We caught up with Jane at the 2023 Finance Conference and she kindly answered a few questions.
Tell us a bit about yourself and what is happening at your council.
My name is Jane Stroud and I'm the CEO of Kiama Municipal Council. At Kiama, we are currently going through a really big period of change. Our organisation is primarily involved in two key businesses, aged care, including residential aged care and retirement villages, as well as municipal council services. We're currently going through a period of quite rapid change with the organisation's elected representatives voting unanimously to divest of its aged care services – we're currently in the middle of the tender process for that, and that will be a really transformative piece of work for our organisation. Beyond that, we're doing a number of service reviews on all of our revenue streams, particularly our holiday parks, pavilion, our leisure centre and our waste services team.
What advice would you give someone entering the sector?
Local government is one of the best sectors. You will work on a really wide range of services, facilities, and we’re kind of one of those unique environments where at any given moment, you could be talking about events, childcare, swimming pools or how to collect garbage bins on time for people. It's really quite a fascinating industry to work in.
What do you think are the key benefits of coming to our events?
I think specifically what people get out of coming to LG Professionals, NSW opportunities, whether they're conferences or forums or networking opportunities, is the chance to meet likeminded professionals at any level of the organisation. The chance to discuss their council's ideas, hear about how another council is tackling a similar, or maybe the exact same issue, and to learn from each other. As a sector, what we do really well is share information. That's one of the key benefits that you can get of being a member of LG Professionals, NSW.
What have you enjoyed about your membership with LG Professionals, NSW?
Look, personally for me, because I'm quite new to New South Wales, it's been a great way to connect with the sector, meet counterparts, hear about what other councils are doing, but also to get a really good grounding of what are the current issues impacting on the sector. So, it's been a fantastic opportunity for me. I actually really enjoyed the session the GM and Director Forum that was held in Brighton Le Sands just recently. And it was so good to be able to meet other leadership teams and to split up and then spend concentrated time and effort on the subjects that I know we spend time talking about at council. Talking to my GM counterparts about performance reviews and getting ready to go through elections next year was really fascinating.