Issue 069
May 2017

  • A word from the CEO
  • News Flash
  • Welcome Kate
  • Sponsor Insight
  • Member Profile
  • Industry Trends
  • Movers and Shakers
  • Tips and Ideas
  • Upcoming Events
  • About Us
  • Terra Lea Ranson

  • Events Calendar



A word from the CEO

It was great to catch up with many of you at the National Congress in Hobart. Congratulations to Brisbane City Council on winning the Australasian Management Challenge also held in Hobart with the Congress. 

The theme of this month’s newsletter is the value of networks and personal networking. Having moved here from Canada ten years ago and knowing no one, this is a theme close to my heart.

Not everyone loves networking and the very term is interpreted differently by many. My own view is that to be a good networker you need two core ingredients: an open mind and authenticity.

An open mind means you have no expectations or preconceived notions about the potential outcomes of an interaction. Countless times, I have gone to a meeting about one thing and it has resulted in another. Being open to new ideas, perspectives and people, makes us better listeners and allows for outcomes we couldn’t have imagined ourselves.

Authenticity means you are you. If you are an extrovert or an introvert, if you are having a bad day or a good day, be true to yourself. At the end of the day, we are all people regardless of the role we are playing and personal warmth and authenticity go a long way to forming real connections. Real connections go a long way to cultivating partnerships, great ideas and support networks. 

Speaking of support networks, membership renewals are fast approaching so now is the time to consider becoming a member or renewing your membership. We value your support and look forward to offering even greater member benefits and opportunities in the coming year.



Welcome Kate!

We are super excited to announce that after a gruelling recruitment process involving 89 applications, we have appointed Kate Staples to the position of Manager Training and Development. 

Kate is currently People Experience Business Partner at the City of Burnside and has 11 years of experience working within the local government sector. She has a very keen passion for driving high performance and developing people to be the best they can be to provide high quality services and initiatives that benefit the community. 

Kate is a past Management Challenge participant and mentor, an Emerging Leaders Program Alumni, a member of our HR Network and was involved in the Pilot Group for the Leadership Capability Framework.

Her experience in local government spans across several roles in the fields of Information Management and Human Resources; with demonstrated capabilities in the areas of leadership, process improvement, stakeholder relations, training management, strategic business planning and budget management. She also has extensive knowledge of the legislative framework that local government must operate within.

Kate is the perfect cultural fit for our team and we all can’t wait until she starts on 19 June.

News Flash!

South Australia takes out an award at the Local Government Professi
onals Australia Gala Dinner!

Congratulations to the Victor Harbor Schoolies Festival Team for taking out first place in the Community Partnerships and Collaboration category at the Local Government Professionals Australia National Federation Awards, held in Hobart.

What a fantastic achievement to be recognised at a national level for the outstanding work that South Australian Councils are doing!

Congratulations to City of Adelaide for competing in the Australasian Management Challenge Final!

The City of Adelaide team faced up to the best teams in the country (and NZ) for the Australasian Management Challenge Final in Hobart.  Eight teams took part.  Each of the teams were winners in their respective states/territories (and NZ) and therefore qualified for the final.

Although the Adelaide team didn't win the Australasian final, they acquitted themselves brilliantly and did a fantastic job!

Well done team!


Membership renewals for 2017-2018

It’s time to start thinking about renewing your LG Professionals, SA membership which will fall due on 1 July.

Looking back over the year that has been, we’ve continued to see our line-up of programs, events and activities for members grow in number and strength.

Two new short programs were introduced ‘Effective Change Management and Project Management’ and more are planned. 

We had 122 nominations for our Leadership Excellence Awards Program and 495 attended the Gala Dinner. 

All of our programs and workshops were well attended and our Annual Conference ‘Outside the Box’ was so well received that it will be hard to top next year.

Everything that we provide for members is developed to teach new skills, inspire bigger thinking, grow personal networks and form supportive relationships.

We have lots of exciting things planned for 2017/18, so if you’re not already a member now is definitely the time to start thinking about it. For more information about membership visit our website.

