The President, Board and staff of LG Professionals WA extend their deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Eric Lumsden on his sad passing. A passionate local government advocate, a visionary leader, and someone who always strived to learn and help others develop, Eric will be sadly missed by all who knew him.
Eric worked tirelessly to accomplish many achievements throughout his distinguished career, stepping down as Chief Commissioner at the City of Perth earlier this year, his last role in a career that has spanned over 45 years. A local government stalwart, Eric's career began in 1972 at the Shire of Mundaring as the Planning Assistant, in 1975 he was appointed Director of Planning and Development a role he enjoyed until moving on to the then Shire of Swan in 1984 as Director of Planning, becoming Chief Executive Officer in 1989.
Guiding development during the City of Swan's massive growth was a highlight of his career, with Eric previously commenting "It is a highly diverse local government, there are numerous communities, all with different issues - often in conflict with each other. Working with and helping very good people in that diverse environment was both a challenge and a highlight. I didn't make it happen by myself. We had excellent staff at all levels of the organisation. We had an excellent council, which was very strategic as well as operationally focused, and committed to doing the best for the wider community. They understood the strength of Swan could be realised with a consistent corporate approach to issues facing the City. If you lose that perspective at council or staff level, you set yourself up to fail and you fail the community."
Eric moved on to the Chief Executive Officer position at the City of Melville in 2006 before leaving in 2007 to become Director General at the Department of Planning and then held the position of Chairman of the WA Planning Commission from 2013 to 2018. It was in 2018 when Eric was winding down from this position to enjoy retirement that the call came for him to steer the ship as Chief Commissioner at the City of Perth. A true believer in good governance, leadership and teamwork it was a calling Eric had no hesitation in accepting.
Eric also served as Commissioner at the City of South Perth from 2000 to 2003, was a member of the Local Government Advisory Board, Chair of the Swan TAFE council, a member of the Minister's Local Government Reform Steering Committee, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a Life Fellow of the Planning Institute of Australia.
An extraordinary career highlight for Eric was being awarded the Public Service Medal on the Queens Birthday Honours List in 2005 for his service to the Local Government sector. In 2018, Eric was also awarded IPAA WA Patrons award the highest accolade in public administration in WA, awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the state.
Eric became a member of LG Professionals WA in 1988 and was elected to the board in 1997. In July 2002, the Board unanimously supported Eric's application to advance to Fellow Membership status and elected Eric to the President's role in October 2006. In 2010 Eric was bestowed with the LG Professionals WA Medal in recognition of his significant contribution to the local government sector and work with the Association. In 2016, then President Jonathan Throssell awarded Eric Life Membership of LG Professionals WA. Many who joined us that evening will remember Eric being humbled, overwhelmed, astonished and eternally grateful for the recognition from the sector, giving his acceptance speech through tear filled eyes.
A gentleman, a man of true integrity, a trusted and valued colleague, mentor and friend to many, we are forever grateful for the extraordinary contribution Eric made to the local government sector.
Vale Eric, gone but never forgotten.