Leaders Connect

A word from the CEO

As we power towards the end of 2023, the team and I have been reflecting on another huge year for
LG Professionals SA.

2023 has seen record attendance in a number of areas, with our sector engagement growing significantly – 95% of SA Councils participate in our activities, and 73 councils/subsidiaries have invested in their staff through an organisation membership subscription.  

Some of our highlights for 2023 include:

  • Welcoming 288 attendees to our Annual State Conference ‘Reaching New Heights’
  • Proudly watching on as an incredible 18 teams took part in the 2023 Management Challenge, the 30th year of the event
  • Welcoming 485 guests to our 22nd Annual Leadership Excellence Awards Gala Dinner where we celebrated the outstanding achievements of professionals in the SA local government sector
  • Welcoming 85 attendees to our People and Culture Network Conference ‘Leading the Future’
  • Partnering with the Community Managers Network to deliver their 2023 Conference ‘Community Development: Getting it Right’ which attracted 103 professionals from across the sector
  • Delivering the 2023 Rural Management Challenge, which attracted 13 amazing teams from regional councils across the state
  • Celebrating a record year for our Women’s Network – with record forum attendance throughout the year and a record 277 Women’s Network Conference registrations
  • Delivering our Annual Economic Development Conference, in partnership with Norman Waterhouse
  • Held the first intake of our Graduate Certificate in Business Administration Program – with 10 participants
  • Providing valuable opportunities to our Members through participation in our Flagship Leadership Programs - Ignite, Emerging Leaders Program, Strategic Management Program and Executive Leaders Program – all of which sold out or achieved record numbers this year
  • Launched the first of our Women’s Leadership Programs ‘Career Navigator’ which sold out with 16 participants
  • Successful in obtaining $75,000 of R and D funding to progress the Workforce and Gender Equity in SA Local Government project

As you take the time to reflect on your own successes and accomplishments in 2023 and look towards 2024, I urge you to consider nominating your achievements for a Leadership Excellence Award, registering for one of our flagship Leadership Programs (limited places remaining!) or the Annual State Conference, or getting a team together for the Management Challenge. As always, if you'd like to chat about how we can support you on your leadership journey please don't hesitate to reach out.

Thank you to our program partners, Corporate and Event Partners, volunteer Network Committee Members and Board Members for your invaluable support and contribution to the sector in 2023. It truly is a pleasure to partner with each and every one of you. 

Wishing you all the best for the festive season - keep happy, safe and well. I look forward to connecting with you in the new year.

Best wishes 


December 2023
Edition 147



Wishing everyone a safe and happy holiday season - we look forward to continuing to deliver quality professional development, capacity building and opportunities for connection for our members in 2024.

Our office will be closed from 5pm Friday 22 December 2023 and will reopen 9am Monday 8 January 2024.

Online registrations will still be available during this time.


Friday 22 March 2024

The 2024 conference has been designed to inspire and energise South Australian local government professionals to embrace the changes, opportunities and challenges that the future holds, and use these to support prosperous and thriving communities.

Meeting the complex challenges of the future will require local governments to increase capacity and deliver services in new ways whilst still meeting customer expectations – to do this the workforce will need to evolve to new ways of thinking and working.

This period of rapid change also represents a time of extreme opportunity, and local government is in a unique position to wholeheartedly embrace the future, leading the way for South Australian communities.

Book your table of 8 for the conference before Wednesday 20 December and receive your 9th registration free!*

*Limit 1 free registration per organisation.

Find out more


The LG Professionals SA Annual Leadership Excellence Awards Program recognises outstanding achievement and innovation in local government. Nominations are now open for the 23rd Annual Leadership Excellence Awards, and member organisations are encouraged to prepare their nominations in the following categories:

  • Emerging Leader of the Year
  • Excellence in People and Culture
  • Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion
  • Excellence in Community Partnerships and Collaboration
  • Excellence in Cross Council Collaboration
  • Excellence in Local Economic Development
  • Excellence in Customer Service or Experience
  • Excellence in Community Services and Development
  • Excellence in Environmental Leadership and Sustainability
  • Excellence in Emergency Management / Disaster Recovery
  • Excellence in Infrastructure Delivery 

Nominations close 5.00pm Friday 2 February 2024. 
**Nominations for the 23rd Annual Leadership Excellence Awards are open to Council or Subsidiary Organisation Members only. Should you be unsure if you are eligible, please visit www.lgprofessionalssa.org.au/Membership**

To request a copy of the recording of the how to nominate information session please contact Megan Down, Manager - Events & Partnerships at megan@lgprofessionalssa.org.au.