Anyone joining between now and 30 June 2017 will receive the remainder of this financial year complimentary. You will be invoiced for the 2017/18 financial year on 1 July 2017.


Member Profile - Proudly sponsored by


Terra Lea Ranson

This month we speak with Terra Lea Ranson, Manager of Community Capacity at the City of Onkaparinga.

Terra Lea speaks about her career so far - and what's in store for the future.

She also speaks about her role as Chair of the Community Managers Network and how the network can assist councils to navigate the changes on the horizon for community services.

Hi Terra Lea - thanks for speaking with us.

What’s your current role, and what does it involve?
My current role is Manager of Community Capacity at the City of Onkaparinga. It involves developing strategic direction that enables the City of Onkaparinga as an organisation to build the capacity of our residents to create strong vibrant communities.

I am responsible for leading the coordination and implementation of recreation, youth, arts, disability, active ageing and community development programs and centres in accordance with relevant Council policies, plans and strategies.

read more..



Industry Trends - Joondalup Smart City

Telstra has announced that it will trial and deploy a series of smart city Internet of Things (IoT) applications throughout a beachside park in Perth, Western Australia, under a partnership with the City of Joondalup.

The solutions will include environmental sensors that monitor temperature, humidity, pollution, light, and noise levels in real time; 32 smart bins fitted with sensors to notify the local council of when they need to be emptied; and a smart car park connected to Telstra's mobile network, allowing the council to see how many parking spaces are remaining and redirect traffic accordingly.

The council said it would use these three solutions, alongside a dashboard providing real-time analytics, to improve local governance efficiency, obtain information on which areas of the park are being used the most, and reduce traffic.

Read more..


Sponsor Insight - Meet Paul Slater

Paul has been the CEO of the LGFA for almost 20 years and has seen the LGFA grow from strength to strength.  What you don't know about Paul is...

What was your first job?
My first fulltime job was with the Pyrmont branch of the Commonwealth Bank, an inner-city suburb of Sydney.  In those days, tellers had pistols in their teller cages and one day the branch ran out of cash and I was instructed to take the bus to the city, with my pistol and pick up $50,000. I made the call to return to the branch with the cash and my pistol in a taxi. Another day, there was a robbery and the accountant and I chased the robber down the street and rugby tackled him. The bank agreed with the initiative, but were reluctant to replace my torn trousers from the altercation.

What's your fondest memory from your career thus far?
I received a $100,000 bonus for producing exceptional results for Midland International.  That was quite a considerable sum for a job well done, particularly back then.
I worked for the CBA for 8 years, then spent 19 years at investment banks in Sydney and have spent the last 19 years at LGFA. Definitely, the most enjoyable has been as the CEO at the LGFA, working with a small and tight team of 6/7 people. LGFA are competitive with banks, do extremely well and add tremendous value to Councils, a win/win for the sector.

If you had one piece of advice what would it be?
Enjoy your job, take holidays and don’t let your family down.

What is the secret to financial success?
You’ve got to be prepared to save and invest wisely and don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Have a portfolio across shares, property and fixed interest. Negotiate your own way in life, through the companies you work with and ensure your salary is commensurate with your skills and abilities and don’t accept underpayment.

You’ve seen many parts of South Australia while visiting Councils; have you found a treasured spot?
A big part of my role is to market to Councils and visit their hometowns, something which I have done for the last 20 years. I love getting away, the further the better, but the Eyre Peninsula is a favourite along with the South East and Coober Pedy.

What is your favourite wine (South Australian of course)?
I am almost exclusively a Shiraz drinker, with the Barossa high on the hit-list but I enjoy fantastic wines from all areas of South Australia. Here’s a shortlist of a few I’ve found:

Rockford Basket Press, Barossa Valley
The Beauty, Hentley Farm, Barossa Valley
Dead Arm, D’arenberg, Mclaren Vale
Old Adam, Bremerton, Langhorne Creek
Parker Terra Rossa, Coonawarra
An underrated winery is Taylors in the Clare Valley
And who can forget Shaw + Smith in the Adelaide Hills…

It may seem I am taking an each way bet here, but we are spoilt for choice in this State.

