A Modern Public Sector: The Reform Agenda with Kym Winter-Dewhirst


Tuesday, 30 June 2015


Hall M, Adelaide Convention Centre, North Terrace, Adelaide


9:00 am (registration) 9:30 am - 11:00 am

Kym Winter-Dewhirst's Slides: Download Here

IPAA, in conjunction with the Office for the Public Sector, presented a Modern Public Sector – The Reform Agenda. The forum was hosted by Chief Executive, Kym Winter-Dewhirst from the Department of the Premier and Cabinet.

Kym shared his vision about future transformation and reform that will help build a modern public sector. The event aimed to inform public sector employees about why public sector reform is needed, what the reform initiatives are trying to achieve, and how the Department of the Premier and Cabinet aims to reach those outcomes.

The audience also learned how Kym’s background has helped inform the reform agenda, and how they can play a part in building an even better public sector.

Erma Ranieri, Commissioner for Public Sector Employment was the MC for the forum.


Kym Winter-Dewhirst, Chief Executive, Department of the Premier and Cabinet

Kym Winter-Dewhirst commenced as the Chief Executive of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet in January 2015, relocating to Adelaide from Brisbane.

Prior to returning to South Australia, Kym was a senior Vice President within BHP Billiton, based between Melbourne and Brisbane.

In that role he was responsible for the corporation’s government and community affairs covering operations in Colombia, New Mexico, South Africa, Indonesia and the East Coast of Australia.

Kym was intimately involved in negotiations for the Olympic Dam Indenture Agreement and was a co-author of the Olympic Dam environmental approvals, which at 20,000 pages in length, was the largest document of its type ever produced in Australia.

Kym has spent a considerable part of his career working and negotiating with indigenous communities around the world and across Australia, including the Dayak people of Central Kalimantan in Borneo, the Wayu People of northeastern Colombia, the Navaho of New Mexico and a range of displaced tribal groups in the north east of South Africa.

Kym spent 10 years with BHP Billiton and was previously head of government relations with WMC Resources.

Before joining the corporate sector he spent three years as Chief-of-Staff to the South Australian Environment minister, John Hill, six years as a political lobbyist and seven years as an environmental and political adviser for Senator Cheryl Kernot in the Federal Parliament and Ian Gilfillan in the SA Parliament.

He holds a degree in journalism from the University of South Australia and studied politics at Flinders University. He was largely educated in Europe as a result of his Father’s work as an Australian diplomat with postings to London, The Hague, Paris, Bonn, Cape Town, Ankara and Canberra.


MC: Erma Ranieri, Commissioner for Public Sector Employment, Office for the Public Sector

Appointed on 1 July 2014, Commissioner for Public Sector Employment Erma Ranieri works passionately to ensure the public sector is a trusted, respected, courageous and honest organisation.

The Commissioner holds a statutory role under the Public Sector Act 2009. The Act outlines principles and guidelines to improve and uphold public sector performance – it is the Commissioner’s role to bring these to life across government.

Erma is working towards creating a world-leading public sector that serves South Australians well, does what it says it will do, and to which every public servant is proud to belong.

Erma has worked for more than 30 years to help organisations optimise productivity and employee wellbeing. She was named 2014 Telstra Business Woman of the Year and SA Winner of the Telstra Community and Government Award for her role in leading transformational change throughout the public sector.

Erma currently oversees the Office for the Public Sector. The Office is responsible for a number of sector-wide reform programs, including Change@SouthAustralia.

Erma will continue to challenge cultural and structural barriers within the public sector to raise productivity and foster excellence. She is leading a cultural shift and creating a public sector that is more collaborative, innovative, and connected to the community.