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What’s Been Happening




The Future is a Quantum Leap Away


Local leader Emily Lee-Ack set the scene for what was a day of futuristic thinking, as the LGSC participants were presented with information regarding the regions strategic direction and an insight into the behind the scenes work that goes on to ensure the priorities of the Great South Coast are kept at the forefront of state Government.

Sandy Burgoyne briefed our emerging leaders on the 4th Industry revolution, the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) skills required both now and in the future. The participants were challenged to think about the future, what it means for the future world of work, our families and the way we live our lives.  The world around us is constantly changing and as leaders we need to be aware of these changes, embrace them and prepare our families and colleagues.

“To keep an open mind. Don’t look at something now and see what it is… think what if

Thank you to our guest speakers, Emily Lee Ach, Great South Coast Regional Partnership Chair, Sandy Burgoyne, University of Sydney, Hugh Koch, Manager Economic Development and Tourism Southern Grampians Shire Council and to our Program Partner, Wannon Water for hosting us.


Connecting with Mental Health Carers in the Great South Coast Region – Report Released 


This 2017 LGSC project conducted research to identify the needs of mental health carers living in the Great South Coast region. The Project specifically aimed to:

– Identify and document the stories and needs of mental health carers from the Great South Coast region.

– Compile the findings into a comprehensive resource including recommendations for delivering unmet needs.

The team produced a report that gives carers’ a voice, communicating their stories and support needs.


The report titled Connecting with Mental Health Carers Report was presented to the Fight For Your Life Working group (March 2018) and has been distributed to support agencies.

Congratulations to the project team Leon Carey (Lead), Alison Kennedy and Vicki Askew Thornton.


This project aligns to the Great South Coast Strategic Plan section 2.4 Identify and seek to address the connectivity needs of all of our communities, 4.2 Strengthen community health, wellbeing and resilience and 4.3 Increase inclusion and participation in recreation, arts, culture and community life.


The Power of Project Management


Project – “A temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product or service.”
Temporary – “Lasting for only a limited period of time, not permanent.”

These two definitions were the first scribbled on the butcher’s paper hung on the stand in front of the attending Leadership Great South Coast 2018 by facilitator and industry expert Kevin Bennett.

We would be brought back to these definitions on occasion throughout the day in our discussions as Kevin progressed us through a range of project management processes, tools, behaviours and concepts.
We were subjected to an intense, high pressure and high stakes simulation known as project Countdown, in which teams of four were subjected to a project timeline where a number of conflicting conditions or project barriers designed to challenge your ability to work as an effective team. Kevin emphasised that whenever you are managing a project – be visual as he demonstrated good examples of where we can utilise the tools or processes to assist with good communication or decision making.

The project management day also allowed us to really expose our strengths and weaknesses within a project team setting allowing us to stop, reflect and evaluate our team efforts or team dynamic and also to allow us to reflect on our individual capabilities and shortcomings. It allowed us to not think of the project management day as one of successfully completing the activity, but also to analyse and learn about how we interact with people in a project team environment.

Armed with our new set of tools, concepts and aware of our behaviours, we are ready to next tackle the idea of our community based project which will be delivered as part of the Leadership Great South Coast 2018 journey.


Ethical Leadership in a Challenging World


“The standard you walk past is the standard you accept” and “ethics is about courage” were statements/themes that were carried throughout the day, as well as the idea that our approach to ethical questions changes over time and is influenced by our life experience.

The enormous influence of organisational culture, how culture can influence our accepted norms, and our willingness to challenge practices which may be at odds with our core valves or sense of self, was also explored.

The ability to be able to criticise, and to accept criticism was discussed as a key contributor to achieving transparency in leadership and within teams, and the distinction between “fairness” versus “legality” was also explored. It was acknowledged that outcomes from within the justice system are not always necessarily fair or ‘right’.

“The Sunlight Test” (whereby participants were asked to think about how decisions might be viewed should they appear on the front page of tomorrow’s newspaper!) was used to illustrate one approach to assess difficult decisions which may be ethically conflicting.

The group also had the opportunity to develop their understanding of the role of the Victorian Ombudsman, as well as the functions and jurisdictions of the various organisations which make up the Victorian Regulatory Framework.

LGSC participants relished the opportunity to catch up again, and build upon the close relationships developed during the opening retreat. There were several reports of animated discussions in various car-pools on the way home, providing a great opportunity to de-brief and further exchange ideas and experiences within the context of ethics in leadership and the workplace.

LGSC would like to extend our gratitude to our Facilitator: Dr Greg Wood and our guest speakers, Simon Illingworth, Victoria Police Whistle-blower and Megan Philpot, Deputy Ombudsman

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