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  • 20 May 2024 11:29 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month we spoke with Miranda Hampton, Senior Community Resilience Officer, Adelaide Hills Council, about her role and recently being awarded the Excellence in Emergency Management / Disaster Recovery Award at the
    LG Professionals SA 23rd Annual Leadership Excellence Awards Gala Dinner. 

    What is your role?

    In my role as Senior Community Resilience Officer, I'm privileged to oversee the Community Resilience Team at Adelaide Hills Council. Together we are working with our local community and partnering organisations including the CFS and the Australian Red Cross, to improve local preparedness for future emergencies and recovery processes in the Adelaide Hills.

    How long have you been in local government?

    I have worked in community development, recovery and resilience in local government for more than seven years.

    Congratulations! You and your team recently won the Excellence in Emergency Management / Disaster Recovery Award at the LG Professionals SA 23rd Annual Leadership Excellence Awards. Can you tell us about your project?

    The Towards Community Led Emergency Resilience project builds on our learnings through the Cudlee Creek and Cherry Gardens bushfires. Through working closely with our community, it became apparent that there were gaps in how council and our community were preparing for disasters and subsequent recovery processes. The project is mindful of the unique preparedness needs of cohorts within our community, including children, families and people with a lived experience of disability. The project has included the delivery of community led disaster resilience workshops in partnership with the Red Cross and a grants program to assist local halls to operate as community support hubs following disasters. This project has also allowed us to review and significantly improve our own internal processes, including the development of a Recovery Operations Manual and Bushfire Mitigation Strategy.

    What does winning this award mean to you, your council, and your community?

    This award has provided a wonderful opportunity to share with our community that we are listening; to their experiences, their insights and their ideas, to improve our collective preparedness for future emergencies. It validates putting energy into trying new approaches based on evidence, staff learnings and community engagement. It also demonstrates the value of working in partnership with community and agencies, to address complex problems together. Hopefully it will help to shine a spotlight on the benefits of investing in preparedness and building local resilience. 

    What advice would you give someone considering nominating for an award in the future?

    Be brave and go for it. A nomination helps to further important conversations for all councils through the sharing of your experience. It is also a great opportunity to provide acknowledgement to all staff members involved in the work.

    What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

    I enjoy spending time with my husband, children and friends in the great outdoors - camping, walking and star gazing. I also love growing flowers and vegetables, working at my wheel throwing clay and listening to audio books.

  • 29 Apr 2024 11:17 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month we spoke with Lucas Trevisan - City Planning Coordinator, Whyalla City Council, about his role, professional development and what's next for him. 

    How long have you been in local government and what is your role?

    My journey in local government began four years ago, when I started at Port Augusta City Council. For the first two years, I honed my skills as a planning officer, gaining valuable experience in the intricacies of the planning process. Looking to broaden my horizons, I then transitioned to Whyalla City Council, where I continued to thrive in the planning officer role for another two years. Recently, I'm thrilled to share that I've been promoted to the role of City Planning Coordinator! I'm energised by this new challenge and excited to leverage my experience for the benefit of Whyalla City Council.

    What does a typical day look like for you?

    A typical day for me involves a healthy mix of tasks that keep things interesting. The core of my role lies in the day-to-day assessment of residential, commercial, and industrial developments. This involves carefully reviewing applications, ensuring they comply with the relevant code performance outcomes. While this meticulous analysis is essential, a truly fulfilling aspect of my role comes when I'm invited to participate in strategic-level meetings. Being part of these discussions allows me to contribute my planning expertise to shaping the future of Whyalla. It's a privilege to see the bigger picture and use my knowledge to help guide long-term decision-making.

    You recently participated in the Australasian Management Challenge, how would you describe your experience?

