|1st Place||City of Onkaparinga, SA|
|2nd Place||Cairns Regional Council, QLD|
|3rd Place||City of Subiaco, WA|
|New South Wales||Northern Beaches Council|
|New Zealand||Western Bay of Plenty District Council|
|Northern Territory||Composite team - MacDonnell Regional Council & Alice Springs Town Council|
|Queensland||Cairns Regional Council|
|South Australia||City of Onkaparinga|
|Victoria||Glen Eira City Council|
|West Australia||City of Subiaco|
After taking the trophy at the 2019 Australian Management Challenge final in Darwin, we caught up with the winning team members of South Australia's City of Onkaparinga to ask them a few questions. This is what they told us:
How did you feel when your team was announced as the winner?
We were happy, excited, proud and there was a bit of disbelief! There were a lot of high calibre teams and we were amazed that we came out on top!
What did you learn from participating in the Final?
Trust in your team members' abilities, a team cannot be successful if it doesn't work together and with each team member contributing. Enjoy every moment, it goes so quickly and when you're not sure where to start, just start and the answers will come!
What surprised you?
How friendly all the other teams were, they were all great competitors. There seemed to be an understanding that we were all there for a great experience and to learn - the trophy was just the icing on the cake.
What was your favourite task in the Final, and why?
We struggled to pick a favourite and in the spirit of our team we all picked something different, however presenting to Congress was a really special experience and something that our whole team was involved in.
We also have to mention the investment attraction task where we worked with the Cairns team and Flu Jab Caper which was a lot of fun and made us think on our toes.
Being thrown together with another team and having to work quickly to produce a presentation that meets the brief, is engaging and presents cohesively was a real challenge, but a great experience.
Flu Jab Caper was complex and interesting to work on, there were so many layers to the issue, along with a report and interview.
What was it like presenting live at the National Congress?
Presenting to such a diverse and receptive audience really was a highlight. Preparing for the presentation prior to the competition really brought the team together and the energy and comradery shared between the teams when we were waiting to present was really special.
The presentations capped off a fantastic few days and it was good to have this as the final task.
How do you think what you learnt from the live task will be used back at Council?
Developing a presentation that is engaging, knowing your audience and ensuring your presentation captures them and takes them on a journey. The tips and techniques we picked up through this exercise have already been incorporated back into our work.
What were the benefits to you of the Final being held alongside the National Congress?
Being given the opportunity to network with industry leaders, presenting to the Congress and being able to have access to world-renowned speakers, presenters and the learnings that can be brought back to the workplace.
On a personal note, how do you think being part of the winning team in the Australasian Final will help your career?
Winning is a huge achievement and well respected in local government. The skills gained from the experience (both people and technical) can be incorporated immediately into day-to-day work, but also set you apart from others when looking for opportunities for promotion.
For example, Michael has been working in Local Government for 16 years and he has found which direction he wants to take, which is Internal Communications – he has now had the opportunity to MC our all-staff Town Hall meetings, assist in producing the staff newsletter and blogs for the CEO. This is credited to undertaking the Management Challenge.
How important was your team's mentor ahead of the Final?
Our mentors, Hayley, Pam and Jane were with our team every step of the way leading up to the State competition. Hayley then continued to support our team leading up to the National Final. Before the Australasian Final, as it was unchartered territory for our council, the mentors gave us a bit more freedom to do things the way that we wanted to do them, which we really benefitted from.
Will any of you be mentors for next year? If so, what do you hope to gain from that experience?
Our team have all committed to working with the 2020 team, either as a formal mentor, or informally sharing our skills and experiences with the new team.
How did your council's management react to your win? How has it been promoted to your peers or even the community?
Our acting CEO was with our team in Darwin and she was so clearly proud of us which made the win even more special. It was so great coming back to work and sharing in the win, we even got to present to our elected body which was fantastic. The team has joked that we have been treated like rock stars, because it seems that everyone, not just the CEO, directors and elected members have been excited that we won. Staff who we didn't know have come up and congratulated us. The reaction has been nothing short of amazing.
Has your now-awarded, stand-out team been kept together for other projects?
Our team is always on the lookout for ways to continue to work together on projects that have an impact on our organisation. Although we haven't worked on anything formal yet, we have drawn on each other's skills and connections to assist with our own day-to-day projects.
Any final comments?
The Challenge was an unforgettable experience with so many memories and learnings.
We've met so many great people from other councils, the industry and LG Professionals, and these connections will be really valuable.
Our team also had the privilege of being a judge at the Rural Challenge and this experience rounded off our experience.
We are so grateful for everyone who made this life changing experience happen, from the organisers and mentors, to all of the support from fellow council staff, to our partner team, but mostly to each other for the friendship, good times and many, many teachable moments throughout this amazing journey. If we could do it all over again, we would!