IPAA SA’s On the Couch sessions are a series of informal interviews with key leaders of the public sector. In their current roles, these leaders are seen as having a high degree of responsibility and influence over the future of the public sector and the people who work within it.

These interviews are aimed at looking at the person behind the role and focus on their interests, influences, leadership styles, career highlights, journey, aspirations, values and what they see as their priorities in their current role and insights for the future.

Our special guest for this event was April Lawrie, Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People. April Lawrie has been appointed the inaugural Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People, tasked with developing policies and practices that will improve the safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal children and young people. Key areas of focus for the role include improving health, education, child protection and justice outcomes.

This was a great opportunity to hear first-hand about the life and ideas of April Lawrie in an informal interview. The interview concluded with a brief Q&A session with questions from the audience.

All IPAA events include purposeful networking which allows you to:

• Build relationships with the speaker/s and fellow guests
• Develop your capabilities
• Establish connections across the SA public sector.

Since its inception, the series has acted as the host for a very significant number of public sector leaders including David Reynolds, Chief Executive of Department of Treasury and Finance, Commissioner Grant Stevens, Police Commissioner and Hon. Bruce Lander QC, Independent Commissioner Against Corruption just to name a few.

Learn about our speakers

April Lawrie

Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People
Office of the Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People

In December 2018, April Lawrie was appointed the inaugural Commissioner for Aboriginal Children and Young People in South Australia by the South Australian Government.
Commissioner Lawrie’s role is to develop policies and practices to improve the safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal children and young people, particularly in the areas of health, education, youth justice and child protection.

Commissioner Lawrie is a proud Aboriginal woman and heralds from the Mirning and Kokatha people from the Far West Coast of South Australia.

Commissioner Lawrie holds a Social Work Degree which led her to a range of Executive Leadership roles in South Australian Government Agencies including four years as the Aboriginal Justice Director in the Attorney General’s Department, ten years as SA Health Aboriginal Health Branch Director and two and a half years as Director of Aboriginal Education.

Over the last 30 years, Commissioner Lawrie has contributed to the formation of policy at the State and National level, and excellence in service innovation and community development with regard to Aboriginal health, education, child and family services, foster care services, justice services, across the metropolitan and regional areas, including rural/remote.

Commissioner Lawrie strongly believes that we need to bring the voices of Aboriginal children and young people and their communities into how we are designing and delivering health, education, justice and child protection culturally appropriate services so that Aboriginal children and young people can flourish. The Commissioner believes that to improve services and outcomes, we need to recognise the solutions coming from our Aboriginal communities and families and act upon them in a meaningful way.

April lives and works in Adelaide, is married and has three children.

Event brought to you by


30 May 2019

PwC, 11/70 Franklin Street, Adelaide SA 5000

Event Images

April Lawrie and Kim Cheater