Magazine of the Institute of Public Administration Australia - Queensland

• INTERVIEWS • OPINIONS • IDEAS DECEMBER 2008 - ISSN 1327-9149
FACILITATING
ORGANISATIONAL
CHANGE
The Role of Communication
>> page 6
PRIORITIES &
PITFALLS
The Queensland
Public Sector
>> page 16
QUARTERLY
THE FUTURE
OF MANAGEMENT
Gary Hamel
>> page 12
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2 Public Interest - December 2008
Magazine of the Institute of Public Administration Australia - Queensland
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The Role of Communication
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The Queensland
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>> page 15
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Gary Hamel
>> page 12
A YOUNG PROFESSIONAL IN
Welcome to the December issue of Public Interest C
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CONTENTS
‘The Public Interest’ is published by the Institute of
Public Administration Australia (Queensland Division)
PO Box 15624,
City East,
Brisbane Q 4002
Phone: (07) 3228 2800 Fax: (07) 3228 2888
Email: publicinterest@qld.ipaa.org.au
Print Post 444 840\0021
Institute Contacts
President
Margaret Allison
Chief Executive Offcer
Peter Rumph
Training & Regional Services
Siobhan McCarville, Lauren Just, Shelley Kenny,
Ilona Sipowicz-Lysiak, Lorren Greaver
Finance & Corporate Support
Nick Jovanovich, Caroline Brudell, Nickie Westacott,
Monica Jovanovich
National Conference
Cath Healy
Research
Naomi Puchala
Membership & External Relations
Eden Platell, Simone Lee Long, Chani Murphy,
Kerri-Ann Thiele
Email correspondance to publicinterest@qld.ipaa.org.au
Layout
Effgy Creative (www.effgy.com.au)
Phone (07) 3265 4445
Printers
The Buckner Group
Phone: (07) 3865 9677
Publication Dates
The ‘Public Interest’ is published quarterly.
Advertisers Note
Your attention is drawn to the Trade Practices Act of
1974 and the provisions of the Act which apply to
advertising. It is not possible for the ‘Public Interest’
to ensure that advertisements which are published in
the journal comply in all respects with the Act. The
responsibility must therefore be on the person, company
or advertising agency submitting the advertisement
for publication. IPAA reserves the right to refuse any
advertisement without a statement of reasons.
Advertising
All advertising should be directed to:
Eden Platell
Phone: (07) 3228 2825, Fax: (07) 3228 2888
Email: publicinterest@qld.ipaa.org.au
Website: www.qld.ipaa.org.au
Editorial Deadline
December 08 edition: 30 Janurary 2009
Articles, opinions, research, reviews all welcome.
Email: publicinterest@qld.ipaa.org.au
From the President 3
From the CEO 4
IPAA Queensland
Annual General Meeting 2008 5
Meet Your Council 5
The Role of Communications in
Organisational Change 6
Getting Engaged:
Stakeholders and Queensland
Government Agencies 10
2009 IPAA National
Conference Update 11
The Future of Management 12
Welcome New Members 13
Over the Horizon 14
Priorities and Pitfalls of the
Queensland Public Sector 16
Hawkes’ Eye View 21
Tucker’s Box 24
YP Update 26
IPAA Queensland Update 27
Cover story:
A Young Professional in New York (pg22)
A YOUNG PROFESSIONAL IN
Public Interest - December 2008 3
FROM THE PRESIDENT
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Welcome to the
December edition of
the Public Interest.
Annual Public Sector Conference
This year’s Annual Public Sector Conference
was a resounding success with a sellout crowd
and great presentations from speakers like
Ken Smith, Ann Sherry, Helen Silver and
Carmel McGregor.
Concurrent sessions on topics such as
infrastructure, social inclusion and attraction
and retention were also very popular while
the fnal panel session with participants from
the Prime Minister’s 2020 panel received
rave reviews. Many of the presentations
are available to watch on our website,
along with presentation notes so head to
www.qld.ipaa.org.au to check them out.
Council Elections & AGM
September saw our AGM introduce some
new faces to the IPAA Queensland Council
– congratulations to Frank Prostamo and
Fiona Krause who have joined our Council for
the frst time. I certainly look forward to working
with you both over the coming years.
We also welcomed back some familiar
faces and sadly said goodbye to one of our
dedicated Councillors, Anita Hicks, who has
decided to take a break from Council this term.
My thanks go to Anita for all of her hard work
over the last few years. Also leaving Council
was Jude Munro as Jim Varghese stepped
into the role of Immediate Past President.
Having worked with Jude for some time now
I know the commitment and hard work she
put into the Council and thank her for her
outstanding dedication and contribution.
A full list of your current Councillors can be
found in this edition.
An exciting addition to the AGM program
was a presentation from one of our young
professionals, Chandni Gupta. Chandni told
of her experiences completing an internship
at the UN in New York, a story she shares with
us in this edition. Her fascinating journey is
a fantastic reminder of the fexibility on offer
in the public sector.
Annual President’s Address
By the time this edition goes to print the
2008 Annual President’s Address will have
taken place. This year we were lucky enough
to have Hon Dr Geoff Gallop AC accept our
invitation to share his thoughts on ‘putting
the public back into the public sector’.
Another highlight of the 2008 President’s
Address is the presentation of a $10,000
cheque to the Hannah’s Chance Foundation.
All year we have been raising money through
our events, and together with a contribution
from IPAA Queensland we have hit the
$10,000 mark. This is a fantastic effort which
I’m sure will make a big difference to the
foundation. My thanks go to all of you who
have contributed across the year!
Bring on 2009!
Already there is an exciting array of
projects in the pipeline for 2009. Final touches
are currently being made to our 2009 program
of events with an exciting new event being
introduced to recognise and reward the best
and brightest the public sector has to offer.
Planning is also underway for our suite of
training programs and for our research
initiatives like the Principles of Good Practice
guidelines. We have some exciting changes to
membership being planned and of course we
have the 2009 National Conference being held
in Brisbane in November – what a year!
I would like to thank you - our members,
partners and stakeholders for your support in
2008 and wish you all the very best for a safe
and happy Christmas and New Years.
I look forward to seeing you all again
in 2009!
