Interview with Tony Gray, Executive Manager, LGRS
LGRS is a valued Corporate Partner of LG Professionals SA. For those who don’t know, what services does LGRS offer?
Local Government Risk Services (LGRS) was established to manage and service the insurance and risk management needs of local government in South Australia. At LGRS we work with the sector, all 68 SA Councils, to develop and implement proactive systems and processes for risk management, claims management and risk transfer. All of this is delivered through our mutual schemes – LGA Workers Compensation Scheme, LGA Mutual Liability Scheme, Asset Mutual Fund and Income Protection Fund – and our Risk Consulting Services team.
LGRS also recently became the Principal Partner of Local Government Professionals Australia, and the Principal Management Challenge Sponsor. What benefits do you see for Councils who enter a team in the challenge and would you recommend this as a valuable leadership opportunity?
LGRS is proud to be the Principal Partner of LG Professionals Australia. Given our strong relationship with all 68 Councils in SA it seems only fitting we support the sector in this way. Appropriately managing risk is a team effort which is why we strongly support this Challenge concept.
LG Professionals SA is currently calling for teams for the Rural Management Challenge- we strongly encourage all rural Councils to enter a team this year as it provides a great opportunity for rural Councils to show us what they’ve got!
How long have you worked at LGRS and what is your role? What does it involve?
I joined LGRS in December 2015 as Executive Manager of the Public Sector team in SA, I have responsibility for all LGRS schemes. I work closely with our teams internally and manage key relationships with our membership. Much of my focus is centred on making sure the client relationship is managed effectively and our service delivery exceeds expectations.
What motivates you? What do you find most interesting or exciting about working in local government?
Everyone I have worked with or met within the local government sector so far has been extremely passionate about what they do and this is really exciting to see. There is a tremendous focus on community and high expectations when it comes to service delivery standards.
The unique partnership LGRS has with local government and the holistic approach LGRS takes to risk management is what I found most interesting and is what first attracted me to the role. Council employees engage and confide in us and trust our ability to provide them with support when the need arises. We work extremely closely with Councils to implement effective safety programs and risk management strategies, which in many cases are best practice. Our strong relationship with the LGA, LG Professionals SA and Councils, and the trust that has been established over a long period of time is very motivating.
What is an interesting fact about you that not many people know?
I am originally from Adelaide but have spent over 10 years at different times in Los Angeles and Sydney. Most of my career has been in Medical Devices, most recently as the CEO of the Australian & New Zealand Commercial operations for the world’s largest Ophthalmic lens company. This has given me a great background to understand the benefits and challenges associated with effective enterprise risk management. It also gave me great experience in managing a self-insured operator as we had over 600 employees, most of which were in manufacturing.
How do you spend your leisure time outside of local government?
I love to surf on weekends and still keep involved in Surf Lifesaving, patrolling at the local beach and competing in the Surf Boats when I can - in the masters these days!