Executive Team

Mark Dupe

Chief Executive Officer


Mark is a Senior Executive with 30 years of experience at senior levels in the private, Local Government and not for profit sectors. Prior to being appointed Chief Executive Officer of Baw Baw Shire Council, Mark served as Interim CEO and as Director Corporate and Community Services.

Mark has worked both domestically and internationally throughout his career. Mark joined the organisation from his previous role as General Manager Corporate Services at National Heart Foundation of Australia. Mark has also held senior executive positions at Telstra, Bayside City Council and Knox City Council. He holds a Bachelor of Economics, an MBA and post graduate IT qualifications. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a CPA.

Cohen Van der Velde

Director Strategy and Organisational Performance


With a strong passion for developing high performing individuals, teams and workplace culture, Cohen is a certified organisational coach, practitioner in the Myers Brigss Type Indicator and Life and Group Styles Inventory tools, as well as an accredited facilitator in engagement through the International Association of Public Participation (IAP2) and holds an Executive MBA. 

As Baw Baw’s Director Strategy and Organisational Performance, Mr Van der Velde will lead Council’s Corporate Strategy, People and Culture, Finance, Family and Children Services and Community Services departments. 

Over the course of 5 years, Cohen has been a valuable member of Baw Baw Shire’s Executive Leadership Team and guided the Community Infrastructure Directorate through several notable achievements, before being successfully appointed as Director Strategy and Organisational Performance in April 2023. 

Martin Hopley 

Director Governance and Information Services 


Prior to local government, Martin was Chief Information Officer at the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance where he was responsible for the delivery of the State Resource and Information Management System.

Mr Hopley is also a qualified primary school teacher, qualified project manager with the Project Management Institute (PMI) and is in the final stages of completing a Master of Business Administration (Corporate Governance) with Deakin University.

Leanne Hurst


Director Planning and Development

Leanne is an experienced Local Government professional with 25 years of experience in the sector and has joined Baw Baw from City of Launceston where she was the General Manager of Community and Place.

Leanne has led diverse teams of people in both rural and urban councils and is excited to lead Council’s Planning and Development services during a period of significant population growth.

Leanne is very passionate about the connections between people and place and the role that Local Government has in working with communities to assist in achieving their future vision. 

David Hair

Acting Director Community Infrastructure


David is a Registered Civil Engineer with more than 15 years of experience in Civil Engineering and Asset Management within Local Government.

David’s experience includes managing a variety of functions at Baw Baw Shire Council previously in his substantive role as Manager Infrastructure Assets and Recreation.  This included oversight and management of road maintenance activities, facility management, recreation and user group management, asset planning and asset systems implementation and operations.

David and his family have called Drouin home for the past 9 years and he looks forward to leading a diverse team with a strong focus on the maintenance and renewal of the Council's infrastructure and an eye towards building the infrastructure to support the growing population of Baw Baw.

Mark Kestigian

Director Communications, Economic Development,  Arts and Advocacy


Mark is a senior public affairs executive who has managed communications, marketing and government relations’ teams for leading public sector organisations, including Port of Melbourne Corporation, Strategic Industry Research Foundation (SIRF), Port of Hastings Development Authority, Mornington Peninsula Shire and the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA). Mark also has experience in identifying key markets, developing strategies, managing communications and creating effective marketing campaigns for a range of ASX-listed technology companies.