This month we caught up with Daniel Jellings Manager Performance and Strategy at City of Mitcham about his role, the Leadership Excellence Awards and what enjoys most about working in local government.
What is your role and what does it involve?
I’m privileged to manage our Performance and Strategy team, which exists to help Council set a clear purpose, maintain its integrity, listen to the community, make strong decisions and monitor its progress. This means my role stretches across governance, risk, marketing & engagement, strategy and corporate reporting.
Earlier this year City of Mitcham won the Excellence in Emergency Management / Disaster Recovery Award at the 21st Annual Leadership Excellence Awards for Mitcham Prepared - Integrated Emergency Management Program, can you share an overview of the project?
The City of Mitcham has a proud history of resilience, with a community passionate about its heritage and natural environment. It is critical that we plan and prepare for natural disasters.
Mitcham Prepared is the culmination of three years concerted cross-organisational effort to put in place plans, policies, systems and practices to ensure we can manage worst-case scenarios. It is a truly integrated program supported by governance structures, training, communication technology and field deployment (in partnership with LGFSG).
What does this award mean to the Council, staff, and the community?
It is humbling to be recognised for planning and not just how well we have responded to an emergency. Good planning is difficult to judge and even more difficult to prioritise. You only reap the rewards during an event, and you’ll never truly know what the outcome would have been had you not invested the effort in preparation.
Thankfully, we have since proven the model effective. In November a storm event tore through Blackwood, Craigburn Farm and Hawthordene causing significant damage to our tree canopy and requiring a massive clean-up effort (still ongoing).
It has been gratifying to see the orgnaisation deliver as planned and efficiently return our suburbs to safety, with help warmly received from other Councils and agencies. This is the ultimate reward for our organisation and the community we serve.
What is the most satisfying thing about working in Local Government?
The diversity and breadth of services is one of my favourite things about local government. It creates its own unique challenges and complexity unapparelled by business or other tiers of government.
I also take great satisfaction in being able to see the practical results of our efforts within the communities we serve. For example, during our storm clean up, we provided opportunities for office staff to help tend to light debris in reserves outside of the worst affected areas. What other sector would provide a ‘white collar’ like me the opportunity to put on my boots and pitch in, shoulder-to-shoulder, with our customers?
Finally – what do you enjoy outside of work? How do you spend your leisure time?
As a father of four active kids, my leisure time is spent coaching soccer, helping with homework, exploring nature, watching movies and doing my best to model a balanced life, doing good and spending time with those most important to me.