Best wishes,
Margaret Allison
President
4 Public Interest - December 2008
How time is fying! F
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Well, we are all a year
older and hopefully we
are also a lot wiser.
FROM THE CEO
In earlier articles I have talked about the
things we have introduced and the changes
IPAA Queensland has undergone. While none
of these have been “earth shattering”, it has
meant we now have a slightly different focus
to the way we operate and the priority we
give to activities.
2009 promises to be an even bigger
and brighter year for the Institute. In fact,
there will be several great new initiatives that
will not only test our internal capabilities,
but also position the Institute as the
pre-eminent professional association for
Public Sector Professionals in Queensland.
Firstly we plan to celebrate the 150th
anniversary of Queensland as a state with
two signifcant projects. 2009 will see the
introduction of the annual IPAA Queensland
Public Sector Excellence Awards for individuals
working in all three tiers of the Public Sector.
Nominated by peers and judged by
an independent panel, these awards will
recognise excellence across several criteria and
will be the only such awards recognising the
contribution of individuals in the profession
of public administration.
To coincide with these awards,
IPAA Queensland will recognise the
outstanding contributions to the public sector
by Queenslanders over the past 150 years.
The frst inductees into our “Hall of Fame”
will be announced at the 2009 Excellence
Awards event. Further details will be
announced shortly.
While there are many more initiatives
planned for 2009, perhaps the largest will
be the 2009 IPAA National Conference,
being hosted by the Queensland Division in
November 2009 at the Brisbane Convention
and Entertainment Centre.
Well over 600 attendees are anticipated
from across Australia and internationally.
Speakers covering a range of topics will
present on the most stunning array of
topics, which are all aimed at improving
the quality of public administration both
locally and nationally. While it is hoped to
include the Prime Minister as a principal
speaker, internationally renowned researchers,
practitioners and commentators will ensure
the two-day event is unforgettable.
Quite simply, IPAA Queensland plans to
make the 2009 conference the very best ever
hosted by a Division of the Institute.
All-in-all 2009 looks to be challenging,
enriching, full of promise and likely to be the
best year yet for the Institute. I can only hope
the year holds as much promise for you and
your families.
Best wishes for the holiday season!
Warm regards,
Peter Rumph - Chief Executive Offcer
If you were PM for a day, what would you do?
I would outline my leadership policies on new
innovations in organisational outcomes and
encourage reforms, and attempt to encourage
public participation and engagement in fnding
solutions to pressing problems the country faces.
Who do you admire and why?
I admire Premier Bligh as she is the frst female
Premier in Qld and Australia. Premier Bligh
has grasped politics quickly and is doing an
honourable job. M
E
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Usha
Adams
Position
Nursing Offcer
(Psychiatry
Services)
Agency
Queensland Health
Location
Gold Coast
What do you like most about the Public Sector?
I love the team I work with, the current
developments in reforms, innovations, research,
in providing better client outcomes in the
context of current challenges. I feel that the
Public Sector provides support and opportunities
for career development.
Would you recommend the Public Sector
to work in?
Absolutely.
Public Interest - December 2008 5
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Here’s a list of your Councillors following
the 2008 AGM.
PRESIDENT Ms Margaret Allison
Brisbane City Council
IMMEDIATE PAST Mr Jim Varghese
PRESIDENT Springfeld
Land Corporation
VICE PRESIDENT Mr Ray Lane
Queensland Transport
VICE PRESIDENT Dr Patty Renfrow
Public Service Commission
SECRETARY Mr Don Bletchly
Dept of Main Roads
ASSIST SECRETARY Ms Sandy Beach
QUT
TREASURER Mr Stewart Saini
Disability Services Qld
COUNCILLOR Ms Karen Anstis
Australian Taxation Offce
COUNCILLOR Mr Tony Gibson
Spirit 3H
COUNCILLOR Ms Tanya Hornick
Aust Bureau of Statistics
COUNCILLOR Mr Dan Keating
Queensland Police
COUNCILLOR NEW Ms Fiona Krause
Shared Services Agency
COUNCILLOR Mr Paul Martyn
Dept of Tourism, Regional
Development & Industry
COUNCILLOR Mr David Mills
Queensland Audit Offce
COUNCILLOR NEW Mr Frank Prostamo
The Public Trustee of Qld
COUNCILLOR Ms Glenda Richards
Queensland Health
COUNCILLOR Mr Noel Rumble
Qld Transport Nth Region
COUNCILLOR Mr. Greg Tosh
Logan City Council
COUNCILLOR Dr Jennifer Waterhouse
QUT
IPaa QuEEnsland
2008 aGM
Tales about shopping
and meeting the
ever-tempting
George Clooney in
new York are not
usually considered
aGM business,
but that’s how we
kicked off the 2008
annual General
Meeting at
IPaa Queensland
this year.
Young professional member
Chandni Gupta shared her experiences
completing an internship at the United Nations
in New York, providing an insightful and
entertaining opening to this year’s AGM.
The night also provided an opportunity
to celebrate the achievements of two of our
members who were awarded the prestigious
title of National Fellow. IPAA Queensland
President Margaret Allison and Dept of
Employment & Industrial Relations Director-
General Peter Henneken were announced as
2008 recipients at the National Conference
in Sydney in June and received their awards
at the AGM. Congratulations Margaret and
Peter!
The night also saw the presentation of
the 2007/08 Annual Report and Financial
Statements. The report highlighted the
progress IPAA Queensland has made in
consolidating its systems, processes and
services to make the organisation more
effcient and effective.
Once the report and other motions were
passed it was back to business with some
serious networking.
MEET YOuR
COunCIl...
new Councillor Frank Prostamo chats with
Councillor Tony Gibson
Vice-president Patty Renfrow talked with visiting
international member Kennedy Otachi
(l to R
) P
aul W
illet, C
hristine Flynn &

M
ike B
urnheim
caught up at the a
G
M
6 Public Interest - December 2008
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in Facilitating large-Scale Organisational Change
By Andrew Metcalfe, DIAC
THE ROlE OF
COMMUNICATIONS
Type the word
“communications”
into a Google search
and you will come
up with about 400
million references!
