A word from the Committee

Welcome to the first edition of the LG Professionals SA Women’s Network Newsletter for 2023.

The Women’s Network Committee have welcomed a new Chair, Naomi Molloy. We thank outgoing Chair Thuyen Vi-Alternetti for her leadership and work in elevating the platform of the Women’s Network over her time as Chair and look forward to Naomi leading the Women’s Network through her 12-month term. We also congratulate Kate Grigg who we welcome as Vice Chair.

The Women’s Network Committee are busily programming an exciting calendar for the Network this year around our theme of ‘Discovery’. Our first forum held earlier this month hosted by the City of Playford was a huge success where we saw a record attendance from women in both metro and regional Councils, with over 130 attending in person and online.

We hope you find this edition informative and inspiring as we shine the spotlight on a Women's Network Member from The Barossa Council, and share some great articles and tools for women in the workplace.

We look forward to seeing you throughout the year at upcoming forums and our Annual Women’s Network Conference at the end of the year.

Best wishes,

Women's Network Committee Members - Ashleigh Atze, Lee-Anne Graham, Katrina Fromm, Fiona Harvey, Jayme Leis and Naomi Molloy

March 2023
Edition 2


A word from the Network Chair

Welcome to our first Women’s Network newsletter for 2023!

We might only be in March, but our amazing committee have already been working busily in the background to build our year of activities including newsletter content, network forums, and of course our annual Women’s Network Conference.

Our theme for the year is 'Discovery' which centres around finding and living your passion. What gets you out of bed in the morning? What energises you? What drives and inspires you? As a committee we aim to explore this theme throughout the year by delivering engaging and high-quality content, sharing practical tools for you to apply, and by celebrating women across all areas of the sector who embody this theme.

Before signing off for this edition, I want to thank Thuyen Vi-Alternetti for her valuable contribution to the network over her previous four years as Chair, and to Caitlin Tierney in her previous term as Vice Chair. You have both achieved some great outcomes for women in the sector through your leadership on the committee - I can’t wait to see what you do in the future!

I hope you enjoy this edition of our newsletter and I look forward to seeing you at our next network event. Happy reading!


Naomi Molloy 
LG Professionals SA Women’s Network Committee  

Farewell from the Outgoing Network Chair

As I write this article, I reflect on my time on the
LG Professionals SA Women’s Network Committee, the inspiring women who have shared the same vision, passion and motivation for women in our sector, and the many more amazing women I’ve met at our forums and conferences over the years. I have been so fortunate to see our network through tremendous growth in both our membership (particularly from regional councils) and event attendance where we've hit record numbers. I am incredibly proud of all we have achieved as a committee.

After four years, I have decided that the time is right for me to hand over the baton of Chair - and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all past and present committee members who I had the pleasure of working with during my time in the role. These women volunteer their time in their already busy lives to support our network, often putting themselves out of their comfort zone.

I want to congratulate Naomi Molloy and Kate Grigg, your new Chair and Vice Chair, and I am looking forward to seeing what the network committee has in store for us all in 2023.

Finally, remember to take every challenge as an opportunity to grow; that’s been my mantra over the last four years, and I am so much better for it.  


Thuyen Vi-Alternetti 
Past Chair 
LG Professionals SA Women’s Network Committee  

Reflections on the International Women's Day Breakfast

On Friday 10 March, several of our Committee Members and staff of LG Professionals SA attended the International Women’s Day Breakfast for 2023. The event was hosted by Senator Penny Wong and included a speech from US Ambassador to Australia Caroline Kennedy. There were a couple of points shared that hit home on the day:

  • Research shows that it will take 132 years to achieve global parity - Penny Wong
  • 4 out of 5 people displaced by climate change are women - Ambassador Kennedy

But in spite of that, and in light of hope, we wanted to share two quotes from the day:

“Find what you love to do and take small steps towards what you love” - Alexis McKay, Chair of the IWD Breakfast Committee

And finally…

“It’s not enough to be the first, we have to make sure we’re not the last” - Senator Penny Wong

You can check out a recording of the event here on YouTube.

Elyse Hearne (LG Professionals SA), Ashleigh Atze, (Rural City of Murray Bridge), Haylie Maynard (LG Professionals SA), Katrina Fromm (District Council of Karoonda East Murray), Thuyen Vi-Alternetti (City of Marion), Caitlin Tierney (City of Charles Sturt), Fiona Harvey (City of Port Adelaide Enfield), Dani Somerville (City of Playford), Katrina Head (City of Mitcham) and Naomi Molloy (City of Unley).

Reflections on the Recent Women's Network Forum: Positioning Yourself for You

Thank you to all network members who attended the first Women’s Network Forum of 2023, 'Positioning Yourself for You'. We were thrilled to have a record turnout at our first forum for the year, with some of our regional members hosting hubs to attend together.

We kicked off the forum with Nicole Marshall from Perks People Solutions who spoke about understanding performance & growth trajectory (the ‘where are you now?’) and then took us through exploring and developing our leadership potential (the ‘where do you strive to be?’). She explained the analogy of a superstar and a rockstar and the differences in how they work, as well as empathetic and honest leadership and how that is the way of the future.

