Leaders Connect

A word from the Acting CEO

Welcome to this month’s edition of Leaders Connect.  I have been thinking of you all, particularly over the last week as we embarked on our first full ‘lockdown’ – here’s hoping you found time to relax and unwind amongst the chaos.

July brings with it the start of a new financial year and, for many of us, new plans and goals. LG Professionals SA are here to support your progress towards these goals and have been working hard to coordinate a range of professional development opportunities - read on for further information.

Don’t forget to register to secure your place at the Community Managers Network Conference which will be held next month, or express interest in entering a team in this year’s Rural Management Challenge – EOI close this Friday. 

We look forward to launching a range of other professional development opportunities for you as the year progresses, including the next intake of our flagship programs. If a Leadership Program is on your professional development plan for the next year, I encourage you to visit our website and express your interest on the relevant program page – this will allow us to reach out to you directly with further information once available.

In other important news, we are pleased to have recently shared a position paper that will underpin our Advocacy Strategy for 2021/22 and look forward to progressing all items on behalf of you, our members – see below for full details.

Finally, a huge welcome to our 301 new members – all of whom have joined within the last month. You join over 1595 of your peers and we look forward to supporting you on your career journey. Not a member but want to join? Please click here to check if your organisation has a membership – if so you can activate your personal membership FOR FREE – see instructions here.

Make yourself a cuppa and settle in, this month’s edition is a big one!

Stay warm and well.

July 2021
Edition 118

Friday 20 August 2021
Adelaide Convention Centre

Time is running out to register for the Community Managers Network Conference 'Made to Measure'.

Measuring in the community space is more than just numbers of participants, it is about measuring the social impact of programs and activities and the change in our communities.

The conference will delve into the what, when, why and how of measurement, and how data can inform effective decision making for the benefit of our communities.

This conference has been designed for professionals at all job levels working with communities and interested in measuring the social impact and communicating outcomes of community based service, programs and initiatives.

Rest assured - we are monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 situation and will liaise with all registrants in the leadup to the event to advise of any changes to delivery format, if required, as determined by ongoing government restrictions.

Download the full program.

Find out more


Do you want to develop the staff of your regional council through an accessible and cost effective developmental program?

The Rural Management Challenge is designed to stretch comfort zones and expand skill sets, delivering many benefits to team members. As some tasks or issues may be outside the team members' usual role, it provides the perfect opportunity to broaden their understanding of different areas of the organisation.

The 2021 event has tentatively been scheduled to be held on Thursday 18 November 2021 in the Adelaide CBD.

Find out more


The Community Managers Network aims to lead Local Government in responding to the changing nature of communities, community services and community development. 

The Community Managers Network Committee meets every 6 weeks throughout the year, with meetings generally held at 9.30 -11:30 AM on a Friday at the LG Professionals SA offices in Eastwood and via Zoom.

The committee work with a variety of stakeholders on a range of defined portfolio areas including ageing, youth, volunteer, urban development and community infrastructure, children and families, evaluation, disability, lifelong learning and health and wellbeing and others that arise from time to time. The Network meetings provide an excellent opportunity for those in the sector to share experience and knowledge.

The committee wish to invite nominations for 9 positions for a two-year term, concluding 30 June 2023.

Find out more

Nominations for the Public Service Medal for Australia Day 2022 are now open!

The Public Service Medal is part of the national system of Australian Honours and Awards, and is awarded twice-yearly by the Governor-General.

The Medal is designed to recognise outstanding public service – whether through leadership, service excellence, improved productivity and efficiency, or innovation in program, project or policy development.

Council staff are encouraged to nominate any employee who has made an outstanding contribution, regardless of their age, length of service or classification level. Outstanding public service includes service above and beyond the normal requirements of the position, a special achievement or success in the performance of duty in difficult or unusual circumstances, or sustained high-level performance by an individual with a focus on outcomes and recognisable benefits to clients and the workplace.

Guidelines and nomination forms are available at https://australiadaysa.com.au/pages/public-service-medal.

Nominations must be received by close of business on Monday 9 August 2021.

For more information, please contact adcsa@adcsa.com.au

We are your association, and we are here to support you on your career journey.

Not a member? Check here to see if your council or subsidiary is a member - if so, you can activate your membership for free!

