The Office for the Public Sector, along with IPAA SA, was delighted to present A Level Playing Field – Gender Equality in Leadership Summit, an inaugural event to empower public sector employees to drive inclusive leadership where men and women are equally represented, valued and rewarded.

The program featured:

  • Rabia Siddique – hostage survivor, former war crimes prosecutor, international humanitarian and retired British Army officer
  • Christine Nixon – Men, Women and Systems “, what needs to be done to achieve equality.
    For quite some time it has been suggested that if we just “fix the women”, or “if the men just stepped up”, or if the HR, recruitment, reward systems worked fairly then all would be solved.
    The presentation will focus on the key changes that need to be made by Men and Women and to the systems they work within.
  • a lively debate between public sector leaders including Chief Executives
  • presentation on unconscious bias by Male Champion of Change, Martin Parkinson, Secretary, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • hands-on leadership development exercises “Keep your brain on the game” with Anna Lee.

Amanda Blair, Co-Chair of the Premier’s Council for Women was the MC for the day.

The new Gender Equality in Leadership Strategy was launched featuring the gender equality hat-trick: Leadership Accountability, an Empowered Workplace and Sustainable Talent Pipeline.

Learn about our speakers

Susan Close

Minister for Education and Child Development
Minister for Higher Education and Skills

Susan Close was first elected as the State Member for Port Adelaide in February 2012.

She was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Public Sector in February 2013.Following the 2014 State election, Dr Close was appointed Minister for Manufacturing, Innovation and Trade and Minister for the Public Sector. She was appointed Minister for Education and Child Development in February 2015 and retained the Public Sector portfolio.

Dr Close has also chaired two parliamentary select committee inquiries.

Before entering parliament, Dr Close was an executive in the public service and previously worked at Adelaide University as Director of Student Services. She and her partner, Declan have two children who attend public schools.

Amanda Blair

Premier's Council for Women

Amanda is a Board member of The Independent Gambling Authority, The South Australian Housing Trust and Nature Play SA. She previously sat on the Social Inclusion Board and spent six years on the Board of the Adelaide Festival and was a founding member of the Contemporary Collectors at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

She won a MO Award for Best Live Show in Australia in 2003 and in 2011 she won the St Mary of the Cross MacKillop Award for outstanding contribution to the Media from Archbishop Philip Wilson. She writes for The Australian Women's Weekly, The Advertiser and appears regularly on the Today Show on Channel 9. She's the Ambassador for The Hutt Street Centre, Foundation Shine, The Bedford/Phoenix Group and Time For Kids. Her individual fundraising efforts have raised over 1 million dollars.

Christine Nixon APM

Deputy Chancellor
Monash University

Christine is a Fellow of ANZSOG, The Australian Institute of Police Management, The Australian Institute of Management and The Institute of Public Administration Australia. She is also Deputy Chancellor of Monash University, Chair of Good Shepherd Microfinance and Chair of Monash College Pty Ltd.

As former Chair of the Victorian Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery Authority, from February 2009 to September 2010, Christine Nixon oversaw the largest recovery and rebuilding operation Victoria has ever undertaken. From September 2010 to July 2011, Ms Nixon was the Victorian Government’s Volunteer Advisor on Bushfire Reconstruction and Recovery. Christine continues to support affected communities, and worked with the bereaved community she remains a member of the Victorian Bushfire Appeal Fund panel.

Prior to joining the Authority, Christine was the 19th Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police leading 14,000 staff, operating across more than 500 locations and overseeing an annual budget of $1.7 billion. She joined Victoria Police in April 2001, after serving with the New South Wales Police from 1972 and attaining the rank of Assistant Commissioner.

Currently Christine lectures for ANZSOG in various courses. She also facilitates a leadership program with the not for profit organisation and runs her own “Women Leading Change” workshops. She mentors, consults and advises various organisations on leadership and organisational reform. She is a well-known public speaker.

Rabia Siddique

Humanitarian, Speaker, Author

Rabia is an Australian criminal and human rights lawyer, retired British Army
officer, former terrorism and war crimes prosecutor, international
humanitarian, hostage survivor, professional speaker, coach and published

Rabia has undertaken human rights and community aid work in the Middle East,
South America, the United Kingdom and Australia, receiving numerous awards
including a Queen’s commendation in 2006 for her work in Iraq, Runner Up for
Australian Woman of the Year UK in 2009, Australian Business Woman of the Year Finalist and being named one of Australia’s Top 100 Women of Influence. Rabia was also selected as a State finalist in the 2016 Australian of the Year Awards and has been appointed as a Director of the International Foundation for Non-Violence.

Having earned an international reputation as a powerful, transformative, inspirational and unforgettable speaker Rabia is in demand to address audiences around the globe. In October 2014 Rabia received a standing ovation from 1700 people at her TEDx talk titled ‘Courage Under Fire’ where she spoke about the power we all have to create the change in the world we wish to see.

In March 2015, Rabia was nominated for the Woman Lawyer of the Year Award and cited as a case study at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York. As nominee for the Professional Speakers Association of Australia (PSA) Keynote Speaker of the Year Award, Rabia was chosen to headline the 2016 PSA National Congress.

