CEO extends leave due to health battle

Published: 11 Mar 2022

Mackay Regional Council’s CEO Michael Thomson has extended his leave for three months due to a serious health battle.

He was recently diagnosed with bowel cancer and has undergone an urgent operation. He is now about to embark on a journey of treatment, including chemotherapy.

Mr Thomson, who informed council staff today, said the diagnosis came as a huge shock to him and his family.

He said it was an extremely personal matter, but he was willing to talk openly about his health battle as part of council’s Safety and Wellbeing value.

“As I told staff in my announcement today, it is a stark reminder about how important regular health check-ups and screenings are,’’ Mr Thomson said.

“This includes annual bowel cancer screenings as part of the national program for those who are eligible,’’ he said.

“I have had to have extremely confronting conversations with my loved ones, including my children, in recent weeks, and those regular screenings could prevent other Mackay families from having to go through what we are.”

Mayor Greg Williamson said the thoughts of councillors, senior leadership and staff were with the CEO and his family.

“Michael really needs to focus on his health and his family during this time,’’ he said.

“He has also recognised that council needs some stability in leadership in the interim and has requested three months’ leave.

“Council is able to grant that under the Local Government Act and we are more than willing to accommodate this leave to assist Michael and his family.”

Current acting CEO Angela Hays, council’s Community and Client Services director, will remain in the role during this time.