Even in the midst of these challenging times, it’s vital to keep looking forward. IPAA SA is dedicated to supporting you in your work in the South Australian public sector, which is why the IPAA SA Team and Divisional Council are proud to present our Strategic Plan for 2020-23.
Over the next two years IPAA SA will continue in our ongoing aim of ‘supporting the public sector’, and through consultation with our members, we have identified 4 key areas that we will grow in. These four areas, include a strong focus on learning from the challenges of 2019 and 2020, from the bushfires that ravaged our state, to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We are privileged to be working with a public sector that has risen, above and beyond in meeting these challenges, and with the future insight, we hope to leverage these opportunities to support the public sector in whatever new challenges may emerge.
As we exist solely for our members and to best serve the needs of the public sector your input is essential in implementing our Strategic Plan. We hope that you will contribute by sharing your input in a short survey.
Explore in-depth the tools and strategies you can use to transform your communications in government, to have maximum engagement and impact. Whether you communicate internally, or externally this course will help save time and stress in producing content that will get you the greatest returns.
Nine new National Fellows of the Institute of Public Administration Australia were today announced by National President, Dr Gordon de Brouwer PSM, at an event held at Parliament House, Canberra.
The award of National Fellow is made annually to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to public service and to the Institute of Public Administration Australia, a tradition dating back to 1983.
Dr de Brouwer congratulated each of the new National Fellows on receiving this prestigious award and thanked each of them for their contribution and service.
The new National Fellows include:
National Fellows are entitled to use the post-nominal FIPAA.
Chris Dawson has provided long standing, distinguished service to the public sector in Western Australia in senior leadership roles within the Western Australian Police Force and was appointed Commissioner in August 2017.
In his time with the agency he has made a number of significant changes improving its capabilities to deliver a safer community for all Western Australians. This a personal investment in his agency’s relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Chris has also been responsible for coordinating the State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic as the State Emergency Coordinator.
Nationally Chris has worked as CEO of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and as Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology.
Chris is a strong supporter of IPAA WA, making time whenever his exceptionally busy schedule allows to speak at IPAA events. He is also a member of its Professional Development Special Interest Group.
Professor Evans has an international reputation in supporting change governance practices as a senior policy adviser and lead investigator on research and evaluation projects for 26 countries, the European Union, the United Nations, and the World Bank.
Mark has worked with every Australian state and territory and most Australian Government departments on change governance issues. In his current role as Director of Democracy 2025 — a joint initiative of the Museum of Australian Democracy and the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at the University of Canberra — Mark has driven a process of national reflection and renewal on how trust can be built and democratic practice strengthened in Australia.
Mark has served as an IPAA ACT Councillor since 2015, led several important discussions on public trust for the IPAA ACT Future Leaders Program, and chaired and spoken at several IPAA ACT events including the 2017 National Conference.
Christine Feldmanis has more than 30 years’ experience in financial management in the government and private sectors.
She has significantly contributed to the development of better governance processes for public sector bodies, and has been the Independent Chair — or Member — of the Audit and Risk Committees for some of New South Wales’ most significant public sector bodies, including the Departments of Justice and Communities, Premiers and Cabinet, Finance Services and Innovation, and Education, as well as Transport for NSW and the NSW Treasury.
For more than five years, Christine has generously supported IPAA NSW as a member of the Audit and Risk Committee, providing the Division with confidence to undertake a range of major projects which focused on investment in internal capability development: through the introduction of a new IT system, and a complete internal restructure of IPAA NSW in response to the post COVID-19 needs of the public sector.
Currently the Victorian Public Sector Commissioner, Adam has an abiding commitment to transformative public sector leadership and fostering cultures of collaboration and innovation.
Under his leadership, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning attained gender parity, not only across its executive management team, but also across all of Victoria’s water boards.
Adam developed the All Roles Flex policy which eventually became a service-wide initiative that enabled employees to have a meaningful level of control over when, where, and how work is accomplished.
Adam was recognised with a Public Service Medal in 2018 for outstanding public service to a range of government departments in Victoria, and has been a Male Champion of Change since 2015.
Adam has contribution to a wide range of IPAA events across Australia. He was made an IPAA Victoria Fellow in 2013, and served as Deputy President on the IPAA Victoria board from 2015 to 2017.
