Disrupting the Silos: Optimising social and economic investment

The purpose of this Forum was to promote discussion and highlight examples of collaborative action across the South Australian government, and between governments and the community sector, and to consider ways to build joined up approaches which achieve better outcomes for the community.

Failure to collaborate often means the policies, programs and services we delivery are less effective than they could be, and the community is less well served, at times ‘falling through the gaps’.

So we wanted you to attend this important forum to be a part of the conversation and to:-

  • Tell us what you think
  • Tell us about your experiences
  • Hear from us about our experiences
  • Identify new ways of doing things together

Speakers and panellists included:

  • Hon Susan Close, MP, Minister for the Public Sector
  • MC: Ian Dixon, Managing Director, DIXON Partnering Solutions
  • Ruth Ambler, Executive Director, Cabinet Office, Department of the Premier and Cabinet
  • Prof Fran Baum, Professor and Director, Southgate Institute, Flinders University
  • Arman Abrahimzadeh, Founder, Zahra Foundation
  • Detective Superintendent Joanne Shanahan, Officer in Charge, Family and Domestic Violence Branch,
    South Australia Police  
  • Erma Ranieri, Commissioner for Public Sector Employment, Office for the Public Sector
  • Rev’d Peter Sandeman, Chief Executive Officer, AnglicareSA 

In collaboration with:

Anglicare SA and Change@SouthAustralia

Click here for speaker bios



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: Ian Dixon, Managing Director, DIXON Partnering Solutions

Ian is an internationally recognised partnering specialist who is at the leading edge of cross sector partnering development and practice. As a thought leader in achieving transformational change through cross sector collaboration and partnering, he is sought after as a strategic adviser, keynote speaker, coach and mentor.

Ian is passionate about the need for people to be able to work together differently to create solutions to solve our tough economic, social and environmental problems. He believes that we will need to find new and innovative ways of working together and develop high level partnering skills if we are to meet these challenges.

Since founding his business in 1999, Ian has worked on numerous partnering initiatives throughout the Australasian region. In recent years he has developed new programs and services to help build the capacity of individuals, organisations and sectors to partner effectively. He has also established strong relationships with international organisations such as The Patnering Initiative and the Partnership Brokers Association both based in the UK.

Ian has contributed to a number of boards, task forces and advisory bodies in South Australia and is a Foundation member of the Leaders Institute in SA. He was Independent Chair of the Native Title Resolution process in South Australia from 2000 to 2009 and is as an Independent Director of Ngaanyatjarra Council (Aboriginal Corporation) and Ngaanyatjarra Health Service in Central Western Australia.


Ruth Ambler, Executive Director, Cabinet Office, Department of the Premier and Cabinet

Ruth is currently Executive Director, Cabinet Office, in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet. She has been in the SA Public Service for approximately 15 years; most of those at Executive level. Ruth is a proud public servant and is passionate about delivering public value in all its diverse forms.
Ruth started her public sector career in human services policy, and has worked in a range of Departments, including the Attorney-General’s Department, the SA Dental Service, where she was General Manager, and the Courts Administration Authority, where she was the Director of Court Services (responsible for the Magistrates, Coroners and Youth Courts).

Prior to working in Government Ruth worked for Oxfam for 10 years, and briefly for UniSA. Ruth holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration.

She has been involved in IPAA for several years, starting out as a mentor and now as a Divisional Councillor.

She lives with her husband and two children in the beautiful Adelaide hills, and enjoys walking, reading and a good Chardonnay.


Prof Fran Baum, Professor and Director, Southgate Institute, Flinders University

Fran Baum is Matthew Flinders Distinguished Professor of Public Health and Foundation Director of the Southgate Institute for Health, Society and Equity at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia. From 2009-2014 she held a prestigious Australia Research Council Federation Fellowship. She is a member and past Chair of the Global Steering Council of the People’s Health Movement – a global network of health activist (www. phmovement.org).She also served as a Commissioner on the World Health Organisation’s Commission on the Social Determinants of Health from 2005-08. She is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia and of the Australian Health Promotion Association.  She is a past National President and Life Member of the Public Health Association of Australia.

Fran Baum is one of Australia's leading researchers on the social and economic determinants of health. She holds grants from the National Health & Medical Research Council and the Australia Research Council which are considering a wide range of aspects of health inequities and social determinants of health.  Her book, The New Public Health (4th ed. to be published November 2015 Oxford University Press), is widely cited and used in many public health courses.  