The reason that
there is so much
discussion about
the subject of
communications
is because of its
paradoxical nature:
it is at once,
both easy
and diffcult.
I would like to share with you some
of my own experiences as the Secretary,
communicating to staff and external
stakeholders about all of the issues surrounding
what I believe to be one of the largest business
and cultural transformations undertaken by
a government department in Australia
in recent decades.
I will talk to you about how I have been
conveying the message about this important
task, so that all 7000 DIAC staff in some
100 locations throughout the world, have a
shared understanding of where we are going
and what we want to achieve.
Three years into this major change
program, it is no understatement to say that
without a clear and explicit commitment
to communications throughout the entire
organisation, such a transformation could
not have occurred.
The catalyst for change
Let me begin by putting this story into a
historical context.
There were clearly serious failures in the
Department of Immigration, Multicultural
and Indigenous Affairs as it was then known,
affecting Cornelia Rau, Vivian Alvarez and
other people held unlawfully. These failures
were documented in the Palmer and Comrie
reports released in July and September 2005,
and subsequent reports by the Ombudsman.
In his report at the time, Mr Palmer
noted a ‘culture that is overly self–protective
and defensive, a culture largely unwilling
to challenge organisational norms or to
engage in genuine self–criticism or analysis’.
More broadly, the Palmer and Comrie reports
focused on leadership, governance, training
systems support, the relationship between
policy development and implementation, client
service delivery and records management.
These issues required an urgent response.
It is clear to me as Secretary, appointed
immediately following the Palmer report,
that the department had to acknowledge
failures had occurred. We had to develop
an organisation–wide understanding of why
the department as a whole had to change
and improve. This had to start immediately,
but could not be achieved overnight.
We also had to recognise the considerable
experience and insights of people who had
worked in the pre–Palmer environment,
while being clear that nearly every aspect
of the organisation needed fundamental
reform. We also had to bring in new people
to bring new ideas and energy. We had
to engage people at all levels across the
department, to ensure ownership of the new
approach and the new ways of doing business.
We had to acknowledge that major failures
had occurred, with tragic results. But we
also had to recognise that in some areas, the
department is a world leader – for example,
in planned migration programs, in refugee
resettlement and in border technology.
And we had to recognise that some staff
had been directly and personally affected
by working for long periods in diffcult and
sensitive areas of administration.
These were complex issues and we had
very little time to resolve them — we were
under signifcant pressure to show quick
results that the culture of the department was
changing for the better.
Importance of communication
There is no use in trying to engineer major
cultural transformation if the message goes
no further than the senior leadership team.
We had to communicate effectively with all
staff and stakeholders so that we had buy–in
at all levels. Change and reform can only
occur if everyone is involved – staff need to
hear the message, understand it, own it –
otherwise nothing can change. And the fact
that the department has 7000 staff in around
100 locations throughout the world,
often working in diffcult and sensitive
circumstances, meant that we had to be clear
and consistent in our messaging.
Public Interest - December 2008 7
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When I began as Secretary of the
department in July 2005, the government
and many stakeholders were eager for change
to occur and many staff recognised that the
status quo was not working. Staff at all
levels needed to understand we all needed to
embrace our new ways of working.
We developed a small, high–level team
– the Change Management Taskforce –
which met with myself and the deputy
secretaries every morning for four months,
to craft the messages that would be
communicated to staff, cut through any road
blocks and calibrate all the different streams
of activity underway. We needed to make it
clear what was important and where we were
going. In some ways, this was the easiest and
yet the hardest part of the whole process.
It was easy because it wasn’t diffcult to defne
the key elements of our vision. The hard part
of creating a new vision was to develop
ownership among the staff for these goals
and the cultural change required. This is where
communication became absolutely crucial.
Since the Palmer report, we have worked
very carefully to clearly communicate the
appropriate behaviours and values for the
organisation as a whole. At the same time,
the magnitude and nature of the culture
change required, meant that all staff had to
be participants in the process. It was essential
that each staff member felt ownership of the
department’s new direction. As I mentioned
earlier, we had to develop a collective
understanding across the organisation, of who
we were and where we were going.
We started by developing a very clear
statement of what we do, through our motto –
people our business. Our motto was developed
after asking for staff input, so there was
ownership and pride taken in this fundamental
statement of what our work is about.
We added another level of detail by developing
three strategic themes for the organisation to
guide every aspect of our work.
These are to:
• beanopenandaccountableorganisation
• have fair and reasonable dealings with
clients, and
• ensurewell–trainedandsupportedstaff
We have now reinforced this with
comprehensive business plans and individual
performance discussions.
As I mentioned earlier, from the very
frst day that I started as Secretary, I was
determined that all staff should understand
the need for change and how the changes
were occurring.
In addition to many face–to–face
meetings, I now speak to all my staff twice
a week, through an all–staff email, and all
Senior Executive Service staff once a week,
also by email. Messages have been sent out
twice a week, from the very frst week I started
at the department, in July 2005. As at this
morning I am up to around 400 messages
sent! Each message is crafted not only
to inform staff about important
developments and issues, but they can all be
mapped back to our three strategic themes,
which I mentioned earlier.
But communication needs to be more
than frequent, it has to be meaningful –
and it has to be two–way, to involve listening
as well as talking. Staff are encouraged to
provide feedback through my Secretary’s
email box. And let me tell you, I know for
certain through the emails I receive from staff,
there are many frank and fearless public
servants in my department! However, it is
important that they have a channel to speak
directly to the Secretary, if they so choose.
And it gives me the opportunity to learn on
a daily basis, the issues that are important
to staff.
Another key communication/feedback
tool has been our Staff Surveys. We have
held one survey for each of the years I have
been Secretary, and the surveys have been
invaluable in assisting the executive to
shape the department into the sort of place
where staff are happy to work. The 2008
DIAC Staff Survey participation rate was
85.2 per cent which is a very good response rate
for an electronic survey (an increase of nearly
5 per cent on last year). We have also
encouraged staff input and incorporated
their suggestions into the DIAC Strategic
Plan 2008–11, the department’s key document
for the future.
I have held regular “town hall” addresses
to staff, recognising their work through events
such as our own Australia Day celebrations
and awards, announcing major new changes
following federal Budgets, or highlighting the
work of particular business areas.
