This month we speak we Paul Rogers, Depot Administration Officer at the District Council of Kimba.
Paul explains the challenges of working in one of SA's most remote councils.
Hi Paul - thanks for speaking with us.
What's your current role, and what does it involve?
My current role is Depot Administration Officer, and being in a small rural Council it involves many aspects including assisting with Procurement / WHS & Risk Management / Aerodrome Management / CWMS Management / Training etc. Anything that relates to the Works Department is within my role.
Where were you before and what attracted you to your current role?
I was with Country Health SA, employed as a Senior OHSW Consultant assisting six Health Units. To be honest, I "fell into" my current role. I left health with a promise of a career in mining. This didn't eventuate and thankfully, Council had a position available.
What is the most satisfying thing about working in Local Government, especially in a rural council? Assisting with maintaining and developing infrastructure that benefits the local community which I work and live in.
Speaking about your current role - What are the key priorities in creating and maintaining the many assets and public works for Kimba?
I would suggest maintaining and upgrading the 1500 km of unsealed road network within our council area would be a very high priority, along with the sealed roads both inside and outside of town. Waste and CWMS management would also be high on the list.
As one of SA more remote councils - what challenges does this present and how have you managed those challenges?
Probably the main challenge would be accessing adequate funding to maintain and upgrade roads, senior management have this as a high priority and are striving to keep it on the radar of those who allocate funding.
You are currently enrolled in the Emerging Leaders Program. What attracted you to this program - and what do you hope to achieve from it?
I was attracted to the program by the opportunity to further my education and development. My primary goal was to learn more about how the LGA functions, and how I can perform better within the organisation.
How are you finding it so far?
It has been enjoyable and challenging. Any learning that involves self-reflection and insight into existing perceptions can be difficult, but invaluable.
Do you think the networking connections you are making with fellow colleagues will benefit you in the future? How?
The networking could potentially be the most beneficial outcome from the course. To work and learn from and with such a diverse group of people from a variety of occupations and workplaces/cultures will benefit me greatly in the future, either in my current role or a future role. The larger the network of people/resources you can draw from the more advantageous it will be.
We heard that you recently caught up with your cousin, our LG Professionals President Andrew Aitken at an ELP dinner - and it was a surprise as you didn't know he was involved! How was that?
It was great to catch up with 'cuz'. Although from very different backgrounds, we were quite close when younger, but haven't seen each other for about ten years. I look forward to meeting again later in the year at the program culmination.
Personally, what's the longer term plan - where do you see yourself in 5 years? Within Local Government, my goal would be to utilise my WHS skills and experience at a higher and broader level, facilitating systems across multiple councils. As to whether this eventuates, watch this space!!!!
Do you have an embarrassing 'Local Government moment?'
None that come to mind, probably haven't been with Local Government long enough to initiate a major disaster, this may occur in time!!!
How do you spend your leisure time outside of Local Government?
I enjoy many pastimes, but have a passion for fishing, camping and all things woodwork, including furniture restoration.