After over 40 years in local government, Marananga’s Mrs Ann Nitschke has retired from The Barossa Council.
Ann, who recently finished up her role as Executive Assistant to the Director of Works and Engineering, just felt it was ‘her time’.
“It’s amazing just how quickly the whole time has gone,” said Ann.
Back in June, 1972 Ann commenced work for the former District Council of Tanunda with District Clerk, Mr Keith Goers – she was almost 16 years old and one of three staff.
But growing up in Tanunda, Ann had quite the grasp on the local community.
“Someone could say a name and I could tell you their address and phone number off the top of my head,” laughed Ann.
Ann resigned in 1988 to have her first son, Matthew, and remained home until her second son, Sam started school in 1995.
She then applied for an administrative position with the former District Council of Angaston, where the District Clerk/CEO at the time was Mrs Judith Jones.
The Barossa Council was formed through the amalgamation of the District Council of Angaston, the District Council of Tanunda and the District Council of Barossa in 1996.
The following year a portion of the former District Council of Mount Pleasant amalgamated with The Barossa Council.
Ann described this as a ‘trying time’, where existing staff were allocated positions within the new Council.
“The Executive Assistant to the Director of Works and Engineering ended up leaving. When the position became available I was able to apply and was fortunate enough to be appointed,” said Ann.
“That’s where I stayed! I was there when The Barossa Council moved its office from Angaston to Nuriootpa in 2007. When we got to Nuriootpa we were lost in the office space because there were spare desks around, now it’s packed!”
After the amalgamation, Ann became Executive Assistant to the Director of Works and Engineering at the time, Mr Michael ‘Bim’ Lange, working with him for 17 years and who is now the Mayor.
Ann said when Mr Lange resigned there was a period of time without a director, before Mr Peter Bice started, and now the current director is Mr Matt Elding.
Through her time she has not only worked under District Clerk/CEO’s Keith Goers and Judith Jones, but also Mr David Morcom and current CEO, Mr Martin McCarthy.
Another huge part of Ann’s role was the management of Council’s seven cemeteries.
Over the past 40 years, Ann has seen many changes with staff, as well as the operations at Council.
She recalls being there at the start of the installation of computers, but she left to raise her children for seven years. When she returned, it was a ‘whole different world’.
“Being home I missed the era of word processing, and I even had to undertake a typing test when I applied for the administrative position at the former District Council of Angaston,” she said.
“These were challenging times actually, as you know how much technology changes now in a year, imagine the changes in seven years.”
Despite all the changes to Council over the years, Ann said the things she has loved the most were being given the opportunity to use her initiative, working closely with her directors and having general knowledge of the community and being able to work with them.
Another thing she thoroughly enjoyed was working closely with elected members.
“They are very passionate regarding the community otherwise they wouldn’t be in their roles. I also loved being able to work with the community, committee members and general public. But it wasn’t always the easiest job,” said Ann.
Ann said her plans now post-retirement include craft, knitting and getting out into the garden. She also hopes to undertake a patchwork quilting course and may possibly persue volunteer work in the community.
“I always used to take my holidays during January, and that’s when I’d be all inspired about projects. I’d go off and source all these materials and just get it ready to commence, then have to go back to work,” she laughed.
“I’ve got projects sitting in the cupboard waiting for me to do. It will be nice to just get up in the morning and be able to spend four hours, or even all day, on them.
“The thing I’m going to miss though is the contact with people. I have been fortunate enough to work with some wonderful people while I have been with Council and they become like a family to you!”