Trailblazers up for win in local government awards

THREE employees from Canterbury-Bankstown were among 58 finalists vying for the annual Women in Local Government Awards at Parliament House in Sydney last week.

Team Leader Urban and Environmental Design and City Transformation, Emily Forrest, and Team Leader Rates, Andrea Dolan, were nominated in the Non-senior Staff Member category, while Internal Auditor Linda Derbas, was in the Women in Non-traditional roles category.

Over the past 17 years, Mrs Forrest has worked on a number of community projects, however her greatest satisfaction has come from working on Bankstown City Gardens, with the construction of all-abilities amenities and playground.

“There is no better feeling than delivering great outcomes for the community,” she said.

Mrs Forrest loves how CBCity encourages innovation – both in the community and among its staff.

“I was part of the first Leadership Program and have been supported through the LGMA Mentor program, further tertiary study and many external training opportunities,” she said. 

“The council has also provided me with the chance to act in senior positions both within my area of expertise and other departments.” 

Ms Dolan, who has worked in finance for the council over the past 18 years, was honoured to be considered for an award.

“I was quite shocked when I found out because I never thought what I do would be thought of as inspirational,” she said.

“If I could give advice to any young person joining the public sector, it would be embrace everything. Put your name down for anything that scares you or interests you, because you won’t regret it.”

Ms Derbas, who joined the council in 2015, said working for CBCity “ticks all the boxes”.

“It is a workplace that invests in its people and sets them up to succeed and, above all, values its employees,” she said.

“What I love most about working for the council is how progressive and forward-focused it is. There’s always something new and exciting happening.”

Mayor Khal Asfour said he was proud, but not surprised, CBCity was among the best councils in NSW.

“In my opinion, it just proves we have trailblazing women working for us and the fact they were finalists in these awards is recognition of their commitment,” he said.