Before joining ALGWA, I had a negative perception of “women’s groups” and queried the benefits that could be provided, especially when in my experience other women can often be our harshest critics. However, after attending just one of ALGWA’s conferences, I discovered ALGWA provides a network of accomplished women, who have a breadth of professional and life experiences that are willingly shared. My involvement with ALGWA gave me hope with the challenges I was then experiencing in my professional life and indeed, I would not have run for and stayed another term without the support provided by ALGWA members. There are a number of industry bodies that represent local governments in Queensland, however, ALGWA represents the individual and that distinction is important.
Pierina Dalle Cort
I joined ALGWA in 2006 at the urgence of my then boss, who was allocating conference attendances for that year to our team. Our firm paid all attendance costs, including travel and accommodation. There were all sorts of conferences up for grabs, the LGAQ ones, the very popular Queensland Environmental Law Association conference, the UDIA and Property Council, all being held at a variety of destinations including Cairns, the Whitsundays, the Gold Coast. For the reason that we “were women”, a colleague (and friend) of mine and I were allocated the ALGWA conference ….. at Caboolture! Not having heard of the organisation and the location being significantly less glamorous than others on offer, we were immensely disappointed – only to have the time of our lives! We were welcomed with open arms and immediately felt included and part of the ALGWA family. The content of the conference was relevant and the social activities were targeted, well organised and above all, fun. The ALGWA conferences became our hidden secret and it was much later that we revealed to our boss the hidden gem that ALGWA is and that we weren’t martyrs at all! Since then, I have had the privilege of becoming more involved in the organisation and elected to the management committee of ALGWA Queensland so that I can do my part to pass on the ALGWA warmth and magic that I experienced, to other women in the local government sphere. ALGWA is a unique organisation that provides not just professional support but also personal support and friendships that can last a lifetime.
I joined ALGWA in 2006 when I was “volunteered” by my then manager to attend the of the Diploma of Local Government (Administration) pilot program being run by LGAQ with one of our councillors who happened to be the ALGWA Zone 5 representative at the time. On my first day at the Diploma course I was introduced to the ALGWA Management Committee who were all undertaking the course. The Management Committee welcomed me with open arms and during the time we completed the Diploma I learnt more about ALGWA and the wonderful support network they are. I was approached by the ALGWA President in 2011 who asked if I would like to apply for the position of Secretary and I have been involved in the Management Committee ever since. Being part of ALGWA has provided me the opportunity to undertake professional development that I would never have had if I wasn’t involved in ALGWA. Making professional and personal connections with people within local government has also played an important part of my involvement with ALGWA. I have had opportunities to step outside of my comfort zone, always knowing I have the support of ALGWA behind me and I have been blessed to have made some amazing friends over the time I have been involved in ALGWA.