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 Community Infrastructure


Cohen is a qualified Civil Engineer with over 16 years of experience, predominantly in Local Government, including his most recent role at Bass Coast Shire Council as Manager Infrastructure Delivery for over six years. Cohen’s experience includes senior management roles across a broad range of business functions including engineering design, construction and project management. Cohen, who undertook his secondary schooling in Warragul, has a real passion for working closely with communities and highly values the power and impact of community engagement and public participation. Cohen will lead Council's infrastructure and assets portfolio ensuring projects and services are delivered in-line with community needs and expectations.

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. 

Kate Wilson

Acting Director Strategy and Organisational Performance 



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.