Mayor and Councillors

Image of Councillors standing up

Image caption: (Left to right) Councillors Brian Hood (Mayor), Tessa Halliday, Jen Bray, Juliet Simpson (Deputy Mayor), Don Henderson, Lesley Hewitt and Tim Drylie.

Hepburn Shire Council has seven councillors elected every four years by the community to represent them on local public issues. They represent five wards: Birch and Creswick Wards each have two councillors. Cameron, Coliban and Holcombe Wards each have one councillor.

Every year councillors elect a Mayor and Deputy Mayor to serve for 12 months.

The current Councillors will serve until the next local government election in October 2024.

Find out how to invite the Mayor or Councillor(s) to an event. View the ward map of the Shire.

Meet the Mayor
Would you like to meet with our Mayor, Cr Brian Hood, to discuss a local issue, provide feedback or raise a specific matter? You can book in a 30 minute session to meet the Mayor, either in-person or online.

Councillor Brian Hood (Mayor)

Cr Brian Hood

Coliban Ward Councillor

Mobile: 0427 797 151


Cr Brian Hood was elected to represent Coliban Ward in October 2020. Councillors elected him Mayor in November 2022 and in November 2023.

Cr Hood represents Council on the:

  • Audit and Risk Committee
  • Reconciliation Action Plan Advisory Committee
  • Loddon Campaspe Group of Councils
  • Greater Ballarat Alliance of Councils
  • Sustainable Hepburn Community Advisory Committee.

Cr Hood held a number of senior management positions across public and private sector organisations, mostly as a Chief Finance Officer. He is a company director and co-chairs the company that operates the Trentham & District Community Bank.

Cr Hood played football as a teenager. He was an AFL level umpire and secretary of the AFL Umpires Association and is a life member of that organisation. His sporting interests are AFL (Western Bulldogs), EPL (Liverpool) and athletics.

Cr Hood wants to help make our shire an even better place to live and work. His immediate focus is for Council to concentrate on delivering essential services to meet community needs, to undertake storm recovery work on roads in particular and to strengthen the fundamental operations of Council to make it more sustainable. He also wants to see Council complete important projects, such as the Trentham Community Hub, Trentham Sportsground upgrade and Creswick Trails, with infrastructure that serves the community’s long-term needs.

Cr Hood was Deputy Mayor from 2020 to 2021. He has been Mayor since November 2022.

Councillor Juliet Simpson (Deputy Mayor)

Image of Cr Juliet Simpson

Holcombe Ward Councillor

Mobile: 0427 855 603


Cr Juliet Simpson was elected to represent Holcombe Ward in October 2020. She was elected Deputy Mayor in November 2023.

Cr Simpson represents Council on the:

  • Audit and Risk Committee.

Cr Simpson is a beef farmer and passionate gardener and is regenerating part of her farm with native flora. She has worked as a hotel concierge, a bank customer service officer and has been a director of the Nowranie Pastoral Company.

She is an active member of the Daylesford Historical Society, the Daylesford Horticultural Society and Glenlyon and Upper Loddon Landcare.

Cr Simpson wants to ensure the highest standards of governance are met and to represent her ward and the shire fairly.

Councillor Jen Bray

Image of Cr Jen Bray

Birch Ward Councillor

Mobile: 0428 150 652


Cr Jen Bray was elected to represent Birch Ward Councillor in October 2020. She is one of two councillors representing Birch Ward.

Cr Bray represents Council on the:

  • Z-NET Community Roundtable
  • Heather Mutimer International Women’s Day Honour Roll Advisory Committee
  • Mineral Springs Reserves Advisory Committee.

Cr Bray is a theatre director, drama teacher and events manager. She has lectured at the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA) and has been a VCA department manager and a short course co-ordinator at the National Institute of Circus Arts. She teaches drama and dance for children, teens and adults and presents large-scale theatre events at the Daylesford Town Hall and helped form the Daylesford Youth Theatre.

Cr Bray moved to Hepburn Shire in 2004. She believes Council has a duty to protect its natural environment, Indigenous and historical cultural heritage, strong farming traditions, arts, sports, local businesses and its diverse social make-up.

Cr Bray was Deputy Mayor from 2021 to 2022.

