Driving Innovation and Growth: The Diversity Dividend


Friday, 31 July 2015


Terrace Ballroom, Stamford Plaza Adelaide, 150 North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000


8:45 (Registration) 9:15 am - 12:30 pm

Rodin Genoff's Slides: Download Here
Video Links: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efrWsA0Q9U4
Polling Report: Download Here


New research shows that organisations that are more innovative, productive and perform better financially, are those that are more diverse.  Around the world, organisations are applying technology and smarter ways of working to ensure that they are maximising their available resources. Smart leaders from governments in Scandinavia to internet giants like Google and well known Australian companies including Telstra, Commonwealth Bank, Aurizon, Qantas and Atlassian are tackling this for its major productivity benefits.

Guests joined international cluster expert Rodin Genoff, and Narelle Hooper, former editor of the Australian Financial Review’s BOSS magazine, as they explored the latest research on how gender and diversity drives innovation, and as they provided practical steps that individuals and agencies can take to accelerate innovation. 

Guests also had the opportunity to hear the Premier and the Minister for the Public Sector explain why we need to strengthen our focus on building a more representative and diverse workforce, and why we need to reignite our efforts on achieving South Australia’s Strategic Plan Target 52, which aims for equal representation in executive positions in the public sector. Despite some progress, women still remain underrepresented in leadership roles.  We know that the numbers of women in leadership need to be improved to make our State a leader in this space.

With your input, we will reshape the future of gender equity in South Australia and make our public sector fit for the 21st Century.

Speakers and panellists included:

  • The Hon. Jay Weatherill - Premier of South Australia
  • The Hon. Susan Close - Minister for the Public Sector
  • Rodin Genoff – Author and International Cluster Expert
  • Narelle Hooper – Co-chair of the Financial Review-Westpac Women of Influence Awards
  • Anne Gale – Commissioner for Equal Opportunity
  • Erma Ranieri – Commissioner for Public Sector Employment

The Institute of Public Administration Australia SA and the Office for the Public Sector hosted the forum for all South Australian Government executives. The narrative supported the development of a Women in Leadership action plan being developed by the Office for the Public Sector, in conjunction with the Office for Women and the Office for Equal Opportunity.   


Hon Jay Weatherill MP, Premier

Jay Weatherill is South Australia's 45th Premier.

Jay was born and educated in Adelaide's western suburbs, completing his secondary education at Henley High School.

He is a lawyer with an economics degree, establishing his own business in 1995 and practising Law until he was elected as the Member for Cheltenham in 2002. Jay was subsequently re-elected as Member for Cheltenham in 2006 and in 2010.

He has previously held a range of senior Cabinet portfolios including Education, Early Childhood Development, Environment and Conservation, Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Minister Assisting the Premier in Cabinet Business and Public Sector Management, Families and Communities, Housing, Ageing, Disability, Urban Development and Planning, Administrative Services, Local Government and Gambling.

Jay and his wife Melissa have two young daughters, Lucinda and Alice.


Hon Susan Close MP
Member for Port Adelaide
Minister for Education and Child Development
Minister for the Public Sector
Member of the Executive Council

Susan Close is the State Member for Port Adelaide and was elected on the 11th of February 2012. Susan has lived locally on the LeFevre Peninsula for over ten years with Declan and her two children and is passionate about representing the people in their community. Before entering Parliament, Susan was a senior manager in the Environment Department. She has also previously worked at Adelaide University running student services and believes education is one of the best ways to transform people’s lives and give children the future they deserve. Susan has a long history of advocating for and supporting her local community.


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.


Mr Rodin Genoff, Managing Director, Rodin Genoff & Associates Sydney: Singapore

Rodin is an internationally recognised and award winning industry and cluster development specialist. Results of his work have been widely reported in the Australian and Danish financial press. Rodin is unique in his ability to turn regional and cluster strategies into investment outcomes and collaborations that lead to new global joint ventures between companies.

The success of Rodin’s Danish cluster project on developing an advanced manufacturing and engineering cluster was grounded in activating business partnerships that enabled companies to win new contracts. Success stories like this led the Danish Regional Authorities to commission him to write the book Engineering the Future outlining his regional cluster approach. The Region went on to fund his cluster collaboration model 50 million DDK or around AUS$10 million.

He was appointed as an international cluster expert by the OECD in Paris to contribute to a study on Measuring the Potential of Local Green Growth and by Vinnova, the Swedish Department of Innovation to undertake a review and map Sweden’s steel cluster.

Rodin’s current projects include leading the international cluster training program for Danish Cluster Excellence project. In Australia over the past decade he has developed engineering and mining clusters in Queensland and South Australia.

In November 2013, he was named as one of the World’s Top 100 Sustainability Leaders (along Richard Branson and Nicholas Stern).

He is co-authoring a book on the “New Economy” due for release in September 2015.


Narelle Hooper

Narelle is one of Australia’s most highly regarded interviewers and facilitators. She is also a corporate adviser and company director, who works with organisations to help them thrive in the digital world.

Narelle is a member of the Tasmanian Development Board, a director of the Documentary Australia Foundation and the St James Ethics Centre. Her special focus is on how leaders can make small, practical changes to help their organisations innovate and adapt in the global markets.

She was founding co-chair of Fairfax Media’s Australian Financial Review - Westpac Women of Influence Awards and former editor of the Financial Review’s award winning BOSS Magazine.

Narelle has recently advised the Business Council of Australia aspects of its long term Economic Action Plan and chaired the CEO Institute 2015 Summit. She facilitated the NSW launch of the Australian Property Council’s Male Champions of Change. And co-facilitated the Future of Work forum at the 2015 Vivid festival.

During more than two decades in business journalism, Narelle has worked as political correspondent for BRW, with ABC’s national current affairs programs AM and PM, Radio National and SBS Television. She studied journalism at Canberra University and later completed a Masters of Management (Financial Management) at MGSM.

Twitter @narellehooper


Panel Member - Anne Gale, Commissioner for Equal Opportunity

Anne Gale is South Australia’s Commissioner for Equal Opportunity. She has statutory powers to assess and conciliate complaints of discrimination and to inform the community about their rights and responsibilities under Equal Opportunity laws. Ms Gale’s 5 year appointment began on 17 September 2012.

Ms Gale was previously Deputy Commissioner for Consumer Affairs in Consumer and Business Services. Before being appointed Deputy Commissioner for Consumer Affairs in 2009, Ms Gale was Deputy Chief Executive of the Department for Families and Communities, with responsibility for Disability, Ageing and Domiciliary Care.

Ms Gale has also served in a range of other roles in other agencies over nearly two decades, including the Office for Ageing, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Human Services and the South Australian Housing Trust.

During her career Ms Gale has developed strategic plans and policy, and programs and services that promote people’s rights and assist people to live independently and develop self reliance and resilience. Examples include the South Australian Ageing Plan Improving with Age and implementation of the state Homelessness strategy. She has participated in many Commonwealth State negotiations and forums in Consumer Affairs, Ageing, Disability and Housing.

Ms Gale is a member of the South Australian Ministerial Advisory Board on Ageing and has been a member of the National Occupational Licensing Authority Board and a member of a number of community service and sport associations.