This month we chatted with Marianne Tucker, Manager Organisational Development, District Council of Grant about her role and working at a rural council.
What is your current role and what does it involve? What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m currently the Manager Organisational Development with the District Council of Grant and operate within a small team offering strategic and operational expertise in the areas of organisational development, human resources, industrial relations, work health and safety, and risk management.
There is no typical day in my current role which is one of the reasons I have chosen to continue to work in local government - I like the variety and challenges that it brings!
What attracted you to work in local government?
I honestly didn’t know much about local government when I applied and achieved the position of Costing Clerk after completing studies in accountancy. However, it didn’t take long to realise the diversity of job roles in local government.
My career has taken me through roles in finance to Rates Officer, design and implementation of an electronic records management system for the then District Council of Mount Gambier. Our Council ‘consolidated’ with the neighbouring District Council of Port MacDonnell to form the District Council of Grant, and my new role became Senior Administration Officer.
From there I developed a passion for human resources and moved into the role of Manager Organisational Development. During this time, I undertook study and achieved HR Certification through the AHRI Practising Certification Program (APC).
It is this diversity of roles and the opportunity for growth and learning that motivates me to continue in Local Government, and to advocate it as a career to others.
What is the most satisfying thing about working in the sector, especially in a rural council?
It is not boring! I enjoy the diversity and challenges of working in a rural Council with not only the office and depot but an Airport, a Saleyard, and a Community Complex at our largest township Port MacDonnell. In the regions, we are able to utilise our knowledge and skills across a range of issues, and it is satisfying to contribute widely and to be continually learning.
You’re a member of our People and Culture Network. How important has it been to stay connected with this network during recent times?
Local Government is constantly evolving and therefore networking is key to navigating through the challenges and celebrating the milestones.
Since COVID-19, the People and Culture Network have provided a regular ZOOM networking session for HR practitioners. This has not only been tremendously valuable from the information sharing and discussion perspective, but also for the wellbeing aspect of participants.
Can you share a highlight from your experiences with LG Professionals SA?
Through my years as a HR practitioner, I have been involved with and advocated for inclusion of regional and rural practitioners in People and Culture Network discussion groups, networking and working parties not only to contribute and participate, but to learn from metropolitan colleagues.
However, distance, time and travel have been a continuing issue for myself and other rural and regional practitioners.
The recent ZOOM networking meetings that LG Professionals SA has facilitated have been a game-changer, presenting an additional option for future People and Culture Network calendared events.
How do you spend your leisure time outside of local government?
My husband and I have three beautiful children and living in the great South East of the state we enjoy exploring the pine forests, natural forests, beaches and of course the Blue Lake and Valley Lakes area. I like to unwind in the garden and enjoy being creative.
I choose to give back to the local community and have been on the St Martins Lutheran College Council for over 15 years, currently Chair, and also a number of sporting and community groups over the years.
Currently my passion is acrylic and watercolour painting, and I am looking forward to completing my current creation (which has been in the works for some time) and especially excited to visit overseas art exhibitions in the future!