Blayney Council’s general manager, Rebecca Ryan’s introduction to the role certainly came at a tumultuous time in local government.
One of her first tasks when she arrived three years ago was to manage the council’s response to the planned council amalgamations, all whilst gathering an understanding of how Blayney council was different to her home shire of the Warrumbungles.
Now all that hard work has been recognised with her receiving the GM/Senior staff member – Rural or Regional Council award at the 2018 Ministers’ Awards for Women in Local Government.
Mrs Ryan said that making the move from Coonabarabran came at the perfect time for her family, there were no longer any children at home and her husband Simon was fully supportive of her education and development.
“It’s important that you invest in your own career and develop yourself professionally,” she said. “When I started in 2001 I began my masters in business, majoring in local government and human resource management and I also did a masters of local government which I finished in 2014,” she said.
“Sometimes you have to move to get that job and it’s only now that we’ve sold the farm and Simon is moving to Blayney with me.”
Mrs Ryan acknowledges that for many women on farms, working in any external organisation brings all sorts of challenges, but taking a long-term view is the key.
“Children and family are more important than a job, but after working in local government for 14 years it gave me the opportunity to work up the chain.”