As CEO of Zoos Victoria Dr Jenny Gray has fundamentally changed the way the organisation defines itself, firmly placing the organisation at the forefront of Victorian threatened species conservation, with an unwavering commitment to its continued evolution.
Jenny has led the transformation of Zoos Victoria’s three zoos by aligning every aspect of their operations with achieving conservation gain. In 2017 she published ‘Zoo Ethics’, a book drawing on her PhD experience examining the ethical challenges posed for the operations of zoos and aquariums in the 21st Century.
Jenny served on the IPAA Victoria board from 2015 to 2019, and was made an IPAA Victoria Fellow in 2017. She is also a 2017 alumnus of IPAA Victoria’s Top 50 Public Sector Women.
Jenny remains an active member, speaking at IPAA Victoria events, most recently as ‘guest provocateur’ at the Integrity and Ethical Leadership Program alumni event held in May.
Elizabeth Kelly has been an extraordinarily effective senior leader in the Australian Public Service, working across programs with responsibility for innovation, digital strategy and industry support; service-wide responsibility for machinery of government, Cabinet, legal policy and governance issues; coordination of support to the Prime Minister; civil justice and legal services; strategic policy and coordination and ministerial support.
She has been a strong advocate for public service innovation, and as Deputy Secretary for the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources recently led four Australian Government task forces supporting the Department of Health by securing supplies of personal protective equipment and medical devices for the National Medical Stockpile as part of the government response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Elizabeth has played a significant leadership role at IPAA ACT in its transition to new governance arrangements, including a move to a company structure and the establishment of a Board.
Rick Persse has had a significant influence on a number of new initiatives across several government portfolios in South Australia, including the creation of Shared Services SA, and championing the government’s ‘Transforming Criminal Justice’ agenda.
In his current role as Chief Executive for the Department for Education, Rick has led two significant machinery of government reforms delivering on the recommendations of the Child Protection Systems Royal Commission. He also presided over the first major reform of South Australia’s education legislation since 1972, establishing a contemporary framework for delivering high-quality children’s services and compulsory education in the state.
Rick is a member of South Australia’s Senior Management Council, a key partner with IPAA South Australia in support of the public sector. Rick has been involved in several IPAA South Australia events and activities, and is a current member of the IPAA South Australia Divisional Council, contributing to its ‘2020–23 Strategic Plan’.
Robert is currently Commission Chief Executive of the Queensland Public Service Commission. He has worked in chief and senior executive roles across the Queensland Government in the policy portfolios of education, agriculture and primary industry, and public sector employment — as well as the private sector.
Robert has an outstanding leadership record in corporate governance, organisational reform, and leadership development. Most recently he designed a whole-of-sector recruitment process for all Director-General positions, was the principal architect of a collaborative governance model for the Queensland Government Chief Executive Leadership Board, and led the delivery of a sector-first Employee Mobilisation Service in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There is no stronger nor more visible champion of IPAA Queensland than Robert, guiding its strategy for building an impactful and financially stable organisation. IPAA Queensland’s successful re-establishment, over a nearly 5-year period, is testament to his commitment, persistence, and careful stewardship.
Mark Webb is Chief Executive of the NSW Department of Parliamentary Services, leading several major initiatives that include the development of the NSW Parliament’s first 10-year Strategic Investment Plan, the implementation and launch of the Parliament’s first E-petition platform, and a significant organisational reform program that attracted the single biggest government investment in the NSW Parliament’s history. He also managed the Parliament’s COVID-19 response with its catering team supplying meals to vulnerable members of the community.
Previously as Executive Director for Innovation and Services at the NSW Public Service Commission, Mark was responsible for the implementation of a sector-wide innovation strategy for whole of workforce data collection and reporting functions.
Mark is Vice-President of IPAA NSW and Chair of its Audit and Risk Management Committee. Most recently, he led a major organisational restructure of IPAA NSW in response to long-term changes in the NSW public sector and the immediate impact of COVID-19.
This text has been provided courtesy of IPAA National.
A new research report has found that the working from home experience of Australian Public Service (APS) employees, compelled by the COVID019 pandemic, has been overwhelmingly positive, realising benefits and dispelling some long-held concerns.
The recently published ‘Working during the Pandemic: From resistance to revolution?‘ report, written by Associate Professor Linda Colley, CQUniversity, and Dr Sue Williamson, UNSW Canberra, was prepared by UNSW Canberra Public Service Research Group and CQUniversity.
