Staff in Profile with Max Phillips

We asked Max, a recent part of the Rec People team and now Recreation and Open Space Liaison officer at the City of Maribyrnong, 10 questions about his journey to a career in local government.

A key part of his journey was an internship at the City of Boroondara with Richard Dureau, who suggested Max should contact Mandy Nolton at the completion of his internship. So Max did and found himself on assignment at the City of Monash as part of the Rec People mobile workforce, and from there into his current permanent role at the City of Maribyrnong.

A truly inspirational story for those looking for a career in local government, it’s not just about experience, it’s about knowing the right people, and the right people are Rec People.

1.       What sports did you play as a kid

I played your traditional Australian sports like Australian rules and cricket mostly, but also tried my hand at racquetball, squash, tennis and basketball when I was a bit younger. I also attempted a variety of sports through high school which gave me a chance to escape the classroom for a day or two. 

2.       Who were/are your sporting idols

Being a keen Brisbane Lions fan I always idolised players like Michael Voss and Johnathan Brown. I always enjoyed watching Michael Hussey bat at the peak of his powers also. More recently, professional basketball has sparked my interest and I enjoy watching Giannis Antetokounmpo dominate other NBA teams.

3.       When did you work out you wanted to have a career in the sport, rec and leisure sector?

Sport has always played a big part in my life whether that be watching from the sidelines or competing at the grassroots level. I realised at a pretty young age I didn’t quite have the ability to play sport professionally (I blame my parents for passing on their height genetics), but always wanted a career within the industry.

4.       What did you imagine working in Local Government would be like pre getting experience and what is it like now that you have experience? Are there any surprises?

I was initially surprised by the amount of work and funding that is provided by Council to accommodate sport participation appropriately. There are a lot of moving pieces which is a good thing as there is always something to be working on.

5.       Why did you want a career in LG?

Having experienced the benefits grassroots sport can bring to a local community firsthand initially sparked my interest to begin a career in Local Government. I was keen to assist in providing people with these same benefits that I had experienced.

6.       What do you like most about your job?

Working closely alongside the community sporting clubs to assist them with implementing a successful season while sustaining healthy participation numbers. 

7.       What are your goals for the future?

I’d love to continue my work within the operational space of allocating sports grounds and being the main point of contact for all sporting clubs and other user groups. I have also really enjoyed working on sports ground and pavilion upgrades and can see myself working in a more projects-focused role in the future.

8.       Describe your experience of working with Rec People from approaching us to starting to work for us, what did you like about it?

My whole Rec People experience has been a pleasant one from start to finish. Rec People were able to support me while I developed my skillset with the end goal of securing work permanently within the industry.

9.       How did Rec People (Mandy) help you with securing a permanent job?

Without providing me with the opportunity to gain experience within Local Government I wouldn’t have the skill set to secure a permanent job. Mandy also provided training and advice around completing my specific job as a Club Liaison Officer effectively. Mandy also had a clear understanding of my end goal and continued to support me until I secured a permanent job at Maribyrnong City Council. 

10.   What advice would you have for anyone out there who does not have LG experience but wants to get a job in LG?

Take any opportunity to gain experience and develop your skills within the sector. This can be completed through short-term contracts with Council, volunteer opportunities or Rec People education courses. Most importantly, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask the question. My initial contact with Rec People was a conversation with Mandy over the phone which eventually lead to my first contract being offered. 

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