Member Stories

LGPro values the support of our members for without this support we could not provide quality professional development, representation and advocacy, awards and our Special Interest Groups that offer networking to hundreds of people working in the sector.

Membership is taken up by people working at all levels in Local Government, some may have just joined the sector, others may be looking to go to the next level, or are within senior leadership teams.

No matter what level you are at, through LGPro you are able to gain another perspective of the sector as a whole and consider the role and where Local Government is heading. Through our extensive networks you are never alone in your job, there is always a member in another Council who is dealing with similar issues that you can always refer to.

Below some of our members talk about what they get out of being part of the LGPro family …

Leanne Ansell-McBride, Executive Manager Strategy and Performance, Bayside City Council

Leanne Ansell-McBride may have only been working in Local Government since October but she is making her mark in the sector. Leanne became an LGPro Member in December 2016 and mentor in our 2017 Mentoring Program.

Leanne joined LGPro to build her networks, knowedge and understanding of the environment in Local Government. I also hope that LGPro enables me to build my profile and reputation by giving back to the sector in a mentoring capacity or through speaking at appropriate events. I have a particular interest in supporting and promoting women in Local Government, and look forward to working with LGPro on their diversity initiatives.

In her transition to Local Government, Leanne has noticed a greater focus on consultation both internally and externally. The need to build networks and circles of influence also appear to be even more significant in the sector, perhaps as a result of the greater focus on community consultation.

She has also been impressed by the collaborative and supportive nature of her peers and by the breadth and diversity of the work Councils undertake. It's like a microcosm of the Victorian Public Sector with health, education, human services, the environment, economic development, planning etc etc! It is so much fun, and I am learning so much.

Mentoring has played a major role in Leanne's career which is one of the reasons she signed up as an LGPro mentor, to 'give back' to others. I have been a formal and informal mentor for more than 10 years and have learnt as much as I have given through each relationship. I think it is particularly important to support and assist the next generation of leaders, in the same way that other leaders have supported and encouraged me.

Kim Rawlings, Manager City Futures, Knox City Council

I became an LGPro Member in 2008. I had recently moved back to Victoria and re-joined Local Government after 10 years working in Local Government in Queensland. I wanted to establish myself back in the sector in Victoria and more importantly make connections and build networks, I looked to LGPro as a great way to do this.

My most significant involvement with LGPro was when I was awarded the inaugural Sally Isaac Award in 2009. This award and recognition more than anything before resonated and had a great impact on me, I was truly honoured in the first instance, but also, it really consolidated for me what and why I do what I do, I am strongly motivated by my community contribution both personally and professionally. I have also undertaken the Executive Leadership Program (XLP). I totally immersed myself in this fabulous program and the opportunity and space it gave me to reflect, learn, share and get clarity about my career and contribution.

I love working for Local Government, it's not a job it's a vocation and I know it's very cliche but you can really make a difference. I love the work that we do, I take my role and the work we do very seriously, we affect and create a legacy in our communities and cities, this is significant and a privilege.


Kylie Sprague, Manager Communications & Customer Service, Greater Dandenong City Council

My 18 year Local Government career has been at Greater Dandenong starting as a Public Affairs Officer, being promoted to Manager of Public Affairs and then to Manager Media & Communications, Customer Service and Civic Facilities which includes about 50 staff. I think it is the best job in the organisation!

My first involvement with LGPro was through a Special Interest Group (the PR Network back then), which provided a fantastic forum to meet other people in Local Government, share information, learn from guest speakers and each other. I still attend the network meetings for all the same reasons, and to gain a better understanding of what's happening across the sector and discuss topics of interest to us all.

My Council is very supportive of LGPro from the CEO down. So others know that if I'm attending an LGPro meeting or event, then I'm definitely going to bring something back that will be of benefit. Futhermore, their training courses are so highly regarded that I have staff lining up to get on them and the feedback is fantastic. My favourite event is the annual Women's Professional Development Forum, I set aside this date as soon as it's released!

LGPro provides opportunities for personal and professional development; the ability to network with others in the sector; and to be able to attend conferences and events that are specifically tailored to our needs as Local Government professionals. I don't like wasting precious time, so it's important for me to only attend things of relevance and interest.

