High Achiever - Margaret Diebert, Manager Operational Facilities Liverpool City Council

Article image - High Achiever - Margaret Diebert, Manager Operational Facilities Liverpool City Council Margaret Diebert and the Works Team stand together on White Ribbon Day.

When Margaret Diebert joined Liverpool City Council in 2017 it was as the first female manager in the City’s works depot.

No small task in a local government area covering 42 suburbs and that is one of the fastest growing regions in Sydney.

“The depot is a highly unionised, male-dominated environment,” Diebert said. Wisely, she focused on building relationships – with employees, the union, community, councillors and all stakeholders.

“Building these relationships was critical to developing solid working connections with stakeholders and in restoring councillor and Executive trust in the Directorate’s ability to deliver services.”

The ripple effect was the improved perception of Council within the community.

Awarded a highly commended at this year’s Ministers Awards for Women in Local Government, in New South Wales, in the category of Women in Leadership – Non Traditional Role, Margaret Diebert is a leader and an example to others.

“It is an exciting time to be working in Local Government and the extraordinary growth being experienced in Liverpool provides unique opportunities to participate in cross directorate projects whilst continually looking for innovative ways of delivering services to an ever growing community.

“Liverpool’s community is wonderfully diverse and I derive a great deal of satisfaction from working alongside dedicated council officers for an organisation that is striving to ensure that our community is supported.

“This community focus can give you a sense of satisfaction that is rarely found in the private sector and it is rewarding to know that the work our team delivers has a direct impact on the community and the environment.”

In Diebert’s current role she leads, directs and provides advice on a diverse range of strategic and operational facilities activities.

“I also oversee the operations of plant and fleet services, plant procurement and disposal, mechanical workshop, council depot sites and council stores.

“I work closely with a team of trades and administrative staff who deliver services to both internal and external stakeholders.

“For a significant portion of 2018 I was afforded the opportunity to be Acting Director of City Presentation. This provided me a unique opportunity to develop my skills and work closely in the strategic and executive space whilst overseeing on the ground service delivery.

Working for Local Government has afforded Diebert experience in a number of managerial roles delivering on diverse operations from waste and cleaning services to cemetery management to facilities and trades.

Her colourful work history includes various roles with a first grade NRL club in from food and beverage manager, event management to property manager.

“This opportunity allowed me to learn firsthand about a variety of areas from open space management to security through to both the soft and hard services of facilities.

“I enjoy learning and throughout my career I have undertaken training in areas of business administration, work health and safety, facilities management and project management.”

Diebert views challenges as opportunities and hopes to ensure that all Council facilities operate smoothly, are safe and functional and comply with an array of federal and state regulations and compliance standards.

Current focuses are ensuring Council has adequate resources in a skills shortage environment and remaining alert to trends that will provide innovation solutions to ongoing challenges within both the facility and fleet space.

Diebert is working on a project to develop a matrix that assigns responsibilities for all areas of the built asset environment. This entails collaboration across all Council Directorates but will ultimately provide a single reference point for all stakeholders.

Having no immediate plans to relocate Diebert is excited by the opportunities offered by her role with Liverpool Council.

“Liverpool is one of the largest Local Government Areas in New South Wales, has a dynamic Mayor, Chief Executive Officer and Executive, is a strong presence in the Western Sydney City Deal, and is working with the Federal and State governments on the new Western Sydney International Airport and Aerotropolis.

“The prospects for growth and development in Liverpool are wide ranging and I look forward to whatever opportunities I may be presented.”