    The Australasian Management Challenge was an intense experience that tested our limits and kept everyone on their toes! There were moments of high stress, as we tackled each task as they came in—often coming down to the line. But woven throughout the day were moments of camaraderie and laughter. The Whyalla team was truly amazing. We bonded closely as we strategised together, pushing each other to think outside the box or just simply reassess. Looking back, I'm most grateful for the sense of teamwork and the friendships forged in that pressure cooker environment. The Challenge wasn't just about competition; it was about growth. I believe each member of the team emerged with valuable insights and sharpened skills. Personally, I'm excited to see how this experience propels everyone forward in their local government careers!

    2024 was the first year Whyalla City Council has participated in the Australasian Management Challenge, what would be your advice to others thinking of participating in the Management Challenge?

    While Whyalla City Council's participation in the Australasian Management Challenge was a first this year, I can confidently say it won't be our last! For anyone considering joining the Challenge, my biggest piece of advice is to embrace the experience and have fun with it. Yes, it's a competition, but it's also a fantastic opportunity to develop your skills and broaden your understanding of local government. One thing I truly valued was the chance to connect with colleagues from entirely different departments. Taking the time to talk to these individuals provided valuable insights into their areas of expertise. This broader knowledge base proved to be super beneficial throughout the challenge, as we tackled tasks that spanned various council functions. So, if you're on the fence, I say go for it! The Challenge is an incredible platform for learning, growth, and even a little friendly competition.

    What’s next for you in your professional development journey?

    My journey at Whyalla City Council is far from over! While I'm thrilled with the promotion to City Planning Coordinator, I'm always looking for ways to expand my knowledge and take on new challenges. However, my ambitions extend beyond the walls of local government. I'm fascinated by the planning process at all levels, and I envision myself one day working across the entire spectrum. My ideal career path would involve transitioning from local government to state government, gaining a broader perspective on policy development. Following that, I'd love to delve into the private sector and experience the fast-paced world of a planning consultancy. Ultimately, my dream is to culminate these diverse experiences by opening my own planning firm, where I can create a dynamic and client-focused practice.

    What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

    Outside of work, I enjoy a variety of hobbies. My partner and I are currently renovating an old cottage, which requires a hands-on approach and consumes a lot of my time. I also enjoy photography and woodworking, which allow me to express my creativity in different ways. These activities provide a welcome balance to my professional life.


  • 15 Mar 2024 11:13 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month we spoke with Bree Goodchild, Senior Manager - Community Engagement & Experience, City of Playford, about her role, professional development and what's next for her. 

    How long have you been in local government and what is your role?

    I have been fortunate to be a part of this sector for 20 years, working across a number of communities with a diverse range of needs, challenges and opportunities. The chance to support people to live well and to thrive is what drives me.

    I have recently started as the Senior Manager for Community Engagement and Experience with City of Playford. I feel so lucky to continue to work with passionate and experienced people who have the right combination of vision and capability to support our community to grow.

    What does a typical day look like for you?

    At the City of Playford we are focused on the emerging and future opportunities for our community and region. Growth for our community in the right way, for the right reasons is exciting and rewarding. By 2046 we will welcome 10 new residents a day to City of Playford. On a daily basis we are working to set a future for our community (and for all those people who will call the City of Playford home over the next 20 years). We support the Strategic intent through planned communications efforts. We bring together data and research with community feedback and sentiment to inform decision making. At the heart of our daily work is the residents, business owners, workers and visitors to our area who we engage with daily, providing customer service and supporting them to live happy and prosperous lives. And, we get to do it all as a team.

    Last year you participated in the LG Professionals SA Executive Leaders Program; can you share some reflections from your experience?

    What an opportunity! I would recommend this program to everyone.

    Dedicating time to your professional development is such an important part of continuing to grow and evolve and our communities benefit from this investment - they deserve the very best effort and ideas from us to make their neighbourhoods safe, happy and healthy.

    My key takeaways from the Executive Leaders Program (XLP) were that there is always opportunity to see things from new and different perspectives, that our collective consideration of challenges is powerful, and that we are capable of new thinking and doing difficult things.