Councillor Lesley Hewitt

Image of Cr Lesley Hewitt

Birch Ward Councillor

Mobile: 0408 793 941


Cr Lesley Hewitt was elected to represent Birch Ward Councillor in October 2020. She is one of two councillors representing Birch Ward.

Cr Hewitt represents Council on the:

  • Municipal Association of Victoria
  • Disability Advisory Committee
  • Gender Equity Advisory Committee.

Cr Hewitt is a retired social worker and a former Hepburn Shire Council Mayor (2020). She has worked in sexual assault and child protection front line services and policy development and has lectured at Monash University where her research interests included interpersonal violence, program evaluation and social inclusion. Cr Hewitt was inducted onto the Victorian Women’s Honour Roll in 2010.

Cr Hewitt is a bush walker and coaches at Daylesford RDA (Riding for the Disabled Association of Victoria). She aspires to a strong economic recovery post-COVID, and an active and engaged community that uses locals’ skills and knowledge to secure 21st century infrastructure to improve liveability across the shire.

Cr Hewitt was Mayor from 2020 to 2021 and Deputy Mayor from November 2022 to November 2023.

Councillor Tessa Halliday

Image of Cr Tessa Halliday

Cameron Ward Councillor

Mobile: 0427 596 101


Cr Tessa Halliday was elected to represent Cameron Ward in October 2020.

Cr Halliday represents Council on the:

  • LGBTIQA+ Advisory Committee
  • Heather Mutimer International Women’s Day Honour Roll Advisory Committee

Cr Halliday moved to Clunes in 2011 where she has six hectares and breeds Suffolk sheep. She started and ran Open House Dinners in Clunes for 18 months, an affordable healthy meal program that feeds 40-70 people.

Cr Halliday is a member of Clunes and District Agricultural Society and ChillOut Festival Daylesford. She has held roles in the Clunes Farmers Market, the Clunes Makers Market and the Clunes Landcare and Waterways Group and has run other small wellbeing groups and events. She is focused on ensuring her constituents feel informed and valued through communication, community consultation and transparency.

Cr Halliday is a proud bisexual, and non binary.

Councillor Tim Drylie

Image of Cr Tim Drylie

Creswick Ward Councillor

Phone: 0427 503 258


Cr Tim Drylie was elected to Council in October 2020.

He represents Council on the:

  • Municipal Association of Victoria
  • Sustainable Hepburn Community Advisory Committee.

Cr Drylie grew up in Warrnambool in Western Victoria and completed a music scholarship at The University High School in Melbourne. He has a BA in Drama from Latrobe University and PostGradDip and has begun a MA in Cinema Studies from The University of Melbourne. He has worked with ABC TV in Melbourne as an Assistant Director and Floor Manager, tutored at the University of Melbourne, and has run a vintage furniture store in Montmorency.

He has three teenage children, lives in Creswick and runs a second-hand business. Cr Drylie also coordinates the Creswick Market and Hepburn Z-NET Home Energy Assessments. He is a member of the Transition Creswick sustainability group, Creswick Theatre Company and the Z-NET roundtable committee. He is a lead vocalist with the Creswick Brass Band. 

Cr Drylie was Mayor from 2021 to 2022.

Councillor Don Henderson

Image of Cr Don Henderson

Creswick Ward Councillor

Mobile: 0427 559 684


Cr Don Henderson was elected to represent Creswick Ward in October 2020.

He represents Council on the:

  • Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee
  • World Heritage Listing of the Victorian Goldfields Region Steering Committee.

Cr Henderson is a self-funded retiree and has been on Council since 2008. He has worked as a self-employed construction contractor and safety and industrial relations consultant. He has been advisor to the Australian Workers Union and the Victorian Building Industry Board, been president of the Ballarat Trades and Labour Council and has held roles with the inaugural steering committee of National Women in Construction, the Building Workers Industrial Union and has served as a board member/director on company and industry boards and the Homeless Building Trust.

Cr Henderson was born and raised on the Creswick goldfields. He wants to preserve nature and our built and natural heritage. He is passionate about community and empowering people, especially young people, to achieve their life goals. He has met and chatted with Nelson Mandela.

Cr Henderson was Mayor from 2013 to 2014 and again in 2018 to 2019, and Deputy Mayor from 2012 to 2013.

Campaign Donation Returns

Summary of Campaign Donation Returns - 2020 Local Government Election(PDF, 76KB)