Rural and city staff exchange program

The Staff Exchange Program between Pine Rivers and Bulloo Shire Councils has proven to be a worthwhile program. It has enabled staff from both Councils to gain job skills and an insight into each others communities. Pine Rivers, population 124,000, is located on Brisbane’s northern fringe while Bulloo Shire, with 600 residents, is situated 1,000 kilometres west of Brisbane.

Commenced in 1999, the program has established a successful and productive working relationship between the two Councils. It has seen rewards through staff gaining additional experience, as well as the promotion of their respective communities.

Staff wanting to participate in the program must first obtain an approval from their department head, who then makes an application to the Council CEO. Generally, preference is given to the applicant who is prepared to host or billet another applicant from the other Council. Council covers the cost of the airfare and all associated travel costs and the employee must meet all out of pocket expenses including meals, which are not otherwise provided by the host.

“The organisations have benefited from the program, as staff who have participated in it have gained job skills and ideas which have been implemented into their work areas,” said Pine Rivers Shire Council’s then Chief Executive Officer, John Mathews.“It strengthens Councils in rural and remote communities, builds relationships and boosts tourism opportunities for Councils involved in the scheme. It establishes good working relationships among staff members and allows employees to experience life, outside of work, in very different environments.”

The program is run anytime throughout the year and the Councils receive staff from various departments, from administration to construction works. For further information, contact Julie Greer, Pine Rivers Shire Council’s Senior Resource Officer Events and Promotions, on (07) 3480 6552.