Issue 080
May 2018

  • A word from the CEO
  • News Flash
  • Member Opportunity
  • Membership Renewals
  • Member Profile
  • Industry Trends
  • Sponsor Insight
  • Network News
  • Tips and Ideas
  • Emerging Leaders Program
  • Movers and Shakers
  • Upcoming Programs and Events
  • Save the Date
  • National Congress
  • About Us
  •  Darren Birbeck

  • Network Events
  • Events Calendar



A word from the CEO

At one of our recent events, during a discussion on ‘the state of the sector,’ it was raised that we should really be discussing the ‘opportunities facing the sector.’

So I started thinking about the power of words how they frame things, inspire discussions and can turn our thought processes in a certain direction.

As a result, we have become more conscious of this as a team and this edition of Leaders Connect is all about the power of language.

Becoming very consciously aware of the words we choose is obviously important when interacting with others, but it is also especially important with self-talk.  ‘I’m overwhelmed’ can turn into ‘I have the skills to achieve what I need to achieve and to ask for help when I need it.’

Being aware of our use of language, both in our minds and out loud, can have real impact.

Read on to explore this theme more and of course, to stay up to date with all of our activities.



News Flash

Executive Leaders Program 2018 – NEW PROGRAM LAUNCHED

We are really excited to announce the launch of our new Executive Leaders Program.
With a complex and continuously evolving sector, it is now more than ever essential that local government is prepared for the future.  New services, new skills, local and global impacts and the ever-changing digital landscape have fundamentally changed expectations of both the nature of and delivery of services.

The Executive Leaders Program is for local government executives who are seeking to expand their minds to new ways of thinking and amplify their leadership impact.

The program has been designed to:

  • Enhance complex and adaptive thinking capabilities
  • Increase capabilities to generate solutions to complex adaptive problems
  • Challenge assumptions and perspectives
  • Equip executive leaders to navigate rapidly changing and evolving environments.

“Our leaders need to be at the heart of transformational change in what is an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and oftentimes ambiguous landscape.  By developing local government professionals with skills for the future it means we can ensure the best outcomes for both our councils and our communities.”
Beth Davidson-Park, President, LG Professionals, SA

Places are limited and selling fast, don’t miss out.

Registrations are open until 20 July 2018 unless all places are filled prior.


Professional Development Vouchers
Are you looking for new ways to recognise, reward and invest in your high potential staff?
Professional Development Vouchers are now available for purchase.

In an effort to support and encourage ongoing learning and development of Local Government professionals, we are offering South Australian councils the opportunity to incorporate professional development vouchers into their reward and recognition programs.

Key benefits:

  • Recognise and reward high potential staff by re-investing in their professional development
  • Provides a convenient way to plan your team’s training in advance
  • Personalise vouchers with a message of appreciation
  • Easily purchase pre-defined amounts online, or contact us for a custom amount.




Member Opportunity

LG Professionals, SA Member Scholarship Opportunity

We are pleased to offer a young emerging leader the opportunity to attend the 2018 LG Professionals Australia National Congress and Business Expo, to be held 22-24 August in Canberra.

Applications close Friday 15 June 2018.

Congress Information

Scholarship Application Form

Membership Renewals 2018-2019

There has been a lot happening at LG Professionals, SA in the last twelve months including the development of a more robust professional development program of which you will hear more about in the coming months.

In the meantime, we highlight some important changes to our Individual Memberships and Professional Development Bundles.

For Individual Members:
To ensure that we cater for all stages of one’s career and life we have introduced a special rate for those working part-time, as well as continued membership at no charge whilst on maternity, parental, extended sick or carer’s leave.

For Councils:
To simplify our pricing model, we have removed the Council Bundle Pricing category and will now simply have Member and Non Member rates. We have worked hard to ensure the Non Member rates represent value for the whole sector, with even greater value being offered to individual members.

In addition, Councils choosing to simplify their professional development spend by taking out Membership and Professional Development Bundles will now receive a bonus credit in the form of professional development vouchers to spend on further professional development. 

Full details about membership can be found in our Individual Membership & Council Professional Development Bundle 2018/19.  Need to add link

Member Profile - Proudly sponsored by

Darren Birbeck

This month we speak with Darren Birbeck, General Manager Corporate Services at the City of Charles Sturt.

Darren speaks about the power of clear and positive language in motivating and leading staff, as well as outlining a number of his key projects and objectives.

What’s your current role, and what does it involve?
In my role as General Manager Corporate Services at the City of Charles Sturt, I work closely with the executive and leadership teams to help achieve our Community Plan goals and objectives. It’s an exciting time at Charles Sturt, as we deliver our largest ever capital works program which includes the redevelopment of the St Clair Recreation Centre, the Port Road drainage project, the redevelopment of our Waste Management Centre and the revitalisation of Point Malcolm Reserve.

I am really fortunate to have a fantastic team which covers the areas of Finance, Information Services, People & Culture, Governance & Operational Support and Media, Marketing & Communications.

