December 2021  


Local government professionals change careers multiple times within their councils, but horizontal movement doesn’t always translate to vertical movement. So how are you fostering the leadership potential of these experienced staff?

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Coming soon, a program for those who are new to local government or wish to improve their knowledge of council governance.

The Introduction to Local Government workshop has been developed by LGPro Vic for Tasmanian council officers to assist them to better understand the nature of the Tasmanian local government sector and enable them to develop a greater awareness about their role in the governance process.

The virtual program is an online 2.5 hour session that covers structure, roles, functions, decision-making processes and includes case studies that demonstrate common issues that officers may be required to navigate.

The program will be delivered by former council CEOs/GMs who understand the complexities faced by people working in the sector.

Registrations will open in January for the first session scheduled in March.


Cradle Coast Branch Secretary, Roseanne Titcombe is retiring after working with the Waratah-Wynyard Council for over 30 years. Her current role is the Executive Officer – Governance and Performance.

Rose has been a member of the LG Professionals Tas for 10 years and was elected as Secretary at the AGM in September 2016; serving for over five years in the role.

Thanks Rose for your committed service to the Association and all the best in your retirement.


This month we have interviewed Katrena Stephenson, Director Environment, Development and Community from the Kingborough Council. Katrena has recently been re-elected to the Board after serving as an observer for LGAT.

Katrena, what do you do in your role and how long have you been doing it?

I am just approaching my one year anniversary at Kingborough Council where I am the Director of Environment, Development and Community.  This is a very broad and outward facing portfolio including our environmental health and natural areas and biodiversity teams, community services, building, planning and plumbing services and strategic land use planning, emergency management and community resilience, economic development, communications and engagement. Hoping I haven’t forgotten anything. After 13 years advocating for Local Government in Tasmania I am thoroughly enjoying the challenge of delivering on the ground. I work locally so there is the added bonus of seeing the fruits of Council’s labour every day.

What made you want to work in Local Government?

Like many people, I fell into Local Government, when I spied an opportunity to join the Local Government Association of Tasmania as Policy Director. Until then I had worked in State Government and to a lesser extent not-for-profits. I was however familiar with the work of Tasmanian councils as my mother was the first female General Manager in Tasmania.  When I first moved to Tasmania from the UK, and I was holed up in mum’s caravan and looking for work, I did a bit of volunteer work for Kentish Council, updating some policies and procedures and perhaps that meant I was open to the change when the right job came along.

What made you join LG Professionals Tasmania?

I joined LG Professionals very early on in my LG life, partially that was to ensure that I was well connected to people working in Councils so that my work at LGAT was relevant and accurate. However I was soon rewarded by the peer support and camaraderie and so nominated for, and was elected to, the Board.  When I became CEO of the Local Government Association the conflict of interest was too significant to stay on the Board formally, but I remained an invited and active observer throughout my CEO tenure. I was quite sad not to be able to attend Board Meetings any more with my change in role but happily still connected through the Southern Branch including the Conference Organising Committee. I am delighted to have been formally elected back to the Board and actually will really enjoy bringing my new experiences to the table and not having to wear the two hats of LGAT CEO and LG Professional Member.

What interests do you have outside of work?

I am a dabbler in all sorts of crafty things – I find I like having to stretch a different part of my brain but I am pretty hopeless at most so you won’t find me selling at craft fairs. I love my garden and my roses, spending time with my family who are spread all around the State and I have always been a bit traveller so looking forward to when that is all possible again. Oh and I love musical theatre!

If you could give your 12-year-old self 1 piece of advice what would it be?

The joy of now being in my 50s and comfortable in my career progression is I have given myself permission to wear clothes that spark joy but which don’t always conform what people might expect of someone in my role. So, my advice to my 12-year-old self is to keep wearing sequins, sparkles and patent shoes.

What is something most people don’t know about you?

I was a champion highland dancer in my younger days, which is likely partially responsible for needing a full knee replacement a few years ago. I still love the sound of bagpipes.

What do you think are some of the biggest challenges facing the sector at the moment?

The ‘great resignation’ is something we are all going to be impacted by and is putting significant pressure on Councils already being challenged by increased service demands, skills shortages and the business continuity risks arising from COVID 19. With the rapidly escalating cost of living factors such as housing and petrol, and limited national wage growth, there is likely to be pressure to keep rates very low, limiting the ability of Councils to resource service delivery to the standard communities expect, as well as limiting our ability to resource important strategic forward positioning work required to ready ourselves for the rapidly changing external environment. This is likely to be exacerbated in a year of both Federal and Local Government elections. Hard decisions will need to be made.

Biggest regret outside of work in the past 10 years? 

Not hanging onto my house when my husband and I consolidated into a single house. I wish I could have read the tea leaves about the Tasmanian property market. C’est La Vie!


LGAT Assist (formerly the LGAT Welfare Fund) provides local government employees with support and assistance during times of health, financial and general personal difficulty.

The services offered by LGAT Assist are to provide:

  • Low interest loans to local government employees who are employed on a permanent basis
  • Access to financial counselling to assist with household management
  • Non-refundable grants may be approved for cases of extraordinary financial hardship.

Geoff Dodge, Life Member, represents LG Professionals Tasmania on the LGAT Assist Board.

Read more


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Local Government Professionals Australia released the ‘Gender Balance Toolkit’ to assist in achieving gender balance in senior leadership positions in local government.

The toolkit contains a range of resources, case studies and key data on the current status of gender balance in our sector.

Last year, Local Government Professionals Australia announced that they would push for a gender balance of 40 percent women, 40 percent men, and 20 percent of any gender in local government leadership roles by 2025, as part of the wider need to increase diversity in our ranks.

The Gender Balance Target Toolkit for Senior Leadership is now found on our website News Page.


The administration office will close on Thursday 16 December and re-open on Monday 10 January.

Season’s greetings and good wishes to you. May your Christmas and New Year be filled with joy and the year ahead be a safe and happy one.

The Board and staff of LG Professionals Tas.

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