Arman Abrahimzadeh, Founder, Zahra Foundation

Raised in Iran, Arman migrated to Australia with his immediate family in 1997 at the age of 10. He graduated from Louise Laybourne Smith School of Architecture & Design at UniSA in 2010 and currently runs his own design and construction firm. He is an Australian representative in the martial art of Taekwondo and enjoys giving back to the community through his local Rotary club.

In March 2010, his mother Zahra was murdered by his abusive father at the Adelaide Convention Centre in front of 300 people. In 2013, after the criminal trial and sentencing, he became a White Ribbon Ambassador. He now passionately advocates for better policies, procedures and legislation to protect women and their children.

He is a member of the Adelaide White Ribbon Breakfast Committee and a founding member of The Zahra Foundation Australia, established in honour of his mother. He is also a board member for Educating to End Violence Inc. which is a not for profit organisation educating to promote the prevention or control of behaviour that is harmful or abusive to others.

In the past few years he has been involved in a range of events and forums, which discuss men's behaviour, violence in the home/workplace, and abusive and unhealthy relationships. He is also a regular speaker at SAPOL domestic violence cadet training.


Detective Superintendent Joanne Shanahan Officer in Charge, Family and Domestic Violence Branch, South Australia Police  

Detective Superintendent Joanne Shanahan commenced with the South Australia Police (SAPOL) in 1981 graduating from the Police Academy in 1983. During her career she has been posted to a variety of areas with her predominate focus being criminal investigations, including the Officer in Charge of Elizabeth CIB, Licensing Enforcement Branch, Internal Investigation Section and most recently as the Officer in Charge of Family and Domestic Violence Branch. She has previously worked on joint initiatives focusing on domestic violence and has been a committee member of a domestic violence service.

As the Officer in Charge of Elizabeth Criminal Investigation Branch she was in charge of, Serious Crime Investigations, Response, Victim Contact, Crime Assessment, Crime Cars, Crime Scene Examiners, Crime Management Unit, Child Abuse, and Domestic Violence. It was her time at Elizabeth CIB that she led and managed the complex investigation into the State’s largest Criminal Neglect and Child Abuse matter.

As the Officer in Charge, Licensing Enforcement Branch she had state wide responsibility for strategic issues that hold the interest of government, local councils and the media, particularly in relation to the topical issue of liquor consumption and the behaviour that goes with that. Much of her focus was instigating a multi-agency approach to issues that impact on the safety and well-being of persons living in or visiting the CBD, including licensing issues and alcohol related violence.

Detective Superintendent Joanne Shanahan participated in an overseas exchange program with the Kent Police in the United Kingdom and was given the responsibility of Officer in Charge of the Ashford District during that program.

In 2013 Detective Superintendent Joanne Shanahan was the SAPOL lead in the development of a new State initiative, the Multi-Agency Protection Service (MAPS). MAPS is a multi-agency trial of an information sharing model to manage domestic violence and child protection matters for the whole of South Australia. Based on a model in operation throughout the United Kingdom, it co-locates representatives from participating government agencies including South Australia Police (SAPOL), Department for Correctional Services (DCS), Department for Education and Child Development (DECD - incorporating Families SA), Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI), and SA Health with SAPOL as the lead agency.
In 2014 SAPOL launched the new Family and Domestic Violence Branch led by Detective Superintendent Joanne Shanahan. Amongst the responsibilities of this new Branch is oversight of the response, investigation and prosecution of family and domestic violence, management of support to family and domestic violence victims, management of intervention orders and management of multi-agency responses to incidents of family and domestic violence and child abuse.

Detective Superintendent Joanne Shanahan is a leader and mentor in SAPOL and in 2003 was recognised with the award of “Most Outstanding Female Leader” in the Australasian Council of Women and Policing Excellence in Policing Awards. Academically, Joanne holds a Bachelor in Social Science, Associate Diploma in Justice Studies, Graduate Certificate in Management and Graduate Certificate in Applied Management.


Panel Member: 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.


Panel Member: Rev’d Peter Sandeman, Chief Executive Officer, AnglicareSA 

Before taking up his role as CEO of AnglicareSA in November 2012, Peter Sandeman was Chief Executive of Anglicare NSW South, NSW West and ACT after serving as General Manager (Community Services) of Mission Australia.

Peter has a long history working for social and economic development in South Australia having been variously the Director of Disability Services, Director of Primary Health in the health department, Director of the Office of the North (social and economic development of the northern suburbs) in a whole of government capacity and Director of Case Management (of key strategic projects) in the department of trade and economic development.

Peter is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a Deacon of the Anglican Dioceses of Adelaide, Willochra and The Murray.

In June 2015 Peter was appointed a Professorial Fellow in the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences of the Flinders University of South Australia.