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

The Network’s 2024 theme is ‘Belonging’, an opportunity to build on and encourage inclusivity, helping members to feel valued in their workplace and empowering you to always be your authentic self.

It was great seeing so many of you at our recent June Forum. We hope to see you all again at the next Forum, to be held on 11 September hosted by City of Mitcham. We encourage you to register as soon as registrations open to secure your seat and avoid missing out!

We’re excited to develop the program for the upcoming 2024 Women's Network Conference (which we will formally announce soon!) and look forward to sharing further information with you.

We hope you find this edition useful, and if you have any suggestions for content you’d like to see in future editions, we would be happy to hear from you. See you again in September!

Thank you and best wishes,

Women’s Network Committee Members
Jaimi Bradshaw, Jacque Opie and Emma Grivell

June 2024
Edition 7



On Thursday, 13 June, our members were treated to an opportunity to learn, reflect, and review their personality styles to find their superpower, all with a stunning 180-degree ocean view and a chance to breathe in the fresh air of the Fleurieu Peninsula!

Kate Mason, The Personality Coach, an international keynote speaker and presenter, explored the different personality types and the strengths in each, helping us all identify our existing superpowers. In particular, Kate emphasised the importance of identifying your personality type and superpower, and for your team members to do the same, so you can use those strengths to enhance success in the workplace.

The second session of the day was presented by three incredible local government women who have identified their superpowers, used them to help others, and driven further success within their career journeys. They generously shared their stories of how they discovered this empowering realisation.

Jodie Summer, Director of Corporate Services, District Council of Yankalilla, was very entertaining, using props to help tell the story of how she gained the understanding of her four superpowers.

Kath Messner, Team Leader Library Services, District Council of Yankalilla, used personal and telling images to walk us through her diverse and rich career to date, including her time as an environmental activist.

Amy Schmid, Team Leader Customer Experience, Alexandrina Council, got out of her comfort zone and bravely spoke in front of the 180 attendees, both online and in person. Amy’s journey of organically finding herself from a young age was both relatable and inspiring.

Following their presentations, we were treated to a panel session with Jodie, Kath, and Amy. Attendees learnt ways to identify their own strengths by looking back on their childhood, embracing the opportunity to work where we live because we are proud to live there, and learning how we can all empower others around us to find and harness their superpowers. How lucky are we to have these powerhouse women working alongside us in local government!

Understanding your personality, the strengths within it, and what makes up your personal superpower, as well as those around you, can bring great outcomes in all aspects of your life. We hope all our members have been able to identify their superpowers following the forum!

To top off the day, a number of in-person attendees continued their networking over a ‘pay your own way’ lunch at Aqua Blue. This allowed teams to recap what they learnt, meet new people, and catch up with old friends.

Thank you to the District Council of Yankalilla for hosting us, and we look forward to seeing everyone at the next forum on 11 September at Tiwu Kumangka (Blackwood Library and Community Centre).


Jaimi Bradshaw
Senior Events Advisor
City of Onkaparinga
Women's Network Committee Member

LG Professionals SA Women's Network Forum: My Superpower.


Attending Women's Network Forums provides valuable opportunities for our Network members, and we are thrilled that these are accessible to both metro and regional participants. 

Recognising that travel and time can be a barrier to attendance, LG Professionals SA is pleased to offer the option of virtual forum attendance. In 2023, we saw a surge in virtual registrations, through the formation of Regional Hubs. A Regional Hub allows one or more neighbouring councils to come together in one location, and participate in a forum whilst having the opportunity to network with one another during the breaks. 

The last Women's Network Forum: My Superpower saw six regional hubs formed with more than 70 attendees joining the forum from across the state. The Fleurieu Peninsula hosted by Alexandrina Council, the Riverland hosted by Berri Barmera Council, Metro hosted by City of Port Adelaide Enfield, the Murray Mallee hosted by Rural City of Murray Bridge, Upper Spencer Gulf hosted by Port Augusta City Council, and the Mid North hosted by Town of Gawler - thank you for hosting hubs where surrounding councils can meet and network. 

If you are interested in hosting a regional hub for the Forum held on Wednesday 11 September, please reach out to Melissa Davis-Bishop, Manager - Professional Networks Engagement at melissa@lgprofessionalssa.org.au to express your interest. 

Mid North (top) and Murray Mallee (bottom) Regional Hub attendees came together to virtually attend the
Women's Network Forum: My Superpower.

We recently spoke with Corna Kotze from City of Adelaide about her role as Senior Consultant - Corporate & Community Property and her career to date.

What’s your role and how long have you worked in local government?

I am the Senior Advisor, Corporate and Commercial Property at the City of Adelaide. I am responsible for leading a team and managing the council’s commercial, retail, and corporate property portfolios. I also oversee the management of commercial contracts.

I have had the privilege to work in local government for more than 25 years, commencing as an in-house lawyer for the City of Tshwane (Pretoria, South Africa).

My first role in local government in Australia was with the City of Onkaparinga in their property department. I will be forever grateful for the ‘work family’ that supported me in adjusting to my new home. It was with a heavy heart that I moved on to a new and exciting opportunity.

The City of Adelaide relies significantly on commercial income to support community service delivery with a large commercial leasing portfolio. In 2013, I dived into my new challenge, taking responsibility for their Commercial, Corporate and Residential Leasing portfolio. What an amazing role: negotiating and structuring leases, ensuring that we grow ‘the pie’ instead of dividing it, and fostering good relationships with tenants, contributing to their success. I am blessed to lead a knowledgeable and supportive team.

