Career. From chasing goats to working at Dip Falls, Circular Head Council general manager Tony Smart has had an interesting 40 years in the business.
Born in Hobart, Mr Smart moved to Togari with his parents in 1964. Following his education at Smithton High School, he went on to spend 10 years with Websters Limited and 12 months at Murphy’s Music before an opportunity at the council arose.
“Council advertised for a storeman clark to be at their new depot. They had acquired land and wanted to set up a new depot (now WorksPlus),” Mr Smart said.
“They needed someone with clerical and stores background . . . I was fortunate enough to get the job.”
Spending the next 10 years in this role, Mr Smart was instrumental in the establishment of the works depot. “That was a great 10 years!”
The following years saw Mr Smart take on several in-office roles, before another fresh opportunity saw him step outside to work on the parks and reserves.
Often taking advantage of his versatile position: “I was questioned on why I would be working at Brickmakers Beach or Dip Falls in the middle of summer on certain days, and out at the cemetery on bad days,” he laughed.
“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work that out!
“It gave me good grounding, it took the office person out of me and gave me a good look at the other side.”
As the years went by, Mr Smart took on various roles including acting manager of engineering and development, senior clark, executive officer and administration manager.
“Time went on and we moved into resource sharing,” he said of the council’s decision to share staff and resources with Waratah-Wynyard Council.
“I was appointed as the assistant general manager. I was in the role for five years when changes came around again and I was offered the position of general manager.”
Fast tracking 18 months forward, Mr Smart is still enjoying the challenge.
“I never thought I would be the general manager of the council. I was humbled, I was excited and I was frightened,” he said.
“Whilst I had five years as the assistant GM . . . all of a sudden it was on my shoulders but I wanted to have a go at it.”
Motivated to provide the best possible service to the council and his community, Mr Smart decided to further his studies in order to achieve this, completing a business management diploma, risk management and occupational health and safety studies in the early 2000s.
“The hardest thing I ever did was to try to do studies later on in life, [but] I knew I wanted to be the best that I could be.”
Celebrating 40 years with the council this year, Mr Smart has many fond memories.
“I reckon the funniest thing I was involved in was chasing some goats around Smithton, we got called the goat busters!”
While the position has been challenging, Mr Smart has enjoyed the diversity of working with various departments.
“What I have enjoyed most, quite honestly, is the resource sharing,” he said.
“It has allowed us to run the council as a business much better with other skilled personnel that we can’t afford on our own. There have been a lot of challenges with it, you have to have the right culture to bring everybody along because it’s not everybody’s cup of tea . . . you have to have everyone working as a team.”
And his sense of pride within the community has only grown stronger in the past four decades.
“Some of the most enjoyable things are seeing what we can do for people.
“I believe it makes you a part of the community. If you have your heart in it to want to achieve.”