High achiever - Claire Ashard Senior Media and Communications Officer, Alice Springs Town Council

Article image - High achiever - Claire Ashard  Senior Media and Communications Officer, Alice Springs Town Council

More and more often councils are learning that social media is an effective way to engage their communities and improve service delivery.

While Alice Springs is close to the centre of Australia, it is also a long way from almost everywhere else. Having a first rate communications officer leading Council’s social media helps to bring the country, the Northern Territory and the people of Alice Springs closer together, making information more accessible and communication more engaging.

Alice Springs Mayor, Damien Ryan, knows the value of quality communication, nominating Senior Media and Communications Officer, Claire Ashard, as an LG Focus councils’ High Achiever.

Mayor Ryan said, “Claire Ashard leads the Alice Springs Town Council media department and has transitioned our council into the digital age through consultation with our community, creating and maintaining Council’s Social Media platforms, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

“The Alice Springs community are kept informed with daily updates on all the things that Council are involved with.

“Claire’s input has expanded the reach of Council keeping the community informed with consistently large numbers being reached through the Council Social Media.”

Ashard started in local government over 10 years ago and what inspired her was the potential to make a difference in her community.  

“Having worked in both the private sector as well as other levels of government, I personally feel local government has the most positive impact on the daily lives of its community.

“Staying engaged with the community, with the advent of digital technologies the way we communicate and engage with our communities is ever changing. It’s important to stay up to date with the community demands and expectations for Council communications.

Ashard project managed the re-launch of Council’s new website, a very large job, and one which incorporated many changes and challenges.

“It is exciting to be part of this [project] as well as working on some significant policy documents and major upcoming events for Council.

“I also feel grateful to be able to work with so many proficient and passionate colleagues here at Alice Springs Town Council, particularly in my work unit we have some very dedicated and talented professionals who I truly enjoy working with.”

Ashard has a Bachelor of Business degree in Marketing and Management and more than 20 years’ experience in communications, marketing and media for both public and the private sector. Prior to coming in to government her background was in tourism, events, exporting, sales and marketing.

“Alice Springs is an incredibly unique part of Australia. It has a captivating combination of people, landscapes and cultures. Because of this, it is a truly amazing place to live, work and raise my young family.  

“Being both a proud ‘Centralian’ and council employee means I can be part of making a real difference to my town.

“I think Alice Springs is very unique not just because of the destination but for its community, it’s the people that make Alice so special!  

“And I think it’s because of the close interaction that Council has with the community that makes it a great place to work.”

After 10 years in local government, Ashard said it would be hard to put her finger on just one thing that stands out as particularly memorable.

“I love the everyday moments; capturing the smiles on new citizens faces, hearing the positive comments from community at the opening of new infrastructure project or chatting with members of the public at a meeting or event to hear firsthand how a Council initiative has positively impacted on their life.”

As for the future – “Who knows, that’s what makes the future so exciting!

“I love Alice and feel privileged to be able to watch my children enjoy fantastic facilities, events and initiatives of Alice Springs Town Council and knowing I’m part of that team.”