For Chief Executive, Department for Health and Wellbeing, Dr Chris McGowan, the pandemic response has been a showcase of collaboration and innovation. In this Virtual on the Couch interview, Dr Chris McGowan discussed how his department structured their response to the COVID-19 pandemic by identifying 6 streams of work to achieve their 3 goals being “Flatten the Curve, Optimise the Public Health System and Keep Public Confidence”. Dr McGowan was interviewed by Tricia Tebbutt, Partner, PwC, where they explored Dr McGowan’s insights into the pandemic and responded to questions from the IPAA SA community and broader public sector.

Questions to Dr McGowan included…

  • Looking back on the last 3 months, what where the biggest challenges you faced and how did you respond?
  • Communication is key. What are some examples of how you communicated with your team and the wider SA Community?
  • What was it like in your department during the early weeks of the pandemic?
  • Where there some surprises during the early weeks that you weren’t expecting?
  • What do you think are some of the opportunities that have occurred that you want to take with you into the future?
  • What did you learn about yourself as a leader over the last few months?
  • How do you think SA can help demonstrate further support in developing leadership and emerging future leaders?
  • What’s the focus and priorities of SA Health over the next 6 months as we move into recovery?
  • What do you think would be the lasting legacy of COVID-19, both positive and negative?
  • The stabilization of the COVID-19 situation means moving from prioritizing suppression to focusing on detection to protect SA as we move into the recovery period.

As highlighted by Dr McGowan, support for emerging and developing leaders is essential. Learning and capability development is an important steppingstone in the leadership journey, providing the opportunity for self-reflection and growth. If you would like to learn more about leadership training opportunities are available both through the South Australian Leadership Academy and IPAA SA.

If you have watched this interview please feel free to leave your feedback and comments here.