• October 28th - 31st, 2019
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • Event Starting In!

    2 Months

  • Priority Code: QA2

Local Government CX Forum

Ensure a seamless & efficient customer-centric experience at every touchpoint

  • October 28th - 31st, 2019
  • Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto


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- Navigate digital transformation & embrace new technologies
- Embed a customer-centric culture at every touchpoint
- Harness the power of data & feedback to find customer-focused solutions
- Learn from councils at every stage of the customer experience journey


Colin Fairweather

As the CIO for the City of Melbourne, Colin is responsible for the delivery of technology and information services and is a member of the organisation’s leadership team. Colin is currently leading the build of a digital services platform to enhance customer services to be simple, fast and available. He speaks widely about his take on 21st century government and how new technologies such as SaaS, AI and digital platforms combined with progressive leadership, capability uplift and collaboration can drive positive outcomes.

Chief Information Officer
City of Melbourne

  • Gabrielle Angles
    Executive Manager, Customer Service
    Northern Beaches Council
  • Shane Hackett
    Manager, Customer Service
    Brisbane City Council
  • Cath Drinkwater
    Customer Experience Strategy Manager
    City of Gold Coast
  • Vaughan Williams


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Gleaning the voice of the customer to drive CX improvements in local government
Embarking on a whole of business CX program
Lessons learnt from rolling out a CRM system
Doing things differently
Implementing a customer experience strategy within different sized organisations
Think Tank
Unlocking & leveraging customer insights from big data
Applying a human centered design approach to reconceptionalise online service delivery
Customer first & digital first - An end-to-end digital transformation journey
Rise of the chat bots - How you can improve service delivery around the clock
Undertaking Voice of Customer & using Human Centred Design to drive the implementation of Robotics & AI
Digital transformation roundtables
Increasing transparency through innovative technologies - The Capital Works Digital Dashboard
Critical success factors for building a customer-centric organisational culture
Making the connection between EX & CX
Putting customers first
Happy Employees = Happy Customers - Exploring the Link Between EX & CX
Pre-Forum Workshop

28 Oct


When developing a CX strategy, it is crucial to centralise your customer's needs. However, understanding the complexity and breadth of the customers you serve is particularly challenging in local government. In this workshop, you will discover how to utilise customer feedback and insights to build a detailed picture of your customer touchpoints.

Understanding and acting on CX to define, refine and implement the strategy will drive real benefit your customers and the broader organisation. Drawing on examples from local government and the private sector, Yvette will teach you how you can use customer feedback and insights to drive real improvements in your service and operational delivery.

Defining what Voice of Customer (VOC) means to you and your customers

- Understand what VOC is and the clear (and unclear) importance for your council and its customers

- Align council goals to customer-centricity 

- Recognise opportunities for improvement 

Know, engage and recruit your customers

- Identify who your customers are and their expectations

- Understand what their interactions with your council look like

- The value of mapping customer journeys

Build the business case and generate buy-in

- How to prove the value of investing budget into CX

- Gain approval for projects and programs

- Understand the commercial value of CX improvements

Glean the voice of the customer, one step at a time

- Drive results and generate interest across your organisation 

- Summary of key learnings 

- Next steps for your return to work

  • Yvette Mihelic Executive CX Strategist & Consultant

Forum Day One

29 Oct

Case Study

To ensure the success of your customer experience strategy, you will need to bring your whole organisation on the journey. Sasha and Liana will share the City of Whittlesea's CX story, discussing how they have streamlined processes and improved efficiency whilst always putting the customer first.

- Creating a strategy with the customer at the centre

- Using customer journey mapping to drive service improvements

- Collaborating with other councils

  • Liana Thompson Director, Partnerships, Planning and Engagement City of Whittlesea

  • Sasha Lord Executive Officer, Customer Experience City of Whittlesea

Case Study

Following the amalgamation of three councils, Northern Beaches Council were the first Australian council to offer all their customer request types online through Salesforce. Gabrielle will share this journey, including the challenges and benefits this new software has presented.

- Integrating numerous services into one system

- Innovating service delivery whilst ensuring ROI

- Overcoming challenges and generating buy-in for new technology

  • Gabrielle Angles Executive Manager, Customer Service Northern Beaches Council

Case Study

A key challenge for local government is keeping up with private sector standards and customer expectations, sometimes without the required budget. Northern Grampians Shire is a small, rural council known for being innovative and progressive, despite limited resources. Join Michael to hear how enabling the team to drive improvements in customer experience continues to provide results while 'doing things differently'.

