The Committee

Meet the ALGWA WA team

The Australian Local Government Women's Association WA (ALGWAWA) Executives are elected each year at the Annual General Meeting. 


Serena Williamson

Serena Williamson CA GAICD

Position: President

Council: City of Gosnells Councillor

Serena Williamson was first elected to the City of Gosnells Council in 2017 and has been a strong advocate for environmental and sustainability policies, road safety and increased community facilities.

As a Chartered Accountant and AICD Graduate, Serena brings a blend of governance, policy and financial expertise, complimented by corporate management experience.

Serena values community and has genuine grassroots connections. Involvement with a major community issue prior to becoming a Councillor highlighted the value Serena could add to drive better community outcomes.

Serena is proudly a mother of four children and became the first Councillor in the City of Gosnells to serve whilst pregnant, juggling a twin pregnancy and premature birth whilst continuing to attend council meetings and community engagements. Serena appreciates the challenges balancing council, work and family brings.

As the President of ALGWA WA, Serena is committed to promoting an inclusive environment and supporting women to thrive in Local Government to deliver an equitable future.

 “Encouraging women to the table is just the first step. Supporting and empowering women to be heard and valued at the table is the next vital step”

Darlene Allston
Position: Vice President (Country)

Council: Shire of Exmouth Councillor

Darlene, is a Councillor in the Shire of Exmouth and the former Shire President.

Darlene has a wealth of Local Government knowledge to share with country and metro members and is currently completing the WALGA Diploma of Local Government.

As an Elected Member, resident and small business owner in the regions, Darlene values and grasp the hard-work and dedication it takes to run a small business and understands the daily challenges of living and working in a remote area, all whilst representing the local community.

With a strong corporate background, focused in food journalism, Darlene offers valuable skills to be an asset to the community. Driven by the belief to nurture our environment, our businesses and maintaining a valuable tourist industry to employ our local families now and into the future being the key to longevity of the town.

Mary Choy
Position: Vice President (Metro)

Council: City of South Perth Councillor

Mary Choy was first elected to the City of South Perth Council in 2019 and has been a strong advocate for protecting public open spaces, environmental preservation and wildlife conservation, whilst concurrently enhancing community facilities and infrastructure.

As a registered Lawyer, accredited Mediator, and a non-executive Director with senior managerial experience, Mary brings a comprehensive skill-set and a blend of governance, negotiation, conflict resolution, together with corporate management to her elected member role.

Mary is also a wife and mother to two beautiful children and an active member of her local South Perth community.

As the Vice-President of ALGWA WA, Mary is committed to fostering a culture of empowerment to support women through continuous learning and mentoring opportunities, enabling them to achieve their goals in their elected member positions and to serve their communities to the best of their capacities.

Lorna Buchan
Position: Treasurer

Council: City of Rockingham Deputy Mayor

Lorna is a Chartered Accountant, Forensic Auditor and Certified Fraud Examiner.  She is passionate about supporting women in local government.  She lives in Secret Harbour with her husband, four children and two dogs.  Her involvement with the Association began soon after her election in 2019 when she realised that there were certain aspects of Local Government that were not conducive to women's participation, safety, health and well being - so she set out to make change!

Mia Hicks
Position: Secretary

Council: City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder Director of Community Development

Mia Hicks is the Director of Community Development for the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, and mother of two children.

Mia is a seasoned professional with a proven track record in business and strategic planning, grants acquisition, and community development. As the Director of Community Development, Mia oversees a diverse portfolio of 7 departments in the Community Development Directorate of over 60 staff. She plays a pivotal role in setting the direction for community development, implementing evidence-based strategies, and enhancing organisational culture.

Outside of local government, Mia is a talented grants writer having founded MH Consulting, which successfully secured over $50m in private and government funding and contracts for her clients. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Majoring in English) and is in the process of completing her Masters in Business Administration. Mia has sat on the board of a number of not-for-profit organisations such as the Goldfields Women’s Health Care Centre. A dedicated community member, Mia currently sits on the board of the Goldfields-Esperance Community Trust, and actively participates in the Council Planning Network with LG Professionals WA.


Deborah Sessions
Position: Membership Coordinator

Council: City of Belmont Deputy Mayor

Cr Deborah Sessions was elected to City of Belmont Council in 2021, followed by election to Deputy Mayor in 2023. 

She became involved with Council through volunteering at both City of Belmont and the community in various roles.

Deb is involved in committees and advisory groups, both in Council and in the community and her passion is driven by a desire for equality and a sense of belonging for all. 

A Mum of 3 young kids her time is divided between family, volunteering and Council.

“Today is a beautiful day, I’ve never seen this one before.”-Maya Angelou

Elizabeth Re
Position: Committee Member

Council: City of Stirling Councillor

Elizabeth has worked for over 30 years for state and local governments in sustainability, environmental and public health. She was given the honour of being made Fellow of Environmental Health Australia for her services in the field of environmental public health and promotion of women in the workforce. Elizabeth was the first woman appointed as Principal Health and Building Inspector in local government in Western Australia.

Her advocacy on behalf of women and diversity in the workplace was recognised in 2010 with an award for Australian Ambassador for Women for the Year of Women in local government. She is the founder of several local community organisations and believes community consultation and education are paramount to delivering good services and value for ratepayers and families.

Elizabeth has held many executive position on the ALGWA WA committee over many years, including President in 2012 and Vice President in 2013.


Audra Smith
Position: General Committee

Council: Shire of Ashburton Shire President

Audra Smith has established a career over 15 years, primarily in the field of education, focusing in the disability sector and work placement programs. 

Currently presiding as the President of the Shire of Ashburton, Audra champions initiatives that support people with disability, youth, and education, reflecting a deep commitment to community development and advocacy.

Prior to this, Audra's career trajectory includes significant experience in the gaming industry, where she excelled in roles such as a croupier and in marketing. Her diverse professional background is further enriched by a tenure at the Department of Communities in Western Australia, adding a governmental perspective to her broad skill set.

Beyond her formal roles, this diverse background also includes passionate small business owner, where her love for cooking is creatively expressed. Audra's journey reflects a blend of compassion, leadership, and a commitment to social change, driven by steadfast dedication to enhancing the lives of those in her community.

Rachael Ward
Position: General Committee

Council: City of Melville Manager City Buildings and Projects

Rachael brings over 25 years of extensive experience in Local Government, with a focus on community development and the enhancement of public spaces and recreation facilities. Throughout her career, she has excelled in various key roles in the traditionally male dominated infrastructure division.

Recently appointed as the Manager of City Buildings and Projects at the City of Melville, Rachael's expertise lies in facilitating community engagement, project management, and strategic planning.

Rachael’s life experience and focus on community has proven to be a winning combination, delivering major community infrastructure projects that really work and meet the needs of local communities. The phrase a ’women’s touch’ come to mind with Rachael’s projects.

Rachael holds a Bachelor’s degree in Event, Sport, and Recreation with a major in Management and is a certified PRINCE2 Practitioner, showcasing her proficiency in project management methodologies.

Rachael’s success serves as encouragement and inspiration for women working within male dominated teams in Local Government- breaking stereotypes and barriers.

Terresa Lynes
Position: Past President

Council: City of Gosnells Mayor

Terresa Lynes is the Mayor of the City of Gosnells and has been involved with the association over many years.

Terresa is a wealth of knowledge, first elected to the City of Gosnells in 2015, Terresa has held the positions of Councillor, Deputy Mayor and Mayor. Terresa also holds positions on various committees and the NGAA, representing growth councils across Australia. Terresa remains an active member of the ALGWA WA Executive Committee.



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