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  • 23 Jan 2024 9:39 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month we spoke with Sarah Rose, Executive Assistant to the CEO at  Alexandrina Council, about her role, professional development and what's next for her. 

    How long have you been in local government?

    My local government journey started 5 years ago in governance administration at Alexandrina Council. I took the opportunities that presented themselves in experiencing different roles and this led me to District Council of Yankalilla as the Executive Assistant (EA) to the CEO. My career took a funny turn and led me back to Alexandrina Council where it all started.

    What does a typical day look like for you?

    My morning routine consists of checking emails, calendars and prioritising tasks for the day. The remainder of the day is preparing for meetings, managing the CEO’s meetings, appointments, correspondence and administration tasks. Also known as the “gatekeeper” providing a bridge for smooth communication between the CEO and staff and ensuring efficient and smooth operation of the Office of the Chief Executive Officer. 

    Earlier this year you participated in the LG Professionals SA Women’s Career Navigator Program; can you share some reflections from your experience?

    I found the program quite invigorating, engaging and informative both for personal and professional development. The program provided valuable strategies and tools that I believe will enhance my career. I met some lovely ladies, and it was great to see growth in such a short period of time.

    What would be your advice to others thinking of participating in the Women’s Career Navigator Program?

    Do it!! I’m an advocate to empower women to further themselves to advance their careers and personal lives. The program is a safe environment to support growth, opportunities for skill-building, learning new strategies and networking with women who are on the same journey, whilst having a bit of fun along the way.

    You also participated in the Local Government Management Challenge – how did you find this experience?

    I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, my reasons for participating were unlike some, where I wanted to demonstrate leadership and showcase different skills that I normally wouldn’t use in my everyday work environment. I loved the pressure cooker feeling on the challenge day itself, the problem-solving experiences and being part of a team who were supportive and fun. The program translates into relevant, tangible, and enduring benefits for not only the team but for the organisation with a hands-on approach to leadership development.

    What’s next for you in your professional development journey?

    Alexandrina Council have created a development plan for the 2024 team and as I loved the challenge so much, I will have the opportunity to mentor and support them through the challenge experience. This opportunity will help develop my leadership skills and I hope to further my skills in organisational development.

    What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

    My free time is usually spent exercising, whether it’s the gym, netball or Muay Thai. I am a kid at heart and enjoy being outdoors and experiencing new things.  


  • 29 Nov 2023 12:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month we spoke with Jodi Roberts, Manager Engineering and Infrastructure - (commencing as Director Environment and Infrastructure on 14 December 2023), at City of Victor Harbor, about her role, professional development and what's next for her. 

    How long have you been in local government and what is your role?

    I have worked in local government for twelve years with two different councils, Alexandrina Council and City of Victor Harbor, within varying departments.

    Local government is so much more than roads, rates and rubbish. Daily I am reminded that as a public officer I am working within a diverse team of staff and volunteers delivering outcomes by, for, and with our community.

    With a focus on strategic planning and leadership development, I am currently building a dynamic team to deliver and maintain services and infrastructure that meet the changing needs of the community.

    What does a typical day look like for you?

    There is no typical day as every day brings with it unknown challenges and opportunities. Amongst the numerous meetings, my time oscillates between strategic long term planning and providing reactionary response to community, Council Members or the environment as part of emergency management. My team is responsible for:

    • GIS and asset management
    • Properties including cemeteries
    • Land development
    • Capital project delivery
    • Traffic management, streetlights and stormwater

    I am looking forward to the new opportunities that the Director role will bring including:

    • Open space and biodiversity
    • Environment and sustainability
    • Operations, maintenance and construction

    You have previously completed the LG Professionals SA Executive Leaders Program; can you share some reflections from your experience?

    I undertook the Executive Leaders Program at a perfect time for my personal growth, when I had a desire and willingness to undertake professional development to grow in other leadership areas, including people management. I found that I could build on my existing skills and develop a network of support amongst my peers in local government.

    What learnings from the program where you able to implement into your role at council?

    Each day I use the leadership tools I learned as part of the program and enjoy sharing them with my teams.

    Some of the takeaway messages that I reflect on in my role include:

    • To be authentic and vulnerable
    • Creating space for opportunity by not filling it
    • Notice more and be luck ready – let go of things and be adaptive
    • To build on what is working
    • I am in charge of the narrative – choosing the positive and not victim mindset
    • I delight in the unknown and dwell it the mystery… that’s interesting, tell me more!

