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Gallery Director Dawn Oelrich finds herself wondering what she has in common with miners and sawmillers and found it was more than she imagined. 

Dawn, the Art Gallery Director for the Burnie City Council in North West Tasmania, is participating in the Council's Continuous Improvement Program, and with the encouragement of the 'BCIP Team' recently completed the much acclaimed 3 day Lean Leader course. Conducted at the Elphinstone Simulated Work Environment (SWE) and facilitated by lean specialists Productivity Improvers and their SWE teaching team, Dawn quickly learnt that the the power of lateral thought and empowering people runs accross all organisations.                This article has been provided by the Burnie City Council . 


Taking on the SWE solo!

Well done Dawn Oelrich for completing the Lean Leader Training which included a day in the Simulated Work Environment (SWE).

Dawn gave us some great feedback about how three days went, "Over the first three days of May I attended LEAN training which included SWE on the second day. I spent the first morning of the first day trying to figure out why an art gallery director would be in a training session with miners, sheet metal workers, boiler-makers and electrical engineers – oh and millwrights from the Bell Bay sawmill. I was also trying not to be too girly.

However as the day continued and then we were divided into the teams for the SWE it became apparent that the training can be relevant for anyone managing change in an organisation and those wishing to ensure the efficiency and safety of the their colleagues. The SWE especially was a great hands on project that showed the value of lateral thought and engaging the people “on the floor”.

Our team leader, Robert, from Elphinstone had a dry sense of humour so he made it easy to enjoy even though we were under some pressure to get the work done – which we achieved. The third day was a wrap with a final tour of the impressive Elphinstone Facility at Wivenhoe.

I came back enthusiastic and with some tools to make continuous improvements at the Gallery especially with pacing change and communication."

Productivity Improvers congratulates Burnie City Council for its whole of organisational approach to continuous improvement. For more information about Dawn's work visit


Our training and assessment is provided on behalf of Australian Maritime College (RTOID 60131).