LGAQ pays tribute to Mr Herbert Keith Oliver

Published: 9th January 2023

LGAQ acknowledges the contributions of Mr Herbert Keith Oliver (PSM, FLGMA), another legend of the Queensland local government family who passed away in November.

Mr Oliver spent his entire working career (about 45 years) in local government, starting his first job as a Junior Clerk at Isis Shire Council in Childers when he finished his schooling.

From there, he went to work at Flinders Shire Council in Hughenden as Assistant to the Shire Clerk. It was at Flinders Shire that Mr Oliver decided local government was for him, and that was where he began to study for the Local Government Clerk's Certificate. In about 1955 he was appointed as Shire Clerk at Miriam Vale Shire Council and stayed there for years honing his skills.

Mr Oliver took an active interest in what was then called the Institute of Municipal Administration. In those days, this group was made up mostly of Shire and Town Clerks and Deputies, all of whom were qualitied to act as Local Government Clerks. Over time, the name changed to Institute of Municipal Management and then to Local Government Managers Australia.

Mr Oliver became a member of the Institute Divisional Council and was Queensland Divisional President 1980-1982, and Federal President in 1982-1983. He was also awarded a scholarship to study Local Government at the Canberra College of Advanced Education (now the University).

Mr Oliver’s friend and colleague from Maryborough City Council, Noel Gorrie, said: “Herb handled the transition from very small shires to a medium-sized city very well. We were able to help each other here as I came from small shires too.

“The experience he gained in the small shires was invaluable because it was so broad. He was a great help to me and was always doing things to make everything easier for me.”

Mr Oliver was awarded the Public Service Medal (PSM) in the Australia Day Honours on 26 January 1991. Prior to 1990, local government employees were not considered eligible for this award and his colleagues were immensley proud of this achievement. 

Rest in peace.