This month we speak with Chris Parish, Community and Development Services Manager at Wakefield Regional Council.
Hi Chris - thanks for speaking with us.
What’s your current role, and what does it involve?
I am currently the Community & Development Services Manager.
The role involves the areas of Building & Development, Environmental Management, General Inspectorate and Community Development.
Where were you before and what attracted you to your current role?
For the past 7 years I have worked in the private and not for profit sectors mainly in Training and Business Development, most recently with an Indigenous Training & Labour Hire National Company called National Indigenous Training & Hire. As National Training Manager I was responsible for Business Development throughout South Australia and the Northern Territory as well as managing Compliance of their Registered Training Organisation.
I was very fortunate in that just as this current opportunity presented itself - the role I was in was about to run its course. I have always had a passion for working with and within community and this role along with my previous experience appeared to be a good fit for the ongoing professional development of the Wakefield Regional Council and myself.
What is the most satisfying thing about working in Local Government?
Being given the opportunity to assist with the ever changing landscape that is Local Government, helping to educate the community at large understand and appreciate the work that is undertaken on their behalf and to assist the community to help shape their Council and Region.
Speaking about your current role – What are some of the most interesting projects/programs you are currently involved in at Wakefield?
Wakefield Regional Council is a Council that welcomes a wide range of projects and developments to enhance its ever growing region. These are just a few of the developments/projects we are currently working on. (yes we, as I need to recognise the work and effort my team put into all of our current projects).
- Expansion of Primo Meats abattoir
- Development Plan Amendment for the Bowmans In-Land Intermodal
- 3 Residential Developments within Port Wakefield/Hamley Bridge
- Hamley Bridge Community & Sports Centre Master Plan
- Review of Council Community Grants Program
What’s the longer term plan – where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Traditionally Regional Councils have been a great source of quality executive managers and CEO’s.
Although I acknowledge I have only just started my journey into Local Government I am confident that given the wealth of knowledge and experience in Local Government that I am currently surrounded with, that it would be fair to say my journey from here is not only a promising one but one that will also be rewarding. Hopefully 5 years is the magic number.
Are you known for any particular sayings? What’s your most common “mantra”?
Given time spent working with remote communities and with some of the most marginalised Australians, the one mantra that springs to mind is “life’s good!” and that’s because when you have seen how challenging and diverse it really is out there - everyday worries pale into insignificance.
Just a pity someone cashed in and made a motza out of selling fridges and TV’s on the back of my mantra.
How do you spend your leisure time outside of Local Government?
I have a very sport active 12 year old son, so if it’s not playing Soccer, Cricket or Bike riding we are usually at one of many great sporting events that South Australia is renowned for. Bring on Adelaide Oval I say! And go the ----- :)