The Council

The Council’s role is to:

  • govern the local government’s affairs;
  • be responsible for the performance of the local government’s functions;
  • oversee the allocation of the local government’s finances and resources; and
  • determine the local government’s policies.
The role of Shire President

‘President’ is the title given to the chief elected officer of a Shire Council.

The role of the Shire President is to:

  • preside at Council meetings (in this role, the President is required to ensure that meetings are conducted in a correct and orderly manner and to remain impartial when chairing the meeting);
  • carry out civic and ceremonial duties (such as conducting citizenship ceremonies);
  • speak on behalf of the local government as a corporate entity;
  • liaise with the CEO on the local government’s affairs and the performance of its functions; and
  • provide leadership and guidance to the community.

The role of a Shire President also includes the role of a Councillor. A President has no authority to make decisions as an individual other than to authorise expenditure in an emergency.

Information note: Mayors or Presidents may be elected either by the members of the council for two years, or by the electors of the district for four years. A Mayor or President has the same ‘deliberative’ vote as the other Councillors. However, the Mayor or President must cast a second vote (that is, a deciding vote) if the vote on a matter is tied.

The role of Councillors

A Councillor’s role is to:

  • represent the interests of electors, ratepayers and residents;
  • provide leadership and guidance to the community;
  • facilitate communication between the community and the council and vice versa; and
  • participate in decision making processes at meetings.

The Shire of Carnamah has seven elected Councillors. Councillors are elected by residents of the Shire and represent the whole Shire.

The President and Deputy President are elected by the Councillors after every election, usually held in October (every two years).


Training Matrix

Council Training Matrix – updated June 2023


Local Government Act 1995, s 5.127

Report on training

  1. A local government must prepare a report for each financial year on the training completed by council members in the financial year.
  2. The CEO must publish the report on the local government’s official website within 1 month after the end of the financial year to which the report relates.

What training is required to be reported?

The intent is for the local government to report back to the community on what training Councillors have undertaken so local governments are encouraged to include all training rather than just the Council Member Essentials course. This is also consistent with the requirement for a CPD policy – the report can align to what the local government has prepared in the policy (ie. other training that has been identified for Councillors, especially those not required to complete the Council Member Essentials course that year. There will be some years where there is potentially no one completing the course and therefore if this section is interpreted narrowly there would be nothing to report).


Cr Merle Isbister ASM OAM 


Phone: 08 9951 1030
Mobile: 0428 511 030

Cr Isbister is a long term resident of Carnamah with strong ongoing community involvement in St John Ambulance. She was made a Dame of Grace of the Order of St John in April, 2013. Cr Isbister was first elected to Council in May 2003 and was elected President in October 2007.

Term expires 2027

Cr Dwayne Wooltorton

Deputy President

Phone: 08 9951 1140
Mobile: 0427 511 140

Cr Wooltorton is a Principal of North Midlands Accounting Service and a long term resident of Carnamah. He was first elected in October 2013.

Term expires 2025

Cr Bruce Chisholm


Mobile: 0428 591 318

Cr Chisholm has lived in Carnamah since early childhood, returning after completing school and an apprenticeship to further expand the family business. He is an avid member of the sporting community and his interest is in creating positive impact to facilitate the Shire to be a more attractive place for families in the face of decline and dwindling population.

Term expires 2025

Cr Con Kikeros


Mobile: 0487 822 105

Cr Kikeros is a returned serviceman who is a long term resident of Carnamah with strong involvement with the RSL and management of the Carnamah Bowling Club Inc. He was first elected in March 2011.

Term expires 2025

Cr Emma Ogilvie


Mobile: 0450 645 706

Cr Ogilvie is a committed member of the Carnamah community. Professionally, she holds a position with a local farm, owns and manages a contracting business and oversees a small flock of sheep. Additionally, she provides her skills in a part-time capacity to various local businesses. Beyond her professional endeavours, Cr Ogilvie is a committed athlete who actively participates in multiple sports and holds positions in various sporting committees. Furthermore, she generously volunteers her time as a member of the Carnamah Bush Fire Brigade.

Cr Luke Risinger


Mobile: 0403 260 145

Cr Risinger has lived in Carnamah since 2011.  He runs an earthmoving business servicing local farmers and industry, and is involved in the sporting community.  Raising his young family here, he is particularly supportive of industry and businesses that provide services in the area.

Term expires 2027

Cr Barbara Smallwood


Mobile: 0459 222 235

Cr Smallwood has lived in Carnamah since 2013. Along with her husband, she manages a small-scale farming and contracting business. In addition, she is employed by a local agricultural business. Cr Smallwood is an enthusiastic member of the community and holds various roles for local sports clubs and community groups.

Term expires 2027