The Centre is run by a Management Committee, consisting of an elected Director and two other elected representatives. Other members of the Centre may take on specific portfolio responsibilities on an agreed basis. The Centre has regular management meetings, and operates under its own constitution and bylaws.
Strategic Goals and Alignment with UNE Strategic Plan
The Centre is aligned with the UNE Strategic Plan in a number of ways:
- It seeks to be open to its constituency, which includes both those working within the sector and with the sector;
- It seeks to be recognised nationally and internationally as a leading research body in local government, particularly addressing non metropolitan local government issues - a key strength for UNE identified in the strategic plan;
- It partners with local government, communities, state agencies and the private sector as well as linking with overseas institutions in research, in professional consulting, and in the delivery of continuing professional development activities.
The Regional and Community Development Plan
- addresses contemporary rural and regional research issues, in particular local government restructuring and amalgamations and, more recently, financial efficiency and management, through both research and professional consultancies
- maintains an active web site and is recorded on the UNE Access to Expertise database;
- continues to work to strengthen links within the New England region
- seeks to maintain balanced and informed media comment on key structural reform issues affecting local government in regional areas.
The Research Investment Plan
- Provides a node within which research of relevance to the local government sector can be conducted and coordinated;
- Actively pursues ARC Linkage grants, focusing in particular on Multi stakeholder networking within regional areas;
- Is successfully pursuing sector funded research opportunities, for example into Regional Organisations of Councils;
- Hosts visiting scholars, including from Indonesia, Canada, Italy and Japan. Continues to provide higher degree opportunities in the study of Local Government and related areas including making available financial support through research assistant roles and the like.
The Centre commenced operation in March 1995 in the then Department of Continuing Education. Its primary purpose at this initial stage was the development and delivery of professional and vocational in-service programs for local government staff. The Centre then transferred to the Graduate School of Business Administration where it began to shift its focus towards more traditional academic programs. In particular, the Centre developed contributions for the MBA program. The restructuring of that school to focus exclusively on the MBA program saw the need for the Centre to once again relocate. This coincided with the Centre beginning to target research consultancy and competitive research grants in the local government area. With the change of focus to a stronger research orientation and a new management direction, the Centre is now located within the UNE Business School.