Bass Coast Councillors

Which ward am l in?

You can visit the Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) website to find out which ward you are in or download a map showing the three ward boundaries (PDF 2.3MB).

Bunurong Ward

Cr Les LarkeCr Les Larke

Cr Larke has vast experience and interest in the accountancy and financial planning professions, both in Australia and internationally, working in global, national and regional settings in public practice for more than 25 years.
He has consulted broadly across the private, government and not-for-profit sectors, and in a wide range of industries and professions, and brings finance, governance, audit, risk management and a range of other commercial and change leadership skills to benefit the Bass Coast Shire community.
During his career in public practice, Cr Larke was appointed General Manager State Trustees to lead that entity’s transition from the public sector through commercialisation and ultimately establish the Government of Victoria’s first model for conversion of public sector organisations to state owned enterprise standing.
Les is a Fellow Certified Practicing Accountant – CPA Australia.



Cr Brett TessariCr Brett Tessari - Mayor

Cr Tessari is a third generation local who is very passionate about the Bass Coast community and where we live.
He lives with his wife, Leanne, and together have raised three children who have all grown up and been educated in the Shire.
Cr Tessari is an active community member, having been President of the Wonthaggi Power Football Netball Club for five years and a member of the Wonthaggi Relay For Life Committee, presiding as Master of Ceremonies for the event for the past two years.
He was also involved in the Centenary of Wonthaggi, where he was also Master of Ceremonies the event at the State Coal Mine.
Cr Tessari has worked across the Shire on Phillip Island, Inverloch and currently in Wonthaggi.
As a Councillor for Bunurong, Cr Tessari intends to work hand-in-hand with the community on issues that concern us all.
He wants to get people passionate again about where we live and reinstall community pride in Bass Coast.



Cr Julian BrownCr Julian Brown

Cr Brown has a life-long connection with Bass Coast and is the fourth-generation of his family to reside in the Shire. One of his grandfathers worked in the State Coal Mine in Wonthaggi as a coal miner and his father has had a long involvement in local and state government. Cr Brown grew up and attended primary school in Wonthaggi, and studied at Newhaven on Phillip Island before moving to Melbourne to finish his VCE studies. He spent time volunteering in South Africa before studying history, politics and languages at university. For a number of years, Cr Brown also lived in Japan where he worked as an English teacher and studied martial arts. He returned to live in Bass Coast in 2012 and established a small business teaching martial arts. Cr Brown wants to see Council taking a balanced approach that gives due consideration to communities, the environment and the local economy.


  • Audit Committee
  • Bass Coast Municipal Fire Management Committee (sub)
  • The Chief Executive Officer Employment Matters Committee


Island Ward

Cr Pamela RothfieldCr Pamela Rothfield

Cr Rothfield is a fourth generation Phillip Islander, who returned to the Island as a permanent resident 11 years ago. She commenced her working life in a large corporation, Village Roadshow, at the age of 19. Here, having completed a Diploma in Accounting, she learned the disciplines required to work in an executive team of a large structured organisation. Cr Rothfield progressed up through the ranks to take on the executive role of Manager of Acquisitions for Roadshow Distributors. At the age of 28, she regularly travelled overseas negotiating the multi-million dollar purchase of film distribution rights for the territory of Australasia, on behalf of the company.
Today, Cr Rothfield, with her twin sister Judy, owns a large IT company, which they bought as a fledgling business 26 years ago. It is now run by an executive team, which has allowed her to step away from the day-to-day management.
Cr Rothfield has two grown sons, Elliot and Blake, and lives with her partner, Raymond ‘Rowdy’ Jansson.



Cr Stephen FullartonCr Stephen Fullarton

Cr Fullarton is a born and bred Phillip Islander, and with the exception of a ten year period during secondary school when he travelled and studied, he has spent his entire working life living here.
He runs his own Building Design Company in Cowes, and has worked for the past 30 on Phillip Island and across the Bass Coast, as well as in the metropolitan area.
Public projects he has been involved with include the RSL building, the Cowes Esplanade lookout and beach rest room area at the end of Thompson Avenue, and the amphitheatre on the Cowes foreshore.
He served as a councillor on the Phillip Island Shire from 1983 to 1989, and on numerous community and municipal committees in that time.
Cr Fullarton is a member of the Phillip Island Nature Park community reference group, with a strong interest in the protection of the Phillip Island environment.
He is married to Kerry, and has two sons in their twenties, who live on Phillip Island, and two adult daughters who live in Queensland.



