Friday, February 23, 2024

City of Launceston staff a cut above

The talents of City of Launceston Council employees have been showcased in recent weeks, with staff in a diverse range of fields being recognised through State and national awards.

Council’s Environmental Health Team Leader, Michelle Ogulin, was last month announced as the 2022 Tasmanian Environmental Health Professional of the Year at the Environmental Health Australia national conference in Launceston.

The win marked the first time the award has been presented to someone who is not an environmental health officer in Tasmania.

In announcing Ms Ogulin as the winner, the judging panel said, “Michelle is a committed environmental health professional. She empowers Environmental Health Officers to make hard and good decisions and does not shy away from difficult situations.

“Her research skills are second-to-none, providing great assistance to Environmental Health Officers on topics that are complex and at times uncommon.

“Her support, research and continual support of her team and the profession as a whole, ensures protection of the public, fitting with the very meaning and values of Environmental Health Australia.”

Also last month, the City of Launceston’s Strategic Community Engagement Advisor, Megan Brown and Engagement Facilitator, Lisa Granger, were presented with the International Association for Public Participation Australasia’s Core Values Award for the Council’s community engagement program, Tomorrow Together.

The Tomorrow Together program included more than 40 significant community and infrastructure projects in one streamlined engagement campaign.

Tomorrow Together was one of the first engagement programs of its kind in Australia, and involved public events, online consultations, pop-up workshops and information sessions for Launceston residents of all ages.

In announcing the Tomorrow Together award, the judges said, “A most progressive and refreshing submission addressing a core problem facing many organisations. A creative and innovative approach creating a win-win solutions — reducing engagement fatigue, using limited resources wisely and embeds an engagement culture in the process. A very commendable approach by an organisation that is clearly committed to community involvement. Fantastic work! Should be widely shared!”

Meanwhile, Council’s Water Team Leader, Erica Deegan, was presented with the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia’s 2022 Emerging Leader Award for Tasmania.

The IPWEA Emerging Leader award is presented to those who demonstrate leadership, exert a positive influence in the industry, and who are committed to giving back to the community.

Ms Deegan was also recognised as part of a working group which received an IPWEA award for “Excellence in Asset Management, Innovation or Sustainability”.

The working group developed a comprehensive strategy to help guide stormwater management for new developments and the strategy has since been implemented by a number of Tasmanian councils.

On Friday night, the team from the Council’s Launceston Visitor Information Centre took out the Visitor Information Services Award at the 2022 Tasmanian Tourism Awards.

The Launceston Visitor Information Centre has been operated by the City of Launceston since 2003, and is based in the Launceston Post Office building beneath the Town Clock.

The LVIC team offer a free booking service for local accommodation providers, transport services, restaurants, attractions and unique experiences.

Launceston Mayor, Danny Gibson said he was proud that the City of Launceston boasted such a committed and talented group of employees.

“These awards highlight the skilled and knowledgeable people who are making a positive contribution to our city every single day,” Mayor Gibson said.

“I’m delighted that the expertise of the City of Launceston’s staff is being recognised through awards like this, both within our State and on the national stage.”

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