Issue 064
October 2016

  • A word from the CEO
  • News Flash
  • Leadership Excellence
  • Sponsor Insight
  • Member Profile
  • Industry Trends
  • Movers and Shakers
  • Tips and Ideas
  • Upcoming Events
  • Recent Events
  • About Us
  • Mark Dowd

  • Events Calendar



A word from the CEO

This month marks two years since we changed our name, and we haven’t looked back. 

Since then, our events and programs have been selling out and we have taken on two more full time staff members.  The evolution of our brand continues and we look forward to even more growth this year. 

To help drive and lead that growth, I welcome new and returning Board members:

  • Mark Dowd – President
  • Andrew Cameron – Immediate Past President
  • Beth Davidson-Park – President Elect
  • Victoria MacKirdy
  • Kate Jessep
  • Henry Inat
  • Sarah Philpott
  • Cate Atkinson
  • Mark Withers
  • Andrew Aitken
  • John Devine

The 2017 Call for Nominations for our Leadership Excellence Awards have opened.  You can read more below.

Registrations are also open for the 2017 Management Challenge – be sure to check out the new logo and look and feel of the event.

Also, farewell to Daryl Cearns who is retiring from 45 years in local government.  We thank him for his commitment to the sector and wish him well in his retirement.

Best wishes to all as we round off the year – keep busy so you have time to play over the Christmas break.



News Flash!

Rural Management Challenge

And the Winner is…Rural City of Murray Bridge!


Please click here to view a video of the day.

On Thursday 13 October a record number of 10 rural teams gathered at the Clare Country Club to compete in this year’s Rural Management Challenge.  There was a buzz in the air as teams displayed a great level of energy, humour and team work, eager to take out the title of 2016 Rural Management Challenge Winner.

It was a tough race, but Rural City of Murray Bridge came out on top, followed by Coorong District Council, City of Victor Harbor and Northern Areas Council. A big thank you to all teams for a fantastic day.

We would like to thank all of the wonderful volunteers- without them the day wouldn’t have been possible!
  • Brian Gillies
  • Natalie Cooper
  • Rebecca Kearvell
  • Paul Sharp
  • Sathish Dasan
  • Cate Atkinson
  • Jane Trotter
  • Jim Myhill
  • Corinne Garrett

Thank you also to our corporate partners LGFA, LGRS, McArthur, Statewide and Norman Waterhouse Lawyers and to our Event Partners, UHY Haines Norton, Tonkin Consulting, Maloney Field Services and Telstra for your valued support.

Let’s hear from the winning team!

As members of the Rural City of Murray Bridge team, we were delighted to have been awarded first prize.   

All being new to the Rural Management Challenge we didn’t know what to expect on the day and were extremely nervous but once we started the challenges given to us in the morning our nerves soon disappeared as we focused on the tasks at hand.

The pace soon went into over drive when we were given 4 tasks to undertake simultaneously with calm planning and discussion turning into near panic and frantic action.

Click here to read more.


Leadership Excellence Awards 2017

The call for Nominations for the 16th Annual Local Government Professionals Australia, SA Leadership Excellence Awards is now open!

This program recognises outstanding achievement and innovation in local government.  The association is pleased to present a program that not only recognises excellence but contributes to the advancement and improvement of local government as a sector.

If your council hasn’t nominated for an award in previous years you are strongly encouraged to do so.  In 2017 our aim is to see all councils in South Australia represented in the nomination process – no matter how small you might think your project is - we still want to hear about it.

Nominating for an award is an excellent way to recognise staff and councils achievements and provides you with an opportunity to share and celebrate with other councils.

We would also like to draw your attention to a new category that we have introduced 'Excellence in Cross Council Collaboration'.