Find out more

Early Bird registrations close Monday 29 January 2024

The Australasian Management Challenge has been at the forefront of professional development in local government in Australia and New Zealand for more than 30 years. The Management Challenge is a simulation-based team building, learning and networking program using real local government themes - the types of issues that a senior management team in a council would most likely face.

The Management Challenge provides an excellent professional development opportunity to become more effective in leading, thinking, communicating, negotiating, decision-making, analysing and engaging.

Please note: The 2024 Management Challenge will be held on Wednesday 10 April 2024. We encourage you to start organising your teams and preparation as soon as possible. 

Registrations close Monday 19 February 2024.

Register your team now


If you have any questions about our suite of leadership programs, please reach out – we would be pleased to support you to gather the information you need to participate in 2024, or chat through your development goals to see how we might best support you. Please contact Rhiannon Grebenshikoff, Chief Executive Officer on rhiannon@lgprofessionalssa.org.au or 0448 490 027.

Program Commences February 2024

The 12-month program, spanning 13 program days plus an orientation session, is designed to enable those who have limited experience in managing and leading people to develop the competencies to set them up for success in their role. Upon successful completion of this program, graduates will receive the nationally recognised qualification Certificate IV in Leadership and Management.

The Ignite Program is special because each cohort regularly reflects and debriefs on the local government challenges and opportunities they face, sharing strategies which have been successful or otherwise - all in the spirit of learning. Case studies, assessments and conversations are all tailored to our unique sector.

If you'd like a copy of the recording of the Ignite Program Information Session held on Wednesday 1 November 2023, please email Eve Jackson, Training Support Officer at eve@lgprofessionalssa.org.au. 

Only 1 place remaining!

Find out more

Program Commences February 2024

Developed in partnership with UniSA and local government experts, the Strategic Management Program has been designed to build high-level leadership and management skills within a local government context. Participants will develop technical skills to manage business functions, enhancing innovation, strategic thinking, business acumen and operational excellence.

This interactive program will be delivered in a hybrid format in 2024, with some modules delivered face to face and some via live virtual classroom.

If you'd like a copy of the recording of the Strategic Management Program Information Session held on Monday 23 October 2023, please email Eve Jackson, Training Support Officer at eve@lgprofessionalssa.org.au.

Only 2 places remaining!

Find out more

Program Commences February 2024

Leadership in the local government sector comes with its own unique set of evolving challenges for executives. The COVID ‘reset’ combined with new services, skills and technologies have fundamentally changed expectations of the delivery of public services. With the ever-growing question of ‘what role will local government play both now and into the future?’, there has never been a more important time to explore a new paradigm of leadership and inspire your thinking about the future.

The Executive Leaders Program will expand your thinking about change, navigating the political environment, innovation and yourself.

If you'd like a copy of the recording of the Executive Leaders Program Information Session held on Tuesday 31 October 2023, please email Eve Jackson, Training Support Officer at eve@lgprofessionalssa.org.au. 

Only 3 places remaining!

Find out more

Program Commences February 2024

The LG Professionals SA Career Navigator Program supports women to develop a strong, authentic professional identity and approach their career and work with positivity and proactivity. Suited to aspiring leaders, and high potential women, who may not want to move into more senior roles but want to build their professional profile and cultivate greater influence and impact in their workplace. 

The Program equips participants with the knowledge, skills and confidence to:

  • build their professional presence and profile
  • maintain their cool in stressful and challenging situations
  • understand and navigate organisational politics and team dynamics with integrity
  • apply a Growth Mindset to personal and professional challenges to build resilience and wellbeing
  • set and pursue personal and professional goals.

Only 2 places remaining! 

Find out more

Program Commences February 2024

The LG Professionals SA Career Catalyst Program is designed for female leaders who want to build a strong leadership legacy and identity, without compromising their values, wellbeing or relationships. 

The program equips participants with:

  • a deeper understanding of their current professional terrain, and the skills and tools required to navigate it with resilience and authenticity
  • skills to build an authentic 'leadership presence', communicate with clarity and increase workplace impact and influence
  • an understanding of how gender dynamics can influence workplace, particularly leadership experience, and tried-and-tested tools to respond effectively to bias and double standards

Limited places remaining!

Register now

Program Commences May 2024

The prospectus for the 2024 Emerging Leaders Program has been launched.

Emerging Leaders Program is a highly interactive program that will take participants on a seven month experiential learning journey to develop their leadership skills. The program combines leadership techniques taught by UniSA lecturers and the opportunity to apply these techniques in participant led local government modules to further develop leadership capability.

