The LG Professionals SA Blog

  • 26 Feb 2017 11:12 AM | Anonymous

    Necessity - or frustration,  is the mother of invention – and often leads to 'out of the box' thinking.

    At the recent LG Professionals SA conference, Eyal Halamish (CEO and co-founder, OurSay) spoke about innovation and invention - and how frustration with the status quo often leads to entrepreneurs developing a new approach to solve problems.  He cited recent examples such as UBER, which responded to a market need for fast, reliable and cost-effective transport. 

    However, innovation, out of the box thinking and rapid prototyping is not a recent phenomenon.

    Two examples come to mind from the past:

    1. Apollo 13.  One of the most incredible stories of adversity and out of the box thinking in history.  After a catastrophic failure that left the Apollo 13 command module with very little power, little oxygen and failing systems, the task fell to the ground team in Houston to work out how to save the astronauts. 

    It’s a long story but there were a number of innovative – not to mention risky – decisions made to enable to crew to come home.  One of the most courageous was the use of the rocket motor in the LEM (Lunar Module – designed only for landing on the moon) as a boost rocket to propel the stricken command module back towards Earth, after they swung around the moon. 

    This rocket motor was only designed to be fired once – to lift the LEM off the moon - but this maneuver required it to be fired twice.  History shows it worked, but in terms of our of the box thinking – you don’t get more 'out of this world' than that.  (by the way, the Flight Director for Apollo 13 was Gene Krantz - a really good read is his book, 'Failure is not an option' - you can check it out here.)

    2. The Army DUKW. The second example comes from the 2nd world war.  Troops were very vulnerable when landing on beaches as they needed to leave the relative safety of the water craft and make their way on foot across the open beach.  The Army realised what they needed was a craft that could carry troops on water – and then drive up the beach towards cover.  This need (or frustration) led to the development of the Army DUKW.  (colloquially, the DUCK)

    The DUKW is widely acknowledged as a great example of responsiveness to a need, because it was developed quickly using an existing truck design as a basic platform, it was designed to be easy to make and able to be made in great quantities - and was quickly put in to effective service.  It was also constantly improved throughout production  - long before the phrase “continuous improvement” became fashionable!

    It even included innovations such as central tyre pressure control, allowing the operator to adjust the tires for hard surface roads (high pressure) or sand (low pressure) from the driver's seat. This is now a feature of the military HUMVEE and even some modern buses, trucks and 4WD passenger vehicles.

  • 25 Nov 2016 3:39 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Once used to store unsightly landfill, Maslin Beach’s Frank Hilton Reserve is now a picturesque play space favoured by families.

    The council project that managed its transformation was awarded the ‘Hard Won Victory’ prize at the 2016 Planning Institute of Australia’s annual awards – a nod to the innovative problem-solving it required.

    City of Onkaparinga Mayor Lorraine Rosenberg said council overcame a range of environmental and economic issues over seven years to deliver an outcome that enhances the area.

    “Our team challenged themselves to think differently about the planning and design process, and that helped deliver great solutions to problems while hugely reducing the project budget,” Mayor Rosenberg says.

    “The initial estimate put the cost of the project at $5.9 million but the team worked hard to find more efficient and cheaper solutions to remediate the landfill while still meeting all EPA requirements, bringing the project in at $2.6 million, which is a fantastic result.”

    While unconventional, the idea to stockpile 24,000 tonnes of surplus material from road projects at a nearby quarry provided a cost effective solution to capping the landfill.

    Topsoil removed from the site was also stockpiled and reused at later stages to reduce the carbon footprint associated with purchasing and transporting imported fill.

    Project Leader Victoria Masterman said the focus was on embracing the natural landscape rather than considering solutions in isolation.

    “For example, instead of using a traditional concrete channel for drainage we used a geo-fabric membrane liner with rocks over the top,” Victoria said.

    “It achieves the same outcome but it’s a lot cheaper and more aesthetically appropriate for the setting.”

    Local residents, Kaurna representatives and groups including the Native Vegetation Council, Coast Protection Board and Maslin Beach Community Association provided feedback on the project in ongoing consultation sessions.

    At the time, Local Government Association of South Australia President Mayor Dave Burgess said the end result illustrates the value and quality of projects delivered by local government.

    “The level of expertise, innovation and efficiency demonstrated in this project proves that local projects, driven by local government in close partnership with the local community, can deliver outstanding results,” Mayor Burgess said.

    “Onkaparinga Council has delivered the best project of its kind in the nation, setting the benchmark right here in South Australia.” The national award win follows a state award in the same category last year.

