Great leaders can build great organisations. Professional, purposeful and collaborative leadership in the public sector is essential as we face rapidly changing times in South Australia. It is how we lead in times of change that can determine the ongoing success of our sector.

This dynamic forum will engage senior leaders across the public sector to raise awareness and provide insights into how to manage the challenges of leadership in times of complex change. It will also explore how we can come together to achieve better outcomes for South Australians and continue to build a modern public sector.

Keynote speaker Professor Lisa Paul AO PSM, former Secretary of the Federal Department of Education and Training, will draw from her experience and career in the Australian Government and public sector to share her approach to, and her definition of, successful leadership. Lisa will discuss her insights into maintaining a strong culture and how to motivate teams amidst complex change.

Professor Helen Sullivan, Director of the Crawford School of Public Policy, will unpack some of the challenges, opportunities and benefits of collaborating across government in times of change.

SA’s Commissioner for Public Sector Employment, Erma Ranieri, and SA Health’s Chief Medical Officer and Chief Public Health Officer, Professor Paddy A Phillips, will then join both keynote speakers for a panel discussion.

Learn about our speakers


Change Management Consultant

Lisa was Secretary of federal government departments from 2004-2016 serving Prime Ministers Howard, Rudd, Gillard, Abbott and Turnbull. She left in 2016 to pursue new interests including consulting and Board Directorships. She Chairs the Audit Committee of the Australian Academy of Science and is a Director of the Future Battery Industry Cooperative Research Centre, the Australian American Leadership Dialogue and a Counsellor for Bond University. She advises an employment services company and two private equity firms. She was Chair of headspace, the National Youth Mental Health Foundation from 2018-2021, has served on the Government's Naval Shipbuilding Advisory Board, been a director of Social Ventures Australia, High Resolves, Schools Plus and other not for profit boards and has been a Director of two listed companies and one unlisted all of which sold successfully. In 2020 she led a new initiative of the Business Council of Australia to help bushfire affected communities recover under Sir Peter Cosgrove's leadership. In 2021 she Chaired a review into the Quality of Initial Teacher Education and also Chaired a Review of a program in the Defence portfolio. She consults on change management and is often found mentoring or coaching people or talking about leadership tough times."

Prof Helen Sullivan

Crawford School of Public Policy ANU

Professor Helen Sullivan is a leading public policy thinker and academic whose work has shaped understanding of the changing nature of state-society relationships and their implications for public governance. As Director of the Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy, she heads Asia-Pacific’s leading public policy school.

Helen is widely published and appears regularly in print and online media commenting on contemporary public policy issues. She is committed to bridging the gap between research and policy and has led and supported successful innovations in this area in both the UK and Australia. In 2017 she was appointed National Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia.

Prof Paddy A Phillips

Chief Medical Officer and Chief Public Health Officer
SA Health

Professor Phillips is Chief Medical Officer and Chief Public Health Officer for South Australia. His portfolio includes public health, emergency management, medical workforce and training, , libraries and research. His interests are in building a better health system through innovation, collaboration and leadership. He remains clinically active in acute general medicine with interests in health services research.

He was previously Professor and Head of Medicine, Flinders University, Flinders Medical Centre and Repatriation General Hospital, Adelaide. Before that Professor Phillips held senior clinical academic posts at the University of Melbourne, followed by Oxford University.

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.

View Event Resources

Thursday, 22 February 2018

(8:45am registration)
9:30am - 11:30am

Panorama Ballroom, Adelaide Convention Centre, North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000