- Drive improvements and innovation on a budget

- Affordable transformation that enables a more agile approach

- Ensuring ROI

  • Vaughan Williams


As the demand for delivering a superior customer experience within local government increases, it is crucial to develop and design a strategy that reflects this. These speakers, all from councils of varying sizes, will share how they have created their CX strategies, how they intend to implement them and how they will determine their success. This will be followed by an interactive discussion, where they will compare strategies and consider the similarities, differences and transferable lessons.

- Creating and implementing a CX strategy

- Identifying key measurables

- Transferable lessons between different councils

Cath Drinkwater:

Located within one of the country’s fastest growing and changing regions, the Gold Coast’s current estimated resident population of 600,000 is projected to increase to more than 900,000 over the next 20 years. They provide nearly 800 services to the rapidly growing and changing community of residents, businesses and visitors. By placing their customers at the centre of everything they do and keeping pace with rapid technological change, they will design and deliver services that meet their customers’ rapidly evolving expectations. Their Customer Experience Strategy outlines how they intend to develop, measure and deliver positive experiences for all our customers.

Brad Tellis:

Macedon Ranges Shire Council is made up of unique townships, beautiful landscapes, heritage architecture and vibrant community life. Located within an hour from Melbourne CBD, the popularity of the Macedon Ranges has soared in recent years. With expansive native forests, a vibrant arts scene, thriving food and wine industries and natural attractions such as Hanging Rock and Mount Macedon, the region is highly sought after and draws large numbers of tourists and new residents. Brad will discuss strategies in accommodating the needs of a growing, changing population; balancing high service standards with increasing demand and evolving customer expectations.

Swathi Khalik:

East Gippsland Shire Council covers almost 10% of Victoria and provides over 100 services to its 44,000 residents. They are currently undergoing a complete transformation to shift to an organisation-wide customer-centric culture. Swathi will share their strategy of integrating communications and customer experience to better inform and service residents. She will share more about their unique challenge - time rich customers who's preferred channel is face-to-face - and how this impacts their approach to CX and digital transformation.

Alexander Ajaka:

Campbelltown City Council is the southern gateway to metropolitan Sydney and home to a community of more than 167,000 people across 33 suburbs. It is at the centre of one of the most rapidly growing population corridors in NSW with its population projected to grow to more than 250,000 by 2036.

Proudly located on Dharawal land, Cambelltown boasts a unique natural environment and heritage creating a sense of place that its diverse community is proud to call home. Alex will discuss the Customer Service Team journey from where they began, where they are now and their vision for the future. As leader of an 8 year young team, Alex will discuss the Customer Service Strategy which aims to provide the best possible Customer Experience for their residents and staff.

  • Cath Drinkwater Customer Experience Strategy Manager City of Gold Coast

  • Swathi Kartik Manager, Customer Experience & Communications East Gippsland Shire Council

  • Brad Tellis Coordinator, Customer Service Macedon Ranges Shire Council

  • Alexander Ajaka Coordinator, Customer Service Campbelltown City Council

Think Tank

Case Study

When collecting feedback and data from customers, it can be challenging to analyse these large data sets in a timely fashion. Shane will discuss how they are using AI to mine information across channels for sentiment and ways they are enabling staff to access data in real-time.

- Using AI to mine mass data for sentiment

- Enabling real-time access to measure trends

- Building insights into CX strategy

  • Shane Hackett Manager, Customer Service Brisbane City Council

Case Study

The human centred design approach can give great insights about what your customers really think and the type of service they want to receive. Hear how Catherine's team leveraged this approach when developing the next stage of their digital services.

- Identifying customer preferences and pain points

- Defining future online service offerings and lifting digital capability

- Ensuring consistency across channels

  • Catherine Veronesi Manager, Customer Service City of Sydney

Forum Day Two

30 Oct

Case Study

Digital transformation enables councils to be more streamlined, efficient and accessible - all key ingredients for providing an excellent customer experience. Colin and Daniela will share the City of Melbourne's digital transformation journey, considering things from strategy vs operational perspectives.

- The myth of digital transformation

- Aligning your digital and technology strategies to customer outcomes

- Preparing for the impact of our digital future

- Integrating disruptive and emergent technologies

  • Colin Fairweather Chief Information Officer City of Melbourne

  • Daniela Mazzone Technology Partnership & Sector Innovation Manager City of Melbourne

Case Study

Chatbots are a great way to improve efficiency and provide a more convenient service to customers 24/7. Built from a community want for alternative channels to make contact both in and out of hours, Kingston were one of the first councils to develop a chatbot. Brandon will take you through the journey of 'Ceebs' from idea to implementation.

