On the Couch Chief Executive Series with Tony Harrison, Chief Executive, Department for Education and Child Development

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.  

Tony Harrison, Chief Executive, Department for Education and Child Development was informally interviewed by David Reynolds, Chief Executive / Under Treasurer, Department of Treasury and Finance.


Friday, 29 April 2016


PwC, 11/70 Franklin Street, Adelaide SA 5000


9:30 am (registration) 10:00 am - 11:00 am

Speaker Bios

This event is proudly supported by:


Tony Harrison, Chief Executive, Department for Education and Child Development

Tony Harrison was appointed to lead the Department for Education and Child Development (DECD) in July 2013. He has a strong background in public administration in addition to matters pertaining to child protection. He is also a keen advocate for supporting those with a disability, particularly children and young people.

Mr Harrison has extensive experience in high level organisational management, through his previous work as a Police Assistant Commissioner with SAPOL, as Director- General, Community Safety, and as Chief Executive of the South Australian Fire and Emergency Services Commission.  He is also the serving President of Minda Incorporated, the largest disability provider in South Australia.

As a member of the Australian Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs Senior Officials Committee (AEEYSOC) Mr Harrison has contributed to advancing the strategic role of national Directors General of education.

In 2014 Mr Harrison took on the national role of Chair of the new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Advisory Group (ATSIEAG).

In his role as chair of the ATSIEAG and as a member of AEEYSOC Mr Harrison has an important role in supporting the Education Council to achieve its priority actions and fulfil its planning, monitoring and reporting responsibilities. The Advisory Group has responsibility for the development of a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education Strategy.

Mr Harrison is committed to supporting the delivery of professional and contemporary education, child protection, and child development services. He is focused on ensuring the delivery of a highly integrated service delivery model to ensure young people are afforded the opportunity to reach their full potential in life.


David Reynolds, Chief Executive / Under Treasurer, Department of Treasury and Finance

David commenced as Chief Executive, Treasury & Finance, South Australia on 1 December 2015. In his previous role as South Australian Deputy Under Treasurer David was responsible for the SA government budget process and supporting the Treasurer and the government in its decision making. His responsibilities also include Government Accounting and Reporting and Veteran’s SA. He is chair of the joint DPC/DTF Human Resources and Health and Safety Committee and the DTF Executive Sponsor for both Innovation and Women in Treasury.

Immediately prior to being Deputy Under Treasurer David worked in Budget Branch for 8 years including as Executive Director for 5 years. During that period he was a lead negotiator for South Australia in agreements with the Commonwealth Government on the State’s participation in the National Disability Insurance Scheme and Gonski School Funding arrangements.

David has a Bachelor of Economics (Hons) from the University of Adelaide. He is a career public servant spending 3 years in Canberra after graduating before joining the South Australian Department of Treasury and Finance in 1995. While in the South Australian public sector he has worked in tax policy and revenue
forecasting as well as Commonwealth/State relations. This included the period of negotiating the revised Commonwealth/State funding arrangements arising from the national tax reform and introduction of the GST in 2000. David also worked in gambling policy for 5 years including as Director, Gambling Policy