Welcome to this edition of the LG Professionals SA Women’s Network Newsletter.

The Women’s Network Committee are thrilled to have delivered three incredible forums this year based around the theme of ‘Discovery’. We are grateful to have the opportunity to bring together so many amazing local government women through these forums and want to recognise the efforts of the Committee in bringing these events to you. The upcoming Women’s Network Conference: ‘Connect, Discover, Soar’ on Friday 3 November represents the final chance for this year to come together to learn, network and develop, and we can’t wait to see many of you there. We are so excited to hear from inspiring speakers, learn new tools and feel the good endorphins flowing!

On Friday 22 September we embraced more than 140 attendees online and in person at the third and final Network Forum of the year – ‘Taking the Plunge’, hosted by the City of Marion. With the program focussed around challenging yourself and taking each opportunity as it comes, we trust that attendees left feeling inspired and invigorated as we head into the final months 2023.

Alexandra Elle is a bestselling author, wellness educator, and podcast host, and this quote from her has resonated with us as we navigate personal and professional challenges: “Today I affirm letting go isn’t easy and change may be difficult, but the only way I will grow the courage to nurture my higher self is to make room for uncomfortable lessons, and to learn from them”. We hope that you are able to believe in yourself, see yourself for all the amazing person that you are, and take small steps towards the things that we know you can achieve.

Please enjoy the newsletter, and if you have any suggestions for content you’d like to see in future editions, please hit ‘reply’, we would be happy to hear from you!

Best wishes,

Dani Somerville & Melissa Kretschmer
Women's Network Committee Members

September 2023
Edition 4



The final LG Professionals SA Women's Network Forum for the year, titled "Taking the Plunge," was hosted by the City of Marion at the Marion Cultural Centre on Friday 22 September 2023. It was a pleasure to see more than 140 familiar and new faces attending the event, both in person and via Zoom.

Ruth Morgan from Creating Healthy Careers took the stage to kickstart our forum, reminding us all that "You will only be successful if you allow yourself to be." Ruth urged us to reflect on our choices, identify the roles that truly resonate with us and our values, and, most importantly, understand our value proposition. It's about recognising what makes you unique, what you bring to the table, and why you stand out.

When it comes to job interviews, Ruth offered invaluable advice on how to respond to the classic question, "Tell us about yourself?" She recommended considering three key elements in responding to the question:

  1. Your 'Why' (Bigger Picture): Articulate your broader goals and aspirations.
  2. Value Proposition: Highlight what you bring to the company or role.
  3. Why This Role: Explain why you're specifically interested in this job opportunity.

We had the privilege of hearing Katrina Head from City of Mitcham share her remarkable story that she titled "Wearing your ugg boots when life shoves you off the jetty." Her resilience and determination in the face of the many challenges she encountered, and the importance of her workplace in supporting her through them, left the audience in awe. Katrina's daughter, Grace, who has been a beacon of inspiration in her own right, joined her on stage.

The forum concluded with a dynamic panel discussion featuring Jolyn Phillipps, City of Onkaparinga, Sarah Rose, Alexandrina Council, Anna Provatas, City of Port Adelaide Enfield and Jacque Opie, City of Marion who were part their council's teams at this year's Local Government Management Challenge. They shared their personal stories of why they took the plunge to participate in the challenge and what they took away from their experience. Their stories highlighted the importance of pushing boundaries, embracing challenges, and stepping out of one's comfort zone to achieve professional growth.

On behalf of the Women's Network Committee, I want to extend our heartfelt thanks to all the speakers and attendees. It was a fantastic opportunity to host the forum at the Marion Cultural Centre.

We hope to see everyone at the upcoming Women's Network Conference: Connect, Discover, Soar on Friday 3 November 2023.

Thuyen Vi-Alternetti 
Manager City Property
City of Marion  

In person attendees at the Women's Network Forum: 'Taking the Plunge'.

Friday 3 November 2023

Registrations are open for the 2023 Women's Network Conference!

The LG Professionals SA Women’s Network Conference is an annual event for local government women at all levels, from all job roles, from both the indoor and outdoor workforce. The Conference program has been designed to help you flourish in your career and motivate you with stories of success and inspiration to support your personal and professional development.

This year’s Conference theme is ‘Connect, Discover, Soar’. The insights provided by a range of engaging speakers from within and outside the local government sector will support you to connect with yourself and your peers, and to soar in your local government career - whether you want to lead teams or inspire from your current role.

  • By attending this conference, you can:
  • Build your confidence, resilience and wellbeing
  • Build and strengthen your local government networks
  • Invest valuable time and energy into yourself, and your professional and personal growth
  • Take away tools and tips to inspire you and grow your potential

Secure your place or book your table of 8 today!

