Leaders Connect

A word from the CEO

Our thoughts this month are with our Council colleagues working in bush fire affected areas or personally affected by the fires. The sense of comradery displayed by our local government family is highlighted in times like this, and the stories of council sharing have been flooding our social media channels. You are doing an extraordinary job!

We also congratulate the following new CEO's on their recent appointments and warmly welcome those new to SA and / or our sector:

Davin Lambert, LGFA
Chris Cowley, City of Burnside
Eric Brown, Flinders Ranges Council
Nigel McBride, City of Prospect
Darryl Whicker, District Council of Grant
Bridget Mather, Coorong District Council

As we embark on a new decade, this is a jam packed edition of Leaders Connect, with a focus on planning for the future.

Taryn Sexton

January 2020
Edition 100

Industry News

The Local Government Professionals Australia National Office has partnered with SOLGM in New Zealand to showcase the leadership journeys of local government GMs and CEOs between our countries. This has been an opportunity to highlight the success stories of our extended cohort while giving the emerging leaders from our wider talent pool a path to follow.

The ‘From the Leader’s Chair’ document features a number of these interviews with local leaders, but is just the first in an ongoing series of leadership journey stories we aim to highlight in the near future.

Click here to download ‘From the Leader’s Chair’


Nominating for an award is an excellent way to recognise staff and Council’s achievements, and provides you with an opportunity to share and celebrate with other Councils.

Categories for the 2020 Awards:

  • Outstanding Contribution to the Sector
  • Emerging Leader of the Year
  • Excellence in People and Culture
  • Community Partnerships and Collaboration
  • Excellence in Cross Council Collaboration
  • Innovative Management Initiatives
  • Excellence in Local Economic Development
  • Leadership in Community Services
  • Excellence in Environmental Leadership and Sustainability
  • Excellence in Sustainable and Environmentally Responsible Infrastructure Management
  • Excellence in Infrastructure Delivery- NEW AWARD FOR 2020
Find out more or nominate today

Movers and Shakers

Simon Grenfell, previously General Manager, Environment at Alexandrina Council, now Executive Officer at Fleurieu Regional Waste Authority.

Mark van der Pennen, previously General Manager, Growth, Alexandrina Council, now General Manager Environment at Alexandrina Council.

Matthew Morrissey, previously Manager Assets, City of Onkaparinga, now Associate Director, Infrastructure at City of Adelaide.

Network News

HR Network
We welcome Jacki Done, Manager People and Culture at City of Charles Sturt as our new Chair of the HR Network.

I would like to thank Michelle Mayger, Manager People and Culture at Port Pirie Regional Council and Sarah Kay, Group Manager People at Alexandrina Council for their hard work and contribution to the HR Network as Co-Chairs in 2019. Both Michelle and Sarah will continue on as committee members.

Women's Network
I would also like to thank Merissa Decelis, Senior Business Partner at the City of Adelaide for her role as Chair of the Women's Network from 2018-2019. Merissa had a busy year in 2019 being the Implementation Leader for the Chiefs for Gender Equity, supporting Victoria MacKirdy in her role as Chief for Local Government. We thank Merissa for her contribution as Chair and look forward to seeing her continue as a committee member and Implementation Leader in 2020.

We welcome Thuyen Vi-Alternetti, Manager Property and Facilities at the City of Mitcham as our new Chair of the Women's Network. Thuyen will also share the role of Implementation Leader for the Chiefs for Gender Equity with Merissa.

Save the Date for our 2020 Network Events! See the full list below.

I look forward to seeing you at one of our network events!

Tahlia Willey
Network and Program Officer

CEO Network Forum 
Friday 1 May - Location TBC

HR Network Forums
Thursday 27 February - City of Charles Sturt
Thursday 14 May - Location TBC
Thursday 23 July - Location TBC

Women's Network Forums
Thursday 26 March - City of Mitcham
Thursday 25 June - District Council of Yankalilla
Thursday 27 August - City of West Torrens

Continuous Improvement Network Forums
Thursday 19 March - Location TBC
Wednesday 20 May - Location TBC
Thursday 20 August - Location TBC
Thursday 5 November - Location TBC

General Managers Network Forum
Friday 13 March - Location TBC

3rd Annual HR Network Conference 
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Friday 25 September
Adelaide Convention Centre

11th Annual Women's Network Conference
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Friday 13 November
National Wine Centre

Community Managers Network Conference 
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Friday 14 August
Adelaide Convention Centre

Industry Trends

Late last year, LG Professionals Australia, WA launched their research report prepared by the University of Western Australia around the factors affecting the health and well-being of local government CEOs in WA and the impact on service delivery to communities.

The resulting, ground-breaking research report reveals that local government CEOs across Western Australia are suffering from psycho-social distress at nearly three times the national average of the general population. Their high levels of work-related stress exceed those found in traditionally 'dangerous' professionals like mining, construction and emergency services.

The full report "From workplace stress to workplace wellness: An assessment of  the health and well-being of local government Chief Executive Officers in WA" can be read here

Member Profile -
Proudly sponsored by

Chris Campbell
This month we spoke with Chris Campbell, Digital Communications Officer at City of Tea Tree Gully, about his role, his recent experience completing our Emerging Leaders Program and how he's planning for the future. 

What is your current role and what does it involve?

Digital Communications Officer. My focus is customer and employee digital experience - transforming services and bringing processes online for continuous improvement. This includes managing our online forms, CRM’s, website, reports and analytics. It’s a real mix between digital content creation and digital services.


2020 Annual State Conference - Friday 20 March 2020

Trust and collaboration play a vital role in delivering results to our communities. Join us at our Annual State Conference to look at trust through the lens of ourselves, out teams and our communities.

View program and register

Register Today!

Making and Influencing Decisions at Council - Registrations close today!
Tuesday 4 February 2020
Find out more

Working with Communities Workshop
Friday 7 February 2020
Find out more

Leading with Emotional Intelligence - 1 Day Masterclass
Friday 14 February 2020
Find out more

IGNITE Program
Program commences Tuesday 24 March 2020
Find out more

Women's Program
Program commences Monday 4 May 2020
Find out more

Save the date

Please mark the following dates in your calendar for 2020. You won't want to miss out on these!
  • Emerging Leaders Program - Registrations open Thursday 30 January 2020
    Program commencing Thursday 28 May 2020

  • 19th Annual Leadership Excellence Gala Awards Dinner
    Friday 22 May 2020

About Local Government Professionals Australia, SA

LG Professionals, SA is a not-for-profit member based association representing professionals working in local government in South Australia. 

We have the ability to link and connect people from different councils who may not otherwise form relationships or share. 

Our high quality professional development programs and networking events are uniquely local government – reflective of the culture of the sector and sensitive to the needs of its professionals. 

The content of our events and programs are informed by our members and people who genuinely care about the sector. 

We provide a safe and supportive environment in which to grow and learn while creating opportunities to make time away from the office to work on the business or on self. 

We award and acknowledge achievements of excellence.

We are proud to be part of a national Federation of State based Local Government Professionals Australia organisations, supported by a national office dedicated to supporting the National Local Government sector.

LG Professionals, SA   5 Hauteville Terrace, Eastwood SA 5063   Phone: 08 8291 7990