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.