Simone Cooke, Director of people and performance, City of Canterbury Bankstown

Hot List 2019

Simone Cooke is responsible for work health and safety, risk, HR, payroll, culture, learning and development and business improvement at Bankstown City Council. She has spent more than two decades in the local government sector, working in the HR and organisational development space.

Cooke’s career within the organisation stretches back to 2005, when she took on a team leader HR role at the then Bankstown City Council. Pre-amalgamation, Cooke and her team focused on transforming Bankstown City Council into a constructive culture through engagement, talent and some outstanding employee initiatives. Post-amalgamation, she has undertaken a number of roles at the now City of Canterbury Bankstown and is today its director people and performance.

At the 2014 Australian HR Awards, Cooke was named Australian HR Manager of the Year, and in 2015 Bankstown City Council won the Employer of Choice (Public Sector and NFP) award. In 2016 Cooke received the award for Holding Redlich Australian HR Manager of the Year, while in 2018 she made the inaugural Top 50 Public Sector Women (NSW) list. Recognition like this is testament to the skills she has brought to her role, and how much she has helped enhance the working lives of her associates.