Leaders Connect

A word from the CEO

Welcome to the first edition of Leaders Connect for 2024! I hope it finds you refreshed after a well-deserved break and ready to take on whatever the year has in store.

The team and I are excited to see what this year brings! We will continue to curate opportunities for local government professionals to come together and share, learn and build lasting connections. We are kicking off the year by investing in our own development – and encourage you to consider doing the same.

LG Professionals SA have recently welcomed a new team member, Leeanne McEwan, Gender Equity Project Lead. No stranger to LG Professionals SA from a membership perspective, Leeanne joined the team in December 2023 and will lead the Workforce and Gender Equity in SA Local Government Project, which has been funded by the LGA Research and Development fund.

If you have been thinking about nominating for a Leadership Excellence Award but haven’t yet found the time – a friendly reminder that nominations close this Friday 2 February 2024. I encourage you to take the time to reflect on your achievements and submit your nomination. We look forward to reading about and celebrating all of the fantastic achievements of the sector over the last year. Of course, if you have any questions about the process or need some extra time to complete your nomination please don’t hesitate to reach out.

If a Leadership Program is in your development plan for 2024, please read on below - we have places remaining in several high-quality programs.

Wishing you all the very best as you settle back in for the year and I look forward to seeing you soon. Our Annual State Conference isn't too far away, and I'm excited about the program - I hope to see you there.

Best wishes

January 2024
Edition 148



The LG Professionals SA Annual Leadership Excellence Awards Program recognises outstanding achievement and innovation in local government. Nominations are closing very soon 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 

Last chance to nominate! Nominations close 5.00pm THIS 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


Registrations close Monday 19 February 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. 

Register your team now


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 embrace the future wholeheartedly, leading the way for South Australian communities.

Developed by the sector for the sector, this conference program is highly relevant and engaging for local government professionals in all job roles and levels, from metropolitan and regional councils and subsidiaries. We encourage you to register today.

Find out more


We offer a range of leadership development opportunities for every stage of your career journey, whether you would like to lead people or inspire them from your current position. Registrations for the below listed Leadership Programs are open with limited places available. 

Program commences this week!

This 12-month program 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. 

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. 

Only 1 place remaining!

Find out more

Program commences 6 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.

Limited places remaining!

Find out more

Program commences 8 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.

Only 2 places remaining!

Find out more

Program commences 8 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.

Gain a deeper understanding of the current professional terrain, and the skills and tools required to navigate it with resilience and authenticity. While building your leadership presence and workplace impact. 

Limited places remaining! 

Find out more

Understand your community's views on climate change: Introduction for Metropolitan and Regional & Rural Councils. 

At .id (informed decisions) we believe local government plays a critical role in addressing Australia's climate challenge. We also believe that understanding and incorporating local area community views of climate change - its impact and mitigation priorities - into climate policy and advocacy will lead to more resident centric decision making, sustainable actions and ultimately better climate outcomes. To help councils understand their community's views regarding climate change, .id has created a Climate Change questionnaire module as an extension to our existing Living in Place community survey.

To help introduce Councils to this new this service we are hosting an online information sessions for Metropolitan Councils on 13 February (Register here) and Regional & Rural Councils on 14 February (Register here).

Find out more


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.

We've just released an exciting range of short courses scheduled for the remainder of this financial year - take a look below. 

Please contact Eve Jackson, Training Support Officer at eve@lgprofessionalssa.org.au for more information on any of our short courses or how we can bring them in house to your council or subsidiary. 

Find out more


Monday 25 March 2024

This course will provide you with the knowledge and skills to improve your time management approach to your daily and weekly workload—work smarter, not harder! You’ll dive into issues that are preventing you from reaching optimum effectiveness and develop a range of techniques and strategies to better manage your time and get more out of your day.

Suitable for: Officers at all levels

Facilitated by Gary Edwards
As a lawyer, magician, negotiator, comedian and speaker, Gary is an expert in the art and science of influence – the key ability that businesses will need to navigate a future where nothing is quite as it seems. Gary has been a facilitator with LG Professionals SA for many years and delivers numerous short courses with exceptional feedback from participants.  

Register now

Wednesday 27 March 2024

Learn the basic principles required for managing successful projects that drive real results.

Suitable for officers, coordinators and team leaders

Facilitated by Lisa Twyford
Lisa is a highly motivated professional with extensive business improvement and project management experience. Her passion for these areas equips her with the expertise to deliver both the Introduction to Project Management and Advanced Project Management short courses. These courses sell out very quickly, and the feedback received is always excellent.

Register now

Wednesday 17 April 2024 

Even if your role doesn’t require a lot of writing, how you come across is crucial to your credibility. The ability to write clearly, precisely, powerfully and persuasively is a key skill that enables you to summarise and present ideas, build relationships and gain commitment to action. It can also demonstrate your knowledge, confidence and professionalism.

