This month we speak with Tammie Hamilton, Service Coordinator , Planning and Quality for the City of Playford.
Tammie shares some of her background, her positive reflections of LG Professionals membership and also explains what motivates her to work in Local Government.
Hi Tammie, thanks for speaking with us.
What’s your current role, and what does it involve?
I’m the Service Coordinator (front line manager) for the Planning and Quality (P&Q) Business Support Team at the City of Playford
The team and I are accountable for ensuring all Council’s services have a ‘service standard’. This is where services are costed (so we can sustainably afford what we provide) and measured as a method to ensure we deliver efficient and effective services to the community.
As of this year, P&Q are also accountable for the Resident Satisfaction Survey which is currently undergoing a full review so we can align it with our Service Standards system and other Council functions, such as the Strategic Plan, Community Vision etc.
Our goal is to embed the Service Standards system within Playford, much like WH&S where all staff will are aware and accountable for the delivery of their service standard, and at the same time enable Managers to make more informed decisions around resourcing based upon the measures they collect and align with the results from the Resident Satisfaction Survey.
The team is also accountable for supporting internal Service Level Agreements; we are currently setting them up in time for next financial year and ensure they align to Playford’s new business model.
Where were you before? (i.e. what is your work background/career path so far)
According to Playford staff, I was a “Mexican” before I came here…I was ‘south of the border’ at the City of Salisbury for 7 years.
I started at Salisbury straight out of University where I worked in the Strategic Planning Department across the areas of Recreation Planning and Social Planning. I finished up at Salisbury in a Research and Policy Officer role.
I then moved to Playford as the Social Planner where I delivered on a Social Infrastructure Plan for the City.
In 2013 I was appointed Service Coordinator for a newly developed team in Playford: Planning & Quality. This team was put together as a way to plan for tomorrow.
What attracted you to Local Government, and your current role?
I am really passionate about helping people and while at University I identified that Local Government was a potential space where I could make my mark.
My final year university placement was at Salisbury where I undertook a research project focussing on how young people with a disability access council services. After this, and I was fortunate enough to be offered a Project Officer role. This was funded by the Office of Recreation and Sport where I worked with an existing family early intervention program to support children in families to engage in local sport and recreation opportunities.
You’ve been very involved in LG Professionals, as a member, part of a challenge team and now as a board member – how do you think this involvement has changed or assisted your approach to your current role?
Being a member of LG Professionals has always helped me keep an eye on what’s going on across the sector. Having access to the networks, training and development opportunities provided by LG Professionals has really provided value to my role. It has enabled me to understand and learn from sector issues and opportunities, as opposed to not understanding how it fits or impacts the sector or the community I work for.
What motivates you? - What do you find interesting or exciting about working in Local Government?
The diversity of work that Local Government provides is always a motivator, but more importantly the role Local Government plays in providing services to the community is my main driver.
Although the services a community needs may not be the accountability of Local Government it’s important that we work with other sectors of Government, the not for profit sector and the community to ensure the community get the right services and make sure it’s delivered in an efficient, effective and sustainable manner.
Playford is one of Australia's key growth councils – what challenges and opportunities does this present?
Playford is dealing with a split in the City between the old and new areas. Sustainably providing infrastructure and services as the City grows is a challenge, as is building community capacity in a historically low socio-economic area.
The growth of the City is the opportunity! We just have to ensure that it’s coordinated strategically in a way that the community benefits.
Personally, what’s the longer term plan? Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
At the moment my career goal is to be a CEO in LG – ambitious I know!
I’ve just started my MBA so I hoping that in the next 5 years I’ll have moved up to senior management.
Between now and then, I’d like the opportunity to learn as much about council business as I can, and I’m lucky that my current role is exposing me to much more.
Do you have an embarrassing "Local Government moment"?
At the LG Professionals Awards a few years ago. I was on the dance floor with Mal Hemmerling (Playford’s Assets Director) and I did a twirl and slipped and ended up flat on the floor. I blame my shoes and a wet floor (not the champagne).
How do you spend your leisure time outside of Local Government?
I enjoy weight training and running. My latest interest has been military obstacle courses e.g. True Grit. I also enjoy learning to surf and cook new dishes.
I LOVE travelling… my next trip is back to Sweden for my friend’s wedding in September 2015 and I’ll head home via the USA or Asia.