Meet Mayor Ry Collins

Whitsunday Regional Council Mayor Ry Collins has hardly had time to put his feet under his desk, but the new Mayor has a clear strategic vision for our region.

In Mayor Ry’s words, “The road ahead will be marked by challenges, but with a united council, a strong collaborative vision, and an engaged community there is no limit to what we can achieve together.”

Family history: On 20 September 1921 Collinsville was officially renamed after Mayor Ry’s great great grandfather Charles Collins who was the Labor Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for Bowen from 1915 to 1936.

Charles Collins was first generation on my father’s side migrating from Warwickshire, England.

He was a coal miner and union representative before being elected as member for Bowen.

Background: I am originally from South-East Queensland and have a post-graduate qualification in Business Administration from the University of Southern Queensland and am also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Along with my wife Melanie and daughters Lola and Sophie, we moved to the Whitsundays in 2018 after many years of being returning tourists, drawn to the region’s enviable lifestyle, natural environment, and strong sense of community.

We currently live in Cannonvale and the family are invested members of local schools, sporting, and other groups.

I was previously the CEO of Bowen Gumlu Growers Association leading the Whitsunday’s $1billion agricultural sector while also volunteering on several key regional boards.

Throughout my career I have always prioritised supporting economic development and advocating for local businesses, fostering strong partnerships, and promoting innovation.

Key Priorities: My key priorities initially are engaging with all levels of government to advocate for a firm plan in addressing the road flooding issues at Hamilton Plains and Goorganga Plains which cause chaos for residents, visitors and our mining, agriculture, and tourism sectors.

My aim is to increase investment in regional economic development funded by Council’s commercial activities and improved performances measures which will ensure we attract new investments that will create jobs for locals.

Developing an Advocacy Plan to maximise funding avenues from the Federal and State Governments is another priority in my first 100 days.

I am focused on driving positive change, addressing community needs, and creating opportunities for growth and prosperity across the Whitsunday region.

I commit to working closely with our key industries to diversify, creating new business opportunities and more local jobs, and promote innovation in energy, waste, and water management to enhance our region’s sustainability.

Community Engagement: I enjoy engaging with our diverse community and am passionate about making the Whitsunday region a great place to live, work and play.

During the election campaign I visited every corner of our region and heard from community leaders, local business owners, homeowners, the young and the elderly and those new to the Whitsundays who have fallen in love with our region and now call it home.

I also met with developers and investors ready with an appetite to seek out opportunities and transform spaces, seeking support, clarity and consistency in our decisions to ensure their ventures can thrive responsibly within our community.

The message was clear that there is a universal desire for local jobs, growth opportunities, safe and liveable communities, and a sustainable environment for future generations.

This diverse feedback has reinforced my belief that inclusive governance, one that is grounded in the community’s voices, respects and considers all perspectives, leads to the most thoughtful and effective decisions.

As your Mayor, I commit to continuing this dialogue, to listen to all points of view to deepen my understanding of every facet of our community's needs and aspirations.

Vision for the Future: My vision as Mayor is one of sustainable growth, prosperity, and resilience for the Whitsunday region. I pledge to be the leading advocate for our community unlocking new opportunities and ensuring collective progress and growth for all.

As we look to this future, our vision, guided by the collective wisdom and aspirations of our community, should be to lead a council united in purpose. Together, we will represent and advocate for the interests of all residents across the region, championing a future where economic and social growth drives us toward a prosperous future for all.

Developing strong plans for future infrastructure development that will enhance the daily lives of our residents is key while sustainability remains at the core of our actions, protecting the natural beauty that defines the Whitsundays.

I will support a culture of accountability and innovation, prioritizing actions that deliver quality of life gains, making council operations transparent and community focused.

Importantly I will work closely with all levels of government to address affordable housing, enhancing healthcare, and supporting educational opportunities, ensuring every resident can thrive.

I am thankful for being entrusted with this honour as your Mayor and look forward to our journey together to ensure a positive and sustainable future for the Whitsunday region for many generations to come.

I am dedicated to working collaboratively to turn this vision into reality.