Previous Mayors of Hunters Hill
This information was compiled by Hunter’s Hill Council staff and members of the Hunters Hill Historical Society. It contains a brief history of the Municipality as well as names and photos Council’s Mayors.
Information about our previous Mayors was compiled by Ross Williams (Emeritus Mayor), Chairman for Discover Hunters Hill Inc.
Photographs were provided from various sources:
Brief History of Local Government in NSW
Following the establishment of responsible government to NSW in 1856 and under the Municipalities Act, 1858 local councils gained wide responsibilities. They included the provision of roads, bridges, ferries, wharves, cemeteries, water supply, sewerage, public hospitals, gardens and libraries. Revenue was to be obtained via rates and tolls and supplemented by loans. Voting rights were limited to ratepayers.
The Municipalities Act, 1867 provided for the subdivision of municipalities into boroughs and districts, each with designated area and population qualifications. The Municipalities Act 1867 consolidated all previous Acts and amending Acts without altering their main features.
With the Local Government (Shires) Act, 1905 and Local Government Extension Act, 1906 local government finally gained a compulsory, state-wide system of incorporation. By 1908, 134 shires were created, joining the 190 previously incorporated municipalities. Local authorities gained delegation of extensive powers in relation to works and services of a local character, as well as a greater measure of financial independence.
The Local Government Act, 1919 considerably extended these powers and functions again. Minor legislative changes to the Act throughout the twentieth century have resulted in the last major review, being that of the Local Government Act, 1993. Local government entities now include shires, municipalities and cities, with powers of shires and municipalities identical.
The Local Government Act 1993 defines the current role of the Mayor as to:
For what period is the mayor elected?
In Hunter’s Hill from 1861 to 2004 a mayor was elected by the councillors, holding the office of mayor for 1 year.
A mayor is now popularly elected and holds the office of mayor for 4 years coinciding with the council term.
Mayoral Regalia and Protocol
The civic regalia and insignia of local government have basically remained unaltered for centuries. The robes, the mayoral chain and the mace (not used in Hunters Hill) are not intended to glorify the individual, but rather they are a uniform of office and are used to respect and honour the people whom the users serve.
The robes are the traditional robes – black with white ermine trim on the lapel normally worn by Lord Mayors. The mayor also wears a lace fall (neck piece). Most Mayors in NSW wear crimson robes trimmed with brown ermine and these are associated with English boroughs. The Chain is gold and each shield represents a Mayor’s term (includes successive terms if served). The links have grown in number with time and the chain was on several occasions remodelled. The chain worn by Mayor Thom (1964-65) is considerably different to that worn by Mayor Hoopmann in 2011. A second light weight gold chain is used for less formal occasions to hold the detachable crest. Protocol dictates that this chain is not used with the robes. Mayors do not wear wigs but Town Clerks did.
In more recent years the title of “Emeritus Mayor” is awarded by the Local Government Association of NSW. The eligibility criteria set for honorary title of Emeritus Mayor is that intended recipients must have served as mayor for a minimum of three one year terms or one full term as a popularly elected Mayor. This award is intended to provide ongoing recognition to those who have served as a mayor.
Mayors have the title of ‘His/Her Worship’ whilst holding the position. The term worship implies that citizens give or attribute special worth or esteem (worthship) to their first-citizen or mayor. The term means to respect; to honour; or to treat with civil reverence.
Mayoral Terms in Hunters Hill
The Borough of Hunter’s Hill was established on 12th March 1861 and headed by a Chairman. The Municipality of Hunter’s Hill was proclaimed under the new Municipal Act 1867. In 1967 the Chairman was replaced with the term Mayor and elected representatives as Alderman.
The name of Municipality changed to “Hunter’s Hill Council” with the introduction of the new Local Government Act 1993 on 1st July, 1993. Many Shire and Municipal councils were unhappy with this name change and some challenged the Government and found ways to retain their historic association. Hunter’s Hill Council registered the business name “Municipality of Hunter’s Hill” so it can continue trade and be know under its original title. Also on 1st July, 1993, “Aldermen” changed to “Councillors”.
Following the State Elections in May 1993, the Premier on behalf of the President of the Local Government Department, resolved that Local Government Elections traditionally held on the 2nd Saturday of September in each quad annual election year be deferred to the 27th March, 2004. At the Local Government Elections in 1999,
Hunter’s Hill Council held a referendum to seek voters support to have a popularly elected Mayor. This was adopted.
The Local Government Department also determined that the current popularly elected Mayors serve 4½ years to bring the Local Government Elections back to the 2nd Saturday of September of each electoral year.
34 Bert Cowell
Mayor of the Municipality of Hunter’s Hill 1940
Clr Richard Quinn, Mayor 2012-2017
Clr Mark Bennett, Mayor 2017-present
22 Alexandra Street, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
PO Box 21, Hunters Hill NSW 2110
Tel: (02) 9879 9400
8:30am – 4.30pm
Customer Service phone lines open 8.00am – 5.00pm
(02) 9879 9400
1300 136 460
We acknowledge that The Wallumedegal people of the Eora Nation are the Traditional Custodians of this land.