Leaders Connect

A word from the CEO

How exciting to write this message in my first official newsletter as Chief Executive Officer.

It has been a privilege to lead the LG Professionals SA team over the past year and I look forward to working with the Board over the coming years to deliver on our mission of developing local government people.

November has been our busiest month yet, with our Women’s Network Conference, Annual General Meeting, Economic Development Conference and Rural Management Challenge – nonstop for the team but so rewarding to see the take-up of and impact of our events and programs.

As we busily plan for a huge 2022, a friendly reminder that registrations for our Executive Leaders Program, Strategic Management Program and Ignite Program close this Friday – I urge you to consider sending yourself or someone from your team. Watch your inbox for the impending announcement of or Annual State Conference theme for 2022 and make sure you save the date – Friday 18 March 2022. Registrations for the Australasian Management Challenge will also open very soon.

Wishing you all the best for this home stretch to the holidays—a great time to nominate for a Leadership Excellence Award and register for an event or two as you reflect on the year gone and consider your personal goals for 2022.

Stay safe, happy and well.

Best wishes

November 2021
Edition 122


We caught up with our newest Board Members to find out what they are most looking forward to. 

Kate O’Neill
General Manager Community and Organisational Development
City of Mitcham

"I am looking forward to working with the Board to progress their strategic intent in relation to career and personal development of our people in SA Local Government. Particularly I am wanting to make an impact on workplace diversity and inclusion and attracting and retaining outstanding people to local government. I am excited about the opportunity to give back to the sector that has provided me with so many opportunities, working and learning from a network of equally passionate peers, and discovering the future role I can play in developing the sector."

Justin Commons
Chief Executive Officer
City of Whyalla

"Having worked in local government for approximately 20 years, in councils big and small, both metro and regional, I am passionate about the breadth and depth of services Councils deliver through a diverse range of professionals in our sector. My personal development and career has benefited from the services and support of LG Professionals SA (and LGMA Qld) and I look forward to re-investing my experience into the development of our sector and the professionals within. More than ever before, we have the need to attract, retain and develop highly skilled staff to our sector, with LG Professionals SA playing a huge role in meeting this need."

Kate Grigg
Team Member Open Space
City of Unley

"I’m most looking forward to helping the outdoor workforce access what LG Professionals SA have to offer. I’m also really looking forward to the networking opportunities and learning how other councils operate."

Dylan Strong
Chief Executive Officer
District Council of Orroroo Carrieton

"Like so many other organisations, LG Professionals SA has had a couple of fairly challenging years. But we’ve adapted and endured.

It’s a dawn of a new era in so many ways and I was really pleased to be re-appointed. I am particularly looking forward to some tangible outcomes of our recently finalised partnership with LGA SA.  This partnership has been a long time in the making, and it will be extremely rewarding to see the benefits for our membership unfold.

On a different front, we have an emerging succession issue in local government. I am keen to drive some new priorities and initiatives with our ‘fresh-faced Board’ in identifying who the next generation of professionals we need are, the barriers to new talent recruitment and succession, and how we can overcome them.

It really is an exciting time to be a part of the LG Professionals SA Board. I look forward to working with my fellow Board Members and our recently appointed CEO in supporting the professionals of our sector in their pursuit of excellence."  

Stacey Bateson
Manager, Customer and Marketing
City of Adelaide

"I am most looking forward to creating meaningful outcomes for those who aspire to further develop their potential and career in local government, contributing to an organisation that is striving to make a difference in our sector, and having a positive influence on the amazing programs and initiatives that I have been honoured to be a part of."

Meet the 2022 Board

A celebration of outstanding achievement in Australian local government

The Federation Awards are an annual celebration of achievement in local government across Australia. The Awards showcase innovative and resourceful solutions delivering quality services and better outcomes for local communities.

Please join a livestreamed event on Tuesday, 30 November 2021 from 3:00 pm AEDT on the Local Government Professionals Australia YouTube channel and find out the who the winners are in five coveted categories:

  • Environmental Leadership and Sustainability Award
  • Innovative Management Initiative Award
  • Community Service Delivery Award
  • Partnerships and Collaboration Award
  • Emerging Leader Award

Tuesday, 30 November 2021. 3:00pm AEDT.