    What would be your advice to others thinking of participating in the Executive Leaders Program?

    The program is a worthwhile investment in you. If you are thinking about enhancing your leadership skills, this is the program for you. It is a great way to get to know other likeminded local government leaders. Be ready to expand your thinking and challenge yourself.

    What’s next for you in your professional development journey?

    Once I have settled into my new role as Director Environment and Infrastructure I am looking forward to exploring training opportunities such as the Strategic Management Program.

    What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

    I enjoy spending time with family and friends. I am part of a book club with friends I have known for 40 years. As a single parent, I prioritise time with my son, and we make the most of our holiday adventures.


  • 27 Oct 2023 12:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month we spoke with Thomas Harris-Howson, Senior Information Technology Officer at Adelaide Plains Council, about his role, professional development and what's next for him.

    How long have you been in local government and what is your role?

    I have had the joy of working in Information Technology in local government for just about 8 years, having worked in roles at both Light Regional Council, as a Support Officer (yes, I was one of the people asking if you had “turned your computer on and off again”) in 2015, and working my way up into my current role as Senior Information Technology Officer at the Adelaide Plains Council since 2017.

    What does a typical day look like for you?

    I would say that the statement “My day is never always the same” is very true for not only myself but many IT Professionals in local government.

    However, it can involve evaluating council’s strategic goals and developing the IT related strategic/operational plans to align with these goals. I then work and consult with my staff to ensure we are all working towards the deliverables and outcomes set out in the plans including providing guidance and direction to them where they are unsure or needing assistance.

    The council has lots of IT related projects that are running at the same time, it is my responsibility to ensure solutions implemented are compatible with council’s business systems. I work with vendors to manage these projects ensuring that plans are followed and that changes are handled appropriately with training and consultation.

    I am also responsible for overseeing council’s technology assets including upkeep, vendor support and renewal. Finally, with the prominence of cyber security globally I work to review and ensure the confidentiality, integrity and availability of council’s intellectual property, staff and ratepayer data.

    You are currently participating in the LG Professionals SA Ignite Program, can you share some reflections from your experience so far?

    The program has been really enjoyable, I have found the content very beneficial in expanding my experience in dealing with the challenges we face as managers on a daily basis. My favourite units so far have been “Applying Communication Strategies in the workplace” and “Building and Maintaining Business Relationships”.

    The other advantage of undertaking the program has been the networking I’ve developed from working with different members from other South Australian councils and the sharing of ideas and knowledge that has occurred from doing so.

    What would be your advice to others thinking of participating in the Ignite Program?

    The Ignite Program not only provides skills that can be used on your leadership journey (no matter if you have just stepped up into a leadership role or have been working in a role for some time) but also in your personal life.

    It can also be a really rewarding program and a fantastic qualification to have on your resume that requires just over 12 months of study / commitment to complete.

    What’s next for you in your professional development journey?

    Having recently completed a Bachelor of Information Technology with University of South Australia and Micro-certifications in Cyber Risk and Strategy with RMIT, I plan on taking a much-needed break following the Ignite Program and obtaining a Certificate IV in Leadership and Management (by the way – a great thing to have on your resume!)

    However, I do not plan to rest on my laurels for too long, instead I am going to use this time away from study to focus on my personal and mental health, which is also an important part of professional development and wellbeing. Taking stock of what you have achieved and what challenges are forecasted in your future professionally allows preparation for the next wave of learning that I want to take on.

    The joy that I have found in Leadership, Information Technology and Cyber Security is that it is a constantly changing environment that we are living in (who would have thought ChatGPT would have blown up as it has a few years ago).

    From this, new ways are constantly being introduced to help workers move council’s towards a better outcome both for the community, staff and (I had to say it) the environment and technology we embrace in our lives.

    Are you working on any exciting projects you’d like to share?

    Adelaide Plains Council, like many South Australian council’s, are working towards uplifting its Cyber Security posture following the recent release of the Local Government Information Technology of South Australia’s (LGITSA’s) Cyber Security Framework and Toolkit. Ensuring we are aware of the valuable assets the organisation has, the threats associated with them and things we can put in place to protect them.