Communicating in a way people
will listen
Immediately post–Comrie and Palmer,
we recognised we had to build up the
department’s communications branch
capability because it would provide the skills
and equipment needed to get many of the
messages across.
We did this, and apart from our monthly
DIAC People on–line magazine, we now have
our own highly professional monthly TV
style news program, highlighting the work
being done by staff, created at a surprisingly
modest cost to the department. Staff access
the program through our intranet site.
Our departmental cameramen have followed
Immigration offcers working for Seaports,
processing the papers of sea crew entering
Australia. They have flmed compliance
training operations, gone out on the road
with regional outreach offcers and flmed
citizenship ceremonies around Australia.
Web analysis shows that more than 4000 staff
view the Our People video program within
24 hours of it being posted on the intranet.
I am able to communicate with staff
through podcasts and vodcasts on a regular
basis, when important announcements have
to be made. We have also flmed training
Tere is no use in trying to engineer major cultural transformation if the message goes no
further than the senior leadership team. We had to communicate efectively with all staf
and stakeholders so that we had buy–in at all levels.
8 Public Interest - December 2008
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in Facilitating large-Scale Organisational Change
By Andrew Metcalfe, DIAC
THE ROlE OF
COMMUNICATIONS
programs, that help staff to communicate
better with each other which are placed
on the intranet for all to use. For example,
we recently launched a program showing staff
real–life role plays on how to conduct their
twice–yearly performance interviews. It showed
staff how to prepare for their interviews, and it
showed supervisors how they should conduct
the interview, and the sorts of discussions they
should have with team members.
This expanded communications capacity
has been particularly important, given that
a large proportion of our staff are under
30 years of age and are very busy.
Research has indicated that this age group is
more likely to retain information presented
to them through contemporary, high–tech
methods such as podcasts as opposed
to the traditional presentation methods.
This communication method has, in my view,
been key to engendering the type of long term,
cultural change required in my department.
Good communication doesn’t mean not
having fun
But in addition to all these “serious”
messages, we have also introduced some plain
old–fashioned morale–boosters, to improve
communications between staff. Simply said,
our social clubs do great work for staff
and the communities we live in. The DIAC
National Offce Social Club raised a total of
$64, 000 last year for local Canberra charities
through events such as our annual Ball;
Christmas Party; Shave for a Cure; Red Nose
Day, Salvos Red Shield Appeal, and so on.
And we have raised just over $54,000 so far
this year. I have to make a sheepish confession
here. There are not many Secretaries who
have been coerced by their Social Club into
wearing a very tight, white lycra Elvis suit,
resplendent with a black latex wig – all in
the name of charity, of course. Our staff
are also enthusiastic contributors to the
Red Cross blood service – winning the
competition amongst Canberra public sector
agencies in recent years, including some much
bigger departments.
Another old–fashioned communications
tool I insist on is that both I and all of our
Senior Executive Service offcers must spend
some time on a DIAC front counter or with
operational staff at some point, each year.
I have done this so our senior leaders truly
understand what it is like for our staff
operating at the coal–face of what can often
be demanding and complex work.
Stakeholder Engagement
One of the major issues identifed in
the Palmer and Comrie reports was that the
department knew little about its stakeholders,
let alone engaged or communicated with
them. As a result, we set up a strategic
priority for ourselves as an organisation of
signifcantly improving our relationships with
our stakeholders.
We hold annual forums in capital cities
around Australia, where our stakeholders can
talk directly to senior staff and policymakers,
and provide valuable insights and viewpoints
into the policy process. At the same time,
our staff can explain to stakeholders the
challenges and complexities of developing
government policy. This has established a
robust and mutually benefcial relationship
between us and our stakeholders.
Communication through improving
client service
We have also taken steps to raise our levels
of client service – to aspire to excellence in
client service – a lot of which is based on
better communications with our clients.
One simple step was to ask all our staff to
wear a name badge, to present an open and
welcoming image.
In a 2008 survey carried out by the
University of Queensand Social Research
Centre, just over 82 per cent of clients were
‘satisfed’ to ‘very satisfed’ with services
provided by DIAC. This is up from 79 per cent
in 2007. Less than 8 per cent were ‘dissatisfed’
to ‘very dissatisfed’, down from 15 per cent
in 2007. Levels of “courtesy” by DIAC staff
also jumped from 72 per cent in 2007 to
82 per cent in 2008.
So you can see that our external clients
and stakeholders are defnitely registering
the change in DIAC’s culture and the way
we do business. For instance, Peter Gillson,
the Vice President of the Society of Consumer
Affairs Professionals noted that he had been
looking closely at what DIAC had been doing
with our Client Service Charter, and our
Service Standards, and has described it as
“leading edge”.
I must add however, that our minister quite
rightly continues to request improvements
in the way we deal with clients, so we are
continuing to focus on further improving our
customer service. We can always do better.
Media
As I mentioned earlier, we built up
our National Communications Branch in
recognition of the need to communicate all that
we were doing. This included communicating
to external audiences through the media.
Prior to the development of the branch,
we were literally deluged daily with an
avalanche of negative media. It is fair to say
that the department was not media–friendly
— understandably so. But it had to change.
We had to be able to communicate to the
community and our stakeholders about the
massive changes that were going on within
the department. We tore down
the bunker and put
up a sign that
said: “Media
Section: now
open 24 hours
per day, 365
days a year.” The
media now knows
they can call our media
team (most of whom are
ex–journalists) at any time,
and will get a response. On
a normal working day, the
aim is to have a response to the
media enquiry within 60 minutes of
receiving the call.
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We are also developing an on–line
newsroom, which will be a large repository of
broadcast and press quality audio fles and
visual fles, which can be used by the media.
It means we are able to highlight the great work
being done in many areas of the department —
not just simply responding to media enquiries.
We’re making it easy for the media to use
the flm footage and audio fles that would
otherwise be only used internally.
Departmental business
In the midst of all of this, the department
is getting on with the daily business of
immigration, settlement and citizenship.
We are working at a fast pace, refecting the
engagement of Australia and Australians in
the wider global economy.