We've put together a list of 10 great reasons to join as a member of LG Professionals SA - see the full list here.

Our conferences, programs, forums and events present a wealth of educational offerings from small discussion groups to keynote presentations with programs developed around current sector priorities, needs and issues. LG Professionals SA Members receive discounted rates to attend all of our events and programs.

Find out more

In 2020, the LG Professionals SA Board identified advocacy as one of its key priority areas, in response to a survey where 89% of respondents agreed that LG Professionals SA has a role in advocating on behalf of its members. Strategically developed in conjunction with LG Professionals Australia and LGA SA, our Advocacy Plan ensures we are representing the professionals perspective on issues that may be facing our sector.

Please find below a position paper which will underpin LG Professionals SA advocacy strategy for 2021/2022. 

Download Advocacy Strategy

Member Profile -
Proudly sponsored by

Samantha Killington

This month we caught up with Samantha Killington, Manager People and Culture at Campbelltown City Council about her role, the importance of investing in staff and her advice for anyone looking to undertake professional development. 
What is your role and what does it entail?

I am the Manager People & Culture at Campbelltown City Council. My role entails business partnership and leadership to assist in people capability, strategy, process and culture, and facilitate the implementation and delivery of people and culture programs. Read more... 

New Members

Welcome to our 301 new members! Click here to see the list.

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

We caught up with one of this year's Emerging Leaders cohort, Melissa Mortensen, Administration Officer - Works at District Council of Grant to find out how she's finding the program so far.

What made you sign up for the Emerging Leaders Program?

I was encouraged to sign up for the Emerging Leaders Program by previous attendees and was curious to gain a greater level of understanding my own capabilities and how to work best with others who may have different styles of work preferences.

Although my current role at Council is fulfilling and gives me a sense of achievement at the end of each day, the ELP definitely piqued my interest with regard to investigating my capability and opportunities to develop as a leader in the workplace. I have found myself in leadership roles in the Community in a volunteer capacity and at home, however had not recognised that these skills had been developing until I began the course.

The most recent module held at the University of South Australia focused on Culture – what was your biggest take away from this session?

The Cultural module of the course was of great interest to me as I had often considered what constitutes a healthy workplace culture. I don’t think there is any single answer however encouraging individual employees to promote positive attitudes, support and communications in the workplace is invaluable. Developing skills for employees in the workplace to have the confidence to not engage in toxic cultural interactions is a powerful opportunity.

What are you most looking forward to as the program progresses?

I am looking forward to understanding how to integrate leadership opportunities into my workplace and developing better working relationships and appreciation of different colleague work styles. Comprehending further how to work alongside, support and encourage colleagues to develop their potentials and how to enhance team work with people bringing their varied skills to projects. I am also hopeful to use these new leadership skills to promote a positive culture and challenge myself to utilise informal leadership in the future. Anyone can be a leader!


We have a number of short courses currently open for registrations:

Monday 9 August and Monday 16 August 2021
10 AM - 12 PM - Held virtually

Find out more

Monday 30 August and Monday 6 September 2021
10 AM - 12 PM - Held virtually

Find out more

Wednesday 8 September and Wednesday 15 September 2021
10 AM - 12 PM - Held virtually

Find out more

Tuesday 14 September 2021
9 AM - 4 PM - Held virtually

Find out more

We caught up with one of this year's Ignite Program cohort, Donna Johnston, Coordinator Marketing and Communications at Town of Gawler to find out how she's finding the program so far.

What made you sign up for the Ignite Program?

I had progressed to a certain level at Council and wanted to further develop leadership skills that will assist me in climbing up the corporate ladder. When I heard about the course and researched the modules, it seemed perfect for the progression I am wanting to achieve.

You’re almost halfway through the program – what has been your biggest takeaway so far?

Developing my leadership position while improving my interpersonal skills. These critical skills I am learning will make me a more effective leader. I am loving understanding the transformational leadership style and applying those skills in my everyday life.

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

Do not hesitate, do it. I have learned so much from Mark Lourens, my facilitator in the last six months and I am looking forward to seeing what the rest of the year brings. If you want to learn great leadership skills to inspire positive changes and empowerment in your team, this course is for you.

