Spotlight on the country - Mary Deakin, Copper Coast

21 Feb 2011 10:47 AM | Anonymous

Each month we will place the spotlight on a country council and/or staff member.

This month, we are speaking with Mary Deakin, General Manager, Corporate and Community Services, District Council of the Copper Coast.

Hi Mary – thanks for spending a few minutes with us for our LGMA newsletter.  Can you start by telling us a bit about your professional background?

My professional background is in business. I completed my Postgraduate Diploma in Management through external studies in 2009. I undertook a Bachelor of Commerce with University of Southern Queensland majoring in accounting. My previous field was in visual arts and I am still able to be involved in this area through community art galleries, art prizes and Council’s community function.

What council are you currently with, and when did you start working there?

I started working with the District Council of the Copper Coast as General Manager Corporate and Community Services in August 2009 after working with the Berri Barmera Council. My first role within a Council was at Tennant Creek Town Council.

Why did you decide to work for a country council?

Being born and raised in the country I have always had an affinity with the country. I enjoy living in the country and working in a small close knit community. I find country people supportive and keen to be involved in what is happening within the community. My children are able to get around town easily as it does not take long for them to work out where everything is. Everything is within close proximity, work, school, home and shopping.

What’s different about working for a country council?

Country Councils have a lot of cross over roles meaning that you have variety in your work. Managing both corporate and community means on any one day I can be involved in both areas - covering everything from libraries to finance, Occupational Health and Safety to art galleries. Having never worked in a metro Council it is difficult to compare the two. I believe that country is the best fit for me.

What would you describe working for a country council as a career development step?

 Working in the country has enabled me to move forward in my career as I have been involved in most of the aspects of Council at one time or another. Working in one of the smaller Councils with only 25 staff meant my role covered many responsibilities and also gave me opportunity to back fill other positions. This has enabled to expand my experiences beyond those of larger metro Councils.

What other involvement do you have in Local Government?

I am currently chair of the Local Government Women’s Network, a member of Local Government Managers Association, Australian Local Government Women’s Association as well as various roles at a local level contributing to the local community and building the profile of local government.


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