Watch on YouTube


The LG Professionals SA Leadership Excellence Awards recognise outstanding achievements and innovation in local government. Consider encouraging your colleagues to nominate, or submit your own nomination, for one of the 11 categories listed below:

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


After missing out on holding the Women’s Network Conference in 2020, I can’t say how relieved and excited we were to hold the annual Women’s Network Conference in person on 5 November at the National Wine Centre. This year’s theme ‘Grow & Thrive’ was an opportunity to reflect on the past year, make sense of it and identify the growth opportunities, pushing through adversity and being brave with the unknown.

The conference was attended by 245 amazing women from our sector across 17 metro and 20 regional Councils. We were just one short of our all-time Women’s Conference record.

We were fortunate enough to have Deb Richardson come out of her ‘gap’ year to join us on the day as Emcee, she did such a great job. We also had a fantastic line up of speakers on the day, Dr Gemma Munro who spoke to us about ‘making brave choices in the midst of change’, Kerryn Page showing us all how to grow our brand and thrive on LinkedIn, Samantha Young about ‘aspiring women’, and who can forget Dorinda Hafner, she had all the attendees up on their feet and in stitches laughing whilst sharing her story. I was also extremely honoured to have the opportunity to share my story with my colleagues, definitely taking the vulnerability and bravery to the next level.

Thank you to the four amazing women from our sector, Deb Larwood (District Council of Kimba), Hayley Ashworth (City of Mitcham), Jodi Roberts (City of Victor Harbor) and Erin Findley (Town of Gawler, soon to be City of Playford) who accepted the challenge to join us on our panel session to share their stories, experiences and advice.

The day would not have been possible without our wonderful committee members and the amazing team at LG Professionals SA, without their support we would not have been able to deliver such a great conference.

Lastly thank you to our Council’s for supporting the development of their staff to attend the day.

In keeping with the theme of the conference, I leave you with “take every challenge as an opportunity to grow and thrive”.

Thuyen Vi-Alternetti
Women's Network Committee Chair


The Rural Management Challenge was held on Thursday 18 November 2021 at the Terrace Hotel in Adelaide. We welcomed six eager teams from across the State to take part in a day that was fun, challenging and rewarding.

  • City of Port Lincoln – Port Lincoln Parrots 
  • Mid Murray Council – Black Duck Dreamers
  • District Council of Loxton Waikerie - Rivers Edge Council
  • Port Augusta City Council - Power Ranges 
  • Rural City of Murray Bridge – Mighty Murray Wanggami  
  • District Council of Mount Remarkable – The Remarkables 

Well done to all teams for stepping out of their comfort zones and taking on the challenge - it's always a great day and we love seeing the transformations that occur!

Congratulation to the winning team - District Council of Loxton Waikerie - Rivers Edge Council 
Thank you to our wonderful volunteers and facilitation team for helping out with marking and observing throughout the day - Farlie Taylor, Ray Pincombe, Deb Larwood, Tim Tol and Emily Maxwell, Jane Trotter and Jim Myhill.

Danielle Stasinowsky, Jordan Hunt, Danika Lewan and Claire Victor
District Council of Loxton Waikerie

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.

Since 2001 our Leadership Excellence Awards Program has recognised outstanding achievements and innovation in local government, creating public awareness of the level of expertise and excellence in the sector. Nominating for a Leadership Excellence Award is an opportunity exclusive to Members only. 

Find out more

Member Profile -
Proudly sponsored by


Bec Lyons  

This month we caught up with Bec Lyons, Coordinator Community Experience at City of Charles Sturt to find about her role, career background and future goals.

What is your role and what does it entail?

I’m responsible for the strategic leadership of the Community Experience team across 5 Libraries in the City of Charles Sturt. A key part of my role is coordinating operations across community facilities and our frontline teams and driving business improvement projects to ensure our community has access to resources and opportunities to learn and connect. Read more... 

New Members

Welcome to our 48 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, Madeleine Brookes, Tourism Officer at City of Mount Gambier to find out how she's finding the program so far.

What made you sign up for the Emerging Leaders Program?

