Speechwriter for shire leaders

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A SPEECHWRITER has been hired to “provide help” to Mornington Peninsula Shire’s 11 councillors and its CEO John Baker.

Christina (Tina) McGuffie was appointed in August “to support our councillors by providing help with the high demand for speeches which has always been a function of the shire’s communications team”, communications and events executive manage Randal Mathieson said.

“The peninsula has a very active population and our councillors are highly engaged with their local communities,” Mr Mathieson said.

“Each month we receive dozens of requests from community groups for councillors to speak at events, launches and activities throughout the shire.

“The speechwriter is part of our communications team and, among other duties, prepares speeches and event briefing notes for all 11 councillors plus the CEO.”

Mr Mathieson said the City of Melbourne has two designated speechwriters – one for the Lord Mayor and one for councillors and the CEO.

Ms McGuffie has previously worked as a media advisor to Flinders MP, Greg Hunt.

“I do my own speeches, but it was good to have had help with background information,” Cr David Gill, who was mayor when the shire decided to hire a speechwriter, said.

He said it was not often necessary to make “formal” speeches in local government “because it’s more often like having a chat as [councillors] know a lot about what we do”.

First published in the Southern Peninsula News – 3 December 2019

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