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Media Release - Hinchinbrook sends promising leaders to battle other Councils in the 2023 Rural Management Challenge

14th September 2023

Hinchinbrook Shire Council is proud to announce its participation in the Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA), Rural Management Challenge for 2023. This event will bring teams head-to-head from across the region to exercise and develop a range of managerial skills that endures tangible benefits for individuals, teams and organisations.

Four promising leaders and one mentor from Council have been selected to participate in the annual LGMA Rural Management Challenge hosted by Charters Towers Regional Council in Charters Towers on Wednesday 25 October 2023.

The Challenge is based on the successful concept of the Australasian Management Challenge, a simulation-based, innovative development opportunity that is a convergence of ideas, energy, academic rigour and practical application – the elements which develop great leadership.

Director Infrastructure and Utility Services and Mentor, James Stewart said “The last time I was given the job as team mentor was for the 2016 Rural Management Challenge, and we managed to win. We have a very strong team this year, so whilst the main thing is for them to get out of their comfort zone, learn new skills and develop as a team.....we want to win!!”.

Throughout Challenge Day, teams will experience a range of tasks that simulate different business-related tasks and activities that utilise themes that a senior management team in real local governments encounter on a day-to-day basis.

As these tasks or issues may differ from team member’s usual roles, it provides an exemplary opportunity to broaden the understanding of a council's responsibilities and to develop individual and team skills including communication and presentation skills, influencing and negotiation skills, and managing resources and time.

Teams are observed throughout the day and tasks are scored by experienced markers and observers based on their ability to synergise, communicate, prioritise and produce required products for the Challenge.

Councillor Andrew Cripps said, “On behalf of Council and the community we wish Team Sugar City all the best for the 2023 Challenge. We trust they will have a positive learning experience that they can share with their peers and return with renewed insight and a fresh outlook”.

Council’s Chief Executive Officer, Michelle Webster added, “The Rural Management Challenge is a development program that provides real-life problem-solving experiences and produces outcomes that translate into relevant, and enduring benefits for individuals, teams and the organisation. We are proud to once again be a participant in the Rural Management Challenge as it gives our staff the opportunity to work together to achieve results and develop their skills both as individuals and as a team”.

For further information regarding the LGMA Rural Management Challenge please visit Local Government Managers Australia’s website, Rural Management Challenge page.


Image: ‘Team Sugar City’.

Left to Right: Scott Thomson, Kyle Thomson, Julie Mac Pherson and Emma Castles with Mentor James Stewart.

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