On the Couch with Graeme Head, NSW Public Service Commissioner

IPAA's ‘On the Couch’ Chief Executive Series are informal Chatham House Rule interview sessions where a high achieving, inspirational individual is informally interviewed by a peer about their public sector ‘journey’, their experiences and why they have chosen their career and current role. Since its inception the IPAA SA ‘On the Couch’ series has acted as the host for a very significant number of former and current public sector leaders.  

Graeme Head, NSW Public Service Commissioner will be informally interviewed by Erma Ranieri, SA Commissioner for Public Sector Employment, Office for the Public Sector. Don’t miss hearing about Graeme’s   intriguing story; his career path, aspirations and what he sees as his priorities in his current role.

Speaker Bios


Wednesday, 6 April 2016


PwC, 11/70 Franklin Street, Adelaide SA 5000


9:00 am (registration) 9:30 am - 10:30 am



Erma Ranieri, SA 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.


Graeme Head, NSW Public Service Commissioner

Mr Graeme Head was appointed as the inaugural NSW Public Service Commissioner in October 2011. The Public Service Commissioner is an independent office holder. 

Prior to his appointment, Graeme had most recently served as Deputy Secretary with the Commonwealth Department of Health and Ageing and as Chief Executive of the Health Reform Transition Office in 2010-11.

Prior to joining the Commonwealth Government, Graeme had around 30 years experience in a variety of public sector roles in New South Wales, with more than 18 years in executive roles.  He was Director General of the former Department of Services, Technology & Administration (now the Department of Finance and Services) and Deputy Director General with the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC).   Before that he had spent 17 years in a range of senior roles in the environment portfolio and 11 years in the health system.