Time is running out to get entries in for the 2016 McGredy Winder SOLGM Local Government Excellence Awards®. Both the project entries and the new Brookfields Emerging Leader of the Year Award entries close at 5pm on 3 February. You can find more information and the entry forms here. We also ran a free webinar - 'Tips for a Successful Entry' before Christmas. For those contemplating entering or still working on their entry it's recommended viewing and available here.

Also closing soon are the team registrations for the Australasian Management Challenge. They must be in by 29 January. You can find more information here or email me if you can't find what you need.

We've had plenty of enquiries about both the Awards and the Challenge this year so we're expecting a larger than average number of entries.

23 & 24 February - Risk Management Forum in Wellington

This is the annual professional development and networking opportunity for risk management practitioners. We'll be covering key topics around the science and art of Risk Management including sharing best practice in framework design and debating the issues on implementing and embedding a Risk Management culture of excellence.

7 & 8 March - Strategic Finance Forum in Wellington

At this year's Forum there will be a focus on finance as a business insight activity and how practitioners can move the finance function from the purely transactional to the transformational.

14 & 15 April - Chief Executives Forum & Masterclass in Wellington

This is the must attend Forum for local government chief executives with the programme specifically tailored to address the unique demands of that role in local government. The dates of this Forum coincide with our Annual Gala Dinner and The Marketplace on 14 April.

12 & 13 May - EA/PA Forum in Wellington

We'll be providing an engaging programme that meets the specific needs of EAs and PAs working in local government. The programme will be finalised soon but there is still time to email me ideas for inclusion.

30 & 31 May - Managing CCO and Alternatives Training in Wellington

This two day training explores the complex relationships between local authorities and their Council Controlled Organisations (CCOs) and explores how they may best work together to overcome the inherent challenges of this relationship and achieve an integrated strategic direction.

20 & 21 June - Future Workforce Forum in Wellington

The Forum for those involved in addressing the future shape of the local government workforce. If this Forum is of interest and you have some ideas for the final programme please email them through to me.

You can also find all our upcoming events - not just our leading practice Forums - in our Event Calendar.

Keep an eye out for my next newsletter where I'll be providing information on how to apply for these outstanding leadership development opportunities. In the meantime you can find more information on both in our website here (Scholarships) and here (Exchanges). These are key exclusive SOLGM member benefits and have a combined value of nearly $100,000.

Our office will be closed for Wellington Anniversary weekend this coming Monday. We'll be returning to normal on Tuesday.