This month we speak to Andrew Aitken, CEO of Adelaide Hills Council.
Andrew explains his focus on consistency, his new role as President of LG Professionals (SA) and his aspirations for a career in musical theatre.....!
Hi Andrew, thanks for speaking with us.
What’s your current role, and what does it involve?
CEO. From what I can gather, it largely involves reporting to 13 council members and 161 staff members…
Where were you before and what attracted you to your current role?
I was a director at the City of Tea Tree Gully - and was attracted to this role because I thought it would be a good role for a new CEO and it was clear that the council wanted to increase their focus on culture, collaboration and engagement. Being ultimately accountable for the culture and performance of an organisation was a challenge too enticing to pass up.
What is the most satisfying thing about working in Local Government?
Working with passionate people and providing tangible / visible value to our community.
Speaking about your current role - What are the key challenges ahead for Adelaide Hills?
Consistency - sustaining the focus on improving our service culture; enhancing innovation; and providing our community with value for money. Another ongoing challenge is reinforcing how critical risk management, respect and reputation is in all our relationships - inside and outside the organisation.
Where do you see Adelaide Hills as Council area in 20 years - will it look much the same, or how will it differ from today?
It will still be seen as a great place to live – and will also be recognised as a world class tourism destination; one of the country's treasures; and having an array of vibrant, productive and progressive townships and communities.
You've just been appointed the President of Local Government Professionals (SA)
What role do you see LG Professionals (SA) playing in nurturing Local Government Leadership across the sector?
Providing a range of leading edge learning and development opportunities for anyone working in local government.
Do you think networking is a key part of these programs?
Absolutely. I’ve benefited enormously – personally and professionally - from interacting and sharing experiences with a broad range of people in our LG family - as well as with key stakeholders outside our sector. LG Professionals creates great opportunities for this invaluable networking to occur.
Personally, what’s the longer term plan – where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Performing on Broadway. Maybe Off-Broadway, but most likely Broadway...
Do you have an embarrassing "Local Government moment?"
I was driving into a meeting in the city and used that time to make several phone calls. When I arrived at the meeting - with several people I'd never met before – I introduced myself to the first person by saying "Hello, this is Andrew Aitken speaking". Unfortunately, you don't forget moments like that.
How do you spend your leisure time outside of Local Government?
Spending time with the family and community musical theatre - did I mention how I'm going to be on Broadway?...