Create a life you love, beyond the commute

Author: Careers at Council

Read time: 6 min read

Spanning nearly 20,000 square kilometres, the North Burnett region is as diverse as it is expansive, offering a blend of natural beauty, rich history, and a truly remarkable lifestyle. Located just four hours from Brisbane and under two hours from Bundaberg and the coast, the region provides the perfect balance between proximity to urban centres and an escape from the often-draining pace of city living.

Careers at Council recently sat down with North Burnett Regional Council’s Kim Mahoney, General Manager – Corporate and Community, and Kathleen Huth, People and Performance Manager, to talk about the unique lifestyle and breadth of opportunities on offer at North Burnett Regional Council.

Nurturing growth and empowerment

At North Burnett Regional Council, fostering a culture of growth and empowerment is paramount. Through a ‘grow your own’ approach, the council is focused on developing its people to reach their full potential. Kathleen confirms the council’s commitment, “We’re really invested in ‘grow your own’ – nurturing, supporting, educating, and developing our people to be the best they can be.”

Whether it’s through comprehensive training programs, study support, or career progression pathways, the team here has the resources and support they need to thrive. This emphasis on personal and professional development not only cultivates a sense of pride and ownership among team members but also ensures a high standard of service delivery to the community.

Three Moon silo art in Monto – one of the many painted silos and murals from an impressive collection throughout the region.

Interesting, challenging, and varied work

With its dispersed nature, each town and community within the North Burnett offers distinct experiences and challenges, providing the 200-strong team at North Burnett Regional Council with an impressive breadth of opportunities for growth and professional development.

Kim explains, “While we are one region, if you’re doing compliance in one town, for example, it could be very different to doing compliance in another of our towns, because of the nature of the town and the community. The depth of experience you get here, even within a role, is vast.”

This variability fosters continuous learning and personal growth, ensuring no two days are alike and providing interesting, challenging, and purposeful work to enrich your career.

Safeguarding the community

Approximately 435 kilometres in length, the beautiful Burnett River flows through the region, eventually reaching the Southern Great Barrier Reef in an adjoining local government area. The river plays a significant role in the region’s ecosystem, supporting diverse flora and fauna, as well as providing water for agriculture and recreational activities. However, during periods of extreme heavy rainfall, the river is prone to flooding, which has shaped the region’s towns and settlements.

The council’s Disaster Management team is dedicated to mitigating the impact of floods and ensuring the safety and resilience of residents in the region. Kathleen comments, “We have honed our disaster management approach over the last ten years after some significant events. We’ve grown and matured in this space and have really experienced experts working here.”

This excellence in disaster preparedness and response extends beyond our boundaries, with other councils networking with North Burnett’s specialists. With a focus on proactive planning and continuous improvement, the Disaster Management team plays a pivotal role in ensuring the resilience and safety of North Burnett’s communities.

Connection through tangible impact

At North Burnett Regional Council, you can make a tangible difference in the lives of the community. Kim reflects on the impact of the council’s work: “Every decision we make affects someone’s life. It is powerful to understand how close we are to the community here and recognise that as a huge responsibility.”

This sense of responsibility underscores the significance of each role within the council and motivates the team to strive for excellence in their work. Kathleen confirms, “Our team is very aware that the work they do on a day-to-day basis makes a real difference to our community.” She adds, “Our parks and gardens team are maintaining grounds their family and friends use! The work connects you with the community, and it’s extremely rewarding.”

This tangible impact fosters a sense of pride and fulfilment among the team. Whether they’re tackling significant projects such as the Mundubbera Landfill Expansion, the substantial road network resealing programs, or the Water Treatment Plant upgrade at Biggenden, the team knows their contributions directly enhance the quality of life for residents in the North Burnett.


A community-centred culture of professionalism

Kim highlights professionalism as a core behaviour shared by successful North Burnett employees: “The professionalism and the skills here are incredible.” She cites the example of Mitch Gormley, a Water and Wastewater Treatment Operator who recently won the Australian Young Water Treatment Operator of the Year award: “Mitch has been working at Council since 2020. He is a local boy, started as a trainee, worked his way up, and just loves it!” Mitch’s career journey exemplifies the council’s commitment to nurturing and developing talent and providing opportunities for career advancement.

Kathleen adds, “Integrity, respect, and a continuous learning mindset are also key to being successful here.” She also emphasises the importance of caring about the community: “It’s crucial that no matter the role you are in, you recognise the impact you have on our community.”

These values form the foundation of the council’s culture: fostering collaboration, innovation, and a shared commitment to serving the community with integrity and dedication. Kim reflects on the evolving workplace culture: “As with all councils, there will be ongoing change; however, I feel the commitment and collaboration shown by our multi-skilled workforce demonstrates Council’s culture is in good hands.”

“A key element of building our culture is growing our own, working with our people so they can be the best they can be, and making sure our standards of professionalism are where they need to be to deliver for our community,” Kathleen added.

Fun fact: The North Burnett region is home to the RM Williams Australian Bush Learning Centre based in Eidsvold

Lifestyle without career compromise

The North Burnett offers an enviable lifestyle characterised by work-life balance and a strong sense of community. Post-pandemic, many people have chosen to embrace the region’s lifestyle, trading long commutes for quality family time and a slower pace of life.

With flexible work arrangements and a supportive council culture, you can pursue your professional ambitions while enjoying all that the North Burnett has to offer – from outdoor adventures to community events and family activities.

Kathleen confirms, “We’ve seen so many people taking up opportunities here because of the lifestyle on offer. They’re done with the long commute; they’re done with the lack of family time. They’ve realised there is another way of working. People have seen that regional areas like the North Burnett offer a great lifestyle and affordable housing as well.”

The key to people staying is the ability to have a long, varied, and successful career. Thanks to the diversity of services North Burnett Regional Council offers its residents and the ‘grow your own’ approach to workforce management, the scope for career progression here is endless.

Kim explains, “It is lovely being hands-on. There are more opportunities to get involved in a small regional council environment. We have people from within the region who have commenced with us as a trainee and have progressed into leadership positions throughout their career.”

From its stunning natural landscapes to its rich historical heritage, North Burnett is a region brimming with potential.
Explore the opportunities available right now at North Burnett Regional Council to build your future and create a life you love in the naturally beautiful North Burnett.

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