Rural North West Region
This region is currently represented by Cr Rob Gersch, Councillor at Hindmarsh Shire Council, and RCV Treasurer Tammy Smith, CEO of Yarriambiack Shire Council.
Rural North East Region
This region is currently represented by RCV Deputy Chair Cr Laura Binks, Mayor of Strathbogie Shire and Dom Testoni, CEO of Benalla Rural City Council.
Rural North Central Region
This region is currently represented by Cr Jane Ogden, Councillor at Gannawarra Shire Council, and Darren Fuzzard, CEO of Mount Alexander Shire Council.
Rural South West Region
This region is currently represented by RCV Chair Cr Mary-Ann Brown, Councillor at Southern Grampians Shire Council, and Brett Davis, CEO of Moyne Shire Council.
Rural Councils Victoria represents Victoria's rural councils, supporting and promoting strong, liveable, prosperous rural communities
Representing the one in nine Victorians who live in rural communities, RCV has 34 member councils right across the state.
In Victoria, 38 of the 79 councils are classified as 'rural'. Victoria’s rural councils are responsible for 79 per cent of Victoria’s land area, and have a combined population of approximately 822,000 people (Census 2021). Our rural areas and communities are critical to the liveability of Victoria. They are also key to a thriving state economy.
To play a leadership role in delivering a sustainable, liveable and prosperous rural Victoria
RCV Organisational Vision
RCV is recognised as the voice for rural Victoria, to achieve liveable rural communities and strong rural councils.
This means that:
- We are a key body influencing government policy and projects for rural Victoria
- We provide a rural lens on the development and implementation of policy
- We increase the understanding, recognition, and funding outcomes for rural councils across Victoria
- We increase the capacity of rural councils to deliver positive outcomes for their communities
- We are a strong advocate on issues affecting rural councils and communities
RCV was established in 2005 to coordinate the network of rural councils across Victoria in their efforts to better understand, articulate and address the issues affecting them.
The vision then was to create rural communities with sustainable economies contributing to the health, character and liveability of Victoria, and this vision has strengthened in the years since.
State Government funding was first provided to RCV in 2006 to help it communicate rural issues to government departments and determine priority projects. In December 2009 rural councils agreed to contribute to sustaining the network through an annual membership contribution.
In March 2011 the State Government announced funding of $3.3 million for RCV, to be delivered over four years under the Networked Rural Councils Program (NRCP). A further $3.5 million was committed to RCV to continue this work under the auspices of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV).
In 2016, RCV became an Incorporated Association operating independently, with a three year funding commitment of $3.5 million from Regional Development Victoria (RDV). We continue to work closely with MAV, RDV, Local Government Victoria (LGV) and other state and federal agencies as we deliver our program of work.
Today RCV is the peak body representing and advocating for Victoria’s rural councils. Further information on the RCV Governance structure and processes can be found in the Rules of Incorporation.
Each year RCV prepares and publishes an annual report on the proceedings, achievements and other details of RCV's work and position in the previous financial year. The latest annual report, previous years' annual reports and the RCV Rules of Incorporation are available in the links below.
- RCV Annual Report 2022/23
- RCV Annual Report 2021/22
- RCV Annual Report 2020/21
- RCV Annual Report 2019/20
- RCV Annual Report 2018/19
- RCV Annual Report 2017/18
- Current RCV Rules of Incorporation - Adopted October 2023
- RCV Annual Report 2016/17
In 2020 Rural Councils Victoria adopted its Strategic Plan for 2020-2024. This document was reviewed in late 2021 and again in late 2022 to evolve with the changing landscape. The latest version, adopted by the Committee in February 2023 can be found in the link below.