Over 6,000 APS respondents participated in a survey which was run in late June 2020. It aimed to capture the experiences of those working from home, as well as the attitudes, perceptions and experience of those not working from home.
The authors worked with the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) to develop the survey instrument, and the CPSU distributed the survey to their mailing list on the authors’ behalf. The sample was broadly representative of the APS workforce in terms of ethnicity, indigeneity, and ongoing tenure. It included about 20% non-union members and approximately 25% managers, across a broad range of occupations and agencies.
The researchers found that managers were highly supportive of working from home and that over 90% believed that their teams’ productivity was the same or even higher when working from home.
They found that nearly two-thirds of employees felt that they got more work done than when at the office. Nearly two-thirds felt that they had more autonomy, and employees also enjoyed the personal benefits, including less commuting time, more time with family and for caring responsibilities.
In the future, over two-thirds wanted to continue working from home on a regular basis for some of their hours. The key reasons for this included the ability to manage work and caring responsibilities, and the time for themselves and family.
From a managerial perspective, nearly two-thirds of managers indicated they would be more supportive of working from home in the future but interestingly, while managers are supportive, organisational culture may be lagging.
A limitation to the survey was a selection bias towards those working from home, resulting in an under-representation of those who did not work from home. While this reduced the number of responses to the authors’ questions about reasons people did not work from home, it did not diminish the responses from those who did.
A copy of the full report is available on the UNSW Canberra website.
Text and images courtesy of IPAA National
“My hope is that we have a new way of working in the future, and be able to adapt” – Commissioner for Public Sector Employment, IPAA SA President, Erma Ranieri FIPAA
The word “unprecedented” has been thrown around a lot recently to describe the situation we have found ourselves in, both as a nation, and a public service. COVID-19 though has indeed brought unprecedented challenges and changes to the way we live and work.
For leaders and managers at all levels, there has been a demand to quickly adapt to new ways of managing teams remotely and ensuring business continuity even through the height of the pandemic.
As we learned from our Virtual on the Couch guests, the challenges leaders have faced and overcome have been substantial and even as we move into the recovery phase, key leaders share that the drastic shift in workplace paradigm will remain with us. The question for leaders here, is how do you apply the lessons from leading in crisis to support teams and reach goals in the ‘new normal’?
“Leadership is an area where you are focusing on change. It’s being prepared to change yourself. It’s being prepared to lead people through those changes” – Chief Executive, Environment Protection Authority, Tony Circelli
It’s simple to stick to what we know and feel comfortable with, and COVID-19 certainly did the job of pushing many people far beyond their comfort zone. Appreciate your own capacity to adapt, knowing that you have led through one of the biggest crises of recent times. As future opportunities for change and new ways of doing things emerge, keep this in mind and don’t be afraid to go outside your comfort zone, in order to embrace these changes and opportunities.
“You have got to have clarity, you have got to have purpose and you have got to communicate, communicate, communicate” – Chief Executive, Department for Child Protection, Cathy Taylor
From all the public sector leaders that have joined us On the Couch one thing that has stood out is the importance of communication. We have seen across the sector and through messages to the public how vital it was that everyone felt informed and confident that they had the correct information. Looking forward, what lessons in communication can you apply to your role? Perhaps foremost is that in new work paradigms, where your team might not always be in close proximity, we need to engage in new methods and channels of communication. Staying connected with your team, even over distance, through digital platforms will help remote workers stay engaged and accountable.
“Leadership is about making sure people feel they are in, whatever your missions is, together” – Acting Chief Executive, Department of Human Services, Lois Boswell
As we all banded together to face this crisis, cohesion and teamwork were at an all-time high, and a key challenge for us now will be how to maintain this in the recovery period. Change is hard to maintain, and you will need to use all your skills in communication and emotional intelligence to find new ways to enthuse and connect your team about projects you are undertaking. The pandemic has taught us that communication matters, and that when your team members feel considered and part of the process, then there is a much higher will to perform and engage. As a leader, you will need to look for ways to bring your team together to reach goals, allocate work effectively and know where to build your team’s skills to enhance their confidence and ability to contribute.
“Healthier happier staff give you better returns as an organisation” – Chief Executive, Department of Treasury and Finance, David Reynolds
The experience of COVID-19 has been different for everyone, but whether big or small we have all been impacted in some way. As a leader, this may have meant a wake-up call to the different circumstances and challenges your team members are facing, where a high degree of emotional intelligence was needed to care for the health and mental wellbeing of your team. In the new normal, where flexible work and remote work becomes increasingly available, you should consider investing in building and developing greater emotional intelligence skills to communicate with people empathetically and effectively no matter what the future throws at you.
