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LfG 17/18 Seminar 4 blog

Civic Leadership: written by the Barwon Syndicate, LfG 17/18


This session kicked off with the leadership group reviewing four of the recommendations from the Administrators Quarterly Report to the Minister for Local Government. The groups considered key challenges in delivering some of the recommendations and what success might look like after 12 months, 2 years or 5 years.

City of Greater Geelong Administrators, Laurinda Gardner and Peter Dorling, then presented to the group. The presentation, which discussed recommendations from theCommission of Inquiryand discussion of results achieved to date, gave the leadership group a deeper understanding of the importance of building strong relationships with the State Government. It also provided an understanding about how to get involved and be informed; the importance of building up our own knowledge; Geelong is good but can be great; the importance of the administrators listening to the community - even though they might not get what the results they were after - and finally, that consultation means you are genuinely involving the group in the decision and they can influence the outcome.

A panel discussion with members of the Citizens Jury gave a real insight into democracy in action, and the group was very grateful for the time provided by the panel members - Sarah Gofton, Caroline Danaher and Mark Petale. The panel provided great insight into the Geelong Citizens Jury including the selection process and how the process was facilitated. With 100 jury members it was very interesting to see how they achieved the final recommendations over five Saturday sessions. Key learnings were:  The process was as important as the outcome; One must actively listen to the quiet voices (deep listening); and to remember that the focus should be on the common good.

Leadership members Andrew Cornell and Derek Griffin shared their leadership journey and Derek set the standard high for those to follow, by being a great salesman and providing us all with freebies!

The afternoon kicked off with Cr Carol McGregor and Stephanie Asher, past LfG alumni members sharing with us their journey in public and volunteer roles. This provided an insight into the importance of personal integrity, beliefs and ethics and the ability to control how much you give to the community in terms of volunteering, rather than developing a thick skin.  They also shared personal insights as alumni of LfG, and advised that we endeavour to stay present, make the most of this experience and ask questions.

We were very fortunate to finish the day with an international guest - Bill Leighty who was in Geelong as part of the International Speaker Series: winning from second initiative. Bill shared with us the importance of building networks and the benefit of relationships and provided 10 leadership development lessons as well. He also provided his international perspective on the great outlook for Geelong and strengths we should build on.

To wrap up the day the group considered some key future citizen jury focus areas:

  • What are the infrastructure projects that Geelong need to prioritise to grow Geelong?
  • Is a convention centre going to drive Geelong into the future? If not what other infrastructure projects are needed?
  • Whether the brand "G-town" represents Geelong.
  • Do we want to see a convention centre at the Deakin carpark with all the surrounding car park and accommodation issues?





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