Government Team Building and Planning Days that are actually engaging

Build relationships, improve your culture, get clear on your priorities.

You know what it takes to bring a team together, there's just not always time to do it. As an effective leader you know you can't afford not to. Because companies with engaged employees outperform those without by 202%.

Pause on all the ‘doing’ and spend a day with your team, focused on ways of working, what really matters and creating an environment where your people can thrive.

You have a team culture whether you've spent time creating it or not. Be deliberate about embedding the way you want to work. Empower your people to do their best work and be excited about showing up each day.


Samantha Sutherland square

Planning days are the start of things. They’re where you bring your team together to get clarity on priorities and build relationships that work. It’s not just a box ticking exercise, but a place you can kickstart true cultural change and engage your team.

My collaborative approach lets us manage the information flow. I know when to stop for input so you get heard and they get heard.

I will:

Co-create your agenda, so it works for your team, meaning you get what you need

Provide hands-on activities and an engaging presentation, making the day memorable and effective

Ensure strong participant involvement gets everyone speaking


Enhanced workshop agenda

Get more out of your time. I use activities you won’t have thought of and create a structure that ensures input from everyone to meet your outcomes.


Stakeholder consultation and engagement

Sometimes in support of the planning day, sometimes as a stand alone item, and sometimes driving another project, effective stakeholder engagement improves the entire outcome. I get what you need from the people who matter.


Coaching and leadership briefings

I can work with your leaders following the planning day to embed positive working practices and cultural change. Individual coaching supports leadership development.


Effective, fun team building

Keep people engaged by making it fun. Laughing together releases endorphins and improves relationships through shared experience.


Dynamic, responsive, interactive experience

Things come up, and we roll with it, quickly responding to what’s happening in the room and where the focus needs to be.


High impact training, human design principles

Move beyond a glorified meeting format with full engagement for maximum impact.


Grounding in diversity and inclusion

Every voice is heard and individual needs are catered to, making the most of the diverse voices in the room.


With a wealth of experience leading Government workshops, my energetic team workshops and planning sessions pack a punch. You get what you need from the session, we’ll connects and align your team, and your culture and performance will improve.

The best thing is, you’ll be hands free.

Do what you do best, while I manage the process and keep everyone engaged.

In these dynamic, informal and interactive sessions, I’ll create an experience that gets more from your people. Using best practice facilitation techniques, sprinkled with fun, the day will have an impact long after you leave the room.
Activities create interactive learning experiences and establish commitments to shift the status quo. Encourage collaborative thinking on innovative solutions.

how I WORK

How to justify paying for a planning day

I get it. Budgets are tighter and planning days feel like something you could do for yourself. How hard can it be, right?

But to get the most out of your time together, you need to be clear on your objectives, hear from everyone, understand what activities work for different goals, and shake things up a bit.

Shape a stronger team culture.

Sometimes, the energy and insight of an external facilitator is the catalyst you need for change. My deep experience in government facilitation means I create high-impact workshops that meet your needs and lead to outcomes you mightn’t have time to achieve on your own.

Every team I work with is verging on burnout

With years of COVID, MOGs, adjusting to hybrid working and change fatigue, people are tired. Dedicating time to relationships and engagement, alongside creating clarity for what’s coming, materially impacts team performance.

Invest in the team now so they can give you more back

Discretionary effort comes from people who are engaged, supported and excited about the future. When a Planning Day is done well, that’s exactly what you get.


Sam was wonderful to work with: she quickly got across the issues and desired outcomes and made things exceptionally easy in the preparation. Her engaging style and her ability to steer and direct conversations in a way that let everybody be heard was wonderful. We got so much more out of the day and everyone’s time than we would have if we’d tried to run the session ourselves, and I would highly recommend Sam to any organisation.


There’s no way we could have got the outcomes we did without your excellent engagement in collaboratively designing and running the workshop. Your ability to think on your feet and quickly restructure the workshop (more than once) in response to unexpected events was particularly valuable.

Senior Adviser, Department of the Environment

Samantha was able to tailor an event to suit the personalities within our team. The team was engaged throughout and we left with tangible outcomes for the following 12 months. Sam lead the team well, challenging those that needed a push, providing support when needed and an infectious laugh to keep all of us in the spirit of the day. I found Sam’s workshops so valuable that I engaged her over a number of years. Highly recommend.

Manager, Clean Energy Regulator

Thank you again for yesterday, it was such a great day – you are excellent at what you do!

EA to HOD, Department of Industry, Science and Resources

I have been more engaged today, than in any other workshop in my ten years in government.

Workshop participant


Take a look at our thought leadership on how bringing government teams together increases effectiveness, clear strategy and strong relationships.

What people really want from a government planning day

I’ve run a lot of government team planning days, and every time I ask people what their major takeaway was. There are some pretty clear themes of what people enjoy and find valuable – here are three of them. 3 things people takeaway from government planning days 1. Being together […]

5 tips for improving your planning day

When you’re spending the time and money to bring your whole team together – sometimes that’s an entire Divison of 100 people! – then you need to make sure it has an impact. Here are five tips for making your planning day as effective as possible. 5 tips to improve […]

How facilitators add value

Lots of teams decide to self-facilitate team planning days. And look, it won’t be a complete disaster if you do that, but there are some very clear benefits to having a facilitator in the room with you. How facilitators add value 1. You get to focus on content 2. The […]

Increase participation in your team planning day

When you spend the time and money to bring the whole Brand or Division together for a planning day, you want to make sure you’re heading from everyone in the room. Diversity of thought leads to increased performance and innovation, so you need to make space for every person and […]

Combating Change Fatigue in Government

If you’re part of a government team, you know all too well how much change you’ve been experiencing lately. With new Ministers, MOGs, changes within departments, and and constant responsiveness to requests and external stakeholders, it feels like you’re constantly shifting and adjusting. Add to that nearly three years of […]

Are you all trying to solve the same problem?

In a recent ACT Government workshop, I asked everyone in the room to define 12 project elements. There were 30 people in the workshop, and we ended up with at least 10 different definitions for each element. Everyone was working on the same project, but they were all trying to […]