  • 31 Oct 2016 10:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Norman Waterhouse Lawyers sponsor the Excellence in Local Economic Development award, so we speak to Sean Keenihan, Chairman of Partners, Norman Waterhouse Lawyers for his insights. 

    Hi Sean - can you start by telling us why, as a law firm, do you sponsor an economic development award? 

    We enjoy partnering with our council clients to make a real difference in local and regional economies.  We are delighted to recognize the efforts of councils that play an active role in leading and supporting economic growth.

    How do you think councils can benefit from focusing on local economic development?

    Developing the strength and sustainability of local economies is an essential for community prosperity.  Councils that support sustainable economic growth and transformation in local and regional economies are making a significant and tangible contribution to community prosperity.

    How do you think councils can benefit from participating in the awards - especially this category?

    It assists councils to focus on the link between what they are doing and the impact that has on communities.  It also encourages the sharing of lessons and experiences among councils (i.e. what can be done) to raise the bar in terms of performance.  It also supports continuing innovation as councils are encouraged to strive for excellence in economic development.

    This year's winner was the Coorong District Council SA Motorsport Park Development.  Why do you think this was such a great example of Excellence in Local Economic Development?

    The council played a lead facilitation role in the realisation of a project that will result in immediate and long term, sustained jobs for its community and the broader region. 

    They exhibited vision and commitment while adopting a collaborative approach (with other tiers of government and the private sector) to catalyse the development of infrastructure that will be an economic pillar for its community for decades to come.

    This involved calculated risk taking on the part of the council – but the rewards will be significant and long-lasting for its community and the State’s broader visitor economy for many years to come.

  • 31 Oct 2016 10:41 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We chat briefly to Kate Jessep and Victoria McKirdy about their joint facility (The Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre) and their win in the 2016 awards - at both a State and National level. 

    You were successful in winning the award for Community Partnerships and Collaboration at both the State LG Professionals, SA and National LG Professionals Australia Awards with the FRAC project (Fleurieu Regional Aquatic Centre). What was unique about the approach that led to winning the award at both State and National levels?

    Furthermore, this required strong community collaboration to demonstrate support for the project and more than 30 concurrent decisions of both councils which demonstrates the complexity of the venture.

    While many councils collaborate to deliver services we think two Councils agreeing to partner to build and jointly own infrastructure is fairly rare.

    If you were doing the project again would you do anything different?  Why or why not?

    No. We are very proud to share the governance framework for this successful project with other Councils.

    It is currently under construction on time, on budget and will deliver an excellent, above standard, $21 million community facility for a maximum capital outlay of $6.5 million for each Council.

    What do you think are the benefits to staff, Council and the public of winning an award of this type?

    This reinforces the community's confidence in their Council's ability to deliver an ‘Award winning’ community facility.

    It promotes the Council's brand at State and National level and assists us to attract and retain excellent staff.

    Would you recommend other councils nominate for the LG Professionals, SA awards program? Why?

    Yes, for the above benefits. Furthermore, we would suggest that when you have the opportunity and good fortune to achieve a great outcome for your community the Award nominations are a great way to share your learning’s and contribute to the wider sector and community.

    Kate Jessep, Director, Corporate and Community Services, City of Victor Harbor
    Victoria MacKirdy, Acting CEO, Alexandrina Council

  • 27 Oct 2016 12:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As members of the Rural City of Murray Bridge team, we were delighted to have been awarded first prize.   

    All being new to the Challenge we didn’t know what to expect on the day and were extremely nervous but once we started the challenges given to us in the morning our nerves soon disappeared as we focused on the tasks at hand. The pace soon went into over drive when we were given 4 tasks to undertake simultaneously with calm planning and discussion turning into near panic and frantic action.

    We started the day as five independent individuals and finished the day as a cohesive team that respected, trusted and supported each other. We amazed ourselves at the workload we could achieve in a day and there were definitely lessons learnt about spending time planning each task and not jumping straight into it without having a clear idea of the outcome. This is certainly something we will practice in our day jobs.

    Whilst it was great to have won, all teams must have had similar experiences and it is a great way to develop skills working out of your comfort zone and appreciating the dynamics of working in a team. We learnt how to support each other when working under pressure and have developed an extremely strong and lasting bond between all team members.

    We would encourage council’s to enter the LG Professionals, SA Rural Management Challenge next year as we believe we have all truly benefited from the experience.

    The Rural City of Murray Bridge Team (Muzza Bizza’s)

  • 27 Sep 2016 2:46 PM | Anonymous

    In this month's Sponsor Insight we chat with Darren Wunderer, Senior Relationship Manager at Statewide. 

