrew is a member of the First Peoples’ Assembly in Victoria.  The Assembly will be the voice for Aboriginal people in the next phase of the Treaty process in Victoria. Member
Jacqueline Galloway Jackie is CEO of Peninsula Community Legal Centre (PCLC), an independent not-for-profit organisation that provides free legal services to Melbourne’s south-eastern communities. She has worked at the Centre since 1998 holding various roles including caseworker, program management and executive positions, prior to her role at PCLC she has worked in the welfare sector. Member
Argiri AlisandratosArgiri is the Deputy Secretary, Children and Families at the Department of Health and Human Services Victoria. Argiri joined the department more than 25 years ago as a child protection practitioner. Since then Argiri has held a number of senior leadership roles within the department including: Deputy Secretary South Division, Chief Operations Transformation Officer; Director, Southern Melbourne Area; Director, Inner Gippsland Area; Assistant Director, Placement and Family Services in the Children, Youth and Families Division; and Manager Community Services, Loddon Mallee Region. Victorian Government representative
Carol JeffsCarol has extensive experience in local government management and leadership, and a demonstrated commitment to community engagement and participation.  Carol brings more than 15 years’ experience as a senior local government executive, and has held positions of Interim Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Community and Economic Development at the City of Port Phillip, and was previously General Manager Governance and Manager City Planning at Latrobe City Council.CEO, Cardinia Shire Council
Glenn Patterson Glenn was appointed CEO in October 2018. He has formally been the CEO at Yarra Ranges Shire Council since 2008 and CEO at Baw Baw Council. He has 25 years’ senior management experience with a number of metropolitan and rural councils, his first CEO role being at Colac Otway Shire in 1998. He also spent a period as the CEO of a Melbourne based property development group.        CEO, Casey City Council
Phil Cantillon

Phil Cantillon was appointed as CEO of Frankston Council in September 2019. Mr Cantillon has been at Frankston City Council since October 2017 as the Director of Community Assets. He was previously been at Baw Baw Shire Council, including eight months as their interim CEO in 2017.

CEO, Frankston City Council
John Bennie John was appointed CEO of the Greater Dandenong City Council in 2006. He was previously CEO at Manningham City Council and has held numerous executive roles over his 37 year local government career. John is currently a non-Executive Director at MAVIB; Chisholm Institute and Mannacare P/L. In 2012, he concluded seven continuous years of service to LGPro and LGMA where he held the respective positions of State President (2005 and 2006) and National President (2011). CEO, Greater Dandenong City Council
John BakerJohn has extensive local government experience in the UK combined with commercial expertise developed as lead Partner in both Ernst and Young and KPMG in the UK and Australia. John has worked on some of the largest local government development programmes including “London Ventures” a private and public sector partnership and “Placed Based Budgets” which tackled local issues as diverse as health, social services and transport infrastructure.      CEO, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council

Local Government Areas

  • Cardinia Shire Council
  • Casey City Council
  • Kingston City Council
  • Frankston City Council
  • Greater Dandenong City Council
  • Mornington Peninsula Shire Council

How to contact us

Email metropolitanpartnerships@ecodev.vic.gov.au

Page last updated: 13/01/20