MAV award winners announced

Winners of the 2007 McArthur Management Services Local Government Fellowship and Vision Super Human Resources Study Scholarship were announced at the MAV Annual Dinner on 1 November 2007.

Three Local Government Councillors and three Council officers had been shortlisted as finalists for two separate awards that promote research on topical and challenging issues facing Victorian municipalities.

The 2007 McArthur Management Services Local Government Fellowship awards one Victorian Councillor with a $10,000 international study grant.

The winner was Councillor Tim Rodgers from Mornington Peninsula Shire Council. He will use the grant to examine ways for Councils to manage community concerns and perceptions in the development and implementation of climate change adaptation solutions.
In particular Councillor Rodgers’ research will involve:

  • visiting international climate change adaptation projects that have achieved a high level of community acceptance in their planning and/or implementation stages
  • examining the various roles of elected representatives and how this can be integrated into measures that are being undertaken to ensure communities continue to thrive and prosper
  • researching the nature of community engagement techniques used to gain community acceptance and support and the extent to which these have been successful.

As part of his research, Councillor Rodgers intends to visit the UK, Italy, USA and the Netherlands.

He proposes to use the findings of his study to ensure Local Government can work in partnership with communities to build acceptance and understanding of the adaptation measures that will be required to address climate change impacts.

He also hopes his research will ensure decision making is robust and transparent to the community, that it minimises conflict and achieves broad community acceptance.

The other finalists were Councillor John Sipek from Moonee Valley City Council and Councillor Jan Farrell from City of Greater Geelong.

The inaugural Vision Super Human Resources Study Scholarship awards a permanent employee of a member Victorian Council with a study scholarship of up to $7,000 to undertake a major study on a human resource management issue that affects the Local Government sector. The winner is Ken Wallis, Manager of Learning and Development from Boroondara City Council. Ken will receive a scholarship of up to $7,000 to undertake a major study on attracting and retaining quality Local Government employees in the increasingly competitive employment environment.

In particular, his research proposes to:

  • compare human resource development initiatives addressing the need for improved employee engagement
  • explore attraction and retention strategies that contribute to improved employee engagement
  • study current employee value propositions and employment branding strategies
  • identify approaches that address the development of leadership styles and understanding to enhance employee engagement.

Ken intends to visit the UK and USA as part of his research to meet with Councils, peak Local Government associations, industry bodies, academics and specialist experts in this field.

He aims to develop a range of practical strategies and recommendations that can be used by many Victorian Councils to attract and retain high quality employees.

The other finalists were Jenny Branton, Manager Organisational Development, Murrindindi Shire Council; and Peter Jones, Director Community Services, Glen Eira City Council.

President of the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), Councillor Dick Gross, said it was heartening to see such high calibre submissions, as well as the level of commitment and passion of both Councillors and officers to improve their contribution and make a real difference.

“It’s crucial for Councils to work in collaboration with other stakeholders, share knowledge and examine a variety of potential innovative strategies to achieve various goals for local communities,” he said.

“Similar issues face many communities across the globe. Educational research visits to countries that have proven successes is a worthwhile investment if Local Government can adopt international best practice initiatives that are suitable to implement locally.”

Judging panels for both awards selected the proposal that best met the criteria of providing practical outcomes on an issue of significance for the Local Government sector.