Find out more

We recently spoke with Tash Sumner from City of Playford about her role as Human Resource Officer and her career to date.

What’s your role and what does it entail?

As the HR officer, my role looks after recruitment advertising, onboarding, including pre-employment clearances, cross-boarding, including employment changes, exits as well as maintaining current employee clearances and accreditations. I also support the wider team where required. I am also currently supporting the Wellbeing space for City of Playford.

What do you enjoy most about working in local government?

I enjoy engaging with stakeholders in other departments, the different services offered to the local community and being able to partner with the organisation and our people.

What is your proudest career moment?

I started in local government as a Temp early 2017 and then commenced on a contract late 2017 with Customer Contact at the City of Playford. I was then successful in a contract with the HR team late September 2019 and made permanent in February 2021 after a successful interview. I took it upon myself to study my Certificate IV in HR with AHRI in 2020 to gain a qualification while also working on the job and getting the hands on experience. I successfully completed this online through Covid-19 and working full time.

What advice would you give someone starting out in your role?

A new role or industry can be scary, but just to take one step at a time, slow down and learn as much as you can and ask any questions. There are many steps of the process to learn and being adaptable helps to move through the changes successfully.

How do you handle stress and pressure?

I am really good at self-reflection in both work and personal life. I can acknowledge when I am feeling tense or stressed and will take note of why I feel this way, how I might make someone else feel and what I need to do to move forward. At work when I am feeling stress or pressure, it helps when I right a task list or use my calendar action things and also take one thing at a time.

What courses / books / resources have made an impact on your career?

  • Studying with AHRI (plus their membership and resources)
  • Atomic Habits (Book)
  • Anything that is professional development for my learnings & growth. I like to be pushed out of my comfort zone and try new things.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I used to compete in Artistic Roller Skating from 7 years old to 20 years old, I Coach still and I am a Mum now, so continuously working on my self-care and how to push through challenges to juggle work and mum-life. I do enjoy the challenge. I love going on walks and also seeing family and friends. Any excuse to drink coffee (ahaha).


Tash Sumner
Human Resource Officer
City of Playford


Emily Jaenson's TEDx Reno Talk is a must watch!

If you don't have time to watch the full talk - we've summarised the six behaviours below:

  • Count yourself in – Counting will get you started and momentum will keep you going.
  • Be brave – Give yourself 20 seconds of courage.
  • Take a seat at the table – Be involved in anything and everything.
  • Cheer for other people’s success – Confident people celebrate others rather than feeling threatened.
  • Use your confidences in areas you succeed to build your confidences in new areas.
  • Find ways to celebrate your success – Re-enforce the confidence you used.
Watch here


I was fortunate to participate in the 10th cohort of the LG Professionals SA Strategic Management Program earlier this year, with our graduation held on 11 August. For anyone who is seeking a higher level of professional development, or contemplating taking on some further education, I would highly recommend this program to get you back into the study mindset, especially if – like it was for me it has been a number of years since you last undertook formal study.

The Strategic Management Program can be used as a credit towards the Graduate Certificate in Business Administration which is also run in partnership with
LG Professionals SA and the University of South Australia. This is another adventure that I have committed to this year, as part of this inaugural program, and I have really valued the opportunity to undertake this study with a group of local government professionals, where the MBA content is tailored for the local government context.

There are so many benefits to be gained from prioritising your personal and professional development: from expanding your local government networks, to taking a leadership step, to gaining a deeper understanding of your own work styles and organisation operations. I would highly recommend taking that step with LG Professionals SA and a group of supportive and like-minded individuals, whether it be through the Emerging Leaders Program, Strategic Management Program or the Graduate Certificate. Why not be brave, and start a conversation with your Manager or HR team today about your next training and development opportunity. 

On a personal level, there have been challenging times when seeking to balance study, home and work commitments. With some open and honest conversations and some dedicated time management, I have been able to make it work, and working for a regional Council, I have valued the balance of in person and online training content. It is promising to see that these programs have had a good balance of male and female participation, and I am excited to see this flow through local government leadership positions in the future.

My leadership journey started with
LG Professionals SA back in 2015, participating in the Management Challenge, and attending my first
LG Professionals SA Annual Conference where I was fortunate to experience the inspiration of key note speaker Margie Warrell – if you need some inspiration to be brave and take that next step – have a listen to Margie here.


Mel Kretschmer
Director, City Services
Port Augusta City Council

Invitation to connect 

As the LG Professionals SA Women’s Network Committee represents you, we would love to hear your suggestions of content for future editions. Please feel encouraged to send relevant articles, links, profiles or information through to Haylie Maynard, Membership and Networks Officer at haylie@lgprofessionalssa.org.au. 

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  I 148 Frome Street, Adelaide SA 5000  I  Phone: 08 8224 2080

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