Leaders Connect

A word from the Acting CEO 

What an honour and privilege it is to be able to support professionals on their leadership journeys. There is so much to celebrate in local government and I was thrilled to be able to celebrate hard work, collaboration and innovation with over 540 of you on Friday at our 20th Annual Leadership Excellence Gala Awards Dinner. I look forward to seeing the amazing projects and teams that we recognise over the next 20 years.

Congratulations to all winners and finalists, including the 2021 winning Challenge Team - Play For Growth from City of Playford, and thank you to our sponsors for your recognition and support. Read on for the full list of winners. 

In other LG Professionals SA news, we have recently welcomed a new Board Member – Kristie Johnson, Manager, Media Marketing and Communications at City of Charles Sturt, appointed through a Board endorsed developmental opportunity for the alumni of the Emerging Leaders Program.

Finally, we look forward to the Emerging Leaders Program commencing with the Opening Retreat tomorrow where we welcome the 16th cohort of Emerging Leaders. 

Hopefully see you out and about soon!  Stay warm, or cool...


May 2021
Edition 116

News Flash 

We were absolutely thrilled to celebrate our 20th Annual Leadership Excellence Awards with more than 540 of you at our Gala Awards event on Friday! It was great to be able to celebrate in person this year and recognise all of the fantastic projects nominated.

Congratulations to all of the 2021 Leadership Excellence Awards winners!

  • Emerging Leader of the Year - Bec Lyons, City of Charles Sturt 
  • Excellence in People and Culture - Port Augusta City Council – HR, Media and Comms, and IT Teams – My Success @PACC Project Team
  • Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion - City of Marion People and Culture Team – Inclusive Traineeships Project 
  • Excellence in Customer Service or Experience - City of Adelaide UPark Team – UPark Plus Project 
  • Leadership in Community Services and Development - Campbelltown City Council Waste Warrior Team - #giveanhour Waste Warrior Project  
  • Excellence in Local Economic Development - Wakefield Regional Council COVID Support Program Team – COVID-19 Business Support Grants  
  • Excellence in Infrastructure Delivery - Corporation of the City of Whyalla – Whyalla Jetty Project Team – New Whyalla Jetty Project  
  • Excellence in Environmental Leadership and Sustainability - District Council of Kimba – Roora Water Catchment Project 
  • Excellence in Disaster Recovery / Emergency Response Management - Kingston District Council – Keilira Local Recovery Team – Keilira: The Forgotten Fire 
  • Community Partnerships and Collaboration - City of Unley – Cohousing for Ageing Well Project Team – Cohousing for Ageing Well Project  
  • Excellence in Cross Council Collaboration - Northern Sport and Recreation Network – Northern Sport and Recreation Network Alliance  
  • Rural Management Challenge 2019 – Renmark Paringa Council – Renmarkable Islanders
  • Management Challenge 2021 – City of Playford – Play for Growth

You can find information on all finalists and winners here.

Thank you to our Award Partners for their ongoing support and Jess Adamson for a fantastic job of hosting the event.

After our virtual event last year, the 2021 Management Challenge was back to its usual face to face format this year with 14 teams competing for the ultimate title. A great day was had by all with the usual banter, energy, teamwork, comradery and fun that the Management Challenge is known for. We were thrilled to see participants push themselves out of their comfort zones, seize the opportunity to learn and challenge themselves to try something new!

Congratulations to all 14 teams, including this year’s place-getters:

  • Winner: City of Playford – Play For Growth
  • 2nd place: City of Salisbury – Captain CoS
  • 3rd place: City of Port Adelaide Enfield – PAE Pride

A word from our Emerald Partner LGRS

As long-time supporters of LG Professionals SA and the Annual Leadership Excellence Awards, LGRS would like to congratulate all award finalists and winners. The excellence awards are a great way to recognise new emerging leaders coming into the local government sector. We look forward to working with you in the future.

On behalf of the team at LGRS we would like to congratulate everyone who has been involved.

A word from our Emerald Partner Norman Waterhouse

This year, we were very proud to co-sponsor with the LGA, the new award category for Excellence in Disaster Recovery / Emergency Response Management. A big congratulations to all nominees and winners and a special thanks to the
LG Professionals SA team for all they do for the sector and for once again putting on such an incredible event.

An update from the People and Culture Network Chair

Earlier this month, over 80 LG Professionals SA members from across the state attended the 2021 People and Culture Network Conference ‘The People Experience’. This year’s event focused on the importance of understanding the impact of creating the right People Experience in our organisations. As we all strive to deliver value for our communities, being able to put our customers at the heart of everything we do is only possible when we invest in our people by creating environments where they are able to grow and flourish.

With a stellar line up of speakers including Guy Newman who captivated the audience talking about Bouncing Back and Thinking For Success, Matt Hobby sharing insights into Attracting Talent, Now and Into the Future, and Julie Cunningham’s insights on Culture is a Complex System, the day also provided a well-deserved opportunity for members of the People and Culture Network to take some time to invest in themselves, reconnect with each other and add some amazing learnings to their toolkits. The day also featured two great panel discussions with members of our sector sharing their people experiences, and all of this was expertly facilitated by our emcee for the day, Peter Bice. The conference closed on an absolute high with Kate Burr, a humour coach, making us laugh while learning about High Performance Humour in the Workplace.

The day would not have been possible without the team at LG Professionals SA who work so tirelessly to create such amazing development opportunities for our network.

