Winners and Stories

Winners - 2020

1st PlaceHauraki District Council, NZ
2nd PlaceNorthern Beaches Council, NSW
3rd PlaceWhitsunday Regional Council, QLD

Divisional Winners - 2020

New South WalesNorthern Beaches Council
New ZealandHauraki District Council
Northern TerritoryCity of Darwin
QueenslandWhitsunday Regional Council
South AustraliaCity of Mitcham
TasmaniaGlenorchy City Council
VictoriaGlen Eira City Council
West AustraliaCity of Wanneroo

Winners - 2020 - Hauraki District Council, NZ

How did you feel when your team was announced as the winner?

Excited and a little overwhelmed. I was also incredibly proud of the team, and happy that a small team from New Zealand had managed to win the Australasian Challenge.

How significant was the win in 2020 of all years?

2020 was definitely an interesting year, so any positive outcomes were especially welcome.

What did you learn from participating in the Final?

I learned that our team are very adaptable. The tasks in the final didn’t really fall into our areas of expertise as well as they did in the regionals, and it was great to see the team applying knowledge and techniques they had learned through the year to tackle tasks they were not as comfortable with. I also learned that despite being a small council we still have some great people that are capable of achieving at a high level.

What surprised you?

I was surprised by the high level of competition, both in the regional competition and in the finals. I was also surprised by how much we managed to get through in a day!

What was your favourite task in the Final, and why?

Our team really enjoyed the task set by JLT. Having the video component and a well-constructed fiction was a nice break from the other tasks. It was certainly one of the more interesting tasks on the day.

What was it like presenting live during the Live Task and being part of the national conference?

The live task was a little nerve-wracking, but it was a great chance to hone our presentation skills. Being part of the national conference made us a little more aware of the scale of the competition.

How do you think what you learnt from the Live Task will be used back at your council?

Some of the research we did into career paths and ways that people end up at council were of interest to our recruitment team, so we have passed that information on already.

On a personal note, how do you think being part of the winning team in the Australasian Final will help your career?

I am relatively new to council, so participating in (and winning) the Challenge has been a great way to learn a lot more about different aspects of council. I think having ‘Australasian Management Challenge Winners – Team Leader’ might also look good on the CV when the time comes.

How important was your team’s mentor ahead of the Final?

Our mentor was crucial to our success. None of us had been involved in a Challenge before, so her insight was incredibly valuable. Our mentor also organised training and practise, and that preparation was a big factor in our win.

Will any of you be mentors for next year? If so, what do you hope to gain from that experience?

It is likely that one of us will mentor a team in the next year or two. I think mentoring offers the chance to participate without some of the stress of actually being involved in the day. Mentoring will also give more of a chance to practise/implement a different set of skills.

How did your council’s management react to your win? How has it been promoted to your peers or even the community?

Our management have been very supportive of our team, and they were very pleased with our win. All of our management team have personally congratulated us on our win, and spread the word to their own teams. The win was announced to staff via our Intranet, and our marketing team put out a press release that was picked up by the local papers. Our marketing team also announced the win on social media. Our council formally acknowledged the win during a council meeting as well, which was a nice touch.

Has your now-awarded, stand-out team been kept together for other projects?

Currently we have not been given other projects to look at, but management have indicated that they would be keen to see the group be involved in a council project. Some members of the team already work together on projects, and participating in the Challenge together has improved how we work together.

Any final comments?

The Management Challenge has been a great experience. I have learned a lot about council, and also learned a lot of great skills that I can use in my job. I met people from different departments within council, and working together with them has helped to make it easier to work across departments. I would recommend participating if you get the chance.


Past winners





Pre-Challenge task videos