Issue 074
October 2017

  • A word from the CEO
  • News Flash
  • Leadership Excellence Awards
  • Sponsor Insight
  • Member Profile
  • Industry Trends
  • Movers and Shakers
  • Tips and Ideas
  • Upcoming Events
  • About Us
  • Merissa Decelis

  • State Conference
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Professional Leaders Program
  • Events Calendar



A word from the CEO

It’s started – the count-down to Christmas.

Everything is getting more urgent and that urge to achieve goals set at the start of the year is strong. Looking back to look forward can be really healthy. It can make us uncomfortable, but at the same time this discomfort can help us sharpen our focus.

So in the spirit of looking back to look forward, why not consider nominating for a Leadership Excellence Award as a way of recognising your success and sharing with others?

Read more about the categories and process below.

Also consider putting yourself forward for the Management Challenge – for inspiration, read about the recent Rural Management Challenge in this edition.

Massive congratulations to Wattle Range Council for winning. Their stand out quality was the use of multiple perspectives consistently throughout the day. They also weren’t afraid to go out of their comfort zones. We look forward to presenting them with their trophy at the Leadership Excellence Gala Awards Dinner in April 2018, right alongside the winners of the State Management Challenge.

Wishing you all a productive November in the lead up to the silly season.



Annual General Meeting

Friday 1 December 2017 at the Hackney Hotel.

Come and participate in the AGM, learn about all of our networks and help set the direction for network activities in 2018 and beyond. Your attendance would be appreciated as a show of support for your Association.

The 2017 AGM will take the following format:
•    9:15 am     Arrivals and Morning Tea
•    9:45 am     AGM – Agenda to be circulated soon
•    10:15 am    Network Summit and Workshop

Hear updates from each of our networks:
•    Community Managers Network
•    HR Network
•    CEO Network
•    GM Network
•    Leaders Alumni Network
•    Events Network
•    Women’s Network
•    Continuous Improvement Network

Participate in a workshop to identify common opportunities and agendas amongst our networks.

•    12:00 pm    Event End

Official notice will be sent to all members and registrations will open soon.

Leadership Excellence Awards 2018

Call for Nominations opening soon!

Time to start thinking about nominating.

The Call for Nominations for the 17th Annual Leadership Excellence Awards will open soon - it is time to start thinking about nominating! The 2018 awards recognise achievements up until 31 December 2017.

This program recognises outstanding achievement and innovation in local government. The association is pleased to present a program that not only recognises excellence but contributes to the advancement and improvement of local government as a sector.

If your council hasn’t nominated for an award in previous years you are strongly encouraged to do so. In 2018 our aim is to see all councils in South Australia represented in the nomination process – no matter how small you might think your project is we still want to hear about it.

Nominating for an award is an excellent way to recognise staff and councils achievements and provides you with an opportunity to share and celebrate with other councils.

We would also like to draw your attention to a new category that we have introduced 'Excellence in People and Culture’.
Categories for the 2018 Awards will be:
•    Emerging Leader of the Year
•    Outstanding Contribution to the Sector
•    Excellence in People and Culture - new award for 2018
•    Community Partnerships and Collaboration
•    Excellence in Cross Council Collaboration
•    Innovative Management Initiatives
•    Excellence in Local Economic Development
•    Leadership in Community Services
•    Excellence in Environmental Leadership and Sustainability
•    Excellence in Risk Management
•    Excellence in Sustainable Infrastructure and Asset Management
•    Leadership in Strategic Financial Management

News flash

2018 Annual State Conference – Save the Date

FAST FORWARD: Navigating the Future
Friday 23 February 2018
Adelaide Entertainment Centre

Program to be released soon!

Australasian Management Challenge 2018

Put your career on the fast-path with the 2018 Australasian Management Challenge!

The Australasian Management Challenge for 2018 will be launched in early-mid November so keep your eyes peeled for further information.

