What were the major themes during your term?
During my first year as President, the Board was heavily focused on consultation in preparation for a vote by our members on changing our name from LGMA to LG Professionals Australia, Tasmania. We agreed to make the change at that first AGM I chaired as President – so it was an exciting time to be at the helm of the organisation and progress with the rollout of our new name/brand.
There was a strong focus throughout my term on enhancing professional development opportunities for our members, including participation in the Management Challenge, running an Annual Awards event and the coordination and facilitation of special interest groups and forums.
What was the most satisfying/rewarding achievement of your term as president?
Being on the National Board for four years (2011-2015) was a valuable learning experience and one that gave me the confidence to agree to my election to State President in 2014. The State Board provided me with an opportunity to be involved in the decision-making processes of an organisation that has given me so much during my years of membership. I am grateful to have represented the organisation at both State and National level.
In 2015, our Board entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Local Government Association of Tasmania (LGAT), a first for both our organisations. For a smaller state, this has been a positive outcome in the way we work across the LG sector more collaboratively.
We were incredibly proud of Kingborough Council, which won the Australasian Management Challenge last year – the first Tasmanian team to win in our 20+ years of involvement .
How do you think you changed the culture of the organisation in your term as president?
I don’t think I could claim to have impacted the culture of the organisation, but it was the first time in its 64 year history that a female non-General Manager was elected as President. That created a lot of media interest initially. But I hope that members don't focus on either my gender or my non-GM status when commenting on how I undertook the role. To me, it was business as usual and I concentrated on continuing the work started by the previous President, Andrew Wardlaw (who is currently National President ).
I think changing our name last year has somehow changed the perception of the organisation in a positive way. Younger people from all professions within Local Government now see LG Professionals as an organisation relevant to them.
What will you miss?
I will miss all aspects of being on the Board but what I'll definitely miss the most is the camaraderie around the table. Being on the Board has provided me with so many opportunities but more importantly, many invaluable professional relationships and networks.
What won’t you miss?
There is nothing about the role that I didn’t enjoy but maybe if I was to mention one thing I won’t miss. . . . the preparation and reading long documents late at night!
Is there something you haven’t got as far on as you wanted?
I am extremely proud of what has been achieved during my term however not having an Executive Officer for 6 months put a lot of pressure on us as we were trying to rollout our programs and introduce a new brand. Now of course, we're gaining momentum as our new EO (Alyce Jordan) has been in the role for almost 6 months.
What’s your message for Gary (who is the next President)?
My 2 years as President went so quickly, so I would say to Gary please make sure you enjoy the experience. LG Professionals Tasmania’s Board is a diverse group of skilled people from varied backgrounds and the chance to work with them and lead the direction of the organisation is a wonderful opportunity.
What are you going to do next?
I leave the Board after 8 years, 2 of those as President, so it will be a huge gap. However, I will continue to be an active branch member of L G Professionals Tasmania, and continue pushing the benefits of the organisation for those within my council and more broadly across the region.
And who knows when the next challenge may come up…