    The challenges and opportunities our communities face range from simple through to complex, and the XLP is specifically designed to get to the crux of the challenges and chip away at improvements. Through the XLP, we were able to combine academic discipline, science, emotional intelligence and creativity in a unique learning environment.

    And, I have gained a group of incredible peers to learn from, lean on and cheer on.  

    What would be your advice to others thinking of participating in the Executive Leaders Program?

    Don’t hesitate – its worth the effort. The program is rewarding and continues to be valuable in the work that I do. The opportunity to learn in an environment with other committed and like minded local government leaders is pretty special. The unique and tailored guidance from Andrew and Rhiannon (and the support from their team of experts) makes the experience.

    Recently you volunteered at the Rural Management Challenge – what do you love about these professional development events?

    Quite honestly one of my favourite days of the year. I have so much respect for the talented and dedicated participants who put months of effort into preparing for Challenge day. To see each person move through the excitement and nervousness, manage their energy and create amazing outcomes is inspiring. They lean on each other and lead each other, they allow themselves the opportunity to make safe mistakes and to make even bigger and better come backs as a result. Mostly, to experience the relief and pride in their achievements at the end of the day – it was a privilege to be a part of it.

    What’s next for you in your professional development journey?

    I have formed some special working relationships over my time in the sector and rely more and more on the joy of learning from and with others. I would love to continue to study when the time is right, and look forward to the next offering from LG Professionals SA.


  • 28 Feb 2024 3:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month we spoke with Trevor Ashenden, Coordinator - Community Rangers and Fire Prevention Officers at City of Onkaparinga, about his role, professional development and what's next for him. 

    How long have you been in local government?

    I started with City of Onkaparinga in August 2020 as a casual Ranger, with no previous regulatory or local government experience.

    In October 2021, I was the successful candidate for the role of Technical Support Officer within our section, responsible for drafting political correspondence; giving legislative advice to internal and external customers; and assisting in the development and review of policies and procedures.

    Then in late 2022 the role of Coordinator became available. Following a rigorous selection process, I was the successful candidate, commencing in January of 2023.

    Here I am, 3 ½ years later, happily supporting and leading a team of 17 Rangers and 2 Fire Prevention Officers.

    What does a typical day look like for you?

    My day often starts early. I like to get up about 5:30am most days and go to the gym in the morning. Regular exercise is probably my best stress manager (as well as managing that office chair waistline).

    I get to the office between 8-8:30am and start by checking my to-do list for any pressing items incomplete from yesterday, before checking my calendar for the day’s meetings and putting together a new to-do list.

    I always keep myself available to the team to answer questions or assist with their investigations, as well as attend complicated site visits.

    There are a lot of variables in my day, which means I’m constantly prioritising and rearranging my day. The last 15 months have been a serious lesson in time management.

    In 2022 you participated in the LG Professionals SA Australasian Management Challenge; can you share some reflections from your experience?

    WOW!!! What an amazing experience. City of Onkaparinga have a great program leading into challenge day, where participants attend weekly catch ups and meet with all the Managers individually.

    We learn about the different aspects of the organisation including projects, challenges, and council’s place in the community.

    Challenge day itself is a wonderful experience. To be under so much pressure all day but keep so positive and produce so much work is amazing. It gets you so far outside your comfort zone.

    I recommend this program to everyone; what you learn about yourself, your workplace and your community just can’t be achieved anywhere else.

    After participating in the Challenge, you then furthered your professional development by undertaking LG Professionals SA Short Courses, Performance Coaching, and Speaking with Influence. Could you provide one to two valuable take aways from each course?

    With such a large and diverse team, performance conversations can sometimes arise. With no previous training and guidance, these conversations were difficult and often poorly executed.

    This course was great in giving me the basic knowledge and skillset I needed to be confident and competent in these situations. A couple of key takeaways include:

    Planning - I used to think about how I might like the conversation to go, imagining how it might play out over and over, but I didn’t know what point ‘a’ or ‘b’ should be or how to get there. The Performance Coaching short course gave me the tried and tested structure that allowed me to plan the conversation, understand the goals of the conversation and ensure a positive outcome.   

    Keep on topic - We have all experienced people who deflect away from the conversation or look to point blame. Speaking with Influence showed me how to identify deflection, address it and keep the conversation relevant, while simultaneously letting the person feel heard and supported.

    What’s next for you in your professional development journey?

    The training and development offering by LG Professionals SA is incredible and I am very lucky to work in an organisation that values ongoing development of all their people.

    In my true ‘not to miss an opportunity’ form, I am participating in the LG Professionals SA Ignite program.

    This is another great program, consisting of 12 sessions over a 12-month period. We work as groups and individually, with the aim of developing ourselves as leaders and attaining Cert IV in Leadership and Management.

    We began last week with our first units of ‘effective relationships’ and ‘make presentations’.  From day one this was very enlightening and really broke down our barriers and allowed us to analyse ourselves as people and leaders.

    I can’t wait to see what the next 12 months brings.

    What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

    I have a small family, my wife, Jodie and our 6-year-old daughter, Charlotte. Before beginning at council, I was a Kite Surfing instructor and my family love the beach. We also spend as much time as we can in our caravan.

    Fortunately, its very easy to combine these things, so you’ll usually find us on a long weekend camped somewhere along the coast, making the most of the sunset.  


  • 23 Jan 2024 9:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month we spoke with Sarah Rose, Executive Assistant to the CEO at  Alexandrina Council, about her role, professional development and what's next for her. 

    How long have you been in local government?

    My local government journey started 5 years ago in governance administration at Alexandrina Council. I took the opportunities that presented themselves in experiencing different roles and this led me to District Council of Yankalilla as the Executive Assistant (EA) to the CEO. My career took a funny turn and led me back to Alexandrina Council where it all started.

    What does a typical day look like for you?

    My morning routine consists of checking emails, calendars and prioritising tasks for the day. The remainder of the day is preparing for meetings, managing the CEO’s meetings, appointments, correspondence and administration tasks. Also known as the “gatekeeper” providing a bridge for smooth communication between the CEO and staff and ensuring efficient and smooth operation of the Office of the Chief Executive Officer. 

    Earlier this year you participated in the LG Professionals SA Women’s Career Navigator Program; can you share some reflections from your experience?

    I found the program quite invigorating, engaging and informative both for personal and professional development. The program provided valuable strategies and tools that I believe will enhance my career. I met some lovely ladies, and it was great to see growth in such a short period of time.

    What would be your advice to others thinking of participating in the Women’s Career Navigator Program?

    Do it!! I’m an advocate to empower women to further themselves to advance their careers and personal lives. The program is a safe environment to support growth, opportunities for skill-building, learning new strategies and networking with women who are on the same journey, whilst having a bit of fun along the way.

    You also participated in the Local Government Management Challenge – how did you find this experience?

    I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, my reasons for participating were unlike some, where I wanted to demonstrate leadership and showcase different skills that I normally wouldn’t use in my everyday work environment. I loved the pressure cooker feeling on the challenge day itself, the problem-solving experiences and being part of a team who were supportive and fun. The program translates into relevant, tangible, and enduring benefits for not only the team but for the organisation with a hands-on approach to leadership development.

    What’s next for you in your professional development journey?

    Alexandrina Council have created a development plan for the 2024 team and as I loved the challenge so much, I will have the opportunity to mentor and support them through the challenge experience. This opportunity will help develop my leadership skills and I hope to further my skills in organisational development.

    What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

    My free time is usually spent exercising, whether it’s the gym, netball or Muay Thai. I am a kid at heart and enjoy being outdoors and experiencing new things.  


  • 29 Nov 2023 12:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month we spoke with Jodi Roberts, Manager Engineering and Infrastructure - (commencing as Director Environment and Infrastructure on 14 December 2023), at City of Victor Harbor, about her role, professional development and what's next for her. 

    How long have you been in local government and what is your role?

    I have worked in local government for twelve years with two different councils, Alexandrina Council and City of Victor Harbor, within varying departments.

    Local government is so much more than roads, rates and rubbish. Daily I am reminded that as a public officer I am working within a diverse team of staff and volunteers delivering outcomes by, for, and with our community.

    With a focus on strategic planning and leadership development, I am currently building a dynamic team to deliver and maintain services and infrastructure that meet the changing needs of the community.

    What does a typical day look like for you?

    There is no typical day as every day brings with it unknown challenges and opportunities. Amongst the numerous meetings, my time oscillates between strategic long term planning and providing reactionary response to community, Council Members or the environment as part of emergency management. My team is responsible for:

    • GIS and asset management
    • Properties including cemeteries
    • Land development
    • Capital project delivery
    • Traffic management, streetlights and stormwater

    I am looking forward to the new opportunities that the Director role will bring including:

    • Open space and biodiversity
    • Environment and sustainability
    • Operations, maintenance and construction

    You have previously completed the LG Professionals SA Executive Leaders Program; can you share some reflections from your experience?

    I undertook the Executive Leaders Program at a perfect time for my personal growth, when I had a desire and willingness to undertake professional development to grow in other leadership areas, including people management. I found that I could build on my existing skills and develop a network of support amongst my peers in local government.

    What learnings from the program where you able to implement into your role at council?

    Each day I use the leadership tools I learned as part of the program and enjoy sharing them with my teams.

    Some of the takeaway messages that I reflect on in my role include:

    • To be authentic and vulnerable
    • Creating space for opportunity by not filling it
    • Notice more and be luck ready – let go of things and be adaptive
    • To build on what is working
    • I am in charge of the narrative – choosing the positive and not victim mindset
    • I delight in the unknown and dwell it the mystery… that’s interesting, tell me more!

    What would be your advice to others thinking of participating in the Executive Leaders Program?

    The program is a worthwhile investment in you. If you are thinking about enhancing your leadership skills, this is the program for you. It is a great way to get to know other likeminded local government leaders. Be ready to expand your thinking and challenge yourself.

    What’s next for you in your professional development journey?

    Once I have settled into my new role as Director Environment and Infrastructure I am looking forward to exploring training opportunities such as the Strategic Management Program.

    What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

    I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I am part of a book club with friends I have known for 40 years. As a single parent, I prioritise time with my son, and we make the most of our holiday adventures.


  • 27 Oct 2023 12:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month we spoke with Thomas Harris-Howson, Senior Information Technology Officer at Adelaide Plains Council, about his role, professional development and what's next for him.

    How long have you been in local government and what is your role?

    I have had the joy of working in Information Technology in local government for just about 8 years, having worked in roles at both Light Regional Council, as a Support Officer (yes, I was one of the people asking if you had “turned your computer on and off again”) in 2015, and working my way up into my current role as Senior Information Technology Officer at the Adelaide Plains Council since 2017.

    What does a typical day look like for you?

    I would say that the statement “My day is never always the same” is very true for not only myself but many IT Professionals in local government.

    However, it can involve evaluating council’s strategic goals and developing the IT related strategic/operational plans to align with these goals. I then work and consult with my staff to ensure we are all working towards the deliverables and outcomes set out in the plans including providing guidance and direction to them where they are unsure or needing assistance.

    The council has lots of IT related projects that are running at the same time, it is my responsibility to ensure solutions implemented are compatible with council’s business systems. I work with vendors to manage these projects ensuring that plans are followed and that changes are handled appropriately with training and consultation.

    I am also responsible for overseeing council’s technology assets including upkeep, vendor support and renewal. Finally, with the prominence of cyber security globally I work to review and ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of council’s intellectual property, staff and ratepayer data.