When you commenced your career, did you anticipate that you would end up in local government?

Not for a moment. Life is the sum of the decisions we make. I studied law with the sole intention of becoming a criminal or litigation lawyer. Advice from a mentor was to invest in an alternative area of law in case, heaven forbid, I did not enjoy criminal law. I wisely chose property law and conveyancing. Criminal law is a tough gig that robbed me of my humanity, and disillusioned, I turned away to pursue a career in property. What an enjoyable ride! Property is interesting, diverse, and challenging. Never a dull moment.

What is your proudest career moment?

A question like this makes you stop and think. We do not take time to celebrate our successes. Fortunately, there were many successes, ranging from successful lease and contract negotiations, resolving complex competing interests of stakeholders, to appearing before court and tribunals representing the council’s interests. However, my most cherished moments of my career are the positive contributions I have made to my peers and team through advice and mentoring, focusing on upskilling and empowerment.

What important lessons have you learnt over the years?

  • Your reputation is everything.
  • Do not compromise your values.
  • Do not promise what you cannot deliver.

You have taken others you work with under your wing and helped them to feel comfortable in their role and even mentored colleagues – why do you feel this is important?

We have all experienced the unknown of a new workplace, wondering ‘who is who…’ If you help new colleagues find their feet, then they are independent and productive sooner, and definitely happier. Knowledge is power, but it is not there for you to hoard and use to manipulate people. Knowledge increases the more you share it. Why would you not give your time to mentor colleagues? Yes, it takes time and energy. However, it is rewarding, and I have learned valuable lessons from my mentees. What better legacy than to be a part of shaping tomorrow’s leaders? Many of my mentees moved into senior roles in local and state government, and the private sector. Seeing people grow, blossom, and in turn pay it forward makes me feel like a proud parent. Go forth and conquer!

What do you like to do outside of work?

Relationships are key in my work and private life. I receive energy from those around me. My favourite activity is meeting up with friends and family. My preferred holiday is cruising; nothing beats travel in comfort with good food, cocktails, and entertainment. The feeling of indulgence.


Corna Kotze
Senior Advisor, Corporate & Commercial Property 
Strategic Property Management
City of Adelaide


Why do women hold themselves back from seizing opportunities? Most of us have heard the statistic, 'Men apply for a job when they meet only 60% of the qualifications, but women apply only if they meet 100%'.

This insight, originating from a Hewlett-Packard internal report, not only highlights a woman's lack of confidence in applying for leadership roles, but also reveals deeper fears of rejection, of failure, and a deep-seated desire to 'follow the rules'.

Personally, I have always seen myself as courageous, a risk-taker with little fear of failure, and a rule-breaker. So, during a leadership training course when about 70 participants were asked who wanted to be the CEO for the day, my hand, along with about twenty others, shot up, and only four of them belonged to women. Then the self-nominated candidates had to explain why they should be CEO, and two of the four women, myself included, withdrew our nominations.

What happened next changed my perspective on women in leadership forever. Read more...


The project is proceeding through the research and data gathering stages and heading toward data analysis and a clearer picture of gender equality issues for the sector. The final stage of the project will be to provide strategies to address systemic drivers of gender inequality and sustainable options for ongoing monitoring of gender equality progress.

On 12 June 2024, the first meeting of the Stakeholder Group for the Gender Equality Project was held. As well as receiving an update on the project, there was some good discussion and the stakeholder group provided excellent input on:

  • key Gender Equality issues in the local government sector
  • some of the great Gender Equality work being done in Councils
  • resources and opportunities


Gender Pay Gap

The Gender Pay Gap is something that many people are interested in exploring. Did you know that the State Government has a Gender Pay Gap Taskforce which has been looking at the factors that contribute to the gender pay gap in South Australian workplaces? The Taskforce has released its Interim Report. You can find out more on the Office for Women website or access the interim report via this link.
Gender-Pay-Gap-Taskforce-Interim-Report.pdf (officeforwomen.sa.gov.au)

Gender Equality – beliefs and communication

Gender Compass is an excellent report on research conducted by PLAN International in 2023. The research identified beliefs, behaviours and preferences in relation to Gender Equality and suggested ways to communicate to support and effect positive change. GenderCompass_Report.pdf (plan.org.au)


If you like to get your gender equality information and awareness updates via LinkedIn, there are a number of pages you can follow. Below are some suggestions:

This project has been supported by the Local Government Research and Development Scheme administered by the Local Government Association of SA


Following on from our recent launch of the LG Professionals SA Women’s Network Mentor/Mentee Connection Pilot, we have listed an additional resource you may find useful in your professional growth journey:

How sponsoring someone at work propelled my own leadership skills

Ever wondered what some of the metaphors mean when it comes to Women in Leadership, like being in a ‘glass ceiling’? This article may assist in understanding them all better and when they are best used, or not:

Metaphors Describing Women's Paths to Leadership

Are you keen to become a mentor, but not sure if it’s for you? Or do you want to understand what kind of mentor you will be before you take the plunge? Why not take this “What’s your mentoring style?” quiz and find out? It only takes approximately 10 minutes to complete and may be the boost of confidence you need to take that next step!
Quiz: What is your mentoring style?


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 Melissa Davis-Bishop, Manager - Professional Networks Engagement at


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.

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

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