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Patti Manolis to step down as CEO of the GRLC

Thursday 17 December 2020

After fourteen years as Chief Executive Officer of Geelong Regional Library Corporation (GRLC), Patti Manolis OAM will be stepping down from the role at the end of March 2021.

Ms Manolis informed the GRLC Library Board of her decision at a Board meeting held on Wednesday 16 December, and has formally advised staff of the news.

During her time at the helm of the GRLC, Ms Manolis has demonstrated a clear understanding of the importance and value of delivering community-responsive library services. Under her leadership, the GRLC has tripled in size and seen increases in investment resulting in massive expansion of the library collections, services, new technologies, lifelong learning and cultural programming on offer.

Chair of the GRLC, Cr Ron Nelson, congratulated Ms Manolis on her many achievements as CEO and said that she can be credited for leading the organisation through a major transformation, with the GRLC now recognised as an industry sector leader.

“The Geelong region has benefited greatly from Patti’s service, with over $100m additional capital and operational funding invested into the region’s libraries during her time as CEO. This level of investment enabled the building of six new libraries including the iconic and award-winning Geelong Library & Heritage Centre and a further eight refurbishments of library branches and both mobile libraries,” Cr Nelson said.

Immediate past Surf Coast Councillor and GRLC Deputy Chair Margot Smith praised the strategic and advocacy skills which Ms Manolis has brought to the role.

“Patti’s excellent business strategy, coupled with highly effective influencing and advocacy skills, have ensured that our region’s public libraries are vibrant learning and cultural hubs where community members can enjoy a vast array of spaces and services that meet their needs and expectations, “ Ms Smith said.

“I have long admired Patti’s professional commitment and energy for public libraries and the important work they undertake in communities,” Ms Smith said. “Her efforts have led to a complete revitalisation of the services provided by Geelong Regional Libraries, which are appreciated and admired locally, nationally and internationally.”

Ms Manolis’ achievements have been formally recognised at state and national level in recent years. In 2016 Patti was one of 20 inductees to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in recognition of her achievements in public libraries and communities. Local group Women in Local Democracy (WILD) nominated her for the award. In 2019 Patti received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for services to the Library and Information Services sector.

Reflecting on her time as CEO of the GRLC, Ms Manolis said that the role has been the highlight of her career.

“It has been a great honour to undertake the role of GRLC CEO and in fact it has been the absolute highlight of my entire professional career,” said Ms Manolis. “I have derived such deep satisfaction and enjoyment leading the transformational change of this great library corporation and through its work making a difference in the Geelong region, “ she said.

“GRLC is a modern library service that is the product of the hard work and commitment of many. I would like to express my thanks to the great community we serve, our dedicated Boards current and previous, our incredibly supportive Member Councils, my wonderful Executive Team and the terrific staff at the GRLC, for all working together to deliver the great success that is our regional library corporation,” Ms Manolis said.

Ms Manolis said that the decision to resign was not an easy one, but that she looks forward to her next chapter.

“It has been a difficult decision to make, given my longstanding and continuing strong commitment to the organisation, but it is the right time for me and I am looking forward to putting other life and career plans in place,” Ms Manolis said, adding:

“I am confident I leave the organisation in a very strong position and look forward to watching for the next ambitious leap GRLC takes into the future.” 

The GRLC Board will commence an Executive search for the new CEO of the Geelong Regional Library Corporation in the New Year.


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