The Management Challenge has been at the forefront of professional development in local government for more than 25 years and many of today’s prominent leaders in local government have participated in this amazing program developed specifically for the sector.

The South Australian Regional Management Challenge will be held on 15 March 2018 at the Morphettville Racecourse - please save the date!


Member Profile - Proudly sponsored by

Merissa Decelis

This month we speak with Merissa Decelis, Business Engagement Analyst at the City of Charles Sturt.

A graduate of a number of LG Professionals, SA Programs, Merissa speaks about her experience of attending the Management Challenge and the Emerging Leaders Program - and how all the LG Professionals, SA programs 'knit together'. She also reflects on the skills needed for her role and her plans for the future.
Hi Merissa, thanks for speaking with us.

What is your current role and what does it involve?
I am currently working as a Business Engagement Analyst within the Information Services portfolio. My role is to essentially act as the primary point of contact between the Portfolios and Information Services.

This involves facilitating the identification of technology, system and business challenges, identifying, defining and implementing improvements, communicating the priorities and future direction of the IS Portfolio to the business and managing projects across the business.

read more..



Industry trends

Is local government keeping up with the a rapidly changing future?

Predictions are that self-driving cars will have the biggest influence on city and suburban planning in the future.

But what will change? Just about everything.

All we know today about the need for parking (at home and at the office) is that it will change and already forward-looking councils are planning how to deal with the extra space.

read more..

Australasian Management Challenge - Alexandrina STEAMS ahead

Alexandrina turns pre-challenge task into real community outcomes

As part of the Australasian Management Challenge each year, teams are required to complete a pre-challenge task.

In 2017, this task was designed so that teams would need to work with their organisations and management to conduct community consultation on a real issue, and make recommendations. 

The team from Alexandrina Council in SA was one of the many teams that worked on a consultation exercise that was so successful, it actually received council funding to become a real project.

We spoke with Colin Shackleford of the Alexandrina Council team - Alexandrina STEAM.

Hi Colin - thanks for speaking to us about your pre-challenge task.

How did you choose the subject for your pre-challenge task in 2017?
We looked at several real scenarios that required public consultation and short listed 3 projects based on their social impact and urgency. We then met with our Executive Management team and presented the three options for their consideration.

The Skate Park project was an issue of public safety and potentially poor PR for Council so it was the preferred option.

How did you get management involved?
By involving senior management in the project selection process we gained their support and buy-in. It helped that the project was already listed with the Community Wellbeing Manager so we had access to the right team for support.

read more..

Sponsor Insight - Congratulations to Tonkin Consulting!

Congratulations to Tonkin Consulting who in September won the Consult Australia medium sized firm of the year (Nationally) which recognises the achievements of the company and the consistently high standard of work that their employees provide to their clients.

Tonkin have supported LG Professionals, SA for many years and this is a fantastic achievement. 

For those of you who visit Tonkin in Mount Gambier, please note that they have recently relocated their office to 3-5 Helen Street, Mount Gambier.


Network News


Community Managers Network

Exciting news!

Our Community Managers Network have applied for and been granted funding through the Local Government Research and Development Scheme to undertake research and analysis into the effect of the NDIS roll-out on Metropolitan Councils.

As a cherry on top, our friends at Legatus Group have also had their application for funding for similar research into the effects for regional Councils granted! Both groups intend to work closely together to increase the value and efficiency of the research. Huge congratulations to both groups!

In other news, long serving and incredibly passionate Community Managers Network Committee member Cam Opie has retired. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Cam for his tireless work on the committee and for the sector, your absence will be felt my many. Good luck for your future, Cam.


Events Network

Do you work in events in local government? We invite you to join our Events Network! 

Our Events Network is comprised of a wide range of local government professionals across the sector that plan, manage, facilitate and conduct local government events.

Why not join to share knowledge, ideas and common issues. Our next forum will be held in mid-late November so keep your eyes peeled for an event announcement very soon!