Rabia’s best selling memoir, “Equal Justice’ was published in Australia and New Zealand in 2013 and is now in its sixth reprint. Her book will soon be published in North America and Europe and an Australian/British feature film based on it is currently being developed.

Leading with professionalism, integrity, ethics and compassion, Rabia, who speaks English, French, Spanish and Arabic, is committed to peace, gender equality, inclusion and education. This is evidenced in her philanthropic work and dedication to inspiring others to find their voice and embrace their capacity to create ripples of change.

Rabia has run the London marathon and a double marathon in Australia for charity. She is a Mother to young triplet boys, her biggest and most rewarding challenge yet.

Erma Ranieri PSM FIPAA

IPAA SA President, Commissioner for Public Sector Employment
Office of the Commissioner for Public Sector Employment

Appointed on 1 July 2014, Commissioner for Public Sector Employment Erma Ranieri works passionately 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.

With the role of the public sector being to serve and support South Australia to thrive, Erma leads sector-wide reform to modernise the public sector and continue to build on its value and service to the South Australian community.

Erma has worked for more than 30 years to help organisations optimise productivity and employee wellbeing. She was named a 2014 Telstra Business Woman of the Year as SA Winner of the Telstra Community and Government Award for her role in leading transformational change throughout the public sector.

With a key focus on flexibility, diversity and leadership development to ensure the public sector is positioned as an Employer of Choice, Erma continues to challenge cultural and structural barriers to drive innovative, collaborative and connected services for the community.

Dr Martin Parkinson PSM

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Martin Parkinson commenced as Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet on 23 January 2016.

Prior to this Martin was a professional Non-Executive Director, serving on the boards of ORICA, O’Connell Street Associates, and the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce. He also served as a member of the Policy Committee of the Grattan Institute and on the Australian Federal Police Future Directions Advisory Board

From March 2011 to December 2014, Martin served as Australia’s Secretary to the Treasury. Prior to this, he was the inaugural Secretary of the Department of Climate Change from its establishment in December 2007. Between 1997 and 2000 he worked at the International Monetary Fund on reform of the global financial architecture.

Martin is a member of the Male Champions of Change and has previously served as: a member of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia; Chair of the Board of the Australian Office of Financial Management; and as a member of Prime Minister Abbott’s Business Advisory Council and Prime Minister Gillard’s Australia’s Asian Century Strategic Advisory Board. He has also served as a member of the Board of Infrastructure Australia, the Council of Financial Regulators, the Board of Taxation, and the Board of the Sir Roland Wilson Foundation.

In 2008, Martin was awarded the Public Service Medal for his contribution to the development of economic policy. He is a life member of the Australian Business Economists, National Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration of Australia, Fellow of the Australian National Institute of Public Policy, recipient of the ANZSOG Institute of Governance Public Sector Award for Excellence, and was awarded the Australian National University’s inaugural Alumnus of the Year in 2013.

Martin holds a Ph.D and a M.A. from Princeton University, a M.Ec from the Australian National University and a B.Ec (Hons 1) from the University of Adelaide. In May 2015, Martin was awarded the degree of Doctor of the University (honoris causa) by the University of Adelaide.

Anne Lee

LEED Consulting

After a diverse career spanning the higher education, publishing and entertainment industries, Anna established Anna Lee Consulting (ALC) in 2008, when her first child was 6 weeks old. Her mission: to support women to take charge of their lives and careers.

Over the next six years Anna worked with hundreds of women, primarily through individual coaching and two flagship development programs, Catalyst Women in Leadership and Springboard Women’s Career Development Program. Anna’s experience of working with women across all levels of organisational hierarchies, from recent graduates to CEOs, confirmed her long-held belief that workplace gender equality will only be achieved when change occurs at both the individual and systemic level.

In 2014, Anna’s desire to impact on the ‘big picture’ led to the merger of ALC and Leed Consulting. This move saw Anna partnering with her brother Diarmid, a specialist in organisational culture, to offer three interventions that are critical to organisations achieving gender equality:

Organisational culture change
Training in mitigating the impact of unconscious bias
Women’s career and leadership development programs.
Less than 18 months after merging, Leed launched Women Who Leed, the umbrella under which both gender equality consulting and women’s development programs are delivered. Among Leed’s clients are some of Adelaide’s biggest employers in their respective sectors, including Bendigo Bank, Minter Ellison, UniSA, Santos and Department of Premier and Cabinet.

While Anna continues to thrive on working towards gender equality, her understanding of how unconscious biases underpin human behaviour frequently sees her working with executive teams to mitigate bias, maximise effectiveness and make better decisions. She is particularly skilled at helping people develop cognitive habits that strengthen resilience and improve performance.

Anna has held various positions on executive and management committees, including State President of the National Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Services and State Convenor of the Australian Collaborative Education Network. Anna has previously held positions on the Boards of No Strings Attached Theatre of Disability and the Community Business Bureau. She is currently Chair of her children’s School Council.

View Event Resources

Thursday, 10 March 2016

(8:45am registration)
9:15am - 4:30pm

Adelaide Oval – Level 3, Western Stand, Ian McLachlan Room, War Memorial Dr, North Adelaide SA 5006