High achiever - Circular Head Community Services team

Article image - High achiever - Circular Head Community Services team Amber Power, Jodie Saville, Deb Mainwaring

Twilight on the Duck will return to Smithton, in January 2020. The Australia Day family event, held on the foreshore of the Duck River, is a highlight on the annual Circular Head Shire community calendar.
Mayor, Daryl Quillan, believes the success of the event is due to its organisers, Council’s Community Services team.

When nominating the team as a LG Focus council high achiever, he said, “These three women do a great job, whether it be with our youth or our senior citizens. Something is available for everyone.

“But their greatest job each year is our Australia Day event called Twilight on the Duck where we average 4000 people attending.

“We only have 8500 in Circular Head, so that’s a pretty good effort.”
Manager Connected Communities and team leader, Deb Mainwaring, said the team’s success lay in their ability to work together.

“We all take on different roles but support each other as required. For different events and activities one might take the lead and the others support and assist.

“We do everything with good humour. We take our jobs seriously but don’t take ourselves too seriously.

“We are hands on and ‘doers’,” she adds, “our working styles and strengths complement each other, making us a great team.”

In April this year, Mainwaring and teammates Youth and Community Officer, Jodie Saville, and Community Development Officer, Amber Power, had another success when Smithton, as the 2018 National Tidy Towns winner, hosted a two day event culminating in the gala awards night at which the crown was handed on to this year’s winner from the Northern Territory, Santa Teresa (Ltyentye Apurte).

Among their raft of everyday activities, the team includes developing programs to inspire and improve confidence for young people.

“We organise an amazing Science Week event to highlight how fun and interesting science is. We are leaders in facilitating opportunities for lifelong learning.”

They also present CHArts – Circular Head Arts (or can also stand for Culture, Heritage Arts) – a month long festival celebrating everything to do with art and culture. It includes local art competitions (such as the CHARTchibald Portrait Competition), art exhibitions, music events from classical music to hip-hop, murals, film and art workshops.

Located in the far north west corner of Tasmania, Circular Head is rich in agriculture, aquaculture, tourism, rugged coastlines and expansive beaches. The mild climate with plenty of rainfall, keeps the grass green and lush.

Coordinating community events so far from the capital city can add another layer of organisational difficulty.

“Being in a rural and remote area the cost and availability of transport options can be a barrier,” Mainwaring said.

“This is also a challenge when we are seeking entertainment activities due to the  additional travel costs.

“And at times the weather can be a challenge if we are holding outside events!”

Geography aside, for this Community Services team, there is plenty of attraction in working at Circular Head Council including, “The opportunity to continually learn and grow in our roles. Council is extremely supportive of the department’s activities.

“We have the opportunity to work with some amazing groups and volunteers in our community.

“We really care about our community and want to make a positive difference in peoples lives.”

The team are in the process of establishing a multicultural group to ensure all new residents feel welcome in the community.

“We have recently developed a Community Health and Wellbeing Plan, Age Friendly Communities Plan and Youth Plan.

“We are now prioritising the recommendations to deliver the activities and programs in four year action plans.”

While Mayor Quillan has nothing but admiration for the high achievers on the Community Services team, Mainwaring, Saville and Power feel equally lucky.  

“We are very fortunate that we really enjoy working together, we genuinely like each other; we talk and laugh – a lot! And share our thoughts and have similar values.

“We are extremely lucky to have a fantastic Director in Tracey Bradley, she is an inspirational leader.”