    You are currently participating in the LG Professionals SA Ignite Program, can you share some reflections from your experience so far?

    The program has been really enjoyable, I have found the content very beneficial in expanding my experience in dealing with the challenges we face as managers on a daily basis. My favourite units so far have been “Applying Communication Strategies in the workplace” and “Building and Maintaining Business Relationships”.

    The other advantage of undertaking the program has been the networking I’ve developed from working with different members from other South Australian councils and the sharing of ideas and knowledge that has occurred from doing so.

    What would be your advice to others thinking of participating in the Ignite Program?

    The Ignite Program not only provides skills that can be used on your leadership journey (no matter if you have just stepped up into a leadership role or have been working in a role for some time) but also in your personal life.

    It can also be a really rewarding program and a fantastic qualification to have on your resume that requires just over 12 months of study / commitment to complete.

    What’s next for you in your professional development journey?

    Having recently completed a Bachelor of Information Technology with University of South Australia and Micro-certifications in Cyber Risk and Strategy with RMIT, I plan on taking a much-needed break following the Ignite Program and obtaining a Certificate IV in Leadership and Management (by the way – a great thing to have on your resume!)

    However, I do not plan to rest on my laurels for too long, instead I am going to use this time away from study to focus on my personal and mental health, which is also an important part of professional development and wellbeing. Taking stock of what you have achieved and what challenges are forecasted in your future professionally allows preparation for the next wave of learning that I want to take on.

    The joy that I have found in Leadership, Information Technology and Cyber Security is that it is a constantly changing environment that we are living in (who would have thought ChatGPT would have blown up as it has a few years ago).

    From this, new ways are constantly being introduced to help workers move council’s towards a better outcome both for the community, staff and (I had to say it) the environment and technology we embrace in our lives.

    Are you working on any exciting projects you’d like to share?

    Adelaide Plains Council, like many South Australian council’s, are working towards uplifting its Cyber Security posture following the recent release of the Local Government Information Technology of South Australia’s (LGITSA’s) Cyber Security Framework and Toolkit. Ensuring we are aware of the valuable assets the organisation has, the threats associated with them and things we can put in place to protect them.

    We have also been working towards a new architecture for some of our systems (managed externally) which will result in greater control for council’s IT staff and allow us to forge a new direction for the organisation this is providing my team with enthusiasm for the coming years of what we might be able to do. Watch this space.

    What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

    I adore spending time with my family including my wonderful wife, just under 2-year-old daughter and dog (Australian Shepherd x Poodle) including playing together and exploring this great city. Seeing things from my daughter’s perspective is a great grounding moment for me and helps me focus on what is important to me.

    When I am not doing this, I like to research new technologies including testing things in my Home Lab. Finally, I also have passions of participating as a Motorsport Official, including in a few major state and international events (e.g., Formula One Singapore Grand Prix and Supercars Australia Adelaide 500) and when all else fails I love cheering on Port Adelaide in the AFL and SANFL.


  • 20 Sep 2023 3:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month we spoke with Kristy Noakes, Customer Experience Lead at City of Charles Sturt, about her role, professional development and what's next for her. 

    How long have you been in local government and what is your role?

    I've been in local government for two decades now. My journey began in 2003 as a trainee at the City of Adelaide, and over the years, I've held various positions. Currently, I serve as the Customer Experience Lead at the City of Charles Sturt. I love the diversity you get working in local government and find the impact on the community rewarding. 

    What does a typical day look like for you?

    As the CX Lead, my daily focus is to collaborate with key stakeholders to enhance the customer journey by refining processes and systems. I oversee our Voice of Customer survey program and offer insights for improvements. Additionally, I dedicate significant time to our Customer Relationship Management system project.

    You participated in the LG Professionals SA Strategic Management Program this year. Can you share some reflections from your experience?