“If you create the space, leaders will step into it” – Rick Persse
Many leaders who have spoken with us have shared that longstanding silos have been seemingly demolished in the wake of the pandemic, bringing new opportunities for collaboration across departments. Leaders who excelled during this crisis demonstrated key attributes which they modeled to the rest of their team, including the expected behaviors to engage in, as well as how to hold a positive and resilient mindset. Adaptive leadership is perhaps the most apt term to describe the style of leadership required here, where teams are operating in often uncharted territory. Now is the time to build and develop your skills in adaptive leadership, as well as to understand how your leadership style impacts the performance and wellbeing of your team.
“Make sure that you are looking at them holistically, not just what they might be producing at their home or not” – Commissioner for Public Sector Employment, IPAA SA President, Erma Ranieri FIPAA
If we are embracing a new work model where remote work and virtual team management becomes part of normal practice, then you will encounter a need to shift your mindset around traditional styles of management and measures of performance. As many of the leaders who joined us On the Couch highlighted, performance can no longer be measured solely on the basis of ‘turning up’ each day. Instead, you need to look at the members of your team holistically- including their mental and social performance as well as their outputs. It has been noted throughout the pandemic that remote work has helped boost productivity levels, where people are getting more done in the day, removed from time eaters such as office chatter, etc. On the flip side of this however is that social isolation has had a negative impact on many people, so whilst we might be seeing increased productivity, we need to weigh this against mental wellbeing. If you are going to lead a remote team post-pandemic, you will need to make sure you have the skill set to help both yourself and your team;
Want to hear more? Our full Virtual on the Couch series is available to view here, where key SA public leaders share their insights on leadership styles, mantras and much more…
If there was one positive to take from the impact of COVID-19, it was the marked decrease in emissions and pollution, as industry around the world ground to a halt. However, as these industries ramp back up into production scientists are observing a return to pre-COVID ways.
Many are calling on the pandemic as a wakeup call to further reduce our environmental impact, with some experts now fearing an increased focus on economic recovery will push environmental concerns to the back burner.
“How do you get that economic, environmental, and socials equation around sustainability working for us?” – Chief Executive, Environment Protection Authority SA, Tony Circelli
As we continue into the recovery phase of COVID-19 there will undoubtedly be opportunities for policy makers around the world to tap into the experience of the pandemic. Many scientists continue to highlight environmental change as the major crisis for this century. The lessons we have learnt from the COVID-19 crisis will put us in good stead to use our new experience and knowledge to make big positive changes and make them stick.
Expand your learning with IPAA SA professional development…
The work of two Singapore-based researchers on the effects of ethical culture and ethical leadership on innovation as reported in the public sector has been published in the September 2020 Issue of the Australian Journal of Public Administration.
Examining the relationship between public sector ethics and public sector innovation is important because society has long expected employees and managers in public organisations to behave ethically, but increasingly also expects innovative and entrepreneurial behaviour. However, researchers have previously commented that these two behavioural expectations and the values they require may not necessarily align, and even compete in many cases.
Given that much of the evidence is rather anecdotal, and arguably outdated, Associate Professors Dr Zeger Van der Wal and Dr Mehmet Akif Demircioglu from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at The National University of Singapore, have empirically examined how ethical culture and ethical leadership are associated with realised innovation using 84,222 responses from the Australian Public Service Commission’s 2017 APS agency survey. This research has produced robust findings across agency, work location, job level, tenure, education, and gender and across different samples.
The researchers used a definition of ethical leadership described in 2005 by Brown, Treviño and Harrison as:
‘The demonstration of normatively appropriate conduct through the personal actions and interpersonal relationships, and promotion of such conduct among followers through two-way communication, reinforcement, and decision-making processes’.
The researchers believed that the Australian public sector would provide a suitable environment for studying the effects of leadership and culture on public sector innovation for a number of reasons.
Firstly, the Australian government has been among the most highly ranked globally in terms of innovation and effectiveness for years (see the 2017 work of the OECD and Pollitt & Bouckaert). Secondly, it was also an early adaptor of New Public Management, implementing private sector practices and ideas from the 1980s onwards. And thirdly, the country’s public sector has consistently ranked highly in the Corruption Perception Index run by Transparency International.