Where to from here?
I took up my CEO role at LGFA on 4 November 1997 after the inaugural CEO Don David retired. My contract expires on 31 December 2019 at which point I will probably retire. Even though I love Adelaide and South Australia, I will retire in Queensland. As most readers will be aware, I have lived in Brisbane for the past 19 years and have commuted each week to Adelaide.


Network News

Thinking about joining one of our Member Networks?

Over the years our member networks have grown from strength to strength and those involved have found them to be extremely worthwhile. You can read about some of the highlights in Terra Lea and John’s interviews in this newsletter.

Current Member Networks include:
  • CEO Network
  • General Managers Network
  • Community Managers Network
  • Women’s Network
  • HR Network
  • Leaders Alumni Network
  • and our latest – Events Network
Some of the functions of our networks include:
  • to promote networking and professional development opportunities
  • to be a professional group – i.e. a group from whom the LGA, State or Commonwealth may seek comment on policy issues
  • to promote the sector and the important role our members undertake in local government and related organisations
  • to establish strategic alliances with other key associations
  • to represent South Australia in the relevant national bodies in order to provide further networking on issues / best practice in Australia and overseas.
If you would like more information about joining one of our networks visit our website or contact Francess on 8291 7994 or

Women's Network

Nominations are now open for the following Awards:

South Australian Women's Honour Roll
The South Australian Women's Honour Roll is an important part of an ongoing strategy to increase the formal recognition of women for their contribution to the South Australian community.

Now held biennially, the Honour Roll acknowledges and celebrates the diversity of women in our community and their commitment to effecting change to ensure that we live in a safer and more inclusive society.

Nominations close 5.00 pm Friday 9 June 2017. Nominate here.

2017 Telstra Business Women of the Year
Nominations close Thursday 16 June 2017. Nominate here.


The value of networking

Networking is an essential part of leadership. In this article we chat to leaders in our industry about how, and why, they network with others.

In this article we speak to:

1. Victoria MacKirdy, General Manager Organisation & Culture, Alexandrina Council.

Hi Victoria. In your opinion, what are the benefits of networking in local government?
There are so many areas in local government where we can learn from each other and share ideas. We all have friends and colleagues that we connect with regularly, but networking through Local Government Professionals I get to meet such a diverse range of people, from right across our State and also Australia.

How has networking been of benefit to you in your career and/or in your job role?
There is no doubt networking has assisted me in my career, not only with with great ideas, opportunities to collaborate but also with career opportunities I would have had from within the one organisation.

Read more..

2. John Devine, General Manager CIty Development, City of Unley.

Hi John.  What’s your opinion of networking in local government?
In my view all sectors of the economy/society network. It’s a part of doing business. It’s hard to survive in business if you don’t build & use your network, either as customers, suppliers, or business partners. 

The best in local government do it as well as anybody, but many don’t use it well.

Local government tends to take a more collegial or family approach to its networking rather than using it as a deliberate strategy to doing business. Many people have networks mostly focussed on similar disciplines and are more social in nature when they meet at conferences or forums rather than improving business outcomes.  

A good network can ensure that you get improved accessibility within other organisations to help with obtaining information, or getting decisions made.

Read more..


Movers and Shakers

Wakefield Regional Council

  • Victoria Young has commenced as Trainee Administration in the Community and Development Services Department.

  • Kaylie Baker has commenced as Graduate Environmental Health Officer.

  • Peter Morgan has commenced as Building Officer coming from Barossa Council.

  • Griff Campbell has commenced as Accountant coming from Regional Council of Goyder.

City of Port Adelaide Enfield

  • Steve Hooper will commence on Monday 5 June as Development Services Manager. He is currently the Manager Development and Regulatory Services at the City of Marion.

  • Sharon Lomman recently commenced as Project Officer – Community Emergency Management. She was previously the Safety Strategy Officer at City of Adelaide.

  • Nikki Barns recently commenced as Customer Relations Leader. Nikki was previously working at SA Water as the Manager Customer Care Centre – Accounts & Faults.

