Elise Woods has been an active part of the LG Professionals, NSW member community since 2015. She is an engaged member of the Next Gen Member Network, was one of the 2017 recipients of the Col Mills Memorial Scholarship and is preparing to participate as a mentee in the upcoming Aspiring Leaders Mentor Programme run through LG Professionals, NSW.
What was your first job in local government?
I started at Wollongong City Council as part of their Finance Undergraduate Development Program in 2006. This program gave me the opportunity to rotate through the Finance department (Budgeting, Financial Reporting, Project Accounting) and gave me a great understanding of the wide range of functions Councils undertake.
What was it about local government that attracted you?
I don’t think it was necessarily what attracted me to Local Government but rather what has made me stay.
As a 19 year old, I wanted an undergraduate position to combine work experience with my studies regardless of the industry.
As time went on, I realised Local Government provides the perfect balance between running a business and making a difference.
What we do at Council matters… every day we make a difference to our community.
What is the thing you are most proud of in your role?
I love being involved in the development of the Community Strategic Plan, which is all about getting out in the community and talking to people about what they want their city to look like. Watching those ideas as they are realised makes me proud to work in Local Government.
What is the most challenging part of your role?
Councils have limited resources to spread across very diverse communities and services. It is challenging but also rewarding to get the balance right based on community feedback.
You were a recipient of the Col Mills Scholarship in 2017, how did you use the scholarship and how did the scholarship assist your professional development?
The Col Mills Scholarship has connected me to some amazing people who have inspired me to reach my full potential as a leader and manager in Local Government. I have recently accepted a position as Group Manager Organisational Performance with Shellharbour City Council and I am thrilled to be part of such an innovative and growing Council.
As part of the scholarship I am about to undertake the LG Professionals Aspiring Leaders Mentoring Programme where I am looking forward to further developing my leadership skills and building relationships with other, likeminded Local Government professionals.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work?
I love to travel! I try to get to a new part of the world every year!