The range of skills shown by staff in country councils continues to impress.....this month we look at Bobbi Atherton, Manager, Organisational Development from the District
Council of Yorke Peninsula.
Hi Bobbi - What is your professional background?
I have over fifteen years of experience working for the State Government. I started my career with an administration background and worked with many different authorities including TAFE, Liquor Licensing Commission, Corporate Initiatives Unit and Services SA. My most rewarding roles have included Project Officer and Office Coordination roles within the Government Businesses Group (responsible for outsourcing various Government Assets); Office for Government Enterprises (responsible for monitoring and reporting on various statutory authorities); and the Office of the Employee Ombudsman (providing an employee advocacy role – advice, rights and resolution processes). The last two years have been in Local Government with a role in Risk Administration/ Occupational Health and Safety and earlier this year I have moved back into industrial relations field, with a role as HR Advisor.
What Council are you currently working at, and how long have you been there?
I have been working with the District Council of Yorke Peninsula for two years.
Why did you decide to work for a country council?
I made a lifestyle change ten years ago and moved from Adelaide into a regional seaside town on the Yorke Peninsula. I transferred with State Government and worked with them for eight years. Whilst on maternity leave with my second child, a part time position within Council became available. I was extremely lucky to have won the position and have really relished in the opportunities that are available.
What are the key differences between a country council and metro?
I have never worked for a metropolitan Council, so really can’t compare.
What do you like most about your role?
At the moment I really like my job, enjoy going to work and I am being challenged on a regular basis. Having the ability to make a real contribution to my Council is very rewarding, assisting in improving our Organisational Development processes and Workforce Culture.
How would you describe working for a country council as a career development step?
There are many opportunities within a regional area to further develop your career along with the added benefit for Council in being able to create some great leaders. Many regional areas are experiencing an aging workforce and skills shortages, so for the right candidate armed with a good training plan and a succession plan, there are many career development opportunities available.
What other involvement do you have in Local Government?
I'm a member of the HR Network and the LGMA (SA) Emerging Leaders Alumni.
Why did you join the LGMA (SA) and their Network/s?
I am currently participating in the 2011 LGMA (SA) Emerging Leaders Program and have found this networking opportunity to be really beneficial.