Mount Barker District Council

  • Phil Burton has commenced with Mount Barker District Council as their new Group Manager Infrastructure. Phil worked for Mount Barker District Council between 2007 – 2011 as Manager Assets and Contracts, he then moved to the South East and worked for the Naracoorte Lucindale Council as their Director Operations & Technical Services. After that he moved back to Adelaide and worked with City of Adelaide as their Associate Director Infrastructure from 2014 and then back to Mount Barker District Council. The Council is really excited to have him back and he will play a pivotal leadership role in shaping the future of their city.

District Council of Loxton Waikerie

  • Gordon Thomson will commence on 3 July as Director of Corporate and Community Services. Gordon comes to Loxton Waikerie with experiences in Community Services and Governance with the Lachlan Shire Council in NSW and also a range of management roles in the Department of Treasury and Finance and Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology with the South Australian government. Gordon has qualifications in Project Management, Business (Human Resources) and Management and is currently undertaking a Masters in Business Administration.

  • Martin Borgas will commence on 5 June as Contracts, Procurement and Innovation Officer. Martin most recently worked for a local winery where he was a health, safety and logistics manager and previous to that was in the SA Police where he undertook a range of duties including emergency planning and management and incident investigation. He was also a police prosecutor. 

  • Amber Schutz has commenced as Personal Assistant to the Director of Corporate and Community Services. Amber started her career in local government in 2007 at City of Adelaide holding various coordination and support roles and most recently at the Regional Council of Goyder as the Technical Support Officer and also in the role of Administration Assistant to the Manager of Infrastructure.

Tips and Ideas

Networking at conferences - it's not as scary as you think.

The welcome reception at a conference is often feared by many attendees - especially if they don't know anyone else at the conference.  Who do you speak to?  What about?

It's important that we resist the temptation to just speak to those people we already know - after all, a conference is about learning and making new contacts - so get out there!

Here are the six secrets to make networking easier next time you attend a conference or business event:

read more..



Upcoming Events and Programs

Coming Soon!

The Ultimate Life Planning Workshop – for both men & women
Refresher for past women attendees of The Ultimate Life Planning Workshop

Developing a Digital Strategy Workshop*
Wednesday 14 June 2017 – Note new date
Location – Arkaba Hotel, Boardroom, 150 Glen Osmond Rd, Fullarton
9.30am – 5.00pm including morning tea, lunch and networking drinks
*This event has sold out.  Please add me to the waiting list.

Women’s Resilience Workshop
Friday 23 June 2017
Location – Rural City of Murray Bridge
9.30am to 1.00pm

Engaging Citizens in Local Government Masterclass 2
Content is King: Creating interesting and relevant content to communicate your core messages
Wednesday 28 June 2017
Location – City of Adelaide
12.30pm – 4.30pm
Register here

New Programs

Project Management Program – 2 days
19 & 20 June 2017
University of Adelaide Executive Education
Facilitator: Alia Lebed
Download the flyer and register here

For more information on our programs please email

Want to know what exciting events are coming up with LG Professionals, SA? 

See our full 2017 Events and Program Calendar.



New Member
  • Catherine Loder,  Wattle Range Council
Welcome Catherine!

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About Local Government Professionals Australia, SA

LG Professionals, SA is a not-for-profit member based association representing professionals working in local government in South Australia. 

We have the ability to link and connect people from different councils who may not otherwise form relationships or share. 

Our high quality professional development programs and networking events are uniquely local government – reflective of the culture of the sector and sensitive to the needs of its professionals. 

The content of our events and programs are informed by our members and people who genuinely care about the sector. 

We provide a safe and supportive environment in which to grow and learn while creating opportunities to make time away from the office to work on the business or on self. 

We award and acknowledge achievements of excellence.

We are proud to be part of a national Federation of State based Local Government Professionals Australia organisations, supported by a national office dedicated to supporting the National Local Government sector.


LG Professionals, SA    5 Hauteville Tce, Eastwood SA SA 5063   Ph: 8291-7990



Mailing Address:  5 Hauteville Tce EASTWOOD   Phone: 8291-7990   Fax: 8451-1568   E-mail:

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