Dorset Council's Anneka Ferguson selected for International Professional Exchange Program

Anneka Ferguson has been selected for a local government scholarship.

Anneka Ferguson has been selected for a local government scholarship.

Dorset Council community projects coordinator Anneka Ferguson has been selected to represent Australia in the nation’s first annual International Professional Exchange Program.

She said she was selected by Local Government Professionals Australia for the one month placement, taking on about 25 candidates from across Australia. 

Ms Ferguson said she will be travelling to Kansas City for the ICMA Annual Conference.

The three-day event features keynote sessions and roundtable discussions on the challenges facing local governments around the world. 

During this time, she said she’d meet with Australian and New Zealand local government representatives.

After the conference, Ms Ferguson said she will fly to Coconino County in Arizona and receive mentoring from chief health officer of the Coconino County Public Health Services District Marie Peoples.

She said she hoped to pick up some tips on public health, and recreational programs and activities to potentially bring to Dorset.

“There’s the opportunity in Kansas City where the conference is to check out their planning to convert a Rail Trail to bike path scenario, a bit like what we’re doing here,” she said.

“Marie’s put together an action-packed itinerary with tours of public works and facilities, meetings with the board of supervisors and various departments.”

The event is said to be the largest annual event in the world for local government staff.

With a background in environmental science, and private consulting, Ms Ferguson said her varied history allowed her to be open minded about change.

“Dorset is renowned for being a pretty low socioeconomic area, we’ve got an ageing population.

“So we’ve got a lot of these factors that we’re struggling with so (it’s finding) ways, we can go about trying to change those trends, and making the most of local opportunities.” 

Coconino is the second largest in-area county in the US, and features the Grand Canyon National Park.

Ms Ferguson left for the US on Thursday, September 22. 

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