Lunch time forums

For a minimal cost, the City of Stirling has helped maximise its professional development opportunities for staff by providing monthly Good Governance Lunch Time Forums.

Covering a variety of topical issues, the one-hour sessions are aimed at a diverse mix of staff ranging from directors and business unit managers to frontline and outside staff.

The forums were developed as a way to update staff about governance issues and to empower staff with the knowledge to implement governance changes and improvements in their own works areas.

In developing the sessions, the City’s Manager of Governance and Council Support, Aaron Bowman recognised the need for additional staff training to promote good governance, but also the budgetary advantages of providing in-house training. The forums are run at a nominal cost to the City, averaging about $2500 per annum.

An attendee at several of the forums, the City’s Infrastructure Support Officer, Peter Best regards the sessions as valuable, engaging and relevant to his role. “The forum presenters always manage to deliver factual information about fairly dry subjects in an informative and interesting manner,” Peter said.

The City’s Coordinator, Strategic Planning, Dylan Griffiths delivered a presentation providing insight into the City’s Strategic Community Plan and how it will affect the governance of the City.  “There was a good turnout and I was asked many questions. I found the interaction during the forum very useful in understanding where people required more information and clarification,” Dylan said.

Attracting between 30 and 40 officers at each session, the forums continue to improve the culture of compliance within the organisation by encouraging employees to become more engaged in the topic and to ask questions.

A new local government employee, the City’s Customer Service Co-ordinator Kaye Harvey finds the sessions extremely informative. “I think what’s important is that the forums gave me a clear understanding of how the City operates and what constitutes good governance,” she said.
To date, the City has held 25 forums with a further 10 scheduled for the financial year.