Local Government Procurement (LGP) was pleased to host this year’s annual conference on the 17th and 18th of October 2023. With views looking back at the city, Doltone House Darling Island was the perfect location to welcome councils, sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and a full complement of LGP staff who worked throughout the event to make it an enjoyable occasion for all in attendance.
This year’s theme, Connect | Leverage | Achieve was woven into an engaging conference program. Official openings were brought by Cr Phyllis Miller Mayor of Forbes Shire Council and Luke Kenny, Chief Executive Officer LGP. This was followed by Brendan Kerrin of the Metropolitan Land Aboriginal Council who delivered the Welcome to Country. The 150 delegates made up of councils, Joint Organisations and private sector staff were entertained first up by Dr Helena Popovic, the conference keynote speaker, who quickly, via perfectly timed insights, had the delegates interacting and reflecting on how to Boost Your Brain to Better Connect, Leverage, and Achieve.
The LGP annual conference provides council with the opportunity to hear key Local Government updates, peer initiatives and challenges, as well as opportunities and tips to better procurement and not to forget to be entertained.
Day one did not disappoint; the Office of Local Government supplied a timely update on the review of Procurement Guidelines for Local Government. Panel discussions and round tables offered valuable and thought-provoking conversation on how procurement can connect and partner with elected members, as well as overcoming barriers to excellent procurement. Mixing the format up case studies were delivered by Felicity Lochhead Regional Projects Coordinator, Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation and Tim Mackney, Manager Infrastructure Delivery, Tweed Shire Council. Felicity presented on the developed regional framework to benchmark social and sustainable development; a project funded via the 2022 LGP Grants program. Tim highlighted lessons learnt from Council’s response to disasters, which was highly relevant since natural disasters unfortunately have impacted many Councils across NSW. Wrapping up day one was the great debate hosted by Margret Szanto Head of Consulting at LGP. The question was asked ‘can procurement save the world?’. The room voted with a round of applause for the Negative Team. Thank you to the Affirmative Team, Armando Reviglio, Todd Payne, and Vicki Thomas, and the Negative Team Danny Andrews, Marea Getsios, and Lana Axford for your humour and participation.
LGP provides two social events at our conference being the pre-conference drinks (exclusive to council attendees) and this year’s 80’s infused awards and conference dinner. With a high uptake of 80’s fashion including a sea of fluoro and big hair, the evening allowed all participants the opportunity to turn back time and dance the night away while reminiscing (or for our younger people, learning) about many of the good times from the decade. Formalities of the evening include the much-anticipated Council awards and acknowledgement of service for LGP staff. A full list of winners can be found at the base of this article, congratulations to all mentioned.
Day two’s keynote speaker was Craig Reucassel of the Chaser, The Checkout and currently The War on Waste. Known in the early days for his political pranks via The Chaser, Craig now puts to use the skills learnt such as the art of the ambush to good use to challenge the status quo of product providers when manufacturing packaging, asking questions of consumers around their use, and seeing where our recycling actually goes. Following the session Adam Hamawi, Sustainable Resources Project Officer at Blacktown Council highlighted perfectly where some of the waste does end up, the case study covering the Popondetta to Whalen Cycle Path: an innovative use of plastic bags showed best practice when dealing with waste. Todd Hopwood, Manager Governance and Customer Service & Public Officer Wollongong City Council spoke about Holistic Wellness: Investing in your mental Wealth and Thriving at Work. Todd’s personal journey as a caregiver for a family member with mental illness has shaped his advocacy for mental health causes. Michelle Despas, Director Human Resources at LGP asked the question via her presentation Building your Personal Brand and Reputation, what’s your personal brand, how do you present yourself to the world? Luke Kenny our CEO wrapped up the conference, summed up and provided key takeaways for the departing delegates.
Special thank you goes out to all our sponsors and exhibitors; we appreciate your contribution and participation during the conference. To the returning and new delegates at this year’s event LGP enjoyed hosting you. We look forwards to seeing everyone in 2024.
The last word, Procurement may not be able to save the world, however we can all play our part in making it a better place.
LGP 2024 Conference – Annual Conference – Local Government Procurement (lgp.org.au)
2023 Award Winners
- New Procurement Professional presented to Levi Manuel Northern Beaches Council
- Outstanding Procurement Professional presented to Alison Leckie Northern Inland Regional Waste Group
- Sustainable Procurement Achievement presented to City of Parramatta Council
- LGP Approved Contractor of the Year presented to Telstra Limited
- Foundation LGP Approved Contractor presented to Complete Office Supplies
Highly commended 2023 New Procurement Professional
- Amal Kemp Sutherland Shire Council
- Amy Wallace Albury City Council
- New Highly commended 2023 Outstanding Procurement Professional
- Charlotte Neilson Tweed Shire Council
- Danny Andrews Central Coast Council
LGP Service Awards
- Mihaela Stancu
- Betty Jovic
- Tariq Dahleh
- Bronwyn Challis
- Emma Murray
- Margret Szanto