Jane is the Director, Corporate Development for the City of Salisbury, and a LGMA board member. She gives us a little of her background and some wise words of advice.
Hi Jane, thanks for talking to us. Can you tell us a bit about yourself....
What's your current role?
I am currently working for the City of Salisbury as Director of Corporate Development. I am responsible for the portfolio areas of People and Culture, Information Systems, Marketing and Communications, Governance and Customer Services and the Executive Office.
How did you get into that role?
I have over ten years experience in local government, primarily in the areas of corporate services. My previous roles at the Cities of Playford, Unley and Burnside enabled me to build the skills, knowledge and capacity to apply for the Director Corporate Development role at Salisbury when it became available around 18 months ago. I also have postgraduate qualifications in business management and have undertaken a number of leadership programs over recent years.
What do you like best about the current job?
I love that no day is ever the same. I have great variety in my role. From being engaged in strategic discussions about the future of the organisation, to mentoring women and emerging leaders, to working on multidisciplinary project teams and committees, to attending national LGMA board meetings or talking with staff about their work. I am still learning every day which keeps me engaged and interested.
I feel very fortunate in my role. Salisbury as a larger Council, has the resources to develop and implement innovative and best practice projects.
We are also able to attract and retain talented staff as we offer competitive working conditions, excellent learning and development opportunities and challenging work. I have a great team within my department who are skilled and passionate about their roles. They are rolling out innovative new programs that are making a difference for our workforce, organisation and the community.
What advice would you give someone looking to get into a similar role?
I would say, try and get as much different experience as you can across the various disciplines of local government. I moved around Councils and different roles, which prepared me for the diversity of the Director role I now hold. Even though my interest lies in the Corporate Services arena, I previously did a stint as a GM of Corporate and Community Services, so I would understand the perspective of the external service provider within local government, not just the internal service provider.
It's also important to invest in your development through leadership courses and relevant learning opportunities. The LGMA offers some great programs for up and coming local government professionals including the LGMA Challenge and the Emerging Leaders Program.
And, never underestimate the importance of networking. Having a diverse support network provides many benefits, particularly in an industry like local government. You will always have a ready group of people, able to share information, provide advice and who can let you know when interesting opportunities arise.
What’s next for you?
For now I am really enjoying my role and I still have a lot to accomplish at the City of Salisbury. Later this year I will take on the role of President of the SA Division of the LGMA which will be a new and exciting challenge. I like working in local government for its diversity, opportunities and not least the people I get to interact with every day. So that's where I see myself for the immediate future.....