Some of the new initiatives that we are currently working on include rolling out our Digital Workplace Strategy, review and redesign of our Leadership Development program, the launch of a new Corporate Wellbeing Program, an in-depth review of our recurrent budgets and the completion of our draft Smart City Strategy.

read more..


Industry Trends - Put the power of language back in your hands in performance reviews

Regardless of what side of the table or desk you are on performance reviews can be nerve-wracking.  There are many articles about how to conduct a performance review.  This is not one of them.  Rather, this is about what questions to ask your manager in your own performance review.

Should you just respond to the questions being asked?  Should you spend ages preparing your succinct, to the point, and impressive responses?  No!  (well, yes you should, but you should also think about what you should ask your manager in the review).

Use the power of language by asking questions in your performance reviews.  For example, asking “what are your most important goals for the coming year?” lets your manager know you are interested in the overall team performance and how you can help.

You’ll be seen as a helpful resource, someone who can help solve issues – not add to them.

read more..


Sponsor Insight

LG Professionals, SA Sponsorship and Corporate Partnership

We are approaching sponsorship renewal time. If your company partnered with us  in 2017/18 and haven’t heard from us, we will be in touch shortly.

Do you know a company who would be interested in sponsoring LG Professionals, SA?

If so, please contact Rhiannon at to pass on their details.

Network News

Register now for our upcoming network forums:

Last chance to register!
HR Network Forum - Managing mental health in the workplace
Friday, 1 June 2018
Mount Barker District Council
View the program
Email to secure your place!

General Managers Network Forum – Opportunity to Innovate: Exploring the Former RAH Site
Wednesday, 13 June 2018
Former Royal Adelaide Hospital Site
View the program
Register here before 6 June
*Please note, this event is only open to Local Government Professionals reporting directly to the CEO and holding a General Manager or Director (or equivalent) roles.

Women’s Network Forum – Speak up and let your voice be heard
Friday, 22 June 2018
City of Charles Sturt
View the program
Register here before 13 June

Continuous Improvement Network Forum – Delivering and Measuring Performance
Friday, 29 June 2018
Mount Barker District Council
View the program
Register here before 22 June

Save the Date! Community Managers Network 2018 Conference
Beyond the Buzz – Local Government’s Role in Community Wellbeing
Monday, 3 September 2018
Registrations opening soon.

If you would like further information on the above events or any of our networks, please contact Tahlia Willey, Network & Administration Officer at or phone 8291 7994.

Movers and Shakers

  • Trevor Smart - previously CEO District Council of Grant, now CEO Naracoorte Lucindale Council
  • Matt Strapps - previously at Adelaide Hills Council, now Coordinator Library Customer Experience, City of Charles Sturt

Tips and ideas - Is your glass half-full - or half empty?

Alison Ledgerwood, a Professor of Psychology at UC Davis, presented a thought-provoking TED talk about ‘getting stuck in the negatives - and how to get unstuck’. 

Essentially, it’s about the power of positive language.

Do you ever wonder why we remember our failures very clearly, but are more likely to ‘gloss-over’ or forget our successes? 

Alison speaks about getting stuck in the ‘loss frame’.  It’s the way we look at things.  ‘Glass half empty’ is the loss frame, while ‘glass half full’ is the gain frame.

While we are all pretty familiar with the glass half full or half empty analogy, we tend to put it down to simple optimism or pessimism.  However, Alison’s research shows it’s much more than that.

read more..

Emerging Leaders Program

Welcome the ELP Cohort of 2018!

Congratulations to this year’s cohort of Emerging Leaders who have been selected and supported to undertake the highly sought-after program, commencing 31 May.

This year’s Emerging Leaders are:

We look forward to following your leadership journeys and welcoming many of you as members.

Upcoming Programs and Events

Economic Development Forum 2018: 'The Sky's the limit'
Wednesday 20 June 2018
Adelaide Convention Centre

Register now!

New Members

  • Katrina Ewer, Manager Corporate Services, District Council of Streaky Bay
  • Mary Harper, Manager Customer Experience, City of Burnside
  • Gordon Thomson, Director Corporate and Community Services, District Council of Loxton Waikerie

Save the date

Rural Management Challenge 2018

Registrations will open soon for the 2018 Rural Management Challenge, to be held on Thursday 11 October in Renmark.

Is your Council up for the Challenge?

If so, it’s time to start selecting your team!

This is a fantastic opportunity for rural councils to participate in a ‘Management Challenge’ that has been specifically tailored for their needs. It’s a unique opportunity for staff development and for rural councils to showcase their skills.

It’s also a great team building exercise and you only need four staff members from any level of council to participate. If you don’t have enough staff in your council, you also have the option of forming a composite team with neighbouring councils.


National Congress

It’s time to register for the LG Professionals Australia National Congress

The National Congress and Business Expo is Australia’s leading forum for local government professionals.

The 2018 Congress will shine the spotlight on current issues such as crisis management and response, gender equity and maintaining reputation and trust. It will also focus on knowledge building and networking, with a range of professional development sessions offered in the program. 

Register here..


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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



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