Maria Weiss is the new Community Director at Macedon Ranges council. Working with people to support communities, especially those who are vulnerable, is what brings her joy. She can’t wait to lead her team at the council. She spoke to Elsie Lange about who she is and what she hopes to bring to her new role.
Tell us a bit about you
Aside from a brief stint in legal and governance, the entirety of my career across both the not-for-profit sector and local government has been focused around the delivery of responsive, meaningful community services and programs, particularly for people with a disability, seniors, children and families. I have recently moved to Macedon Ranges council, after working in various roles at Moonee Valley council for the past 17 years. I love every aspect of working with and for people, and the opportunity to make a difference especially those who are experiencing vulnerability.
My portfolio as Director Community includes customer service, emergency management, arts & culture, community development, community wellbeing and children, youth and family services. It’s fantastic to be working for the shire, and I look forward to leading the team in making a positive impact.
What’s your connection to the Macedon Ranges?
My past connection with Macedon Ranges has been in making the most of the beautiful walking trails, visiting Hanging Rock, and the various towns with my family (husband, two kids and my favourite family member … a cheeky dog named Luna). We have certainly made the most of many bakeries and cafes on weekends. It is such a beautiful part of Victoria and now I have the benefit of coming across it regularly every week!
Where is your favourite local place to spend time?
Being mostly based in the Kyenton and Gisborne offices I’ve certainly fallen in love with the botanic gardens at both sites. Every walk through, I discover something new, and starting my role with the start of autumn has been perfect timing to enjoy the beautiful landscapes in the area, as well as making the most of the great activities that are on as part of the Autumn Festival.
Tell us something people would be surprised to know about you.
I love being outdoors and will give just about any sport a try. As a family we particularly love water sports and hiking. Before COVID-19 hit, my family and I had been in training every week, preparing to hike up to Mt Everest Basecamp. Unfortunately we haven’t made it to our Nepalese adventure just yet, but it’s still on the bucket list for a future trip.