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Cook Shire Council Mayor Peter Scott expressed his heartfelt gratitude and respect for retiring CEO Linda Cardew at the July Ordinary Council Meeting – Mrs. Cardew’s last ahead of her retirement – held on Tuesday 26 July 2022.

“Mrs. Cardew’s role as the operational leader of Council has been exemplary,” said Mayor Scott.

“Having achieved a long list of accomplishments during her tenure, I consider Mrs. Cardew to be the most effective and capable CEO to hold office at Cook Shire and believe that we are incredibly fortunate to have had the benefit of her tenure here,” said Mayor Scott.

Linda Cardew CEO Cook Shire

Pictured above: Leading by example Linda Cardew was a familiar face in the community and regularly took part in many of the Shire's community events, 

Some of Mrs. Cardew’s achievements during her four years at Cook have included:

  • Restructuring of Council to create an agile, innovative organisation
  • Increasing staff satisfaction and performance from the bottom quartile to the top 10% (compared to other participating Queensland Councils, as measured by the Insync Staff Performance and Engagement survey in her first two years)
  • Obtaining more than $190 million in grant funding to deliver a range of projects and initiatives, including:
    • Restoration of Cooktown Shire Hall
    • Delivery of the 2021 Cooktown and Cape York Expo
    • Delivery of annual DRFA program 
    • Coen Airport Runway Extension
    • Charlotte Street Revitalisation
    • Gateway to Cape York at Lakeland
    • Installation of solar street lighting in Coen
    • Coen Airport Runway Extension
  • Establishing the Indigenous (Bama) Partnerships Officer position
  • Guiding the establishment of the Bama Working Group
  • Driving the completion of the Waterfront redevelopment, including William Daku Park
  • Championing the design and delivery of legacy projects including the award-winning Reconciliation Rocks precinct and public art project; the Walambaal Biri Cultural Centre (Cooktown Boathouse); the Gamaay Dreaming project and redevelopment of the Cooktown Botanic Gardens, including the First Peoples’ Grove
  • Supporting the development of Council’s Reconciliation Action Plan as organisational champion
  • Developing and implementing award-winning Cook Shire “Blitz” concept, with blitzes held in local communities across the Shire
  • Increasing the service levels in Coen
  • Lobbying State Government on behalf of Burrgirrku Land Trust to secure funding to upgrade housing on Savage Street in Cooktown.
  • Securing and committing funds for Community Hall Improvements in Portland Roads
  • Strategic land purchase to accommodate growth in Lakeland
  • re-establishing libraries in Lakeland, Coen and Laura with access to free Wi-Fi and traditional hard copy and e-resources
  • Advocating for street signage to control speeding through Cook Shire towns

 “On behalf of Elected Members, I’d like to thank Mrs. Cardew for an exemplary time at Cook where she has achieved so much. All appreciate her expertise, dedication, empathy and positive involvement to and with our Council and our community. We wish her the very best as she and her husband set sail into their retirement.”

Alberta Hornsby and Linda Cardew

Pictured above:  Alberta Hornsby, Vice President of the Cooktown Re-enactment Association (left), and Linda Cardew (right) 

Mrs. Cardew announced her retirement in September 2021 after more than 25 years in Local Government. She and her husband Tony will be heading off to complete the final leg of an adventure they started 40 years ago – circumnavigating the world on their yacht.

Council’s Director of Operational and Business Services, Heather Kelly has been appointed Acting CEO until incoming CEO, Brian Joiner steps into his new role with Cook Shire on 22 August 2022.

For more information contact Council’s Media, Communications and Customer Experience Coordinator via email at or phone on 4082 0500.

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ABN: 45 425 085 688

10 Furneaux Street Cooktown, Qld 4895

Mail: PO Box 3 Cooktown, Qld 4895


Phone: (07) 4082 0500

Fax: (07) 4082 0588

Hours: 8.45am-4.45pm Monday to Friday