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REVIEW: Save Your City a "manifesto for civic culture revolution"

Australian local government executive Daniel Fletcher, GAICD released a report today called "The 8 Big Questions for Australian Local Government 2024". The questions he raisesfrom the rise of authoritarian leadership to city manager turnoverare universally relevant. In the section where he discusses rising incivility and its impact on local government, Fletcher provides the following compelling book review of Save Your City:

"Save Your City: How Toxic Culture Kills Community & What to Do About It" by Diane Kalen-Sukra needs to go 'straight to the pool room', it is an absolute cracker that you won't be able to put down and every current or aspiring public administrator 'must-read'. Easily the most user-friendly, contemporary, and relevant battle cry against the creeping venom of toxic culture that’s eating away at the fabric of our communities.

Kalen-Sukra pulls no punches and plunges into the murky depths of how a rotten culture can decay our cities, towns, and organisations from the inside out. She exposes the dark underbelly of community life, where negativity, apathy, and divisiveness fester and spread like a plague.

The best part though? This isn’t all doom and gloom. She lights a fire under our collective backsides, pushing us to confront these issues head-on. The book serves as a sober, noholds-barred guide to reclaiming our streets, parks, and town halls from the jaws of cynicism and decay. It's about taking a hard look in the mirror, owning up to our part in the mess, and then rolling up our sleeves to get to work.

Through compelling narratives, research, and case studies, Kalen-Sukra not only diagnoses the problem but also prescribes a potent antidote. She champions the power of community engagement, civic responsibility, and collective action as the keys to resuscitation and revival. The book is peppered with insights on how to foster an environment where trust, respect, and collaboration influence the progress of our communities.

In "Save Your City," Kalen-Sukra challenges us to be warriors for positive change, to reject passivity, and to ignite a movement for cultural (and organisational) transformation. It’s an urgent call to salvage our shared spaces, to nurture them into thriving, vibrant, arenas of life, and to ensure they remain resilient against the toxic tides threatening to overwhelm them.

If you’re fed up with watching your community wither, and crave a revolution in local culture, this book is your manifesto for meaningful, grassroots change.

Diane Kalen-Sukra recently hit up th Local Government News Roundup podcast with the legendary Chris Eddy, and let me tell you, it was epic. Wrap you listening gear around this, top up your ink holders, and be ready to scribble like mad. Kalen-Sukra’s dropping wisdom bombs left and right, and you’re gonna want to catch every single one.

Diane Kalen-Sukra is a contemporary public administration genius. It's like the wizardry of Gandalf and the wisdom of Yoda have been crammed into her brain. The force is strong with this one.

Diane will inspire your team with her knockout leadership training, unleashing some hard-hitting wisdom on your staff or those elected bigwigs. They won't know what hit 'em.

Daniel Fletcher , GAICD

General Manager, Communities & Liveability, Western Downs Regional Council; former Director, Local Government Administrators Associaion, Australia

🎥Watch Save Your City book trailer below.



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