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One of Griffith City Council’s brightest young employees received a top honour in Sydney last week.

Accountant and Grants Officer Alana Villata was presented the Col Mills Memorial Award at the NSW Local Government Professionals Excellence Awards Dinner on Thursday June 7, 2018.

Griffith City Council General Manager Brett Stonestreet congratulated 25-year-old Ms Villata on her success.

“This acknowledgment of Alana is very well deserved. We are extremely proud of her success. This award will allow her to develop and grow her career in local government even further,” said Mr Stonestreet.

In her role Ms Villata is involved in the financial report preparation, forecasting and budget duties within Council. She also assists and coordinates Council grant applications throughout the year.

“I am absolutely thrilled about the win. It was a complete shock to be awarded the winner as I felt I didn’t stand a chance against the other nominees,” said Ms Villata

“It was a great opportunity to represent Griffith City Council and network with a number of people who have experience and knowledge to impart. I am so grateful to have supportive people behind me such as Brett Stonestreet, Shireen Donaldson and Max Turner. I look forward to attending the National Awards at the National Congress and Business Expo in August.”

Ms Villata, who is passionate about the retention of Generation Y in the workplace, participated in the LG Professionals Aspiring Leaders Mentoring Program last year and presented in Sydney at the LG Professionals Hot Topics Conference. Her presentation focused on the future implications of Generation Y in the sector and provided solutions on how to retain them.

“I am passionate about the topic as I want to see change in current industry practices. I am hoping my voice has sparked discussion across the sector,” said Ms Villata.

“I am also an advocate for transitioning Local Government into the digital age while convincing the older generations that change and innovation is a positive thing. I want to see Griffith continue to grow. The world is going by so fast and I feel it is important that we keep up with everyone else.”

Ms Villata was a successful Col Mills scholarship recipient, receiving up to $1,500 towards any professional development opportunity (conference or training course) offered by LG Professionals, NSW. As one of the scholarship recipients, Alana was nominated for the Col Mills Memorial Award.

The Col Mills scholarship was formed in 1999, in memory of active member Col Mills, who was a strong advocate of creating opportunities for members to advance their professional careers.

The two best applications (one male and one female) as judged by the LG Awards Judging Committee, were awarded the Col Mills Memorial Award. Alana shared her win last Thursday with Russell Peake from Northern Beaches Council.