Luke Watts
Luke joined the LG Professionals, NSW member community through the Aspiring Leaders Mentoring Programme. He has found that the programme and his membership have offered him invaluable insights into different functions of local government.

What was your first job in local government?

Leeton Shire Council as a trainee Health and Building Surveyor in 2014


What was it about local government that attracted you?

Having worked as a carpenter in the construction industry I always had connections with council building surveyors and saw it as a fantastic career opportunity. I always had a desire to undertake higher education, this was offered by Leeton through the traineeship. I was initially intrigued by the regulatory and policy side of local government however this has since grown to encompasses all facets of local government, especially the unique challenges offered by the public sector.


As an aspiring leader what advice can you offer to younger people that might be considering a career in local government?

Set career goals and don’t be afraid to push both yourself and others in order to achieve those goals. Try to see the opportunity in any situation.

Local government offers a fantastic opportunity for career development, unique to most private sector areas.


What is the thing you are most proud of in your role?

I love building positive relationships with our local builders and developers. This can be challenging in a highly regulatory role however working hard for these relationships produces better outcomes in the long run.


What is the most challenging part of your role? 

Taking the lead on change within councils building planning and health department. Analysing old systems and processes, finding areas of inefficiency or inadequacy and developing and enacting improvements.


Do you have any hobbies outside of work?

Camping, fishing, travelling.