Categories for the 2017 Awards are:

•    Emerging Leader of the Year
•    Community Partnerships and Collaboration
•    Innovative Management Initiatives
•    Excellence in Local Economic Development
•    Leadership in Community Services
•    Excellence in Environmental Leadership and Sustainability
•    Excellence in Risk Management
•    Excellence in Sustainable Infrastructure and Asset Management
•    Excellence in Strategic Financial Decision Making
•    Excellence in Cross Council Collaboration (New Award for 2017)

Click here to access the online nomination form and the Call for Nominations Brochure.


Leadership Excellence Awards - A winner's perspective...

We chat briefly to Kate Jessep and Victoria MacKirdy about their joint facility (The Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre) and their win in the 2016 awards - at both a State and National level.

You were successful in winning the award for Community Partnerships and Collaboration at both the State LG Professionals, SA and National LG Professionals Australia Awards with the FRAC project (Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre). What was unique about the approach that led to winning the award at both State and National levels?

While many councils collaborate to deliver services we think two Councils agreeing to partner to build and jointly own infrastructure is fairly rare.

Furthermore, this required strong community collaboration to demonstrate support for the project and more than 30 concurrent decisions of both councils which demonstrates the complexity of the venture.

If you were doing the project again would you do anything different?  Why or why not?

No. We are very proud to share the governance framework for this successful project with other Councils.

It is currently under construction on time, on budget and will deliver an excellent, above standard, $21 million community facility for a maximum capital outlay of $6.5 million for each Council.

read more..


Launch of 2017 Australasian Management Challenge

2017 marks 25 years that the Management Challenge has been running and many of today’s prominent leaders in local government have participated in this amazing program developed specifically for the sector.

Is your council up for the challenge?  We believe you are and so do the many thousands of past participants.

If your council hasn’t entered a team before – then 2017 is the year to do so.  The Management Challenge has had a facelift and has a brand new look and feel – we are excited about the changes and can’t wait for you to see them!

There is plenty of information available for teams considering putting in a team for the first time –  you can download ‘Getting Started’ and ‘Information for Composite Team’ and ‘Rural Subsidy Information’  from the home page of the Management Challenge website .  

CEO’s will receive a package in the post this week, but if you’re keen to get started you can download a brochure and any other information you need from the website -

The South Australian Regional Management Challenge will be held on 15/16 March 2017 at a venue still to be confirmed and the Australasian Management Challenge will be held in Tasmania from 22-24 May 2017.

So what are you waiting for!  Register a Team Now!


Congrats to Mario 

A big congratulations to Mario Barone!

Mario Barone was awarded the Public Service Medal for outstanding public service to local government in South Australia through the provision of leadership and strategic planning. 

Mario has given service to the City of Norwood, Payneham & St Peters for over two decades and has, in this time, demonstrated a genuine commitment to create a vibrant, progressive, prosperous and sustainable City which is responsive to citizen's needs.

“Local government is the most responsive level of government and much can be achieved if you have passion and vision.  I am very proud and honoured to work with a great and passionate team of elected members and staff.” - Mario Barone



Member Profile - Proudly sponsored by


Mark Dowd, City of Onkaparinga

This month we interview Mark Dowd, CEO of the City of Onkaparinga.  

Mark speaks about his background and his approach to the challenges of local government.

Newly elected to the position of President of LG Professionals SA  Mark also speaks about why he was keen to be involved with LG Professionals SA and his plans for the future.

Hi Mark, thanks for speaking with us.

What’s your current role, and what does it involve?
My current role is Chief Executive Officer, responsible for the delivery of Councils overall vision.

Where were you before? (i.e. what is your work background/career path so far)
Prior to taking on the role of CEO at City of Onkaparinga I spent the last 15 years working in the ICT/Technology sector with my most immediate past role being General Manager for Optus Business. Before that I have worked in numerous other management roles across different sectors.

read more..



Industry Trends

Regulating Short Term Rentals (STRs)
(US article but very relevant to Australia)
With the rise of AirBnB and other online rental platforms, regulating short-term rentals has become an evolving and complex area for local governments.