    Hi Darren - thanks for speaking with us.

    Statewide are a valued Corporate Partner of LG Professionals SA. For those who don’t know, what services do Statewide offer to clients?
    StatewideSuper is the local industry fund based in South Australia with more than $6.5 billion dollars in funds under management, looking after the super savings of over 140,000 members and working with 18,000 employers in SA, NT and beyond.

    We provide tailored, appropriate and cost effective super support and advice to our local government members and employers. In addition we have a history of strong investment returns, provide competitive insurance cover and our fees are kept as low as possible.

    How long have you worked at Statewide and what is your role? What does it involve?
    Prior to the merger of Local Super and Statewide in 2012 I had worked at Local Super in various roles for 15 years. After a couple of years break I returned to StatewideSuper in May this year as a Senior Relationship Manager. I work closely with local government employers and other businesses who utilise Statewide for their employees’ superannuation arrangements and am involved in educating our members to ensure they get the most out of their super with the ultimate aim of a comfortable retirement.

    What motivates you? What do you find most interesting or exciting about working in local government?
    I enjoy sharing my knowledge and working with members to improve their future retirement outcomes. In local government there is such a diverse range of people and roles, every meeting or session can be different. I also enjoy visiting the regional councils who work so hard for their local communities.

    What is an interesting fact about you that not many people know?
    I was born in Naracoorte and then lived in Kadina for four years when I was in Primary School.

    How do you spend your leisure time outside of local government?
    I am a keen tennis player and have played competition for over 25 years and am a big Adelaide Crows fan. I enjoy travelling and have been fortunate to have had some wonderful holidays overseas.


  • 22 Sep 2016 4:52 PM | Anonymous

    TEDx Adelaide tickets are now on sale!

    One of our members, Nathaniel Mason, (formerly at Barossa Council now City of Tea Tree Gully) is involved with the upcoming Tedx Adelaide event - so we thought we'd ask him a few questions about it to find out what's in it for local government professionals.

    Hi Nathaniel - please tell us about Tedx!
    TED is a non-profit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading where leading thinkers and members of our communities have a platform to share their ideas. TED started as a 4 day conference in California 30 years ago, with TEDx running as locally organised events supporting individuals or groups in hosting TED-style events around the world. Through TEDx Adelaide we are helping Adelaide innovators, activists and thinkers to amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.
     What do our readers need to know? 
    TEDxAdelaide 2016 is on Thursday 20 October 2016 from 2:00pm – 8:00pm. This year's theme is 'Metamorphosis' and will be held at the Adelaide Town Hall, 128 King William Street, Adelaide.
    TEDxAdelaide 2016 is set to be the biggest and most diverse TEDx event in Adelaide to date. With a focus on deep transformation, the speakers you will hear, connections you will make and the event experience are sure to inspire you to develop and pursue ideas at the conference and in the future.
    Tickets are available here now -

    TEDxAdelaide is available to follow on social;
    Facebook -
    Twitter -
    Instagram -
    How have you been involved?
    I have been a long time follower of TED talks, gaining tremendous insight and inspiration from a variety of talks and topics available online in both professional and personal pursuits. I recently shared an article on LinkedIn about my experience -
    I joined TEDx Adelaide this year in the role of Stage Manager, bringing experience, skills and networks from lifelong participation in the Adelaide theatre and music communities and a keen ambition to support South Australian initiatives, economy and sustainability through collaboration and the TEDx platform of sharing ideas. Working in local government gives me a direct connection to understanding and participating in initiatives that shape our daily lives, where we live, work and play to ensure we can curate a TEDx Adelaide experience that is meaningful and relevant. At the same time, participation in TEDx provides perspectives, ideas and connections that I am able to bring directly back to local government and share with my peers.

    The TEDx Adelaide management team comprises of a diverse group of people who are passionate about recognising the incredible history, celebrating successes and increasing potential of Adelaide and South Australia.
    Will there be any local government content?  
    All speakers are South Australian locals and will cover an incredible and diverse line up of topics around the 'Metamorphosis' theme including government, sustainability, community growth, inclusion, leadership, technology and more.  Many of the speakers, volunteers and organisers are involved with local government initiatives already and much of the content will be connected to initiatives, grants and services that local government provide, support and participate in. 
    In my experience, I have frequently been able to apply ideas and lessons learned in TED talks directly back to local government, be it back of house operations in continuous improvement and leadership or customer facing ideas across community, culture and environment.