    We have also been working towards a new architecture for some of our systems (managed externally) which will result in greater control for council’s IT staff and allow us to forge a new direction for the organisation this is providing my team with enthusiasm for the coming years of what we might be able to do. Watch this space.

    What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

    I adore spending time with my family including my wonderful wife, just under 2-year-old daughter and dog (Australian Shepherd x Poodle) including playing together and exploring this great city. Seeing things from my daughter’s perspective is a great grounding moment for me and helps me focus on what is important to me.

    When I am not doing this, I like to research new technologies including testing things in my Home Lab. Finally, I also have passions of participating as a Motorsport Official, including in a few major state and international events (e.g., Formula One Singapore Grand Prix and Supercars Australia Adelaide 500) and when all else fails I love cheering on Port Adelaide in the AFL and SANFL.


  • 20 Sep 2023 3:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month we spoke with Kristy Noakes, Customer Experience Lead at City of Charles Sturt, about her role, professional development and what's next for her. 

    How long have you been in local government and what is your role?

    I've been in local government for two decades now. My journey began in 2003 as a trainee at the City of Adelaide, and over the years, I've held various positions. Currently, I serve as the Customer Experience Lead at the City of Charles Sturt. I love the diversity you get working in local government and find the impact on the community rewarding. 

    What does a typical day look like for you?

    As the CX Lead, my daily focus is to collaborate with key stakeholders to enhance the customer journey by refining processes and systems. I oversee our Voice of Customer survey program and offer insights for improvements. Additionally, I dedicate significant time to our Customer Relationship Management system project.

    You participated in the LG Professionals SA Strategic Management Program this year. Can you share some reflections from your experience?

    The LG Professionals SA Strategic Management Program was such an awesome experience, building on the Emerging Leaders Program which I completed in 2022. The program was practical, allowing me to apply my knowledge directly in the workplace. The facilitators are engaging and relatable, which made the learning journey even more enjoyable. Beyond the knowledge gained, the relationships and networks formed during the program have been equally valuable.

    What would be your advice to others thinking of participating in the Strategic Management Program?

    The best investment you can make for your career, is to invest in yourself. In my experience, there is no “good time” for professional development, but it is well worth the effort. We are all busy and have conflicting priorities, so making it work requires some careful time management and a bit of commitment. Embrace the journey and the rewards will follow.

    What’s next for you in your professional development journey?

    After concluding my role as President of the Local Government Authorised Persons Association, I aim to explore a Board position aligned with my CX role in the upcoming year. I'm also deeply involved in a substantial project, so my immediate focus lies there. I'm enthusiastic about continuous learning and hope to pursue the LG Professionals SA Graduate Certificate in Business Administration.

    What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

    My partner and I recently acquired an old bungalow, and with two young daughters, our weekends are action-packed with family and home activities. Beyond that, I enjoy spending time with friends and frequenting local events and markets.


  • 25 Aug 2023 2:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month we spoke with Dayton Tahuri, Arboriculture and Biodiversity Field Supervisor at City of Marion, about his role, winning the Australasian Management Challenge and what's next for him. 

    How long have you been in local government and what is your role?

    I started my first role in local government at City of Marion three years ago, starting as a Tree Maintenance Team Member and have recently moved into the Arboriculture and Biodiversity Field Supervisor role.

    What does a typical day look like for you?

    Commencing at 6:30 am, my day kicks off, with the primary task being to inspect for any emergency work due to after-hours calls, ensuring no trees or branches have fallen overnight. Additionally, I sift through emails, pinpointing tasks that require immediate attention.

    Following this, it's time for a team briefing. These gatherings involve two Tree Teams, each consisting of three crew members and a Biodiversity Team with three members as well. This interaction bridges the gap before they begin their daily tasks.

    Having wrapped up the briefing, I venture into the field to handle customer requests. I initiate general tree inspections that encompass a range of duties including tree pruning, root pruning, tree removals, and clearing fallen branches and trees. Throughout the day, I remain available for any sudden emergency works that arise.

    While City of Marion generally relishes pleasant weather, occasional storms catch us by surprise. These unruly tempests disrupt some of our 60,000 trees, giving rise to an incessant clean-up challenge, spanning from gathering small branches scattered in reserves to disentangling sizable trees enmeshed with others.

    The unique nature of each tree infuses every day with a fresh, invigorating challenge.