Network News 

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:

  • Women's Network
  • People and Culture Network
  • Community Managers Network
  • Continuous Improvement Network
  • General Managers Network 
  • CEO Network
Join a Network today

Below you will find all upcoming Network Forums and Meetings.

If you would like to know more about our network offerings you can reach me at tahlia@lgprofessionalssa.org.au or phone 8291 7994.

Tahlia Willey
Network and Program Officer

People and Culture Network Catch Up: Presentation by Sathish Dasan on Employment Matters relating to the Lockdown
Tuesday 27 July 2021
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM
Virtual via Zoom

For Network Members Only – Contact Tahlia for more details

Continuous Improvement Network Catch Up
Tuesday 27 July 2021
2:30 PM - 3:45 PM
Virtual via Zoom

For Network Members Only - contact Tahlia for more details

Community Managers Network Committee Meeting
Friday 30 July 2021
9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
LG Professionals SA Office, 5 Hauteville Terrace, Eastwood and via Zoom

For Network Committee Members Only - contact Tahlia for more details

CEO Network and General Managers Network Joint Forum
Friday 15 October 2021
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
City of Salisbury Community Hub, 34 Church Street, Salisbury

Details will be released soon.

I was fortunate to recently participate in the LG Professionals SA Strategic Management Program which was a highly rewarding experience. Despite having many years of leadership and management experience across various sectors, the program developed and broadened my depth of knowledge across the key topics of the program. 

Participants were from both metropolitan and regional councils and across various roles which expanded the opportunities to broaden our perspective. Being a highly interactive program, shared learning was encouraged and exposed me to many thought-provoking discussions from both the lecturers and other participants. I particularly enjoyed reflecting on strategy development and believe that Local Government should shift its thinking around long term strategy to enable more agility to respond to the ever-changing landscape and encourage innovation for the benefit of our customers and community.

The assignments were highly beneficial and effective as I could apply them to practical workplace examples and assisted me to develop fundamental cases to progress projects that I am particularly passionate about within my organisation. 

As a people centric leader, I have found myself over the years focussing on the development of others and did not consider furthering my own education at this level but I highly recommend it to others. Even though it was challenging juggling a full time-role, study and life in general I certainly do not regret having the opportunity to undertake this program and apply the learning that I obtained to assist my organisation, its customers and the community.

Christine Inkster
Service Centre Team Leader
City of West Torrens
2020 Strategic Management Participant


Fiona Harvey, previously Manager Operations at the City of Marion has commenced as General Manager Community Development, City of Port Adelaide Enfield. 

Bernadette Lee, previously Property Officer (Transactions) at the City of Onkaparinga has commenced as Senior Property Officer, City of Marion.


Women's Network Conference 
Friday 5 November 2021

LG Professionals SA Annual General Meeting
Thursday 11 November 2021

Annual State Conference 
Friday 18 March 2022

Australasian Management Challenge
Wednesday 4 May 2022

Leadership Excellence Awards Gala Dinner
Friday 27 May 2022

Registrations are now open for the 2021 LGA Emergency Management Seminar ‘Better Together’, to be held on Thursday 9 and Friday 10 September at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre.

This year’s theme ‘Better Together’ emphasises the importance of council and other agency staff not only supporting their communities during emergencies, but also each other.

The program showcases a fantastic line up of speakers including Hon Vickie Chapman MP, Helen Connolly, Christine Nixon AO QPM, Grant Stevens APM LEM, Shane Fitzsimmons AFSM and many more who will share insights covering a range of topics including mobilisation of resources, the importance of partnering, fostering positive connections with communities and normalising action to promote wellbeing.

Find out more

Please contact Rhiannon for further details on corporate partnership opportunities.


The Local Government Information Technology South Australia (LGITSA) Awards have been developed to promote and reward excellence in Information Technology (IT) and Information Management (IM) across the Local Government sector in South Australia.

Award Categories:

  • Excellence in Community Experience
  • Excellence in Employee Experience
  • Excellence in Information Management
  • Excellence in IT Service Delivery
  • Young Achiever of the Year
  • Team of the Year (IT/IM) in Digital Transformation
  • South Australian Achievement of the Year

Nominate by: Friday 20 August 2021

For further information and a copy of the nominations booklet, please go to: https://www.lgitsa.com.au/news-events/awards

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 Terrace, Eastwood SA 5063   Phone: 08 8291 7990

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