Huon Valley Council

Government and Local Council


The Huon Valley Council is the southernmost local government area in Australia. The area retains the beauty, charm and heritage of a bygone era, yet it is only a 30-minute drive from Hobart. The main townships are Huonville, Franklin, Cygnet, Geeveston and Dover.


CCS met with the HR Advisor of Huon Valley Council who like many service organisations in recent times has seen a spike in aggression and emotional customers. They were very happy with the standard MARATE Skill program and the outcomes aligned to what they wanted to achieve. This training was offered across the council to a diverse range of roles and functions, not just one service team.

The objective for this training was as follows:

  • Provide the knowledge and application of best practices when dealing with difficult customers.
  • Tools and strategies to defuse, communicate boundaries and read behavioural drivers
  • Improved self-management practices for better selfcare
  • Identify the requirements when managing heightened state individuals via different mediums ie. the phone, face-to-face or written communication.


This was so be delivered to a wide cross section of council services including managers and team members.

  • Customer Service
  • Waste Transfer
  • Youth Development
  • Field Workers
  • Sports and Recreation
  • Parks and Reserves
  • Compliance Officers
  • Planning Officers
  • Road Works
  • Administration
  • Surveyors


CCS specialises in providing difficult people training solutions for a range of industry and role specific needs. Managing Difficult and Demanding Clients is a workshop specifically designed for those in the sector providing strategies to manage complex client interactions and heightened state behaviours.

These were some of the key focuses of our workshop:

  1. Understanding Aggressive Behaviors and Defusing Techniques: The group successfully identified the underlying drivers of aggressive behaviors and applied effective defusing techniques in heated or emotional situations.

  2. Enhanced Communication and Self-Management: Participants gained an understanding of effective communication strategies in tense interactions, recognized personal reaction triggers, and worked towards developing successful self-management behaviors.

  3. Building Rapport and Setting Boundaries: The group adopted influencing strategies to steer towards desired outcomes, built better rapport, applied assertiveness techniques to respond to difficult individuals, and implemented healthy boundaries. They also applied healthy self-care techniques to reduce negative emotional impact and identified early warning signs for proactive management. Additionally, they understood how to read diverse communication styles, adapting accordingly for improved interactions.




This session was a very straight forward delivery and CCS had two simple touchpoints to measure results.

  1. Evaluation feedback directly from the session
    • Overall rating 4.5 out of 5
  2. Follow up conversation with the HR advisor to gain internal post-session feedback which was stated as follows:
    • Overall, we received positive feedback from the sessions CCS ran on MARATE Skills
    • Many participants stating they wished it was longer as they found it very valuable and practical
    • Many of the participants stated they found it easy to make the content relevant to their role even though there were diverse roles represented in the room.

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