    You participated in the Local Government Management Challenge this year. After winning the State Challenge your team ‘Marion at First Sight’ represented SA at the Australasian Management Challenge Final earlier this month, where you were crowned Australasian Champions! Congratulations on the win, can you share some reflections from this experience?

    Entering the Challenge, I was completely in the dark about what awaited. A fellow outdoor colleague, casually assured me, "You'll do fine mate, it’s just occasional meetups and training." What he didn't mention was the daunting aspect of completing 9 tasks demanding strategic thinking, planning, and execution, all within strict time constraints and alongside an unfamiliar group.

    In our initial team meeting, I quickly realised that I stood as the lone outdoor worker among colleagues who leaned toward administrative roles. This dynamic felt overwhelming as my expertise revolves around executing procedures rather than orchestrating plans. I grappled with deciphering where exactly I fit into the broader team context.

    As the team progressed through the forming, storming and norming phases, we swiftly embraced each other's diverse perspectives, establishing a secure environment that encouraged me to dive deeper into grasping the challenge at hand. My colleagues warmly welcomed my input from the perspective of an outdoor workforce, and my practical thinking played a role in guiding some of our decisions.

    The opportunity to collaborate with my indoor team members was a privilege, granting me valuable insights into the meticulous groundwork preceding council projects. This newfound understanding heightened my appreciation for the behind-the-scenes efforts before they reach the outdoor open spaces. While I'm well-versed in the art of rigorous physical work, understanding the mental weight of dissecting tasks, comprehending our deliverables, gathering a wealth of information to support our choices, and then moulding this into a report subject to review and amendments by multiple parties, the Challenge revealed some of the most intricate and challenging dynamics I've ever encountered.

    While the State and National finals proved to be a whirlwind, we managed to instil mutual trust and stand united as a team. I consider myself incredibly fortunate for the chance to be part of this Challenge. It sets the standard of commitment and development needed in all teams across local government to ‘REACH NEW HEIGHTS’.

    What would be your advice to others thinking of participating in the Management Challenge?

    Trust yourself, trust the process and be open to learning from your mentors, teammates and others you meet along the way.

    If you are an outdoor worker who may have reservations about signing up for the Challenge, I highly recommend it, as it gives you a higher level of understanding about council and breaks down the barriers that sometimes arise between outdoor and indoor staff.

    What’s next for you in your professional development journey?

    I am focusing on my new role as a Field Supervisor and developing my leadership skills. This includes moving from a mate to a manager and developing that next level of thinking needed as a People Leader.

    What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

    I’ve just started playing the guitar again and keeping in touch with my cultural side, I like to sing traditional songs. Spending time with my family at my daughter’s Sunday footy games is also a winner. 


  • 21 Jul 2023 3:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month we caught up with Tracey Alexander, Manager Environment and Regulatory Service at Berri Barmera Council about her role, the Executive Leaders Program and the General Managers and Directors Network Forum.

    What is your role and what does it involve?

    I am the Manager Environment and Regulatory Services, my role incorporates a variety of services including planning, building, property and building management, cemeteries, CWMS network, animal and parking management, fire prevention, camping regulating and limited project management.

    You recently attended the General Managers and Directors Network Forum: Your Brand, Your Culture, what was your biggest takeaway from the forum?

    I attended the recent Forum via zoom and was very impressed with the presenters. I found the topic of branding very interesting and insightful. From this, I have identified that good branding is an important part of any successful marketing campaign, your product needs to be easily identifiable and show the human side of your business.

    The forum also provided valuable perspectives from local and non-local government sectors. 

    What would be your advice to others thinking of attending a Network Forum in the future?

    Do it! The Forum offers General Managers and Directors the chance to network with peers, listen and learn from experts on a range of topics and build on your own skillset by building on social skills and public speaking.

    Earlier this year you participated in the Executive Leaders Program. Why did you decide to register for the program? What were some key takeaways?

    I had only been in my first role as Manager for 14 months and was looking to grow my skills and acquire information to help me become a better Manager. The program was highlighted by my CEO as being something he would recommend I pursue.

    The program was excellent, delivered by fantastic facilitators and I’d highly recommend it. It has given me the tools to be a more effective and confident leader. Sometimes it’s the small things like check in and check out with staff across the organisation, pausing on the balcony to get a broader view and knowing my chimes and gongs.

