FinPro Professional Development Day 31 May 2019

June 4, 2019

FinPro Professional Development Day 31.5.19

The second FinPro Seminar for 2019 was held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC) on Friday 31 May 2019.

FinPro’s President, Bradley Thomas, opened the seminar with a fantastic competition, giving 3 FinPro members a chance to win tickets to the Women’s Leadership Symposium.  To apply to be in the running for this competition members just need to submit their name and council to gabrielle@finpro.org.au by Friday 7 June 2019.  FinPro will provide 3 tickets (one for a rural council rep, one for a Regional / Interface Council rep and one for a metro Council rep).  The council must be willing to give the winner the time away from work and also pay for travel and accommodation.

Bradley also highlighted that a number of Regional meetings were taking place, including a new group for the Metro Councils and encouraged everyone within the network to take part.

Further announcements included:

  • The FinPro AGM – to be held at Leonda by the Yarra on Friday 6 December 2019.
  • FinPro & Vision Super launching the wonderful Leadership program which you can read all about here.
  • 2019 FinPro conference – ‘2020 Vision conference’ to be held at RACV Cape Schanck from 16 – 18 October 2019.

The next speaker was Jonathan Kyvelidis from VAGO.  He announced that he had made it through his first 100 days (Congrats!) and shared insights on VAGO’s strategic plan and impacts on audit approach, the difficulties the sector is facing, audit fees, audit strategy and audit approach for year end, preliminary reporting, Role of the external audit /Council /CEO / Audit Committee, data analytics, LG Performance update which have been recently completed and those in progress and recent sector updates.   A copy of his presentation is available here.

Waste and Recycling was the next topic on the program.

The first speaker on this topic was Paul Clapham from MWRRG.  Paul shed some light on the disruption that the current waste crisis has had on Council’s. With the introduction of “China’s National Sword Policy”, Councils can expect a rise in landfill gate fees in the metro area post 1 April 2021 by 25%+, growth in quantity of waste and recycling due to population growth and furthermore there will be a need to maximize the diversion of food and garden waste from landfill. EY are conducting modelling on alternative resource recovery approaches and in line with this Paul highlighted the benefits of Councils procuring, collaborating and contracting together.  A copy of his presentation is available here.

The second speaker was George Hatzimanolis, the CEO of Re-Purpose IT.  He really provided something to think about when he took us on an innovative waste journey that demonstrated the need and complexities of waste recovery, extraction and repurposing of landfill.  A copy of his presentation will be available shortly.

The final speaker was John Brockway, Manager Surf Coast Council.  John presented what he learnt while working in the recycling industry by demonstrating which products were the most recyclable in the waste industry. Surf Coast is also looking to undertake an initiative with the co-founders of the Eden project in what is proposed to be a massive eco-tourism destination for the Surf Coast.  A copy of his presentation is available here.

Management Reporting was the next topic for discussion.

Management Reporting is essential to each Council and Luciano Lauronce, Systems Accountant from Banyule City Council, led the way with clear and concise infographic reporting as used at his council.  A copy of his presentation is available here.

Simone Wickes, Manager Financial Services, Monash City Council explained that her approach has been  ‘that less is more’.   Monash City Council captures this approach by converting a 50 page management report to one page graphical Councilor Summary report  – this indeed captured everyone’s attention.   A copy of her presentation is available here.

A special guest from outside the sector also joined in the discussion; Silvio Gorgio, General Manager Data Science, from Australia Post.  Silvio presented on “Disrupting from within”. Silvio taught us how Australia Post use their resources to take action with their reporting rather than producing reports they thought they needed. They changed their management reporting culture from being “Data driven: Reporting” to “Value driven: Action”.   Although a copy of Silvio’s presentation is not available for distribution, Silvio has indicated that he is happy for any of our members to email him any questions they have (Silvio.Giorgio@auspost.com.au) or connect with him on linkedin.

This session was followed by a panel format where everyone was given the opportunity to ask Luciano, Simone or Silvio any questions. A big thank you to all the panel members.

Following lunch, the sessions moved into a more personal development session with Margaret Devlin from the Centre for Organizational Development.  Margaret e-energized the group by sharing tips and tricks on how to beat the ‘winter blues’. Some the key messages included: the benefits of laughing, mastering a positive mental attitude, “research shows that acting positive at work can actually help you become happier over time”, traits of a positive mental attitude, attitude is everything, gratitude and she left us with an exercise on how you can control your emotional state by emulating the superman pose.   A copy of her presentation is available here.

The final speaker for the program was Kerry Thomas, CEO Municipal Association of Victoria.  Kerry shared an honest insight on MAV’s new strategic plan and the feedback they sought to set the plan into motion. The MAV is endeavoring to seek new funding, new partnerships and agreements, create efficiencies and generate a better understanding of local government in the community.  A copy of her presentation is available here.

Thank-you to all speakers and delegates for attending the seminar and contributing to discussion on a range of issues throughout the day.