As a participant of this program, you can expect to:

  • increase your understanding of leadership concepts and practices
  • build your confidence and self-awareness
  • challenge assumptions
  • better understand local government

If you'd like a copy of the recording of the Emerging Leaders Program Information Session held on Tuesday 12 December 2023, please email Eve Jackson, Training Support Officer at eve@lgprofessionalssa.org.au. 

Registrations will open Wednesday 17 January 2024. With only 28 places available, we anticipate this program will sell out fast. 

Find out more

We caught up with one of this year's Emerging Leaders Program participants, Shraddha Dhungel, Infrastructure Engineer, Mount Barker District Council to find out how she enjoyed the program. 

What made you sign up for the Emerging Leaders Program?

Having started this graduate job less than two years ago, I am very early on in my career and am still shaping myself professionally and my leadership style. Although I have a while to go before I take on a leadership position, I believe it’s never too early to learn good leadership habits. I wanted to dig deeper within myself and learn what it takes to be a good leader – hence I signed up for the program.  

A recent module focused on 'Sustainability’ – what were some of your takeaways from this module?

It was a great module, the presentation from City of Mitcham regarding their power grid was a very interesting topic and definitely something that all of the councils should be thinking moving forward. It wasn’t just the actual initiative itself – it was all the back end thinking, planning and convincing council to go with the idea that was really impressive.  

What was your biggest take away from the program?

The biggest takeaway for me was the different TMS profiles for people in a workplace - how to relate/work with them best and also understanding how this relates to other people’s perception of me. This program really helped me get out of my comfort zone, and made me more mindful about of the different collaboration techniques required when working with different people to get the best possible outcome. 

What advice would you give to someone considering doing the Emerging Leaders Program?

Be open to different ways of thinking and doing things, and definitely get out of your comfort zone and do things the way you normally wouldn’t do it. 


Shraddha Dhungel
Infrastructure Engineer 
Mount Barker District Council 


LG Professionals SA Members are invited to join one of our many Networks.

Networks are groups of professionals who share a common interest or experience. We run a comprehensive range of Network meetings and forums throughout the year, offering staff the opportunity to learn and develop whilst sharing and networking with peers from their own and other councils and subsidiaries, across the state.

Our Networks include:

Join a Network today

If you would like to know more about our Network offerings, or have a suggestion for a new Network, please contact Haylie Maynard, Membership and Networks Officer at haylie@lgprofessionalssa.org.au.


This was the first joint forum between the LG Professionals SA General Managers and Directors Network and
LG Professionals SA People and Culture Network. We set out to provide practical ideas to improve recruitment and retention across the local government sector. By the end of the session, we had no less than 15 new ideas which could be implemented by councils quickly for little to no cost.

Attendees were treated to a series of examples of innovation from various councils. Through these stories, I found myself reflecting on the calibre of our professionals across the sector. One of the greatest strengths of our sector is the ability of our people to innovate and solve problems combined with their willingness to share their ideas and learnings.

This forum marked a fantastic first step in increasing collaboration between networks. The interactive sessions and sharing of practical solutions have set a positive tone for future collaboration and support within the sector. We’re already thinking about the next joint forum; I suspect we’ll turn our focus from practical to strategic solutions to provide a longer-term perspective on our workforce-related challenges.

I look forward to seeing more of these forums in the future and encourage you to come along to be a part of our collaborative learning experience.


Jordan Littlefair
Manager People and Culture 
City of Onkaparinga
People and Culture Network
Committee Chair


We offer a range of short courses that have been curated to equip the sector’s staff with the skills essential to deliver on efficiency, performance and continuous improvement.

If you are interested in attending any of the following short courses please complete an EOI through the link below and we will be in touch once we have scheduled the next intake of that short course. 

    All of our short courses can also be run in house at your council.
    Please contact Eve Jackson, Training Support Officer at eve@lgprofessionalssa.org.au for more information. 

    Find out more


    Our members are the leaders of today and tomorrow. You will make crucial connections to people and ideas to make to take your career to the next level. 

    Learn more about what LG Professionals SA Membership offers you. 

    Find out more


    Welcome to our 45 new members! Click here to see the list.

    We look forward to providing support and professional development and networking opportunities through every stage of your local government career.


    Do you work for or know an organisation who would be interested in gaining exposure to local government professionals through sponsorship with LG Professionals SA? 

    As a not-for-profit association, LG Professionals SA rely on the support of sponsors to be able to continue to deliver the range of high quality events and professional development programs that we are known for.

    Partnering with sponsors also creates opportunities for our members to learn, build relationships and receive best value.

    Please contact Megan Down for further details on corporate partnership opportunities.

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

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