Young Professionals Network

About this SIG

The Young Professionals Network SIG promotes the positive impact of young professionals working in Local Government and addresses the challenges and opportunities that many face today in the public sector. With a focus on designing and delivering professional development specifically tailored for professionals 36 years and under which combines learning, networking and work specific takeaways, the SIG is dedicated to helping young professionals develop their careers.

In between meetings, SIG participants are able to utilise the online network forum to solve problems together, share ideas and approaches.

Upcoming Young Professionals events

This opportunity does not come around often, we encourage you to embrace it.

The Young Professionals Network is proud to present Leaders in Conversation. Hear from Lord Mayor Sally Capp, Dr Bridie O'Donnell MBBS, Director, Office for Women in Sport & Recreation and Liana Thompson, CEO Northern Grampians Shire on their leadership journey, leadership style and tips for the next generation of leaders in Local Government.

The Leaders

Lord Mayor Sally Capp
City of Melbourne

Sally Capp was elected Lord Mayor of Melbourne in May 2018 and was the first woman to be directly elected as Lord Mayor. Sally was also the first woman to hold the post of Agent-General for Victoria in the UK, Europe and Israel. She has also served as the CEO for the Committee for Melbourne and Victorian Executive Director of the Property Council of Australia. Sally began her career as a Solicitor, after completing Law (hons) and Commerce degrees at the University of Melbourne. Sally has held senior roles at both KPMG and ANZ, and she took the small business she co-founded to the ASX. A passionate Magpies supporter, in 2004 Sally made history as the first female board member of Collingwood FC. She is involved in a number of charities, currently sitting on the board of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, the Mary Jane Lewis Scholarship Foundation and the Melbourne University Faculty of Business and Economics. Sally is also Honorary Patron of the Lord Mayor's Charitable Foundation, Trustee of the Shrine of Remembrance, Member of the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors, Patron of the Royal Victorian Association of Honorary Justices, Patron of the Royal Women's Hospital Foundation, Victorian Honorary Vice President of the Australian-Britain Society (Victoria) Inc. and an Honorary Member of the Rotary Club of Melbourne.

Dr Bridie O'Donnell MBBS
Director, Office for Women in Sport & Recreation

Dr Bridie O’Donnell graduated as Valedictorian from the University of Queensland Medical School and won the J R S Lahz Prize for Most Outstanding Intern at the Mater Hospitals in Brisbane in 1999. Between 2000 and 2006 she was a rower and then an Ironman triathlete, and finished the Ironman Hawaii World Championships in 2006. In 2007, she began road cycling and shortly after won the National Time Trial title, and placed on the podium in 12 Australian and Oceania Championships between 2008 and 2016. From 2008 to 2012 she raced in the Australian National Team, and then Professional Italian teams in Europe and the United States, representing Australia at three World Championships. She went on to manage and race in a top women's national cycling team and is also a seven-time national rowing champion. As a physician at the Epworth Hospital, Bridie was also a leading voice in the medical community using her unique background in medicine and sport to empower and inspire female cancer patients to improve their health and wellbeing through motivational behaviour change and exercise. Bridie returned to full time work in 2013, starting at Epworth HealthCheck and teaching doctor-patient communication at Deakin University Medical School. In 2014, Bridie took on a role as a breast physician at the Epworth Breast Service. Here her work involved reviewing long term breast cancer patients and counselling them about exercise, weight control and preventing recurrence of breast cancer. Her particular clinical interests lie in using her skills in motivational interviewing and behaviour change to improve the health and wellbeing of her patients. This includes exercise prescription, nutritional advice, mindfulness techniques and routine follow up to encourage sustained and positive behaviour change. From 2013 to 2016, Bridie managed and raced for Rush Women’s Team, a National Road Series cycling team in Australia, coordinating commercial sponsors, team owners, riders and race organisers to successes and race wins over four seasons. In 2016, she became the first Australian woman to make an attempt on the UCI World Hour record in 15 years, and broke the National record, the Masters record and set a new world record of 46.882km at the Adelaide Superdrome. In November 2017, Bridie was appointed the inaugural Director of the Office for Women in Sport and Recreation by the Victorian Government. In her role, Bridie has been integral in promoting and enforcing the messages of the Office of Women in Sport and Recreation.

Liana Thompson
CEO, Northern Grampians Shire Council

Liana Thompson is a self-confessed Local Government tragic. She has a unique history spanning over 25 years, she know local government from both sides - political and executive. Liana's political life includes being the last Mayor of the City of Port Melbourne, the first mayor of the City of Port Phillip (following amalgamation) and a founding member and inaugural President of the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA). Liana's executive life includes holding senior positions in rural, regional, metropolitan and growth Councils, she has managed and led every area of Council operations. She even has a truck licence just in case she needs to drive the rubbish truck! Liana is a values based leader who is passionate about good governance, driving brilliant service in the public sector and holds the community at the heart of everything she does. She is currently on the LGPro Board and elected position that supports development of Local Government professionals, a lifetime member of the VLGA and she is acknowledged in the Who's Who of Australian Women. She holds a Master's degree in Business Administration, Diploma of Management and Diploma of Social Science(Community Development). She remains undecided about if she is a Doctoral candidate.

Proud sponsor

  Online Community

This SIG is supported by an online community. We believe that accessing knowledge from individuals who work in a similar environment is invaluable and should never be underestimated. Our communities are only for people working in Local Government and there are many benefits to participating in them. They are a great way to keep in touch in between meetings, by asking your fellow SIG colleagues questions and sharing resources. You can also see who else is involved in the SIG and get in touch with them quickly.  Agendas, minutes, presentations and other SIG resources will also be posted on the online community.

Want to get involved?

Simply sign in, top of screen, go to 'Hi' - this is your profile, head to Participation and then onto Community.

Active in this SIG

  • 267 Current Total

To join this SIG email us at

Who should attend

  • Local Government professionals 36 years and under.

Register your attendance

To register your attendance online, under Upcoming meetings, click on the title of the upcoming SIG meeting that you want to attend. Then follow the prompts.

Upcoming events

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