Forty-six years after starting out in the local government sector, Ron Van Katwyk is hanging up his hat and retiring.
The Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) general manager has kept his retirement decision under wraps from the general public for nine months, but is now keen to relax for a while.
Mr Van Katwyk is looking forward to spending more time with his wife Leonie, four children and growing number of grandchildren, some motorcycle travel, and taking on a home renovation project that he expects will take about 10 years.
"It's been a massive journey and it's been a pleasure to work with people who are motivated to do good for their community," Mr Van Katwyk said.
"I will miss the camaraderie and the sense of being part of something good as I move into retirement. It's a new chapter of my life and I'm sure it will bring with it just as many enjoyable experiences."
Mr Van Katwyk has been part of the LPSC for 11 years, with five of those in the general manager's role.
"I've enjoyed observing the change [over the years] and being part of the implementation of those changes as community demands respond to technology opportunities," he said.
He commenced his career as a trainee fresh out of high school in 1973 and following graduation, pursued his commitment to lifelong learning by achieving a post-graduate qualification in town planning from the University of New England.
LPSC mayor Andrew Hope said the shire was fortunate to "benefit from [his] leadership and financial management over recent years".
"He leaves to his successor a very sound organisation and we are indebted to Ron for his contribution to our community," Cr Hope said.
The new general manager, Joanne Sangster, from the Northern Territory, will take up Mr Van Katwyk's role when he leaves in December.