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On the Couch with Brett Rowse

In partnership with PwC, IPAA (SA)'s Platinum Partner, IPAA several times a year showcases a high profile public sector leader in an On the Couch session held at PwC's King William Street venue. This is usually to an intimate crowd, of about 50 people, but this time around, no doubt because we were featuring the SA Government's Under-Treasurer, Brett Rowse, On the Couch was a sold-out event that gathered together over 90 people, including a significant number of public sector leaders.

Brett Rowse was interviewed by Stephen Halliday, Director of the Hawker-Britton Group and former Chief of Staff to Mike Rann, who posed a series of in-depth questions at a high rate of knots and with a great deal of warmth and humour. As a matter of fact, the anonymous survey we invited the audience to complete after the event, which captured the views of about a third of the audience, elicited a great number of remarks that commended Rowse for his openness, conviviality and affability. IPAA (SA) was also rewarded with feedback from some of the public sector executives present, starting with IPAA (SA)'s own President, Elaine Benstead, all of them more than happy to extend their feedback to IPAA's National Membership:

"The session with Brett Rowse, Under Treasurer, was extremely well attended and those in the audience were privileged to hear a very frank and open discussion from Brett. In a wide ranging interview Brett gave his views on State/Commonwealth relations, the outlook for the global economy and management skills in the public sector. He was also asked about how it felt being the "bad guy" saying no to budget bids. Talking to attendees after the session many commented very positively on how valuable they found the discussion and that it helped them understand the bigger picture perspective around the State Budget."

EB Chief Executive Office of TAFE SA

"It is very valuable and also refreshing to have the opportunity to listen to and talk frankly with a Brett, who has a passionate but articulate style and who is very open in his conversational approach. We are very fortunate with our Chief Executives in the SA Public Service that they are prepared and able to speak clearly to other executives as a critical element in the ongoing development of the SAES [South Australian Executive Service]."

Richard Muncey
Building Management Accommodation and Property Services
Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure

"In an engaging 'On the Couch' session, Bret Rowse gave an attentive audience clear insights into the finances of the SA public sector in the context of national and international economic conditions. It was an interesting and thought provoking session on a range of topics including the world economy, presenting compelling business cases for worthy projects, the directions for the public service in South Australia and Australia and what motivates a senior public sector executive."

Charles Moore
Director, Strategy and Performance
Strategy, People and Culture
Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy

Stephen Halliday, our savvy and penetrating interviewer, also had some words to add:

"Under Treasurer Brett Rowse gave us the benefit of years of experience as a Treasury official in Victoria, SA and Canberra.

While he acknowledged short term challenges he was optimistic about the future of a state economy on the verge of a mining boom – while revealing it didn't necessarily mean a 'goldmine' for the State's coffers given the funding equalization strategies of the Commonwealth.

He acknowledged the challenge Treasury and the public sector faced in recruiting and keeping talent in the face of a higher paying private sector and he felt in future we would see more movement between the private and public sector in executive ranks while accommodating older workers, working longer."

This event was proudly supported by