    The LG Professionals SA Strategic Management Program was such an awesome experience, building on the Emerging Leaders Program which I completed in 2022. The program was practical, allowing me to apply my knowledge directly in the workplace. The facilitators are engaging and relatable, which made the learning journey even more enjoyable. Beyond the knowledge gained, the relationships and networks formed during the program have been equally valuable.

    What would be your advice to others thinking of participating in the Strategic Management Program?

    The best investment you can make for your career, is to invest in yourself. In my experience, there is no “good time” for professional development, but it is well worth the effort. We are all busy and have conflicting priorities, so making it work requires some careful time management and a bit of commitment. Embrace the journey and the rewards will follow.

    What’s next for you in your professional development journey?

    After concluding my role as President of the Local Government Authorised Persons Association, I aim to explore a Board position aligned with my CX role in the upcoming year. I'm also deeply involved in a substantial project, so my immediate focus lies there. I'm enthusiastic about continuous learning and hope to pursue the LG Professionals SA Graduate Certificate in Business Administration.

    What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

    My partner and I recently acquired an old bungalow, and with two young daughters, our weekends are action-packed with family and home activities. Beyond that, I enjoy spending time with friends and frequenting local events and markets.


  • 25 Aug 2023 2:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month we spoke with Dayton Tahuri, Arboriculture and Biodiversity Field Supervisor at City of Marion, about his role, winning the Australasian Management Challenge and what's next for him. 

    How long have you been in local government and what is your role?

    I started my first role in local government at City of Marion three years ago, starting as a Tree Maintenance Team Member and have recently moved into the Arboriculture and Biodiversity Field Supervisor role.

    What does a typical day look like for you?

    Commencing at 6:30 am, my day kicks off, with the primary task being to inspect for any emergency work due to after-hours calls, ensuring no trees or branches have fallen overnight. Additionally, I sift through emails, pinpointing tasks that require immediate attention.

    Following this, it's time for a team briefing. These gatherings involve two Tree Teams, each consisting of three crew members and a Biodiversity Team with three members as well. This interaction bridges the gap before they begin their daily tasks.

    Having wrapped up the briefing, I venture into the field to handle customer requests. I initiate general tree inspections that encompass a range of duties including tree pruning, root pruning, tree removals, and clearing fallen branches and trees. Throughout the day, I remain available for any sudden emergency works that arise.

    While City of Marion generally relishes pleasant weather, occasional storms catch us by surprise. These unruly tempests disrupt some of our 60,000 trees, giving rise to an incessant clean-up challenge, spanning from gathering small branches scattered in reserves to disentangling sizable trees enmeshed with others.

    The unique nature of each tree infuses every day with a fresh, invigorating challenge.

    You participated in the Local Government Management Challenge this year. After winning the State Challenge your team ‘Marion at First Sight’ represented SA at the Australasian Management Challenge Final earlier this month, where you were crowned Australasian Champions! Congratulations on the win, can you share some reflections from this experience?

    Entering the Challenge, I was completely in the dark about what awaited. A fellow outdoor colleague, casually assured me, "You'll do fine mate, it’s just occasional meetups and training." What he didn't mention was the daunting aspect of completing 9 tasks demanding strategic thinking, planning, and execution, all within strict time constraints and alongside an unfamiliar group.

    In our initial team meeting, I quickly realised that I stood as the lone outdoor worker among colleagues who leaned toward administrative roles. This dynamic felt overwhelming as my expertise revolves around executing procedures rather than orchestrating plans. I grappled with deciphering where exactly I fit into the broader team context.

    As the team progressed through the forming, storming and norming phases, we swiftly embraced each other's diverse perspectives, establishing a secure environment that encouraged me to dive deeper into grasping the challenge at hand. My colleagues warmly welcomed my input from the perspective of an outdoor workforce, and my practical thinking played a role in guiding some of our decisions.

