The local government sector presents a unique set of challenges. Unlike private enterprises, councils often face a political element.
On top of this, they experience resourcing limitations and risk management issues – and the balancing act can be a stretch.
As a mutual created by councils for councils, we understand.
That’s why we’ve been running our Regional Risk Groups for over 20 years: to provide knowledge and support. And to help our members benefit from each other’s experiences.
What are Regional Risk Groups?
Open to all our member councils, our Regional Risk Groups are made up of risk professionals from councils in a particular region.
The Northern Inland Regional Risk Group, for example, has 13 member councils.
These groups generally include people from human resources, work health safety, risk management, insurance and claims departments.
But we also welcome people from other disciplines. From engineers to supervisors of road crew – as long as you deal with risks at your council, you’re encouraged to join our Regional Risk Groups.
We have 10 active Regional Risk Groups:
- Northern Inland Regional Risk Group
- Riverina West Regional Risk Group
- Riverina East Regional Risk Group
- Orana Risk & Safety Management Group
- Hunter Risk Management Group
- Metropolitan Risk Group
- Northern Rivers Risk Group
- Mid North Coast Risk Group
- Central New South Wales Joint Organisation
- Canberra Region Risk Management Group
A chance to share expertise and experiences
Most of our Regional Risk Groups are run by our members, with Statewide Mutual providing support and content.
The groups generally meet up once every quarter to learn about managing risks associated with their operations, and to share their first-hand experience and knowledge.
These groups facilitate a much-needed opportunity for local government professionals to:
- Meet in person with their counterparts
- Promote open discussion, critical thinking and knowledge sharing
- Consider areas of known and emerging risks
- Understand risk culture
- Learn from specialised speakers
Tapping into industry experts
Regional Risk Group meetings usually feature industry experts or specialised speakers from Statewide, StateCover and SafeWork NSW. Additional speakers have included Royal Life Saving Australia and KidSafe NSW, among others.
The presentation topics vary, depending on the current issues that are of interest to councils at the time. These may include:
- Statewide Mutual updates on relevant products or services, or a rundown on our Best Practice Manuals.
- Current challenges facing councils, such as claims management around roads and potholes caused by recent weather events.
- Case studies on recent court cases to understand why the council lost or won the claim.
- Work health safety issues, such as a recent injury or situation, a new legislation, or new codes of practice.
Example: A recent meeting in the Northern Inland
In December 2022, our Northern Inland Regional Risk Group held their last meeting of the year at the Northern Foreshores Copeton Dam, a facility managed by Inverell Shire Council.
Presenters on the day were:
- Naamon Eurell, Executive Officer, Statewide Mutual
- Mathew de Witt, Regional Risk Manager, Statewide Mutual
- Lee Capili, Account Manager, JLT Public Sector
- Geoff Bailey, Safety and Wellbeing Specialist, StateCover Mutual Limited
- Mark Mclean and Jay Lewis, Inspectors, SafeWork NSW
Topics covered included claims management, and measures to reduce injury risk around hazardous manual tasks.
(A special thank you to Inverell Shire Council General Manager, Paul Henry PSM, for making their facility available.)
Expand your knowledge – and build valuable connections
While it’s possible to join the Regional Risk Group meetings remotely, we highly encourage you to attend – in-person – when you can. The face-to-face interaction helps to build relationships, which is a lot harder to do virtually.
By attending and participating in these meetings, you get to directly engage with industry professionals who you might not otherwise have access to.
It’s also an amazing opportunity for you to hear from other local government professionals about their experiences. Learn from what they have already done. And repurpose their solutions for your own council.
Best of all, you get to meet your work peers – and build genuine connections with other people who are involved in the sector.
And this is a support system that could go a long way, for many years to come.
Want to get involved? Speak to your Regional Risk Manager to find out when and where your Risk Group meets next.