About Us | Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation

About Us

What is the Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation?

The Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation (ISJO) consists of four member councils:




The councils have a combined area of some 5,800 square kilometres and a population of approximately 404,000 people.

Joint Organisations (JOs) provide a way for local councils and the NSW Government to work together to deliver things that matter the most to regional communities.  They represent a commitment to collaborate in the long term to develop and support a shared vision for the region. The Illawarra Shoalhaven was one of five regions where joint organisations (JOs) were piloted in 2015.

The NSW Government announced in November 2017 that JOs would be enabled and come in effect on 1 July 2018. With the support from Board representatives and delegates, all member councils and government agencies the transition to a separate ISJO entity was successful. 


Our core functions are:

  • regional strategic planning, including high level planning across the quadruple bottom line
  • inter-governmental collaboration, working closely with the NSW Government as well as the Australian Government, other councils and JOs
  • regional leadership and advocacy, as the preeminent regional voice for councils and communities

Our optional functions:

  • enhancing strategic capacity, to support member councils to deliver services to their communities
  • service delivery, to provide services directly to communities within the region

The ISJO has prepared a Statement of Strategic Regional Priorities 2017-20 and adopted a Charter, both which can be downloaded. The current Chair of the ISJO Board is Councillor Gordon Bradbery AM, Lord Mayor of Wollongong.  Our Deputy Chair is Cr Neil Reilly, Mayor of Kiama.

A full listing of our Board may be found here: ISJO Board 2022 

History of ISJO

The Illawarra Pilot Joint Organisation came into effect as the replacement organisation for Southern Councils Group on 1st July 2015. The Southern Councils Group was originally developed from the Illawarra Region of Councils (IROC) which evolved in 1985 and operated until 2004. An even earlier grouping of Councils, the Illawarra Regional Organisation (Region 11), commenced in 1975 and operated until 1979.

All these organisations had a common theme, that of a voluntary association of Local Government Authorities that work together, to promote and foster the sustainable development of the regional area, by building on the unique and diverse economic, natural and cultural heritage through member council cooperation.