I’ll admit, before starting my tourism role with the City of Mount Gambier I had very limited knowledge about local government. It was only once I started that I began to learn about how passionate the sector was. I found myself looking to build my understanding of local government and increase my confidence and ability to work well within it. So, when I saw the opportunity to participate in the ELP I knew it would be the perfect fit.

The most recent module focused on Media and Engagement – what were some of your takeaways from this module?

In this session, we had some great discussions with a range of speakers. We explored the challenges that Councils face when communicating and attempting to connect with their community; the changing landscape and technology that impacts the way Councils use media; the opportunities Councils can use to better engage with media representatives and strengthen relationships; and how Councils can effectively engage all segments of the community including those who are diverse and vulnerable.

A key takeaway from this session was understanding that there is no one right way of doing things when it comes to communication. Whether we're talking about communication via social media or community consultation, the same approach won’t work for all councils or projects.

What are you most looking forward to as the program comes to a close?

I’m sure I’m not the only one looking forward to submitting our final projects. It’s been great working as a team to investigate an improvement within local government and I look forward to hearing what the other groups present.

I’m also looking forward to further developing the connections made throughout the program. Over the past 7 months, we have had the opportunity to meet, work with and learn from a range of different people from across the local government sector.


If you are interested in learning more about our Emerging Leaders Program please register to attend our Program Information Session to be held on 10 February 2022.

Find out more


On Friday 12 November 2021 we hosted 60 local government professionals, representing 21 regional and 10 metro council, and 22 allied organisations, at our 2021 Economic Development Conference ‘Future Prosperity: Planting the seeds for a new future’.

Our line-up of speakers including; Hon Stephen Patterson, Dr Susan Close, Katrina Houghton, Adam Reid, Aaron Hill and Sean Keenihan presented on the current economic context and the significant challenges ahead stimulating important conversations around the important role of local government in leading greater economic prosperity through their connections with local business and communities.

Thank you to our Principal Event Partner Norman Waterhouse Lawyers and our Event Supporter Economic Development Australia (SA) for their curation of this topical and thought provoking program.

Kickstart your professional development journey in 2022.

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

Our short courses are scheduled based on expressions of interest. 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 adequate numbers to deliver that short course. 

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

All of our short courses can also be run in house at your council please contact us at admin@lgprofessionalssa.org.au for more information. 

Find out more

We offer a range of leadership development opportunities for every stage of your local government career. 

Find the right program for you.

Our Ignite Program is tailored specifically to new supervisors, team leaders and coordinators. 

Program runs: February - December 2022

Registrations close Friday 3 December 2021 for this program.

Missed out on attending the Information Session? Please contact us on admin@lgprofessionalssa.org.au for a copy of the recording.

Find out more

Our Emerging Leaders Program is for aspiring leaders seeking to increase their understanding of leadership concepts and practices and how to integrate these learnings into the workplace.

Program runs: June - December 2022

Registrations for this program will open in January 2022.

Want to know more about the Emerging Leaders Program? Register to attend the information session on Thursday 10 February 2022.

Find out more

Our Strategic Management Program, delivered in partnership with UniSA, is designed for mid-level leaders who want to broaden their thinking and understand where they fit in their organisation, to influence for maximum impact.

Program runs: February - August 2022

Registrations close Friday 3 December 2021 for this program.

Missed out on attending the Information Session? Please contact us on admin@lgprofessionalssa.org.au for a copy of the recording.

Find out more

Our Executive Leaders Program is for leaders who are seeking to expand their minds to new ways of thinking, delivering and managing as well as amplifying their leadership impact.

Program runs: February - April 2022

Registration closing date has been extended to Friday 3 December 2021 for this program.

Missed out on attending the Information Session? Please contact us on admin@lgprofessionalssa.org.au for a copy of the recording.

Find out more

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

If you would like to know more about our network offerings, or have a suggestion for a new Network please contact admin@lgprofessionalssa.org.au or phone 8291 7990.


Annual State Conference 
Friday 18 March 2022

Australasian Management Challenge
Wednesday 4 May 2022

Leadership Excellence Awards Gala Dinner
Friday 27 May 2022

LG Professionals SA Sponsorship and Corporate Partnership

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 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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