For example, last fnancial year, we:
• processedmorethan24millionpassenger
and crew arrivals and departures
• answered 1.7 million phone calls at our
Sydney and Melbourne contact centres
• granted nearly 3.6 million visitor visas
offshore
• processed13,000refugeeandhumanitarian
visas
• granted over 158,000 migrant visas and
110,000 subclass 457 (temporary skilled
work) visas and
• granted citizenship to nearly 170,000
people.
The government has announced a
range of reforms in the area of compliance,
detention and asylum seeker processing,
while maintaining a strong focus on our border
integrity. Earlier in the year, the government
ended the ‘Pacifc Strategy’ with the closure
of the Nauru Offshore Processing Centre.
The Temporary Protection visas for
asylum seekers have been abolished,
resolving the status of some 1,000
refugees in Australia, and of
course, the recent landmark speech
by the minister on our new directions
in detention.
The government has also frmly established
in the public arena that migration is a central
pillar of nation building and the key to our
national prosperity. In my speech at the
L21 Public Sector Leadership Conference I
outlined some of the announcements by the
minister in the 2008–09 Budget. This speech
is available on the department’s website if
you are interested. In summary, they include
increases to the Migration and Humanitarian
Programs; strengthening measures to help
migrants develop their English language skills;
the reform of the Subclass 457 visa, and the
recently announced Pacifc Seasonal Worker
Pilot Scheme.
Conclusion
Much has been done over the past three
years to change the Department of Immigration
and Citizenship into the organisation it is
today. It is fair to say that not one single area
of the department has remained untouched
by the massive cultural and business
transformation that is currently occurring.
This has happened while the organisation
continued with “business as usual” –
and a record migration program.
I frmly believe that without a serious
commitment to strong and effective
communication at all levels, we would not
be where we are today – a department that
is committed to our motto of: people our
business, and working to our three strategic
themes of:
• being an open and accountable
organisation
• having fair and reasonable dealings
with clients
• havingwell–trainedandsupportedstaff.
I have no doubt that as an organisation,
we will continue to develop in our goals
of excellence in all areas of business,
because the foundations are now frmly in
place, and we are well and truly on our way.
And good communication will remain crucial.
Andrew Metcalfe, Secretary, Department
of Immigration and Citizenship presented
this paper at the Public Sector Change
Communications Conference in Canberra
in September.
I am able to communicate with staf through podcasts and vodcasts on a regular basis,
when important announcements have to be made.
QlD
HEAlTH &
IPAA QlD
PRAISE HR
PRACTITIONERS
IPAA Queensland supported
Queensland Health’s recent People Forum
by sponsoring the IPAA Queensland Project
Award as part of the Inaugural PRAISE
Awards dinner, held during the forum.
PRAISE stands for the new Human
Resources (HR) Program Recognising
Achievement, Innovation and Service
Excellence (PRAISE). Awards were given
to high performing HR practitioners and
HR Leaders, recognising the positive
impacts of HR projects.
Congratulations to the team members
involved in the following projects who won
the IPAA Queensland Project Award:
• TransitiontoRetirement
• RecruitmentImprovementInitiative
• UntappedLabourMarket
• HRGraduateProgram
• ImprovingWorkplaceCulture
IPAA Queensland also had a booth
at the conference (with the ever popular
massage chairs!) and a book stall with a
range of HR focused books from the IPAA
Queensland Online Bookstore.
The forum brought together HR
practitioners from across Queensland
Health, allowing practitioners to further
develop their skills, to build their
professional networks and to share
thoughts and experiences about how they
have turned HR challenges into innovative
ideas with strong business outcomes.
Taking place at the Brisbane
Convention & Exhibition Centre in
November, one of the forum highlights
was the ‘Great HR Debate’ featuring the
2008 Queensland Health HR graduates.
10 Public Interest - December 2008
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Stakeholders and Queensland Government Agencies
By Sandra Beach
GETTING ENGAGED
During 2008,
the Public Interest
has featured articles
from authors
who presented
at International
Research Society for
Public Management
conference convened
by QUT earlier
in the year.
The following paper,
reviewing stakeholder
engagement, is the
third and fnal article
in the series.
Background
As a result of diminished trust in
government and the recognition that public
policy development is ineffective without
public participation (King, Feltey, & Susel,
1998), more recently, public organisations
have actively sought to create opportunities
for involvement on a range of stakeholder
groups. Engaging different stakeholders has
been seen as a means of improving the quality
of policy development by harnessing different
ideas and perspectives, and improving service
delivery by exerting pressure on bureaucracies
and creating more robust communities
through direct engagement in the planning
and delivery of services (Martin, 2003).
Given the potential benefts, the meaningful
and effective engagement of citizens
and other actors, including stakeholders,
in public decision-making processes is one
of the key issues facing public organisations
(Stern & Fineberg, 1996). Determining ways
of engaging those who could or should have
input into public decision making and action
is particularly relevant as governments struggle
to resolve complex social problems within an
environment of labour shortages, increasing
demand for services and reducing budgets.
The Stakeholder Approach
A recent study (Beach, 2008) of nine
government agencies operating at federal,
state and local jurisdictions in Queensland,
considered how these agencies undertook the
complex task of engaging with and managing
stakeholders. The top four issues that emerged
from this research were that:
1. Agencies have diffculty in identifying and
classifying stakeholders
2. The scale of the stakeholder task is massive
for large agencies
3. There is a lack of clarity about the costs
and benefts of stakeholder engagement
initiatives and
4. Agency/stakeholder relationships are
changing and new stakeholders are being
added to the mix.
The study also developed a comprehensive
framework of stakeholder engagement
techniques that may be employed by agencies
to connect with stakeholders.
Discussion
Stakeholder identifcation and
classifcation was diffcult for agencies
due to a lack of agreement about who
constitutes a stakeholder, the breadth and
complexity of the potential stakeholder pool
and the existence of stakeholders at many
different levels within the agencies.
Effectively classifying stakeholders is
particularly problematic for large agencies
with multiple service delivery objectives,
strong industry ties and regulatory roles
because the stakeholder pool is potentially
very large. One agency reported that it had
“at least 1,500 groups of stakeholders…”,
excluding project stakeholders.
While the agencies reported using a
wide range of initiatives to engage with
stakeholders, they were unable to identify
the implementation costs associated with
these initiatives or the benefts created.