    The buddy system was great and allowed me to connect with other members. The challenges we all face are similar across both metro and regional councils. I have connected with some amazing peers and the sector is fortunate to have such great leaders.

    Any significant projects you / council are currently working on?

    Council is still in recovery mode after the flood and will be for several months. As part of this we are assessing the damage caused by water at Lake Bonney in particular the campsites and damage to Cultural Heritage.

    Council is also in the process of consulting on design options for the replacement of the Barmera Jetty situated in Lake Bonney.

    What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

    I love spending time with my two beautiful grandchildren, family and friends, I enjoy creating mosaic pieces, spending time in my craft room and gardening.

    I also enjoy being part of the community and I am currently the Finance and Administration Coordinator for the Monash CFS and have recently retired from firefighting, I am a Justice of the Peace and the Treasurer of the Riverland Justice of Peace group and help out where I can for the Barmera Pageant.

  • 25 Jun 2023 6:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month we spoke with Damian Carter, Chief Executive Officer at District Council of Streaky Bay, about his role, the Business Performance and Improvement Network and an exciting project council is working on.

    As Chief Executive Officer of District Council of Streaky Bay, what does a typical day look like for you?

    I get in the car and drive two minutes to our office where I have numerous carparks at my disposal to park in (honestly why would you live in Adelaide?). Then throughout my day, I complete a number of tasks based around the themes of:

    • Strategic Planning and Decision-Making
    • Meetings with Senior Management
    • Stakeholder Engagement
    • Financial Management
    • Staff Management and Leadership
    • Policy Development and Implementation
    • External Relations and Advocacy
    • Project Management
    • Council Meetings
    • Continuous Learning and Professional Development (thank you ChatGPT)

    Then I get in my car and grab the family for a nice beach walk.

    What is your career background?

    I came across to Streaky Bay about two years ago, before this I worked in Local Government with the Barkly Regional Council in the Northern Territory and prior to this I worked as a General Manager for an extended period in the Asia-Pacific region. This is my second stint working in Local Government. In my first stint, I worked in Economic Development, Community Development and strangely enough Local Laws.     

    What benefits to regional councils do the LG Professionals SA Networks provide?

    Apart from the usual professional development and capacity building benefits, the range of LG Professionals SA Networks allows regional council staff to connect and network with their peers which promotes collaboration, knowledge exchange, and the sharing of resources, whilst fostering a sense of unity, strengthening of regional ties, and enabling staff to collectively address common challenges and opportunities.

    What has been the biggest benefit to you of being part of the Business Performance and Improvement Network?

    I joined the network as I’m passionate about driving innovation in the sector, however, to be honest I’ve really found the insights given in the various conversations facilitated by the network the biggest benefit so far.

    Are there any exciting projects you are currently working on?

    The greatest thing about working with a small regional council is the variety of items you get to work on and as a regional CEO this is no different. At the moment we are delivering several exciting projects. However, a strange, but true project is that all the Councils across the Eyre Peninsula are developing their own Monopoly game. With the aim of the project being to create destination awareness, develop community identity/pride and encourage collaboration amongst the councils across the Eyre Peninsula.

    What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

    To be honest as a CEO you don’t get too much spare time, however when I do, I like to spend time with my young kids (3 & 4 years of age). Currently we are making a film using stop motion animation. I think it will be the greatest movie to come out of Streaky Bay since Blue Finn, however, to be honest it is most likely the only film to come out of Streaky Bay since Blue Finn.  

  • 30 May 2023 1:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month we spoke with Steph Paprzycki-Baker, Team Leader, Community Safety at City of Adelaide, about her role and being awarded Emerging Leader of the Year at the 22nd Leadership Excellence Awards.

    What is your role at City of Adelaide, and what does it involve?

    My role at the City of Adelaide is Team Leader, Community Safety. My main gig? Creating a vibrant and secure city environment! As part of the Regulatory Services Program, my awesome team and I make sure Council's rules are followed in public spaces. We're all about maintaining a safe and accessible city for everyone, while also being there to support and mentor our talented crew.

    What are you most looking forward to in your role in the next 12 months or so? Any exciting projects or initiatives you can share?
    In the coming year, we're super excited about expanding our teams and embracing new on-street technology to work smarter. We're also planning a review of our by-laws to stay up to date with our amazing community and deliver top-notch outcomes for our customers. Big things are on the horizon at the City of Adelaide!
            