This course uses your own writing examples to demonstrate the use of Plain English principles and persuasive writing techniques.

Suitable for: Officers, Coordinators, Team Leaders, Senior Managers

Facilitated by Gary Edwards
As a lawyer, magician, negotiator, comedian and speaker, Gary is an expert in the art and science of influence – the key ability that businesses will need to navigate a future where nothing is quite as it seems. Gary has been a facilitator with LG Professionals SA for many years and delivers numerous short courses, with exceptional feedback from participants.

Register now

Wednesday 15 May 2024

This course enables participants to develop skills and confidence in holding performance coaching conversations in an easy and comfortable environment. Participants are provided opportunities to engage with their direct reports in a new and contemporary approach. They will prepare for effective performance conversations in their workplace.

Suitable for: Coordinators, Team Leaders, Managers and Executives

Facilitated by Debra Sarre
With a Bachelor of Psychology and 20 years corporate experience Debra brings current knowledge and practices from the fields of Organisational Psychology and contemporary leadership and management. Debra delivers our Performance Coaching short course and has also been a key facilitator for our Emerging Leaders Program.

Register now

Wednesday 26 June 2024

Beyond providing you with essential knowledge and skills to plan, manage and execute projects on time and on budget, this program takes a deeper dive into project management theory and looks at both operational and strategic elements of project management.

Suitable for: Staff who have experience with managing projects and wish to extend their knowledge

Facilitated by Lisa Twyford
Lisa is a highly motivated professional with extensive business improvement and project management experience. Her passion for these areas equips her with the expertise to deliver both the Introduction to Project Management and Advanced Project Management short courses. These courses sell out very quickly and feedback received is always excellent.

Register now


From small discussion groups to international keynote presentations, our programs are developed reflecting current and future priorities, needs and issues, with members offered a discount for each event. 

Learn more about what LG Professionals SA Membership offers you. 

Find out more


Welcome to our 50 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.

Member Profile - 
Proudly sponsored by

Sarah Rose

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. Read more...

Program Commences 30 May 2024

Registrations are open for the 2024 Emerging Leaders Program - only 1 place remaining!

The 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. 

Register now to avoid missing out.  

Find out more

We caught up with one of the 2023 Emerging Leaders Program participants, Jake Dean, Media Officer, City of Onkaparinga to find out how he enjoyed the program. 

What made you sign up for the Emerging Leaders Program?

My interest in doing the program was sparked when I filled in for my team leader a few times while he was on leave and I felt like I needed more development in this area, having not had direct reports before. I was also entering my fifth year in local government, so I felt like it was time to expand my knowledge and skills and make more connections across the sector.

What was your biggest takeaway from the program?

I found the results of, and the discussion around, our Team Management Profiles really illuminating. I was initially sceptical of what my questionnaire responses would reveal about me and my preferred style of working, but I found that it taught me a lot about myself and the areas I need to work harder on. It also made me realise a good team is one that has people with a diverse group of working styles, rather than everyone sharing the same traits. I also need to surround myself with a Creator Innovator 24/7!

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

I’d say there’s never a perfect time to do it, so give it a go. I’ve got two young kids and, like all of us, work can get stressful—especially when you’re trying to juggle all the other things—so a year earlier I’d turned down an opportunity to apply. Then, last year when I was on the fence again, I realised I could always come up with an excuse not to do it, so I just decided to go for it. While the program workload can be demanding, you’ll learn a lot about yourself and maybe even make some lifelong friends!


Jake Dean
Media Officer 
City of Onkaparinga 



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.

CEO Network Forums

  • Thursday 21 March 2024
  • Thursday 5 September 2024
  • Thursday 7 November 2024

Further information will be released soon.

Business Performance and Improvement Network Forums

  • Friday 12 April 2024
  • Thursday 25 July 2024
  • Wednesday 20 October 2024

Further information will be released soon.

People and Culture Network Forums

  • Thursday 4 April 2024
  • Friday 20 September 2024
  • Thursday 21 November 2024

Further information will be released soon.

People and Culture Network Conference

  • Friday 5 July 2024

Further information will be released soon.

General Managers and Directors Network Forums

  • Thursday 21 March 2024
  • Wednesday 31 July 2024
  • Wednesday 15 November 2024

Further information will be released soon.

Women's Network Forums

  • Thursday 14 March 2024
  • Thursday 13 June 2024
  • Wednesday 11 September 2024
Further information will be released soon.

Women's Network Conference

  • Friday 1 November 2024

Further information will be released soon.

Further information regarding Community Managers Network offerings will be released soon.


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 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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