Continue reading the full article and access the research paper via the IPAA National website.
Erma Ranieri FIPAA, South Australia’s Commissioner for Public Sector Employment and IPAA SA President, joined IPAA ACT in the latest episode of their ‘Work with Purpose: A National Perspective’ podcast. In this interview Dr Gordon de Brouwer PSM FIPAA, IPAA National President, discussed the COVID-19 pandemic in South Australia.
“The clear message at the end of the day was that you keep talking to people”.
As highlighted by Commissioner Ranieri, while the pandemic presented a series of challenges it also showcased the real capability of the South Australian public sector.
“The innovation and resilience of the public sector were on display during this time, as they worked to support and collaborate with SA Health, SAPOL and other agencies to mobilise the sector to meet the unique needs of the pandemic. As the Mobilisation Coordinator, Commissioner Ranieri noted that this played a key role in the agile response to the pandemic.
“We have connected more than we have ever connected before”.
“COVID has shown what is possible within the public service”.
COVID-19 has also brought about a change to the existing paradigm for leadership and performance management in the workforce. The Commissioner is encouraged to see great outcomes in flexible work arrangements which are “reshaping the workforce to be more adaptable and diverse”. Commissioner Ranieri’s office and IPAA SA will continue to focus on fostering the skills and capabilities leaders need to adapt to this rapid shift in the workplace.
The Commissioner also highlighted the importance of awareness of mental health and wellbeing and the materials available to help leaders and employees to manage the COVID-19 pandemic:
The Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment continues to work with agencies to implement a peer support program and develop an online training program for new peer support officers to build on the existing skills of employees trained in mental health first aid.
The COVID-19 Mental Wellbeing Interview Series, also offers valuable new resources for those working in the public service, with advice and tips from experts in the field
The Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) will be presenting a three-part webinar series on ‘Leading People Through Disruption’, beginning on 25 August 2020.
The series will be presented by Dr Jo Cribb — one of the youngest people ever appointed as a chief executive in the New Zealand public service in 2012. Her work has focused on advancing the cause of vulnerable in society, spearheading some of the most difficult issues of our time, including child abuse, child poverty, family violence and vulnerable women.
The webinar series will give participants insights into how to make decisions during a time of crisis and maintain an inclusive and positive style of leadership.
Dr Cribb said that effective leaders created change in a values-based way, and the best were able to empower their staff and admit the limits of their own knowledge and ability.
‘Leadership is about mobilisation, bringing people together and making things better than they were before. You can have that influence at every level and everyone can be part of the leadership team’.
Dr Cribb also said that organisations were too complex and the problems that they had to deal with were too difficult for one person to have all the answers. Leaders needed to be honest and admit they don’t know everything —something particular true in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.
‘It is really important for authorities to be honest about what they don’t know when they communicate with the public.
This has been the experience in New Zealand and it has actually strengthened trust in government. We have been able to communicate really complex judgement-based policies and do so effectively.’
The first webinar will focus on leading people through disruption (25 August 2020).
The second webinar will explore what it means to be an inclusive leader under pressure (3 September 2020).
And the third webinar will look at ways to build an inclusive culture during crises (17 September 2020).
Those interested in participating in this series can register on the ANZSOG website.
Author: Frank Exon, Executive Director, IPAA National
In a recent address to staff of the Queensland Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, IPAA National President, Dr Gordon de Brouwer PSM, spoke about the profound impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on public services across Australia, and highlighted the importance of telling the stories of public service at the state, territory and national levels.
Gordon began by congratulating and thanking the public servants of Queensland and of Australia for their work during the pandemic:
‘You’ve made a profound contribution during a major health, social and economic crisis to protect and improve the lives of the Queensland and the Australian people — well done, and thank you.’
Gordon paid tribute to the speed, collaboration, and effectiveness that public services across Australia have shown in delivering their governments’ responses to COVID-19, and their capacity to ‘think creatively and to act, to change quickly and to do things differently’.
He recognised the importance of digital technology in dealing with the pandemic, both in alternatives to face-to-face engagement and in rapidly making more data available to inform government decision making. And he observed that ‘ministers and public servants have found that they could only do their job with others: be it within their own government, other governments in the federation, or with business and the community’.
Read the full article for free on the IPAA National Website.