    What can local government professionals look to gain from attending?  What can they expect?
    Local government and TEDx Adelaide share similar goals of achieving cultural vibrancy, environmental sustainability and economic prosperity within Adelaide and South Australian communities. The opportunities for attendees extend beyond the presentations they will hear on the day, through to interactive experiences at the event and networking with a broad group of like-minded, constructive and passionate peers.
    The Metamorphosis theme tackles individual struggles as well as great political or economic transformations experienced by societies. Change is often something we confront and it isn’t on a mission to be liked. Most of the time, we’d rather not think about metamorphosis at a personal, political or any scale, let alone talk about it in front of a thousand strangers. This is what is behind the power of TED; great talks bring our fears and hopes into the open and propel us towards better things.

  • 23 Aug 2016 12:54 PM | Anonymous

    Interview with Tony Gray, Executive Manager, LGRS

    LGRS is a valued Corporate Partner of LG Professionals SA. For those who don’t know, what services does LGRS offer?

    Local Government Risk Services (LGRS) was established to manage and service the insurance and risk management needs of local government in South Australia. At LGRS we work with the sector, all 68 SA Councils, to develop and implement proactive systems and processes for risk management, claims management and risk transfer. All of this is delivered through our mutual schemes – LGA Workers Compensation Scheme,  LGA Mutual Liability Scheme, Asset Mutual Fund and Income Protection Fund – and our Risk Consulting Services team.
    LGRS also recently became the Principal Partner of Local Government Professionals Australia, and the Principal Management Challenge Sponsor. What benefits do you see for Councils who enter a team in the challenge and would you recommend this as a valuable leadership opportunity?

    LGRS is proud to be the Principal Partner of LG Professionals Australia. Given our strong relationship with all 68 Councils in SA it seems only fitting we support the sector in this way. Appropriately managing risk is a team effort which is why we strongly support this Challenge concept.

    LG Professionals SA is currently calling for teams for the Rural Management Challenge- we strongly encourage all rural Councils to enter a team this year as it provides a great opportunity for rural Councils to show us what they’ve got!

    How long have you worked at LGRS and what is your role? What does it involve?

    I joined LGRS in December 2015 as Executive Manager of the Public Sector team in SA, I have responsibility for all LGRS schemes. I work closely with our teams internally and manage key relationships with our membership. Much of my focus is centred on making sure the client relationship is managed effectively and our service delivery exceeds expectations.

    What motivates you? What do you find most interesting or exciting about working in local government?

    Everyone I have worked with or met within the local government sector so far has been extremely passionate about what they do and this is really exciting to see. There is a tremendous focus on community and high expectations when it comes to service delivery standards.

    The unique partnership LGRS has with local government and the holistic approach LGRS takes to risk management is what I found most interesting and is what first attracted me to the role. Council employees engage and confide in us and trust our ability to provide them with support when the need arises. We work extremely closely with Councils to implement effective safety programs and risk management strategies, which in many cases are best practice. Our strong relationship with the LGA, LG Professionals SA and Councils, and the trust that has been established over a long period of time is very motivating.

    What is an interesting fact about you that not many people know?

    I am originally from Adelaide but have spent over 10 years at different times in Los Angeles and Sydney. Most of my career has been in Medical Devices, most recently as the CEO of the Australian & New Zealand Commercial operations for the world’s largest Ophthalmic lens company. This has given me a great background to understand the benefits and challenges associated with effective enterprise risk management. It also gave me great experience in managing a self-insured operator as we had over 600 employees, most of which were in manufacturing.

    How do you spend your leisure time outside of local government?

    I love to surf on weekends and still keep involved in Surf Lifesaving, patrolling at the local beach and competing in the Surf Boats when I can - in the masters these days!

  • 17 Aug 2016 6:14 PM | Anonymous

    In this interview we speak with City of Victor Harbor Communications Officer, Michelle James - who was a participant in the 2015 Rural Management Challenge.  Michelle tells us about the challenge, the benefits to the council, her own personal  experience and also shares a few tips....

    Hi Michelle - thanks for speaking with us.

    In 2015, City of Victor Harbor participated in the Rural Management Challenge.  Will your council enter a team for future Challenges?
    Yes, definitely. Last year was the first time the City of Victor Harbor had entered a team in the Rural Management Challenge for a number of years. Our senior management team were really supportive and encouraging and have made a commitment to enter teams in future challenges.

    Would you recommend the Rural Management Challenge to other rural councils thinking of participating for the first time?
    Absolutely! It is a great team building experience and pushes individuals to think outside the square, look at different ways to solve problems, think about how we communicate with different people and make decisions quickly.