It’s a divisive issue for many communities, with clear arguments for both the benefits and costs of allowing more STRs. While some celebrate the additional income for residents and a boon to the local economy, others fear the degradation of their neighborhoods and lack of affordable housing.

Local government responses have ranged from no regulation to completely banning STRs.

However, most communities have not yet figured out the best way to approach the issue. In a survey of 800 local government officials, only a quarter had rules in place, 53% stated having no rules, 16% were actively adopting new rules, and 6% were unsure.

read more..

Sponsor Insight - Norman Waterhouse
Leadership Excellence Awards - Economic Development
Norman Waterhouse Lawyers sponsor the Excellence in Local Economic Development award, so we speak to Sean Keenihan, Chairman of Partners, Norman Waterhouse Lawyers for his insights.

Hi Sean - can you start by telling us why, as a law firm, do you sponsor an economic development award? 

We enjoy partnering with our council clients to make a real difference in local and regional economies.  We are delighted to recognize the efforts of councils that play an active role in leading and supporting economic growth.

How do you think councils can benefit from focusing on local economic development?

Developing the strength and sustainability of local economies is an essential for community prosperity.  Councils that support sustainable economic growth and transformation in local and regional economies are making a significant and tangible contribution to community prosperity.

read more..


Network News


Community Managers Network

LGA R & D Funding- Valuing Social Outcomes 

We are pleased to share that the Community Managers Network’s recent application for $50,000 from the LGA Research and Development Scheme for the Valuing Social Outcomes project has been successful.

This is a project proposal that has been developed through the Community Managers Network as a sector-wide project. The network itself will contribute a small amount of funds to the project along with four member councils. Local Government Professionals Australia, SA was the grant applicant and will manage the project funds.

read more..


Mallala  - now Adelaide Plains!

New name for The District Council of Mallala!

On 15 August 2016 the Mallala elected Council voted unanimously to change the name from the District Council of Mallala to Adelaide Plains Council.

This milestone occasion came after months of rigorous community engagement, public  consultation and media coverage that resulted in 75% of survey respondents supporting a change of Council identity.

read more..

Appsolutely great Apps for you to try

GoConqr Mind Mapping

If you are studying anything - formally, or even just learning something in your spare time at home - you can develop your own learning tools to be more productive, test yourself and learn faster with GoConqr

read more..


Movers and Shakers

  • Peter Dinning has concluded his role as Chief Executive Officer at Alexandrina Council and has commenced as Chief Executive Officer of Nadi Town Council in Fiji.

  • Debra Larwood has commenced as Chief Executive Officer at the District Council of Kimba. Debra was previously Manager Corporate Services at the Council.

    Best of luck for your new roles!



Upcoming Events and Programs

Working with Communities Workshop
Thursday 10 November 2016
Adelaide City Council

Presented by Local Government Professionals Australia, SA Community Managers Network, this workshop is an excellent opportunity for anyone new to community services and development in local government or those from local government seeking growth in this area either for personal or professional development – staff from all departments welcome!

Participants of the last workshop expressed excellent feedback including:
  • “Workshop featured a good range of interesting speakers...”
  • “Speakers presented creative and practical examples...”
  • “Heard real world examples of community development at a strategic and management level in councils.”
  • “Great opportunity to network with other practitioners.”
If you have any questions about the workshop please call Mel on 8291 7994 or email

Click here to register and for flyer

Ultimate Life Planning Workshop
24 November 2016
The Monastery Function Centre

Previous workshop participants said:
  • “A wonderful and potentially life changing experience, delivered with passion and fun.”
  • “Well packaged, thought through and fluid.”
  • “A positive way to spend the day and shape my future.”
Click here to register and for flyer

HR Network Forum- Save the Date!
Tuesday 29 November 2016
Alexandrina Council
Topic: Workforce Planning

Registrations will open soon!

General Managers Network Forum and End of Year Lunch- Save the Date
Wednesday 30 November 2016
Edinburgh Hotel Mitcham

Registrations will open soon!