    Congratulations! You were announced as the 2023 Emerging Leader of the Year at our 22nd Annual Leadership Excellence Awards recently – what does this win represent, and what does it mean to you? 

    Winning the 2023 Emerging Leader of the Year Award at the 22nd Annual Leadership Excellence Awards is a tremendous honour for me. It represents the journey of personal and professional growth I've undertaken, showcasing resilience, perseverance and overcoming numerous obstacles. This recognition at the sector level is a testament to never giving up and I hope is an inspiration for others.

    You impressed the judging panel with your authentic and passionate leadership style – what do you enjoy about being a leader?

    Being a leader brings me immense joy as I witness the growth of my team, both personally and professionally. Seeing them develop, achieve their goals and gain confidence is incredibly rewarding. Even during challenging times, observing team members overcome obstacles fills me with immense pride. For me, true leadership is about serving and helping others succeed.

    Finally, who is Steph? What do you like to do in your leisure time? 

    In my free time, you can find me playing footy and DJing. I'm a coffee enthusiast and cherish moments with my goddaughter, niece, godson, and my two adorable staffys, Quinton and Lulu. Life is all about enjoying the things we love!

  • 28 Mar 2023 2:22 PM | Deleted user

    This month we caught up with Michael Mallamo, Coordinator, Corporate Planning Strategy, at City of Adelaide about his role, joining the Business Performance and Improvement Network and Committee, and his learnings from participation in the LG Professionals SA Management Challenge.

    What is your role and what does it involve?   

    I am one of two Corporate Planners at City of Adelaide where I provide advice, reporting, and planning standards for a range of internal and external stakeholders. I am often the ‘go to’ person for policy administration maintenance and advice, organisational and performance reporting, budgeting, planning research, insights and implementation. I’m also responsible for grants and advocacy work, project management and community engagement.

    Corporate Planning covers so much but its focus is on ensuring that we are driving the organisation forward in what we are delivering for our community. Our service plans and our strategic plan are our major influences, but so are our operating environment and stakeholders.

    You’ve recently joined the Business Performance and Improvement Network Committee. What are you most looking forward to achieving?

    I’m really excited to be a part of this reformed committee and helping the sector to work in an ever-changing environment. I’m looking forward to both learning from my peers and also being a person that my peers can come to for advice and collaboration. I want to really help people think outside the square and challenge the idea that ‘this is how we must do it’ – we have so much to learn from within and outside our sector. By the end of the year I hope our Members will be able to look back and see the Committee has been a positive driving force for the sector, helped councils to work more effectively and improved their understanding of the shared work we do.

    What does Business Performance and Improvement mean to you?

    In my nearly two decades of working at City of Adelaide I’ve served in a variety of roles and had the opportunity to learn from so many great people. Based on this experience, to me Business Performance and Improvement means that we’re pushing boundaries to think differently, work differently and to change up expectations. The term is often brought up in the context of ‘efficiencies’ and may be considered scary because the end outcome is unclear. However, BP&I is not scary and it’s not always about being efficient. It’s about daring to think how we might work differently, and sometimes it even results in the realisation that we are already doing things the best way.

    It’s important that the advice we give our organisations and the way we help people work responds to our environment. We need to have a clear understanding of the expectations from our communities so we know what our operating environment looks like, and we can deliver improvements that help lift the performance of our businesses. It all comes down to having a holistic view across all areas of an organisation – BP&I isn’t just one person’s job!

    Can you share with us any exciting projects you’re currently working on?  

    As many Councils would be doing right now, we’re currently welcoming new Elected Members into our financial and planning environment. We’ve had some great conversations in our chamber and organisation as the election has allowed us time to pause and reflect on core areas like financial sustainability, community insights, our operating environment and  planning and performance. I’m really looking forward to helping a new Council articulate its plans for 2023/24 and sharing this with our community.

    I’m also working on how we can re-invigorate policy, developing a new corporate planning framework and implementing a new quarterly reporting process, which has already seen a new organisational and CEO performance process introduced. The new corporate plan being proposed is a great opportunity for our organisation to re-align to our new strategic plan, which will also be developed concurrently by our team.