Marianne McArthur, Acting Senior Corporate Planner, Whitehorse City Council

Through my membership I have enjoyed access to so many opportunities. I represented LGPro on the Victorian City Council Model Budget taskforce. I contributed to various submissions, and served on working groups with Local Government Victoria to produce resources for the Local Government sector.

As an LGPro member, I was able to take a position as a Co-convenor of the Corporate Planners Network Special Interest Group (SIG). I collaborate with my Co-convenors (and with staff from Councils across Victoria) to develop engaging, topical agendas for our meetings. I am also now on my fourth conference organising committee: we are busy planning the program for the 2016 Corporate Planners Conference on 21 October. Conference organisation is a fun, creative, collaborative process, we consider current and emerging issues, develop a conference theme, identify speakers, and (very importantly) choose the menu!

The opportunity to meet so many people and to help shape the sector is very rewarding, as is seeing such strong attendances at our meetings and conferences. LGPro plays an important role in helping facilitate interaction between Councils. Local Government staff are so generous with sharing information - we really help each other out. I love it.


Amanda Dodd, Coordinator Environmental Planning, Hume City Council has been a member for four years now and says:

I joined LGPro in 2012 and am Co convenor of the Biodiversity Network Special Interest Group. I also completed LGPro's Ignite program in 2013. Being a member of LGPro has helped me to make invaluable connections and develop relationships with people working across Local Government. The Ignite program taught me some valuable negiotating and coaching skills which have helped in my career. In fact I still refer to notes from the program.

It is wonderful to be Co convenor of the Biodiversity Planning Network SIG which has 83 members across 33 Councils. Our network has achieved many things including: submissions to the State Government - including network submissions and assistance with individual Council submissions; increasing collaboration between State and Local Government; organising two Forums; supporting and providing advice for members to assist with planning decisions, preparing for VCAT hearings and for environmental enforcement cases; assisting and providing advice on the Bushfire Recovery Prcess; and creating connections between biodiversity areas and other areas of Local and State Government.

Marianne Di Giallonardo, Director Corporate Services, Maroondah City Council has been a member since 2000 and a LGPro Fellow since 2003. Marianne has 35 years in extensive leadership roles and has been involved in the LGPro Board, chair of Awards for Excellence sub-committee and mentor in the Mentoring Program.

I have maintained my LGPro membership over many years because it offers significant benefits including keeping up to date with sector changes, professional development opportunities, special interest groups and has a regular advocacy seat with the Minister for Local Government at which members can table particular viewpoints without fear or favour.
This involvement has been enormously rewarding personally and professionally as it has provided a vehicle to get to know others, learn and develop in the sector and give back to strengthen the sector to ensure we are all growing to be the best we can be when we serve the people in our various communities in our wide ranging Local Government roles. These benefits have been passed on to my organisation as we continue to grow and recognise our people.

Fleur Cousins, Manager Governance & Innovation, Knox City Council has been a member since 2004 and has participated in a range of programs and events including conference, the Emerging Leaders Program and most recently the Executive Leadership Program.

LGPro membership has provided me with the opportunity to expand my networks and working knowledge of Local Government. Interacting with officers at all levels has provided diverse perspectives enabling me to reflect on what I want to contribute to the sector. The support and programs offered by LGPro are of a high quality and remain contemporary to the changing environment in which Local Government is operating. Best of all you get to meet amazing people and build a professional network who are supportive and passionate about Local Government and community.  

Chris Leivers, Director Community Wellbeing, Yarra City Council has been actively involved in LGPro by attending several Annual Conferences, as a mentor in the 2015 Emerging Leaders Program and a participant in this year’s XLP.

I have attended a number of LGPro functions and events and have found these to be worthwhile, and liked the idea of being part of this Local Government focused body, so I decided to become a member. Already I have accessed some fantastic professional development opportunities and met some wonderful people, all of which have assisted my development. I am looking forward to being part of this sector focused group and connecting with others facing similar challenges and willing to share their skills and experiences.

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