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AN IT leader who led an efficiency transformation for Douglas Shire Council in the midst of a global pandemic has taken out a state-wide award.

DSC’s Team Leader of Information Communication Technology (ICT), Garry Mason, overcame a swag of challenges during COVID-19 lockdowns last year to completely transform the organisation’s ICT systems from a cloud-based platform to in-house, reducing costs and increasing productivity within Council.

Garry took out the ‘Above and Beyond’ award at the Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA) Qld Awards for Excellence.

The awards ceremony, which was live-streamed across a number of councils, was attended by DSC Deputy Mayor Lisa Scomazzon yesterday afternoon.

Chief Financial Officer Tara Killeen said bringing the ICT system in-house was a mammoth task for the IT team.

“The transition was swift, successful and seamless,” she said.

“There were only very minimal issues for Garry and his team to iron out and the Council staff hit the ground running as if nothing had occurred.”

“We are all so proud of Garry who has gone above and beyond over the years to overcome even the most challenging circumstances.”

Council’s ICT DREAM TEAM – Mark Daly, Garry Mason and Tristan Burrows.

Garry is no stranger to a transformational project under pressure.

When DSC de-amalgamated from Cairns Regional Council in 2014, Council required its ICT systems to be designed and implemented, which can normally take up to two years.

Due to the urgency, Garry and his team achieved this in three months.

DSC Deputy Mayor Lisa Scomazzon, Award Winning ICT Team Leader, Garry Mason, and Chief Financial Officer Tara Killeen. 

While IT systems were up and running in a short time, ongoing challenges included poor connectivity, frequent dropouts, different platforms and duplicate environments.

Garry’s vision to rework the ICT platform  and move the systems from the external Cloud-based platform to an ‘in-house’ platform has been realised.

His team completed extensive project planning, stakeholder consultation and testing to mitigate risks and obstacles, but a curve ball was thrown in 2020 when COVID-19 lockdown struck and many staff were required to work from home.

Despite the challenges around colleagues’ varying levels of ICT skills, range of personal equipment, and assorted roles, the transition to working from home and to a new in-house platform was swift and seamless, testament to Garry’s exemplary IT management and leadership.


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