    It is also a great way to learn more about the people you work with and their roles.

    Do you think rural councils thinking of participating for the first time would benefit from having another council mentor them?
    It definitely helps being able to draw on the experiences of someone who has completed in a challenge before. We were really lucky last year to have a mentor who had been a member of a past rural challenge team. We also tapped into our neighbouring council of Alexandrina for advice which was a real advantage for us.

    I think most councils are always willing to provide support to their neighbours, so I wouldn’t be afraid to ask.

    Who were the members of your team and what roles do they have in council?
    We had six team members. They included Ben from the Library, Stephanie our Senior Finance Officer, Kyla our Para Planner, Jeremy our STARCLUB Field Officer, Kerry from our Family Support Service and myself, Council’s Communications Officer.
    It was a diverse team which was great because we all had different strengths that really complemented each other.

    What have been the key benefits to both team members and your council?
    Entering a team into the Rural Management Challenge is a win-win for individuals and council. Staff are given a hands-on, practical professional development opportunity and the organisation is helping build a positive team culture and ends up with staff who are inspired, motivated and have a great understanding of the environment in which they work.

    What positives did you personally take away from the experience?
    I really enjoyed getting to know the members of my team. While we are a relatively small council we do get bogged down in our own work and it was nice to take the time to understand the roles of others.

    Professional development wise, I learnt a lot about working in a high pressure environment and making decisions quickly. The pressure on the day of the challenge is unbelievable – I don’t think anything can prepare you for it. You have a problem and a relatively short time to get to a solution. It is about trusting your instincts and backing yourself (and your team).

    Can you provide some tips on how to get the most out of the Rural Management Challenge?
    Use the preparation time in the lead up to the challenge wisely to build a strong team. You need to be ready to hit the ground running from the moment you arrive at the challenge.
    Read everything carefully!

  • 22 Jul 2016 8:34 AM | Anonymous

    As part of the City of Onkaparinga’s place-making and economic growth and investment strategies, in 2015 council opened a pop-up space in a vacant shop on Beach Road, Christies Beach to gather the communities’ ideas for the precinct’s future.

    The Pop-Up helped council connect with residents, visitors, groups and local businesses to build a bank of ideas and opportunities to activate and enhance the area.  Council’s aim was to generate ideas for Beach Road and demonstrate the great potential this area has.   While Beach Road is already a vibrant and busy precinct with a diverse mix of businesses, there remains huge potential for the strip to become an iconic destination.

    To activate the space, council presented a range of free events art exhibitions, networking sessions, music performances and activities.  The CBBTA also supported the Pop Up shop initiative, arranging network evenings, social events, a range of street activities to draw people into the area and encourage people into the popup shop to provide ideas.  In April Council introduced a parklet outside the shop as an additional temporary dining space for nearby businesses and as a mechanism to activate pop-up bars and similar business ventures.

    Key stats
    -    16 start-up businesses trialled
    operating in a retail environment in our Pop Up shop.
    -    More than 40 businesses enquired directly with us about setting up operations on Beach Road.
    -    6,500 people visited the space and provided their thoughts and ideas on the future of Beach Road.

    We have also provided assistance to both existing and potential new businesses in terms managing council approvals and negotiating and understanding various issues they might be facing.

    Blue Pepper Wine Bar’s establishment is a direct response to community comments we received in the Pop Up shop about a desire for more eateries on Beach Road.

    Mike Green (Former Chair of Christies Beach Business & Tourism and current landlord) discussed the concept of a wine bar and the vacant bank building was mentioned as an opportunity.  Several months later he came back to the Pop Up Shop and said that he had purchased the building and was taking up the challenge to establish a small bar venue and council provided assistance to help through all the regulations.

    Council’s artist impressions which were based on the ideas we received from the community through the Pop Up Shop, were posted online via the CBBTA’s ‘onbeachroad’ Facebook site. 

    They had over 40,000 views of the illustrations and a significant number of inquiries from as far as China about setting up on Beach Road as a result a young lady named Kirra (the owner of the new Kibbi’s café that will soon take up residents in the Pop Up Shop) came to have a look and made the decision to take up the Pop Up Shop lease. 

    Kirra has also expressed a keen desire to have a ‘Parklet’ out front of Kibbi’s.  Council has guided her through the process of setting up the business.

    Swire and Noble have also established a cellar door on Beach Road which we believe is the closest cellar door to the ocean in Australia.

Mailing Address:  5 Hauteville Tce EASTWOOD SA 5063   Phone: 8291-7990;   Fax: 8451-1568   Email:

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