Cr Michael WhelanCr Michael Whelan

  • Landline: (03) 5951 3394
  • Mobile:   0429 129 811
  • Email:

Cr Whelan is an active musician who convened the Bass Coast Acoustic Music Club and leads the Bass Coast Pickers. With his wife, Mary, his involvement in the lives and interests of their two adult daughters and their families is central to his life.
Cr Whelan is active in the community, and was a foundation member of the Surf Beach Park S86 Committee, the Friends of Scenic Estate Group and the Parks Community Forum. Other interests include music, the arts, golf and gardening. He also has a strong interest in current affairs and writes occasional articles for the Bass Coast Post.
Cr Whelan has strong community engagement experience and sees a stronger role for community in Council activities. Together with Mary, he ran a small business for 15 years, marketing a medical product invented by their consulting business.
He was a CFA officer for nearly 20 years in operational, research and technical roles before being seconded to the Department of Justice coordinating a range of multi-agency projects.
Cr Whelan also worked as a Ministerial Adviser in the Cain Government and as an executive in the Kennett Government.



Western Port Ward

Cr Clare Le ServeCr Clare Le Serve

This is Cr Le Serve’s second term as a Bass Coast Councillor, having served as the Leadbeater Ward from 2012 to 2016.
She has lived in Bass Coast for over 40 years and is passionate about the community, believing that our unique lifestyle sets us apart from any other area in Victoria.
Cr Le Serve is married with two children, seven grandchildren and a cat named Oscar. She enjoys cooking, spending time with her family, wandering around local markets and buying local products. She is a frequent visitor to French Island where she helps out in the family business there.
Cr Le Serve has a background in community development, having spent many years in local community organisations, and in dairy farming. She believes strongly in supporting community projects that benefits children and is motivated by issues of equality for women and in improving outcomes for disadvantaged sectors within the community.



Cr Bruce KentCr Bruce Kent - Deputy Mayor

Cr Kent and his wife, Jenny, are currently in the planning stages of building their home in San Remo. Together, they have four children and two grandchildren. He moved to Bass Coast in 2010 and prior to this the family had a holiday home on Phillip Island.
Cr Kent is a police officer and holds the position of Station Commander of San Remo Police Station. He joined the police force in 1980, but has also had the opportunity to run his own successful business.
He already has formed a strong relationship with local community groups, working at the MotoGP, V8 Supercars, San Remo Channel Challenge and many other local events.
Cr Kent is passionate about the area and its strong community spirit. He has strong experience and abilities with emergency management and event planning. He has an exceptional ethical standing within the community and strongly believes in the accountability to the community of all Councillors.


  • Bass Coast Community Road Safety Committee (Chair)
  • Bass Coast Municipal Emergency Management Planning Committee (Chair)
  • Bass Coast Municipal Fire Management Committee (Chair)
  • Phillip Island Aquatics Working Group
  • Phillip Island Integrated Transport Study Reference Group (Chair)
  • Gippsland Local Government Waste Forum (sub)



Cr Geoff EllisCr Geoff Ellis

Cr Ellis was raised near Parramatta in Sydney. A long-career in Logistics Management included elements of Occupational Health and Safety and Industrial Relations.
A move to Port Melbourne in 2009 enabled involvement in a community based not-for-profit, SPDL-Daylinks. After moving to a small property in Wattle Bank, he worked on a dairy farm in Woodleigh for two years and is now a freelance writer.
Cr Ellis lives with his wife, and his daughter lives interstate. He has two cats and two dogs, one of which is deaf, so he is fully aware of the responsibility pet ownership and the need for facilities.
Cr Ellis is heavily committed to the environment, reconciliation, fair treatment of asylum seekers, inclusion of our LGBTI community and engagement of our less-abled community members.
He wants to work with farmers to increase opportunities through networking and promotion of Farm Gate tourism. Cr Ellis recognises the value of increasing tourism through motorsport, which is in Cr Ellis’ DNA.
Working positively with his fellow councillors, Cr Ellis believes they can build on 'what's strong'.



Bass Coast Shire Councillors: front row - Cr Les Larke, Cr Pamela Rothfield, Cr Clare Le Serve, Cr Brett Tessari; back row - Cr Geoff Ellis, Cr Michael Whelan, Cr Bruce Kent, Cr Stephen Fullarton, Cr Julian Brown

From left to right standing - Cr Geoff Ellis, Cr Michael Whelan, Cr Bruce Kent, Cr Stephen Fullarton, Cr Julian Brown.

From left to right seated - Cr Les Larke, Cr Pamela Rothfield, Cr Clare Le Serve, Cr Brett Tessari.

2016 Election Results

Detailed results for the 2016 Bass Coast Local Government Election are available on the VEC website.

Text size