Engaging Citizens in Local Government 2016/17 Series
Local Government Professionals Australia, SA in partnership with OurSay are very pleased to present this series of facilitated Workshops and Masterclasses for local government professionals to develop strategies and skills for engaging with their residents and communities.

For full details download the brochure here

Workshop 1
Engaging Citizens in Local Government: communicating the value of the local government cause

Thursday 1 December 2016
City of Prospect

Register Here

Wednesday 29 March 2017
City of Mitcham

Register Here

Workshop 2
Going from opinion to ownership: designing online engagement for decision making.

Thursday 1 December 2016

City of Prospect

Register Here

Wednesday 29 March 2017
City of Mitcham

Register Here

Masterclass 1
Responding to community feedback: the art of risk communication.

Thursday 23 February 2017
Venue: TBC

Register Here

Masterclass 2
Creating interesting and relevant content to communicate your core messages.

June 2017
Venue: TBC

Registrations will open soon.

Want to know what exciting events are coming up with LG Professionals SA?  Please click here for a copy of our full 2016/17 Events and Program Calendar.



New Members
  • Kathy Banyer, City of Onkaparinga
  • Jock Berry, City of Onkaparinga
  • Judi Cameron, City of Onkaparinga
  • Robert Dabrowski, City of Charles Sturt
  • Britt Gowing, City of Onkaparinga
  • Nathan Grainger, Clare & Gilbert Valleys Council
  • Steve Harrison, Adelaide City Council
  • Paul Harwood, City of Onkaparinga
  • Ian Hawkins, City of Onkaparinga
  • Philippa Heath, City of Onkaparinga
  • Garry Herdegen, City of Onkaparinga
  • Daniel Jellings, City of Onkaparinga
  • Anna Jordan, City of Onkaparinga
  • Chris Miller, Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council
  • Renee Mitchell, City of Onkaparinga
  • Desma Morris, City of Onkaparinga
  • Adam Mrotek, City of Onkaparinga
  • Surya Prakash, Tatiara District Council
  • Daryl Sowerby, City of Onkaparinga
  • Darren Styler, City of Onkaparinga
  • Paul Watson, City of Onkaparinga
Please make them feel welcome!


  LG Professional Magazine

LG Professional digital magazine.

Click here to view the latest edition.



Recent Events

Community Managers Network Event: Hand Up not a Hand Out – Local Government Enabling Communities

Thank you to everyone who attended Tuesday’s Hand Up not a Hand Out Conference – we will provide a full write up in the next newsletter.



Getting smart – Smart Cities and City Deals

​In a recent speech to the Regional Australia Institute, the Hon Angus Taylor MP, Assistant Minister for Cities and Digital Transformation discussed the government’s Smart Cities policy and the City Deals funding agreements.

​Historically, a lack of coordination across three levels of government and the private sector impacts outcomes in our cities, and according to the minister, this is why collaboration is at the heart of the City Deals policy.
Through City Deals, governments (including local governments), industry and communities will develop collective and coordinated plans for growth and commit to the actions, investments, reforms and governance needed to implement them. City Deals, according to the minister, are designed to drive reform through incentivising actions and accountabilities at the state and local level.

Read more.


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About Local Government Professionals Australia, SA

LG Professionals, SA is a not-for-profit member based association representing professionals working in local government in South Australia. 

We have the ability to link and connect people from different councils who may not otherwise form relationships or share. 

Our high quality professional development programs and networking events are uniquely local government – reflective of the culture of the sector and sensitive to the needs of its professionals. 

The content of our events and programs are informed by our members and people who genuinely care about the sector. 

We provide a safe and supportive environment in which to grow and learn while creating opportunities to make time away from the office to work on the business or on self. 

We award and acknowledge achievements of excellence.

We are proud to be part of a national Federation of State based Local Government Professionals Australia organisations, supported by a national office dedicated to supporting the National Local Government sector.


LG Professionals SA    5 Hauteville Tce, Eastwood SA SA 5063   Ph: 8291-7990



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