Simon Harrison & Ben Gibson

Simon Harrison

Manager Open Space Maintenance, Blacktown City Council, New South Wales Australia

Simon Harrison is the Manager Open Space Maintenance at Blacktown City Council, one of Australia's largest local government authorities. Simon has worked in local and state government authorities and within the private sector and has extensive experience in the strategic and operational management of parks, open space, infrastructure and recreational services.

Ben Gibson

Managing Director, The Toolbox Team, New South Wales Australia

Ben Gibson is the owner and Managing Director of the Toolbox Team and the Australia/ NZ Sports Turf Leadership Forum Series. Ben has run education sessions for hundreds of turf and open space managers and their staff and spoken at industry events in Australia, NZ, Asia and the United States. He has spent his career building and leading teams and holds a Masters Degree in Business Leadership.

Ben is the author of People First: Building an Engaged Safety Culture through Effective Leadership, a book which features expert commentary from over 40 turf and open space managers.


Leadership - A Challenge during Uncertain Times

With Blacktown City Council being one of Australia's largest local government authorities and growing at a rapid rate, Council's Open Space Maintenance Unit is faced with the challenge of delivering high quality services to the local community. With the Covid-19 pandemic, the unit faced with many challenges including how can our leaders continue to work closely together as a team, lead by example and provide surety, continuity and security to a large diverse team whilst working in an uncertain environment.

Our presentation will focus on how the Open Space Maintenance Unit worked (specifically our leadership team) closely together to continue to provide our services to the community during a period when usage of parks and reserves soared to heights never seen before and successfully dealt with many challenges (both work related and personal), whilst maintaining positive relationships and having a supportive and inclusive work environment during a difficult time.

Registration & Booking

Key Dates

Registration flat fee

Until 8 September

Program Launch

Mid June

PLA 2021

12-15 September

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