Mayor Gail has lived in the City of Willoughby with husband Jon, and children Miriam and Lincoln, since 1996. She is passionate about community.
Mayor Gail was first elected as a Councillor for Sailors Bay Ward in 2009, became Deputy Mayor in 2013, and was elected Mayor of Willoughby City Council in April 2014. She is Willoughby’s second popularly elected mayor and the 50th Mayor in the City’s 150 year history.
Since taking office, Mayor Gail has sought to promote Chatswood as an economic and cultural hub. As a result of her leadership, the exciting Vivid Light Festival was displayed outside the City of Sydney for the first time in 2015, bringing many first time visitors to Chatswood. Mayor Gail has been supportive of the Chatswood Interchange project, enhancing Chatswood’s reputation as one of Sydney’s premier food destinations.
|Mayor Gail has also established excellent working relationships with key businesses and professional groups in the Chatswood CBD, and is Council’s representative on the Joint Regional Planning Panel, which considers major planning initiatives in the region. She regularly advocates to enhance the village atmosphere enjoyed by many residents in Artarmon, Castlecrag, Castle Cove, Chatswood West, Naremburn, Northbridge and Willoughby.
|She is a strong supporter of Bushcare, having been a founding member and Vice-President of the national Bushcare’s Major Day Out event and a regular at the Oriel Reserve Bushcare Group.
The Mayor is an honorary member of Chatswood, Chatswood Sunrise and Northbridge Rotary Clubs.
Mayor Gail does not shy away from the tough decisions. Following extensive community consultation, an infrastructure levy has been introduced to ensure the long term serviceability of essential service structures like roads, parks and stormwater infrastructure. She has also been actively involved in the restructuring of Willoughby Council, under a new General Manager, to ensure efficient, value-for-money services for Willoughby ratepayers. These initiatives, combined with Council’s strong financial position and its first class regional facilities, including The Concourse, mean Willoughby Council has been able to submit a strong application to the State Government’s Fit for the Future Initiative.
Mayor Gail’s priorities include improving traffic and parking congestion in the Willoughby LGA; working to optimise sport and recreation facilities available to Willoughby residents, both young and aged; continuing to develop Willoughby’s arts and entertainment offerings; and ensuring appropriate protection for the City’s unique natural and built heritage.
Prior to being elected to Council, Gail was President of the Wenona Parents’ Association and Vice President of NSW Parents’ Council until 2014. She was NSW Parents Council representative at SHORE for 12 years. She holds a Bachelor of Business degree from UTS and worked with high profile Australian financial services organisations as a Project Manager.
Mayor Giles-Gidney at the Australia Day Civil Ceremony with Councillors, community members, award recipients and new citizens - January, 2016
|Mayor Giles-Gidney with Australia Day Ambassador Tracey Spicer and Willoughby Young Citizen of the Year Award recipient Leon Warren - January, 2016
Mayor Gail’s portfolio includes:
Bushcare's Major Day Out
Executive Committee Member
March 2011 – Present
Bushcare's Major Day Out (BMDO) is an annual national event designed to promote awareness and participation in caring for our bushland.
Cancer Council NSW
Regional Advisory Committee and Community Speaker
April 2007 – Present
As a community speaker for the Cancer Council, Gail undertakes education programmes in the community relating to a wide variety of cancer issues. Such topics are health and wellbeing and save your own skin.
Independent assessment panel for the Local Sporting Champions Program
The Local Sporting Champions program is an Australian Government initiative designed to provide financial assistance for young people aged 12-18 towards the cost of travel, accommodation, uniforms or equipment when competing, coaching or officiating at an official national sporting organisation (NSO) endorsed state, national or international sporting championships or a School Sport Australia state or national championships.
Joint Regional Planning Panel
February 2014 - present
Joint regional planning panels provide independent, merit-based decision making on regionally significant development.
NSW Parents' Council
Vice President, Exec Committee, School Liaison
November 2001 – Present
The NSW Parents’ Council represents the interests of families attending Independent Schools. The Council provides advocacy on a variety of issues including funding and children with disabilities.
Northern Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (NSROC)
November 2014 – Present
The NSROC member Councils collaborate on key issues and develop strategies to benefit the region as a whole.
Willoughby Retirement Community Association
President and Board Member
December 2014 - 2015
The Mayor is Patron of:
Beating Time (formerly Sydney U3A Choir)
Castlecove Golf Club
Chatswood Golf Club
Chatswood RSL Club
Chatswood Sub-Branch of Returned Services League of Australia
Kooroora Tennis Club
North Shore Orchid Society
Northbridge Golf Club
Northbridge Amateur Swimming Club
Northern Suburbs Tennis Association
UTS Northern Suburbs Athletic Club
Willoughby District Historical Society
Willoughby Park Bowling Club
Willoughby Theatre Company