Jacki Done
Chair, People and Culture Network

Member Profile -
Proudly sponsored by

Kristen Clark

This month we caught up with Kristen Clark, Director of Infrastructure at Whyalla City Council about his role, the Leadership Excellence Awards and the project that was recognised for Excellence in Infrastructure Delivery. 
What is your role and what does it involve?

My role is Director of Infrastructure, at the Whyalla City Council. It involves being responsible for all of our outside workforce which is around 48 people.  They cover parks and gardens, civil works, waste and recently leases and licenses have also been added. Read more...

New Members 

Welcome to our 20 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.

Sponsor Insight

Meet Opel Nelson
We recently chatted with Opel Nelson, Financial Planner at Statewide Super about her career background, current role and what she likes doing outside of work.

What is your role at Statewide Super and what does it involve?

I am employed as a financial planner at Statewide Super. My job as a financial planner is to work predominantly with Statewide Super members to put in place a roadmap, to help them achieve their personal financial and retirement goals. That’s the main part of my job, but some of the other parts of the role include educating members through seminars or presentations on financial concepts to help them feel more empowered.

Where were you prior to Statewide Super?

Prior to Statewide, I worked at Super SA, most recently as a Member Education Officer. This involved undertaking employer worksite visits and holding education sessions with staff to talk about their super.

What is an interesting fact about you that not many people know?

A question that I get asked quite a lot is where my name comes from. Most people assume that it is a family name, something exotic or that my parents were really big European car enthusiasts. The truth however, is that my parents just made it up. When I was born, my dad was working as an Opal Miner, so this had a lot to do with it, but they changed the spelling. It always keeps people guessing.

How do you spend your leisure time outside of work?

I’m a bit of a foodie. I love to cook and try new recipes and I also love to eat out and try new restaurants. I don’t know if food can be considered a hobby, but if it can that would definitely be mine. My partner and I have a beautiful Rottweiler called Nellie, so this gets us out of the house quite a lot, going on walks and adventures with her, which we love.

Upcoming Network Events 

Wednesday 23 June 2021
Presented to you by the LG Professionals SA Community Managers Network.

This half day Working with Communities workshop is an opportunity for local government practitioners to increase their knowledge and understanding of community development in local government.

The workshop builds on the Working with Communities induction kit e-resource published by the LG Professionals SA Community Managers Network.

As part of this workshop you will:

  • Develop a greater understanding about community wellbeing through community development and service delivery in local government
  • Understand the language and values that inform and guide community development and service delivery
  • Explore creative, innovative and cost effective community initiatives that meet community needs and expectations
  • Learn how to plan and evaluate the impact of community programs and services.
Find out more

Our short courses have been curated to equip the sector's staff with the skills essential to deliver on the reform agenda of efficiency, performance and continuous improvement.

We are currently taking expressions of interest on all short courses and once there is sufficient interest a course date will be scheduled. Below is a list of all short course offerings:

  • Conflict Resolution
  • Customer Service in a Compliance Environment
  • Managing your Time, Energy and Priorities
  • Performance Coaching
  • Powerful Business Writing
  • Negotiation Skills
  • Introduction to Project Management
  • Advanced Project Management

Find out more

Network News 

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 
Monthly Catch Up: Update from Statewide Super
Thursday 3 June 2021
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Virtual (via Zoom)

For Network Members Only - contact Tahlia for more details

Continuous Improvement Network Catch Up
Thursday 17 June 2021
9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Virtual (via Zoom)

For Network Members Only - contact Tahlia for more details

Community Managers Network Committee Meeting
Friday 18 June 2021
9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
LG Professionals SA Office, 5 Hauteville Terrace, Eastwood and via Zoom

For Network Members Only - contact Tahlia for more details

Women's Network Forum
Friday 23 July 2021
9:30 AM - 12:30 PM
The FARM Centre, 40 Hanson Street, Freeling

Further details to come.

CEO and General Managers Network Forum
Friday 3 September 2021
10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Salisbury Community Hub, 34 Church Street, Salisbury

Further details to come.

Registrations are now open for IPWC – Adelaide Oct 31- Nov 4

The IPWEA International Public Works Conference is the largest public works Conference in Australasia and is held once every two years. This year, Adelaide will be hosting this amazing event.

Starting with the Assetic Welcome Reception on Sunday 31 October, IPWEA have a jam-packed conference program, with an amazing line up of speakers and networking opportunities.

Super Early Registration is available to those who register & pay before 30 June 2021.

Find out more about the program, keynote speakers and registration options at

Find out more

Local Government Performance Excellence Program
Renewals for 2021 are now due! 

The Performance Excellence Program is made up of an annual survey that collects information from participating councils and then compares and benchmarks these via a series of metrics delivered in a comprehensive report. In addition, there is a Council Comparative Analysis Tool (CCAT) that assists councils to interactively compare and analyse the report's results across data collected from all councils that participate in the program.

As you consider your involvement in the 2021 program, we are pleased to advise that the data collection has been simplified. Feedback received last year indicated that some of the metrics were no longer relevant or providing deep insight into council performance, so we’ve trimmed some sections in favour of deeper analysis in others. We have also upgraded the data collection software and estimate these changes will save about 40% of staff time in collecting and uploading data. With the program being more streamlined, the data analysis going forward will be much more targeted and meaningful.

We are also pleased to confirm that there has been no price increase this year.

We look forward to supporting participating councils in 2021.

Find out more

Please contact Rhiannon for further details on corporate partnership opportunities.

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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