To join the network, please email


Leaders Alumni Network

A planning group has come up with some great ideas for venues, themes and speakers for future events so be sure to come along to these informal yet productive catch ups!


HR Network

Congratulations to the new HR Network committee members!

  • Abigail Wheeler - City of Onkaparinga
  • Georgie Benzier - Whyalla City Council
  • Rebecca Muller - Renmark Paringa Council
  • Samantha Killington - Campbelltown City Council
  • Victor Dellavia - City of Port Adelaide Enfield

We look forward to working with you all over the next two years!


TEDx Adelaide 2017

TEDxAdelaide 2017 > Zoom Out – Thursday 2 November 2017 – Adelaide Town Hall

TEDx is a program of local, self-organised events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED talk videos and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection.

TEDxAdelaide 2017 > Zoom Out is a coming together of creatives, innovators and extraordinary people. With a focus on viewing the world through a different lens and harnessing the power of our connections on a larger scale this conference explores what opportunities lie ahead for our city.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please click here.


Movers and Shakers

Two new CEO’s!

Congratulations to Victoria MacKirdy who will commence as the CEO of the City of Victor Harbor on 15 January 2018. Victoria is currently a General Manager at Alexandrina Council.

Also congratulations to Anne Champness, new CEO of Tatiara District Council, joining us from Hindmarsh Shire in Victoria.

Victoria and Anne are the eighth and ninth female CEOs in SA.

Renmark Paringa Council

  • Melissa Amos has commenced as Director Corporate and Community Services at Renmark Paringa Council. Melissa was previously at Mildura Rural City Council.

Mid Murray Council

  • Deb Brokenshire has commenced as Governance Manager with Mid Murray Council. Deb was previously Governance Officer at Wakefield Regional Council.
  • Clive Hempel has commenced as Finance Manager with Mid Murray Council. Clive was previously Corporate Services Manager at Wakefield Regional Council.
  • David Hassett has commenced as Civil Project Manager with Mid Murray Council. David was previously Infrastructure Services Manager at Wakefield Regional Council.

District Council of Yankalilla

  • Gary Lewis has commenced as Manager, Finance & Procurement with the District Council of Yankalilla. Gary was previously at Town of Walkerville and City of Playford.

City of Charles Sturt

  • Shin-Yi Ong has commenced as Advisor People and Culture with the City of Charles Sturt. Shin-Yi was previously with Alzheimer’s Australia as HR Advisor and more recently the Law Society as the Program Coordinator.

City of Holdfast Bay

  • Caitlin Evans has commenced as Asset Management System Officer with the City of Holdfast Bay.
  • Michael Gates has commenced as Development Officer, Planning with the City of Holdfast Bay.
  • Tony Albanese has commenced as Development Officer, Building with the City of Holdfast Bay.
  • Sarah Ansell has commenced as Intake Support Officer with the City of Holdfast Bay.
  • Kathryn Burgess has commenced as Community Participation Support Officer with the City of Holdfast Bay.
  • Kate Marschall has commenced as Library Officer with the City of Holdfast Bay.
  • Virginia Miller has commenced as Business Development Partner with the City of Holdfast Bay.
Congratulations to all!

Have you recently changed roles within local government? Please email Lauren at to be included in our next newsletter.

Tips and Ideas

Marty - we've got to go back!

Looking back and learning from the past is a bit like time travel (well, without the fun, Back to the Future style ACTUAL time travel…)

But it is fun – and can be very beneficial.

To help us look back – and forward - imagine there are three versions of you. There’s the past you, the current you and the future you.

Let’s call them the yesterday you, the today you and the tomorrow you.

To illustrate how this works here’s a couple of examples.

When you go out and have a few too many drinks and stay out far too late – the today you is having a great time but the tomorrow you will suffer.

Conversely, when you diet to lose weight or workout in the gym – the today you puts in extra effort but the tomorrow you will thank you for it.