Nevertheless, the agencies perceived that
the benefts associated with stakeholder
engagement outweighed the costs, with
one agency indicating that “the costs of not
doing it would probably be far greater than
the investment it takes to do it…”.
As relationships with stakeholders evolve
and adapt to environmental changes, it is
apparent that public agencies are seeking
to interact with stakeholders in ways that
are more open and relationship based.
Diagram One outlines some of the initiatives
identifed and their purpose
The agencies in this study also reported
perceived changes in organisational/
stakeholder relationships which resulted in
stakeholders being more actively involved in
development of solutions. However it is not
clear what factors drive agencies in making
choices about the types of stakeholder
Public Interest - December 2008 11
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Engaging diferent stakeholders has been seen as a means of improving the
quality of policy development
I hope by now you’ve heard that we’re hosting the 2009 IPAA National Conference
right here in Brisbane next November. We’re delighted to have the opportunity to bring
together the public sector community from around Australia and overseas for to address
signifcant contemporary issues and challenges facing the sector.
To ensure the conference is highly topical and relevant we have formed an Organising
Committee made up of Councillors, members and stakeholders. Our thanks go to:
Patty Renfrow – Committee Chair
Public Service Commission
Cath Healy – National Conference
Project Manager
Peter Rumph – CEO IPAA Qld
Margaret Allison – Brisbane City
Council & IPAA Qld President
Ray Lane – Qld Transport
Karen Anstis – Australian Tax Offce
Sandy Beach – QUT
Christine Flynn – Advanced Dynamics
Tony Gibson – Spirit3H
Dianne Jeans – Smart Service Qld
Anita Hicks – Dept of Tourism,
Regional Development & Industry
Gary Kellar – Reinforcements
Consulting Pty Ltd
Gary Mahon – Dept of Emergency
Services
Scott Prasser – USC
Rebecca Roebuck – Kellogg, Brown &
Root Pty Ltd
2009 IPAA NATIONAl
CONFERENCE UPDATE
Plans are well and truly underway and the conference is taking shape with a theme
and sub-themes now confrmed, along with the date and venue.
THEME: THE CHANGING Public Sector CLIMATE
SUBTHEMES:•Rising‘C’Levels(e.g.issuesofcapability,collaboration,etc)
•SurvivaloftheFittest(e.g.publicsectorstrengthsandweaknesses)
•WarmingtoGlobalTrends(e.g.internationalinfuences)
•SustainablePractice(e.g.innovativeandcreativesolutions)
DATE: 19/20 November 2009
VENUE: Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre, Southbank Brisbane
We’ve also established a dedicated website where you can currently register
your details to receive regular Conference updates and make suggestions regarding
speakers and/or topics that you’d like to see included in the conference program.
The website will also contain full conference information as it comes to hand,
www.ipaanationalconference.org.au
I look forward to updating you regularly with further developments as the conference
program develops.
Patty Renfrow – Organising Committee Chair
engagement activities required in different
policy and service delivery situations. Future
research is required to uncover and understand
the impact of these factors.
Conclusion
Government agencies are beginning
to come to terms with the complexities
of engaging with stakeholders. For large
agencies, the vast scale of the stakeholder
task is quite daunting.
This study also showed that Queensland
government agencies are seeking to build more
collaborative relationships with stakeholders
as a means of improving public outcomes.
To foster these relationships, stakeholder
engagement activities need to be ft for
purpose, open and transparent and create
value for the parties involved.
The next step however, is for agencies
to more effectively classify stakeholders so
that engagement strategies can be specifcally
tailored for different stakeholder groupings.
This approach will determine the relative
effort and type of engagement required,
resulting in improved outcomes.
If you would like to discuss the ideas in
this article further, please contact the author
Sandra Beach sandra.beach@qut.edu.au
References
Beach, S. (2008). Together Now: Stakeholders in Government
Agencies. Paper presented at the International Research Society
for Public Management Conference 2008. Retrieved 21 April
2008, from http://www.irspm2008.bus.qut.edu.au/papers/
byauthor-a-d.jsp.
King, C., Feltey, K., & Susel, B. (1998). The Question of
Participation: Toward Authentic Public Participation in Public
Administration. Public Administration Review, 58(4), 317-326.
Martin, S. (2003). Engaging with citizens and other stakeholders.
In T. Bovaird & E. Löffer (Eds.), Public Management and
Governance (pp. 189-202). London Routledge.
Stern, P. C., & Fineberg, H. (1996). Understanding Risk:
Informing Decisions in a Democratic Society. Washington, DC:
National Academy Press.
12 Public Interest - December 2008
On August 20 2008,
Gary Hamel presented
his vision on the
Future of Management
at the IPAA Queensland
International
Speaker series.
As one of the world’s leading experts
on business strategy, Hamel challenged the
traditional management roles that have been
part of the manager’s DNA during the 20th
Century and sought to push the boundaries
of today’s accepted best practice. As we move
into uncertain economic times, we can take
guidance from Hamel’s quest for adaptability
of management practices.
At the core of Gary Hamel’s presentation,
was the need for the nurturing and
development of management innovation.
History has shown that management
innovation is the true driver behind many
operational and product innovations. However,
with the speed of change in the 21st Century,
these innovations need to be happening at an
accelerated pace.
The frst challenge in the 21st Century
identifed by Hamel was how to create an
organisation that is as nimble as change
itself. The solution lies in the creation of
highly adaptable organisations. The public
sector provides both an ideal yet challenging
environment for sustaining adaptability.
As a sector where Machinery of Government
changes are common, it needs to become
more strategic in the three drivers that Hamel
identifes for adaptability to be effective.
These are foresight, options and fexibility.
The second challenge Hamel addressed
was the integration of innovation
as part of everyone’s job, every day.
The additional challenge for the public sector
is the supporting of radical and not risky,
innovators. The focus is therefore to build on
the capabilities that already exist. The analogy
used by Hamel, to assist in bolstering human
imagination was an analysis of the history of
art. Throughout different art movements, from
post impressionism to cubism and abstract to
post modernism, the core basics of a canvas,
paints and brushes has stayed the same but
artists started to see new and innovative ideas
and ways that others didn’t. In other words,
they built on their capabilities through their
imagination and radical new ideas.