We then continued with a ‘My Story’ from Whendee Young, Executive Manager Infrastructure and Operations, Town of Gawler. Whendee shared a beautifully candid story of her enthusiasm and perseverance to leap towards every opportunity but also learning to slow down and take time to look after herself. Whendee’s story was raw, honest, and incredibly inspirational.

To conclude the forum, we hosted a 'Pitching to Succeed' panel, made up of inspirational local government professionals Teresa Nilsson, Manager - People and Culture (City of Unley), Lauren Marshall, Manager - Organisational Culture and People (The Barossa Council) and Paula Paterson, Senior Manager - Organisational Development (City of Playford) who shared their perspectives on helping women to pursue their career passions. The panel tackled some tough questions about cover letters, resumes and interview hints and tips which lead to a consensus that you should strive for the position/job/career you want even if you don’t meet 100% of the criteria. It is important to show who you are and do your research where needed, and to find a mentor or support people around you that can help you.

Thank you to City of Playford and the Stretton Centre for hosting us at your state-of-the-art venue, and on behalf of the committee and attendees a special thank you to our guest speakers.

Dani Somerville 
LG Professionals SA
Women’s Network Committee  

Upcoming Network Opportunities - Save the date

Women's Network Forum 
Wednesday 31 May 2023
9:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Location TBA and via Zoom

Women's Network Forum 
Wednesday 20 September 2023
9:15 AM - 12:15 PM
Location TBA and via Zoom

Women's Network Conference 
Friday 3 November 2023
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Location TBA

Women's Network Spotlight

We recently spoke with Sally Bignell from The Barossa Council about her role as an Administration and Technical Support Officer – Infrastructure & Environmental Services.

What’s your role and what does it entail?

I support senior staff within our different works teams who oversee maintenance, open space, fleet & stores, our depots and other areas. I enjoy having variety in my role, where extreme weather conditions can change the day in a second. When it comes to flooding and fallen trees blocking roads, it is all-hands on deck!

My responsibilities include receiving, assigning, and completing customer requests through our Pathway system, as well as providing customer service both over the phone and in-person. I follow up with utilities companies regarding works they’re doing on our roads, order fuel and supplies for the depots, and assist with finance. The guys always introduce me as the depot manager and say it does not run without me; very flattering, but so not true. We have awesome staff at the depot and a very supportive manager, and it is definitely a team effort!

What do you enjoy most about working in local government?

Few industries combine so many disciplines into one organisation, all working towards the same end goal. You have more to offer than just your qualifications. You speak a local community language and build local networks with people you may not have otherwise met. The work is meaningful because you’re often able to see the results where you make the lives of your neighbours better.

What important lessons have you learnt over the years?

To create structure in my life that enables me to manage my time better and get things done. Facing the fears that can hold me back from achieving and trying new things. Treating other people as I want to be treated. This can change your whole outlook on life; you will enjoy it more and have less stress which is a lesson worth learning at any age.

What advice would you give someone starting out in your role?

My role has grown and changed so much over the almost 17 years I have been here. I am looking forward to new changes which will see me get out of the office more. It is important to learn about the work environment and make a good first impression. Participate in meetings (there are a lot of them) take notes, and offer to help others. Practice good time management, don’t be afraid to ask for help and schedule time for skill development.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love to read and spend time with my family and friends. I have three married children and eight grandchildren aged between 10-21. All of them play sports so I spend a lot of time watching them which I enjoy so much. During football and netball season my Saturdays start at 8:30am and finish at 4pm watching games. I walk for fitness in the mornings before work, which makes for a good start to my day. I also enjoy doing the annual stadium stomp at Adelaide Oval; I have completed three, did my first at age 59, and plan on doing it again this year. It really gives me a great sense of achievement!


Attracting and Retaining Talented Women

We all know that gender equity is something that women and allies have been working towards for generations. We have also heard about how hard it is to attract and retain talented women into the workplace. Local government is no exception to this, having to compete with the private sector, specialist industry groups and the move towards flexible and inclusive workplace offerings. Could these things be related? Ask yourself these things:

  • Have you found it hard to attract female applicants to a traditionally male dominated role?
  • Have you found yourself struggling to keep women in roles long term?
  • Are you struggling with creating a diverse workplace?

Check out this article on LinkedIn outlining 10 Ways to Attract and Retain Female Talent. Let us know what you might add to this list!

Want to see what successful gender equity looks like in practice? Check out this article about how City of Sydney is blowing gender equity targets out of the water.

Gender Decoder 

Picture this: You’re about to draft a job ad or a position description and you want to attract a diverse range of applicants. Do you know that gender coding can unknowingly show up in the language and influence who reads and applies for your position? To check for gender coding before you hit ‘publish’, run your text through the free Gender Decoder and see how it measures up! There’s still time to make some final edits to make your post more inclusive!

Learn more about the Women's Network and Committee here.

Invitation to connect 

As the LG Professionals SA Women’s Network Committee represents you, we would love to hear your suggestions of content for future editions. Please feel encouraged to send relevant articles, links, profiles or information through to Haylie Maynard, Membership and Networks Officer at haylie@lgprofessionalssa.org.au. 

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  I 148 Frome Street, Adelaide SA 5000  I  Phone: 08 8224 2080

Connect with us on: