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Indigenous Team Scholarship


Local governments around the country want – and need – to employ more Indigenous Australians. And like every other employee, once hired they need to be supported and provided development opportunities to make the most of their potential. However, councils often lack the capacity and funds required to fully support their Indigenous employees, especially in remote regions of the country.
To help, LG Professionals Australia offers an annual scholarship to sponsor an Indigenous team to participate in the Rural Management Challenge, investing in the development of Australian Indigenous people working in local government.
This year, on the 6th of October 2016, the Tablelands Regional Council will host the Northern Rural Management Challenge. And among the participants, will be our Indigenous team from the remote Mornington Shire! 
The Workforce Committee at LG Professionals Australia received two applications for the scholarship for the Rural Management Challenge this year – from Mornington and Yarrabah. The criteria specifically targets councils that otherwise wouldn’t have an opportunity to participate in the Rural Management Challenge.
Without help, just the cost of getting to the mainland alone, prohibits Mornington from engaging in inter-council programs. Fortunately, the scholarship covers all travel and participation costs, including an additional buddy-up day with the host council, to provide as much LG experience as possible before the four-person team and their mentor head home.
What happens at a Rural Management Challenge?
The Rural Management Challenge is designed to allow rural councils to get the benefits of the experiential learning and team building activities that make up the Challenge. The emphasis is on learning – both individually and as a team, providing real-life problem-solving experiences and creating outcomes that translate into relevant, tangible and enduring benefits for individuals, their teams and their organisations.
Making a difference
Given the significant issues faced by Mornington, such as housing shortages, degraded infrastructure, cost of travel and low education levels of employees, you might wonder why the Council puts effort towards getting to the Challenge, now for the second year in a row.  But according to Mornington Shire CEO Frank Mills, ‘We noticed drastic changes in staff who attended the challenge last year. This program provides staff the opportunity to listen and learn from other councils’ staff and understand how other councils face similar types of situation and how to tackle issues.’
‘Opportunities are far and few between for staff of councils as remote as ours to participate in the local government arena outside their home base. This generous scholarship opportunity for our team opened the doors for a number of staff to take a giant step into a new world. Having this valuable experience now behind them, we look forward to the team members taking on other challenges and continuing to prove themselves, council and community how valuable they can be as staff members, role models and mentors for others, especially indigenous employees.’