Government: Manager wins Young Achiever award

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Greater Shepparton’s Amanda Tingay says the local government sector is ideal for building a career you want. Greater Shepparton’s Amanda Tingay says the local government sector is ideal for building a career you want.
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Greater Shepparton’s Amanda Tingay says the local government sector is ideal for building a career you want.

Greater Shepparton’s Amanda Tingay says the local government sector is ideal for building a career you want.

Local government is a great place to build a career, says the manager of Greater Shepparton City Council’s Neighbourhoods Department.

Amanda Tingay was just 28 when she took up the role in 2012, becoming the council’s youngest manager and leader of a team that provides a wide range of community services across more than 2400 square kilometres of north eastern Victoria.

It is an area with many challenges including higher than state average levels of unemployment and welfare dependency and it shares the growing drug problem of many country regions. In last year’s Victorian state election it provided one of the shock results, returning an independent member after decades as a National Party safe seat.

Tingay’s commitment to social justice has motivated work on urban renewal and social inclusion. She played a key role in developing the council’s first Cultural Diversity and Inclusion Strategy and her work has helped Greater Shepparton win state awards for its approach to multiculturalism and community engagement in planning.

Now she has received an accolade of her own, winning the prestigious Young Achiever award presented by Victoria’s peak body for local government professionals, LGPro.

“Her work has seen communities build resilience, identify assets and achieve positive outcomes,” says her CEO Gavin Cator.

Tingay’s enthusiasm for helping build strong communities began when she was growing up in a family that was – and still is – active in its rural community. She gained her early local government experience with a trainee level position at Mitchell Shire during a gap year after school and undertook placements with that council’s planning team while studying for a degree in community development and planning at La Trobe University Bendigo.

At the same time she volunteered with a community planning project the council was running in Seymour.

“I worked with the then facilitator and she was leaving around the time I finished my degree so I popped in an application and to my surprise was successful. I came straight out of uni into a Band 6 role which is above the normal entry level,” she says.

She has not looked back, joining the staff at Greater Shepparton in 2007 as neighbourhood renewals coordinator to work with the North Shepparton community on a project that saw private housing, a community services hub and new parks constructed in an area which previously contained mainly ageing public housing.

She went on to work on the VicHealth funded Localities Embracing and Accepting Diversity (LEAD) program, an initiative designed to prevent racism and promote social cohesion through collaboration with representatives of local Aboriginal and culturally diverse communities. She also created a strategy to assist the council recruit and develop volunteers.

“People are the greatest resource in any community. My team works closely with local communities to gather ideas and aspirations and plan how to achieve them. Councils can play a vital role in supporting, advocating and resourcing local groups,” she says.

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