It is through these new ideas that others
borrow and build on to create innovation
in their feld. In the public sector, there is a
need to deconstruct what you believe, as many
benchmarks have been developed as part of
unwittingly thinking like other government
agencies masked by the premise that the public
service is risk averse. Through developing a
culture of openness and persistence and by
being open to both internal and external
innovative ideas, the public sector has the
potential to become the driver of innovation
in the 21st Century.
It is the challenge of fully engaging the
talents of every individual that Hamel identifes
as the third challenge. Hamel estimates
that organisations generate around 45% of
people’s capabilities everyday. The challenge
is in developing capabilities that will lead to
management innovation and this can only be
done through engagement. In order to have
staff fully engaged, organisations need to
develop their passion, creativity and initiative.
If they only come to work with their intellect,
diligence and obedience, then we have no
point of difference in a creative economy.
Another key differentiator important for
engagement is the development of a sense of
community where individuals work together to
create value for other people. This, combined
with a sense of purpose, is where managers
need to re-connect. What can they be doing to
bring these values to the fore? The public sector
provides an ideal environment for nurturing
this engagement, as long as it is based in
the principles of Aspiration, Recognition,
Transparency and Accountability.
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By Vi-Mar y Har tridge
THE FUTURE OF
MANAGEMENT with Gar y Hamel
Te challenge for the
public sector is therefore
to re-write the DNA of
organisations as we move into
the 21st Century.
Public Interest - December 2008 13
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The fnal challenge Hamel addresses is
that of reinventing management for the 21st
century. Take on a challenge, perhaps even
having the courage to take on something
bigger than best practice and do it with
passion. As Hamel says, “life is too short for
inconsequential problems”. But in order to do
this effectively, we must frst challenge our
management dogmas. As with any change,
it usually takes a crisis for us to develop a
clear change agenda. It is the fear of change,
which drives the inertia of innovative
management and without change whole
organisations are held hostage to the past.
There comes a point where new issues cannot
be solved with old principles. New management
principles need to be developed. Therefore,
experimentation needs to become part of
the culture as, if innovation is treated as a
project, it will run out of steam, as opposed
to integrating it as part of the culture.
The challenge for the public sector is
therefore to re-write the DNA of organisations
as we move into the 21st Century. The key
to this is building resilience through a sense
of purpose and meaning for managers and
increasing their skills in developing their
people. IPAA Queensland plays a key role in the
development of managers in the 21st century.
The Practical People Management Program
(PPMP) is a fve day program that focuses on
building the confdence and capabilities of
managers so that organisations can get a head
start on the future by building tomorrow’s
best practices today.
Vi-Mary Hartridge specialises in
individual, team and organisational
development. Her extensive experience and
expertise in developing leaders for the future
makesheroneofQueensland’smostsought
after facilitators. She is one of the principal
facilitators with the IPAA Queensland PPMP
program which can be tailored to suit
individual agency requirements.
Te public sector provides both an ideal yet challenging environment for
sustaining adaptability. As a sector where Machinery of Government changes
are common, it needs to become more strategic in the three drivers
Usha Adams
Queensland Health
Gwen Baskerville
Queensland Transport
Bron Ferguson
Legal Aid Queensland
George Fletcher
Piper Alderman
Michael Fritschi
Astute Management Consulting Pty Ltd
Wendy Gilbert
Dept of Education, Training & the Arts
Damian Green
PricewaterhouseCoopers
Diane Henderson
Dept of Education, Training & the Arts
Mary Iwanko
Queensland Rail Ltd
Ross Konowalenko
Queensland Police Service
Andrew Kriedemann
Queensland Health
Ross McLeish
Optus
Andrew McMicking
Queensland Competition Authority
Christopher Morrison
Brisbane City Council
SelenaO’Neill
Hudson Global Resources
Chris Parminter
Queensland Studies Authority
Andrew Reid
Banana Shire Council
Derrick Sillence
Miranda Simpson
Dept of Tourism,
Regional Development & Industry
Lee Spano
Yvette Teoh
Queensland Police Service
Ken Wilkinson
Dept of Communities
Stephanie Wood
Godwin Wood Consulting P/L
John Woolnough
Dept Of Education, Training & The Arts
WElCOME
NEW MEMBERS
The latest to join the IPAA Queensland family
14 Public Interest - December 2008
A Perspective on the Annual Public Sector Conference 2008
By Tony Gibson
OVER THE HORIZON
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There was an atmosphere of high energy
and optimism from the conference start with
the welcome by President Margaret Allison
and Auntie Valda Coolwell from the Brisbane
Council of Elders.
The Queensland Government responded to
the conference theme with the government’s
blueprint for the future through Ken Smith,
Director-General, Dept. of Premier and
Cabinet and Ann Sherry, Chair of the Public
Service Commission. Ann discussed
the signifcant challenges of
recruiting 130,000 new people to
the QPS over the next ten years.
The new Public Service Commission
priorities that resonated with
me were the need to build a
policy capability for innovation,
provide excellence in leadership,
It was a full house
at the Brisbane Hilton
for the Annual Public
Sector Conference
on Thursday,
23 October 2008
with the theme
Over the Horizon –
Creating a More
Modern, Effcient
and Effective
Public Service.
partnering for outcomes and engagement
with the public.
Helen Silver, Secretary of the Department
of the Premier and Cabinet, Victoria provided
excellent frameworks for open, innovative and
collaborative policy reform. Helen discussed
a third wave of national reform around
developing human capital.
A valuable case study of improved
service delivery was provided by
Carmel McGregor, Deputy Secretary of
Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
Carmel described signifcant culture change
and collaboration. Positive changes in
DIAC for clients and the workforce were backed
by rigour, analysis, innovation, inclusion and a
client-centric approach.
