This month we caught up with Ritu Datta, Manager Organisational Development at City of Mount Gambier to find about her new role, career background and why she thinks professional development is important.
What is your role and what does it entail?
I recently commenced a 2 year secondment with the City of Mount Gambier in the position of Manager Organisational Development. The position has a diverse portfolio. This role entails strategically partnering with the people leaders and workforce to have the right people in the right roles to enable the organisation to deliver outstanding customer experience. The key components of the position are leadership capability development, change management, executing succession and talent strategy and implementing the overall people strategy that is aligned with the organisational strategic community plan.
My substantive role is with the City of West Torrens as the People and Culture Business Partner. The role entails partnering with key stakeholders and building workforce capabilities so that the organisation can deliver exceptional service through its people to its customers and effectively meet its strategic goals.
What is your career background?
I have worked almost two decades in the People and Culture function in varied roles within Australia and overseas in medium and large organisations within for profit commercial as well as not-for-profit settings. My ethos is that people are an organisation's biggest asset and by investing in people, the organisation reaps benefits and is able to deliver great customer outcomes. I am extremely passionate about mentoring and professional development. I am a certified AHRI HR practitioner and have recently been re-elected to the AHRI SA state council and have the privilege of managing the portfolio of Mentoring and Development for SA. I am heavily involved in LG Professionals SA Network Committees and am a nominated member on the LG Professionals SA People and Culture Network Committee as well as the LG Professionals SA Women's Network Committee. In 2019 I successfully completed the LG Professionals SA Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) and earlier this year completed the LG Professionals SA Strategic Management Program (SMP).
Why is local government a great place to work?
The sector provides a wide range of roles at all levels and great growth opportunities. The LG sector is inclusive, supportive and provides diverse roles for individuals. There are inter-council partnerships that enable secondment opportunities as well as working on projects with colleagues from other councils. Within a council there are opportunities that come up to work within different departments and functions that are offered to staff. There are passionate professionals who work in the LG sector and are committed to enhancing the services provided to their communities, residents and businesses. The sector is focussed on people and communities which makes it a great place to work.
What advice would you give to someone looking to undertake professional development?
Just do it. If you are interested in pursuing further development and study make the time to invest in yourself. I would highly recommend broadening your networks and connections and getting involved with the relevant networking committees. Having participated in the LG Professionals SA Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) and Strategic Management Program (SMP), if you aspire to climb up the leadership ladder I would highly recommend you look into these two programs along with other certified leadership courses. I am extremely passionate about mentoring therefore would recommend sourcing a mentor for yourself as well as looking at mentoring other professionals. From my own experience I can tell you that being involved in mentoring is extremely rewarding.
Finally, what do you like to do in your leisure time?
I love spending time with my family, travelling, gardening, cooking and going for walks. I love watching movies and various programs on the tele especially travel, cooking and home renovation shows.