    You’ve been a team member and a mentor in the LG Professionals SA Management Challenge over recent years. How has your participation enhanced your professional development?

    When I joined the Challenge, I expected that I’d be contributing familiar skills relating to my role – the creative person, the disrupter, the planner and project officer. However I came away enlightened, with a new outlook on how I functioned, and what my leadership skills had the potential to be. With each task addressing a different stakeholder, audience, or communication medium it really forces participants to not just think on their feet, but also to reach out and utilise each other’s skills. As a mentor the following year and now part of the support crew, I’ve been able to use all of these opportunities to focus on developing my leadership capabilities. It just goes to show that even if you’re years into your local government career, you’re never finished with your professional development and there is always a surprise to be had!

    Finally – what do you enjoy outside of work? How do you spend your leisure time? 

    I love the adventures I have with my partner and our goofy greyhound. This might be just a walk to the beach, a hike in the hills, or a shop along Rundle Mall. Sometimes we also venture out further to Clare Valley, Yorke Peninsula, or one of the many other amazing locations we have to explore in SA. Of course, these adventures only happen if I’m not reading or binge-watching TV! I also love trying to cook something new each week as it’s a time to be creative, relax and to have time together with my partner. He is a recipe person and I’m a ‘go with my heart’ person, so cooking is always a mix of fun and frustration (and I’m ok with that!).



  • 30 Jan 2023 1:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    This month we caught up with Vesna Haracic, Manager Community Health and Wellbeing at City of Salisbury about her role, the Leadership Excellence Awards and what she enjoys most about working in local government.

    What is your role and what does it involve?   

    My current role is Manager of the Community Health and Wellbeing Division. I work with a great team of staff to provide services to our ageing residents (funded under the Commonwealth Home Support Program), people with disability and intercultural communities.

    In addition, I have responsibility for the HR function of volunteers involved across Council.

    In my current role, I have the opportunity to lead community planning and engagement, development and implementation of various strategic directions, such as the Intercultural Strategic Plan, Age Friendly Salisbury and Abilities and Inclusion Strategic Plan.

    These strategic plans are focused on providing an inclusive social and physical environment for diverse communities. They contribute towards improving community health and wellbeing, and creating opportunities for learning and social connection.

    My areas of responsibility in my current role include:

    • Management of Commonwealth Home Support Programme
    • Aged Housing program
    • Management of NDIS programs
    • Senior Centres management
    • Community Garden 
    • Access and Inclusion
    • The Shed
    • Corporate volunteering

    Last year City of Salisbury won the Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Award at the 21st Annual Leadership Excellence Awards for Cohesive Salisbury Projects, can you share an overview of this nomination?  

    City of Salisbury has three diversity and inclusion strategic plans as well as an internal diversity and inclusion policy that act as the framework for council’s diversity and inclusion. The strategic plans: Intercultural Strategic Plan 2017-2027, Age Friendly Strategy 2022-2027 and the Ability Inclusion Strategic Plan 2020-2024 are implemented holistically across the organisation and are supported by the Council’s City Plan 2035 and vision to be ‘a progressive, sustainable and connected community’. The Diversity and Inclusion Policy is concerned with improving inclusivity of the organisation’s staff culture including recruitment, training and development, customer interface, communication and events.

    What does this award mean to Council, staff and the community?  

    This award was a huge achievement for City of Salisbury and we are very proud to have received it. City of Salisbury has a long and proud history of working with its diverse community. The passionate staff have built close relationships with the community that has enabled this meaningful work. Recognition of this by LG Professionals SA is affirming and motivating for the Council and staff, and encourages us to continue and build on this work and continue to achieve better outcomes for the community.

    What is the most satisfying thing about working in Local Government?    

    Working in local government at City of Salisbury is rewarding because of the interactions and relationships with the community. The interactions and closeness to community is unique to local government and it is satisfying to shape council decisions that facilitate a greater sense of connection in the community. Key highlights include working on large community celebrations like Harmony Week and seeing the weekly cultural social programs. 

    Finally – what do you enjoy outside of work? How do you spend your leisure time?  

    I like traveling, spending time with my family and friends and going out for a meal or a coffee. I also like shopping, watching movies and relaxing.  

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Mailing Address: 148 Frome Street ADELAIDE SA 5000   Phone: 08 8224 2080   Email: admin@lgprofessionalssa.org.au


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