    The opportunity to collaborate with my indoor team members was a privilege, granting me valuable insights into the meticulous groundwork preceding council projects. This newfound understanding heightened my appreciation for the behind-the-scenes efforts before they reach the outdoor open spaces. While I'm well-versed in the art of rigorous physical work, understanding the mental weight of dissecting tasks, comprehending our deliverables, gathering a wealth of information to support our choices, and then moulding this into a report subject to review and amendments by multiple parties, the Challenge revealed some of the most intricate and challenging dynamics I've ever encountered.

    While the State and National finals proved to be a whirlwind, we managed to instil mutual trust and stand united as a team. I consider myself incredibly fortunate for the chance to be part of this Challenge. It sets the standard of commitment and development needed in all teams across local government to ‘REACH NEW HEIGHTS’.

    What would be your advice to others thinking of participating in the Management Challenge?

    Trust yourself, trust the process and be open to learning from your mentors, teammates and others you meet along the way.

    If you are an outdoor worker who may have reservations about signing up for the Challenge, I highly recommend it, as it gives you a higher level of understanding about council and breaks down the barriers that sometimes arise between outdoor and indoor staff.

    What’s next for you in your professional development journey?

    I am focusing on my new role as a Field Supervisor and developing my leadership skills. This includes moving from a mate to a manager and developing that next level of thinking needed as a People Leader.

    What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

    I’ve just started playing the guitar again and keeping in touch with my cultural side, I like to sing traditional songs. Spending time with my family at my daughter’s Sunday footy games is also a winner. 


  • 21 Jul 2023 3:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month we caught up with Tracey Alexander, Manager Environment and Regulatory Service at Berri Barmera Council about her role, the Executive Leaders Program and the General Managers and Directors Network Forum.

    What is your role and what does it involve?

    I am the Manager Environment and Regulatory Services, my role incorporates a variety of services including planning, building, property and building management, cemeteries, CWMS network, animal and parking management, fire prevention, camping regulating and limited project management.

    You recently attended the General Managers and Directors Network Forum: Your Brand, Your Culture, what was your biggest takeaway from the forum?

    I attended the recent Forum via zoom and was very impressed with the presenters. I found the topic of branding very interesting and insightful. From this, I have identified that good branding is an important part of any successful marketing campaign, your product needs to be easily identifiable and show the human side of your business.

    The forum also provided valuable perspectives from local and non-local government sectors. 

    What would be your advice to others thinking of attending a Network Forum in the future?

    Do it! The Forum offers General Managers and Directors the chance to network with peers, listen and learn from experts on a range of topics and build on your own skillset by building on social skills and public speaking.

    Earlier this year you participated in the Executive Leaders Program. Why did you decide to register for the program? What were some key takeaways?

    I had only been in my first role as Manager for 14 months and was looking to grow my skills and acquire information to help me become a better Manager. The program was highlighted by my CEO as being something he would recommend I pursue.

    The program was excellent, delivered by fantastic facilitators and I’d highly recommend it. It has given me the tools to be a more effective and confident leader. Sometimes it’s the small things like check in and check out with staff across the organisation, pausing on the balcony to get a broader view and knowing my chimes and gongs.

    The buddy system was great and allowed me to connect with other members. The challenges we all face are similar across both metro and regional councils. I have connected with some amazing peers and the sector is fortunate to have such great leaders.

    Any significant projects you / council are currently working on?

    Council is still in recovery mode after the flood and will be for several months. As part of this we are assessing the damage caused by water at Lake Bonney in particular the campsites and damage to Cultural Heritage.

    Council is also in the process of consulting on design options for the replacement of the Barmera Jetty situated in Lake Bonney.

    What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

    I love spending time with my two beautiful grandchildren, family and friends, I enjoy creating mosaic pieces, spending time in my craft room and gardening.

    I also enjoy being part of the community and I am currently the Finance and Administration Coordinator for the Monash CFS and have recently retired from firefighting, I am a Justice of the Peace and the Treasurer of the Riverland Justice of Peace group and help out where I can for the Barmera Pageant.

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