It’s the same with our work life.

Goal setting and planning
By looking forward and setting goals on where we want be in terms of career, health, family and more we can see what we need to do to get there.

We can see what the today you needs to do, to make sure the tomorrow you achieves what we have set out.

read more..



Upcoming Events and Programs

LG Professionals, SA Annual State Conference – Friday 23 February 2018
After last year’s rave reviews for ‘Outside the Box’, our challenge was to present a program that was equally as good if not better. Have we achieved that? You decide!

Specially designed for local government we are very proud to present ‘FAST FORWARD: Navigating the Future’.

Save the Date - full program to be announced soon.

Emotional Intelligence – Don’t miss out on this new program
Thursday 23 & Friday 24 November 2017
Executive Education, University of Adelaide, 7/10 Pulteney Street, Adelaide
While IQ is basically fixed at birth, a high EQ can be actively developed. This interactive module is your first step in that direction.

Register here

Professional Leaders Program
Registrations are now open for the 2018 Professional Leaders Program which will once again be co-delivered with the University of Adelaide.

This program is the next step from the Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) or for local government professionals wanting to move forward in their leadership career.

The Professional Leaders Program is designed to develop analytical capabilities through four modules in the areas of:
•    Strategic Management – presented by Steve Nayda
•    Operational Excellence – presented by Max Zornada
•    Finance Management – presented by David Murphy
•    The Context of Local Government – presented by LG Professionals, SA

"A fantastic program that provides great insight into senior management in local government."
"Thought provoking and challenging experience supported positively by facilitators."

Applications close 5pm, 21 December 2017 unless all places sold prior.
Click here for prospectus

If you would like to know more about any of our events please contact Rhiannon on 8291 7990 or by email

If you would like to know more about any of our programs please contact Kate on 8291 7996 or by email

Want to know what exciting events are coming up with LG Professionals, SA?
See our full 2017 Events and Program Calendar.


Recent Events

Rural Management Challenge 2017

And the Winner is…Wattle Range Council! CONGRATULATIONS!
Please click here to view a video of the day. (Best viewed in Chrome)

On Thursday 12 October at the Commodore on the Park in Mount Gambier ten rural teams competed in this year’s Rural Management Challenge. What a day! Teams demonstrated exceptional team work, tackling tasks as they came with energy and humour. Many stepped well out of their comfort zones and excelled- well done to all!

It was a tough race, but Wattle Range Council came out on top, followed by District Council of Loxton Waikerie and City of Mount Gambier (Team 1). A big thank you to all teams for a fantastic day.
We would like to thank all of the wonderful volunteers - without them the day wouldn’t have been possible!
•    Lok Chiu
•    Kat Harris
•    Paul Heairfield
•    Leandro Lopez-Digon
•    Skye Browne
•    Lauren Schliebs
•    Sarah Philpott
•    Victoria MacKirdy
•    Jane Trotter
•    Jim Myhill

Thank you also to our corporate partners LGFA, LGRS, Statewide and Norman Waterhouse Lawyers and to our Event Partners, Tonkin Consulting and Public Private Property for your valued support.

Let’s hear from the winning team…
Wattle Range Council - Wattle Range Wranglers
“Our team found the Rural Management Challenge provides a safe environment in which to experiment, try something new, step outside of your comfort zone, work with colleagues you might not ordinarily work with and network.

read more..

New Members
  • Jacqui Arthur - City of Adelaide
  • Kelly Burns - City of Burnside
  • Robert Dabrowski - City of Burnside
  • Katrina Fromm - District Council of Karoonda East Murray
  • Michelle Kennedy - City of Burnside
  • Helen Nikitenko - City of Burnside
  • Peter Patterson - City of Adelaide
  • Grace Pelle - City of Playford
  • Karishma Reynolds - City of Burnside

Welcome to all!


Pass this on!

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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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