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.

Rodney Harrex, Chief Executive, South Australian Tourism Commission was informally interviewed by Sandy Pitcher, Chief Executive, Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources.


Learn about our speakers

Rodney Harrex

Chief Exectuive
South Australian Tourism Commission

Rodney Harrex is the Chief Executive of the South Australian Tourism Commission, and responsible for marketing South Australia’s premium food and wine, unique wildlife experiences, destinations and sporting and cultural events and festivals to Australians, South Australians and the world.

Mr Harrex has spent more than 25 years in the tourism industry. Prior to his move to Adelaide in April 2013 Mr Harrex’s most recent position was Tourism Australia’s Regional General Manager, United Kingdom and Northern Europe. Some of his key achievements in this role included doubling Tourism Australia’s marketing investment through partnership activity, and being voted best Tourism Board in the UK three years running.

He has held extensive management positions in the fields of media relations, business development and international marketing, and worked in London, New York, Los Angeles, Auckland and Sydney.

Appointed Chief Executive of the SATC in April 2013, Mr Harrex has already seen Adelaide named one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 cities to visit in 2014, and the introduction of new direct international flights from Air Asia X and

Sandy Pitcher

Chief Executive
Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources

Sandy Pitcher commenced as the Chief Executive of the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources in January 2015.

Sandy was the Deputy Chief Executive of the Department of the Premier and Cabinet for 5 years. She was responsible for many areas, including the South Australian Cabinet Office, the Economic Analysis Division and the Strategic Engagement and Communications division.

In 2012 Sandy was awarded the South Australian Telstra Business Woman of the year for the Community and Public sector category, and went on to win the national title in November 2012. Previously she was Executive Director, Office of the Executive Committee of Cabinet, where she worked on the development of the 2009 State Reform Agenda and led the across Government implementation of South Australia’s Strategic Plan.

Sandy joined Cabinet Office at the end of January 2009, following a busy three years as the Director, Office for Women. In this role, Sandy led the implementation of the State Government’s plan for South Australia to become a national leader in gender equity. She was a delegate to the social inclusion stream of the Australia 2020 Summit in Canberra in 2008.

Sandy worked for four years in London, primarily as the head of Corporate and Parliamentary Affairs in the UK's Commission for Racial Equality, and has previously worked in Commonwealth public sector roles in Canberra and Sydney.

Educated at the University of Adelaide, Sandy has degrees in law and the humanities. She was raised in Mannum and has a 7 year old daughter, Matilda (Tilly) and a 2 year old daughter, Tess.

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12 October 2015

PwC, 11/70 Franklin Street, Adelaide SA 5000