- Lessons learnt from implementing a chatbot

- Communicating how the technology works and gaining executive buy-in

- Free up capability and improve efficiency

  • Brandon Davis Customer Service Manager City of Kingston

Case Study

Understanding your customer's wants and needs is crucial to ensure a positive customer experience. At Willoughby City Council, Mustafa's team have leveraged customer feedback to understand channel preference. As a result, they have balanced human-centred design with implementing robotics and AI to streamline services.

- Using VoC to understand customer's preferences

- Implement new technologies and improve customer satisfaction

- The benefits of using human-centred design

  • Mustafa Ghulam Business Improvement & Customer Experience Manager Willoughby City Council


This is the perfect opportunity to get up close and personal with our speakers and find solutions to your most challenging digital transformation issues. In this interactive breakout session, speakers will each be workshopping a challenge associated with technology and transformation. Choose the challenge that resonates with you the most and pick their brains for the answers!

Case Study

With the rising demand to put the community first and be transparent with the spending of public money, Wyndham City designed their Capital Works Digital Dashboard. This innovative tool allows residents to find out what's under construction or being planned in their neighbourhood. Eilis will discuss how her team have rolled out this new tool, the challenges they've overcome, and the opportunities it has presented for improving the customer experience.

- Lessons from the Capital Works Digital Dashboard

- Improve the transparency of services

- Boost the profile of new technology to generate community engagement

  • Eilis Hughes Acting Manager, Project Management Office Wyndham City Council

Case Study

Tim’s mantra is: ‘To build a customer-centric service culture, an organisation must do more than just put the customer in the middle, it must also centralise the customer experts who are there alongside them’. Beyond the tools, tech and training, there are some long-standing processes and power dynamics within Councils that will require some fundamental shifts if a commitment to prioritising the customer experience can be genuinely delivered on. Tim will unpack some of these dynamics at both an organisational and team level, and explore some practical measures that can be taken to support the success of transformative customer first initiatives.

- Re-orientating power within teams and the organisation to lay the foundation for customer first

- Bridging the gap between the customer voice and decision makers

- Activating teams to own and drive customer centric practice

  • Tim Bearup Manager, Community Strengthening Frankston City Council

Case Study

Why is tunnel vision on just customer experience not enough? It's simple – you need happy and skilled employees and a cohesive improvement program to deliver desired customer experience. With employees as a crucial touchpoint shaping customer sentiment, having a workforce of brand ambassadors that deliver a consistent customer experience has never been more vital. Join Shweta to hear about the inextricable dual mandate to improve customer and staff experience and how digital leadership can foster a customer-centric environment.

- Insights into a successful transformation program and lessons learnt

- What is digital leadership and tools to deliver excellent staff and customer experience

- Developing innovation champions and brand ambassadors


In this interactive closing session, you will have the chance to collectively summarise key themes and ideas explored throughout the conference. Return to work with a clear plan of how you are going to implement new ideas and ensure your organisation is putting customers first.

- Reflect on key takeaways

- Create SMART goals

- Form your plan of action

Post-Forum Workshop

31 Oct


Your organisation has a vision for customer experience. You know what you want to achieve and you understand what your customers think, feel and do. But for some reason, it’s not happening. This workshop will uncover the importance of employee experience and how this is central to delivering an excellent customer experience. Cassandra will share practical strategies and tools for shifting culture and moving your organisation towards a customer-led, employee driven model. 

Making the connection between EX & CX

- How employee experience and customer experience align

- Where is your organisation at on this journey?

- Be curious and consider the central design intent of your organisational systems

Energising, engaging & enabling your employees

- Methods to empower employees

- Navigating resistance to change 

- Group activity - workshop your challenge 

Shifting the culture

- Moving towards a customer-led and employee driven model

- Inspiring a customer-centric culture in council staff

- Creating a workplace culture that enables and drives teams

Creating a plan of action

- Summary of key learnings and takeaways

- Define your next steps

- Identify who in your organisation can help you with this

  • Cassandra Goodman CX Consultant & Coach


Intercontinental Melbourne The Rialto

495 Collins Street, Melbourne, VIC, 3000, Australia

1800 593 932

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