An interactive session led by Naomi Puchala
highlighted the reasons for attracting and
Jim
Varghese, Dr Anne Tiernan, Jude M
unro,
Owen W
areham
& Dr Jackie Huggins all offered
their perspective as part of the 2020 Sum
m
it panel
MC lisa Backhouse with Dept of Premier &
Cabinet Director-General Ken Smith
Human Rhythms got the crowd energised
after lunch
Public Interest - December 2008 15
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Ray lane, Cath Healy, Paul Martyn caught up at
the conference
Carmel McGregor from the Dept of Immigration &
Citizenship spoke about improved service delivery
Helen lawrence & Elissa Greer enjoyed the
networking drinks
and Owen Wareham. This continued the
optimism with so many solutions to complex
problems. Owen, representing the youth of
Australia, provided confdence that problems
over the horizon will be addressed by the
next generation.
Whilst my interests are focused around
people in organisations, I believe a multitude
of interests were provided for conference
participants by all the themes and presenters
assembled. Innovation, collaboration,
leadership, coaching and developing human
capital are some of the key words for me in
meeting the challenges over the horizon.
Tony Gibson is former Manager Human
Resources, Queensland Building Services
Authority and is now Director SPIRIT.3H -
Learning and Development.
Te new Public Service
Commission priorities that
resonated with me were the
need to build capability for
innovation, provide excellence
in leadership, partnering for
outcomes and engagement
with the public
retaining people to the public sector workforce.
Coaching, mentoring and developing career
pathways were seen as essential to ensure the
best people in the public sector.
Dr Anne Tiernan facilitated the 2020
Summit refections with representatives
Dr Jackie Huggins, Jude Munro, Jim Varghese
IPAA Queensland President
Margaret Allison
16 Public Interest - December 2008
P
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I have worked in both State and Federal
Government as well as the private sector and
I have an enduring interest in politics and
government. When the Premier announced
in March this year that there would be
signifcant reforms to the Queensland public
service, including the establishment of a new
Public Service Commission, the invitation
for me to become the Chair of the new
Board of Commissioners was an irresistible
opportunity.
The Premier has tackled the reform agenda
with vision and vigour. I was struck by her
passion to revitalise the Queensland public
service to be responsive, innovative and
effcient … to think strategically about the way
we do business and how we can continuously
improve on the capability of our workforce
to deliver on the elected Government of the
day’s priorities.
I believe there are great opportunities
in the public sector and I am excited by the
contribution I can make. I’m also delighted
to have an excellent team of experts from
business, government and academia on the
Commission Board and together we will play
a central role in helping prepare the public
service for the future.
Challenges For Queensland
I want to talk about the challenges
that lie ahead. In a much quoted speech in
Cape Town in 1966, Robert F Kennedy said:
There is a Chinese curse which says ‘May he
live in interesting times’. Like it or not, we live
in interesting times…’.
As the future is looking more uncertain,
and perhaps just a little too interesting,
building a public service now that is ready
and able to meet the challenges of the
21st century is more important than ever.
But sometimes the most diffcult times are the
most rewarding. They challenge us to think
differently, and create circumstances that
bring out the best in us all.
These challenges are:
• Buildingastronganddiverseeconomy.
• Protectinglifestylesandenvironment.
• Delivering world class education and
training.
• EnsuringthehealthofallQueenslanders.
• Supportingasafeandcaringcommunity.
As you all know, Toward Q2: Tomorrow’s
Queensland is the plan to deliver outcomes
that will address each of these challenges.
Q2 has set a total of 10 targets – 2 for each of
the 5 areas of challenge – that Government,
the community and industry will need to
work together collaboratively to achieve.
Queensland is well-placed to weather the
global economic storm. It has a relatively strong
economy that has been growing uninterrupted
since the early 1990s and Queensland is the
second fastest growing state in Australia.
In addition, Queensland’s expanding population
- predicted to increase by 1.5 million people
to 5.6 million over the next 20 years -
presents both challenges and opportunities.
To meet the challenges of Q2, the public
service needs to position itself to respond
fexibly to meet changing – and emerging
– community needs and service delivery
demands. The work of the new Public Service
Commission will align closely with Q2 priorities,
to support the Government, community
and industry working collaboratively to
achieve them.
Challenges for the Queensland
Public Service
So what are the challenges that lie
ahead for Queensland and its public service?
When it was established in 1800 the Queensland
civil service had three departments and
200 staff. Today’s public service has 188,000
staff across 24 departments, providing services
state-wide - yet some of what we do and how
we do it has not kept pace with this scale
of change. We have some clear challenges
It is an exciting time
to be working in the
public service in
Queensland
and Australia.
Public services deliver
those daily and vital
services in our society
we all use in our lives:
our schools,
hospitals, emergency
services, and law and
justice system.
And when working
together and with
business and
community they have
an important role
in helping create a
better, fairer and more
cohesive society.
That is one reason
why thinking about
public services in a
holistic and strategic
manner is
so important.
for the Queensland Public Sector
By Ann Sherr y
PRIORITIES AND PITFAllS
Public Interest - December 2008 17
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Queensland is well-placed to weather the global economic storm. It has a relatively strong
economy that has been growing uninterrupted since the early 1990s and Queensland is
the second fastest growing state in Australia.
– some of which many of you will already
be aware of and may even have experienced
frst-hand.
One of the biggest challenges is our ageing
workforce. Around 46% of the Queensland
permanent public sector workforce is currently
aged 45 years and over. The average age of
permanent employees has increased from 1.5
years in 2000 to 43.6 years in 2006. Half the
current workforce will be retiring in the next
15 years. That’s almost 80,000 employees to
replace within the next 15 years.
When you add to this other turnover and
the growth in demand for public services, the
Commission has estimated that to maintain
the current service levels about 129,000
people will need to be recruited over the
next 10 years. Either that or we will need
to bring innovative and sustained reform
to the models we use to deliver our public
services. In replacing the people we are losing,
and in attracting others to ensure we have the
workforce we need, the Queensland public
service is operating in a highly competitive
labour market. Characteristics of this market
include low unemployment, and labour and
skills shortages, particularly for some specialist
occupational groups. As such, the public
service faces very real challenges in attracting
and retaining talented staff to meet the service
delivery needs of the state.
Another challenge for the Queensland
public service is meeting the growing demands
of Queensland’s expanding population.
Future population growth is expected to
be distributed unevenly around the state.
75% of population growth is predicted to
occur in South-East Queensland. Coastal
areas, particularly Wide Bay-Burnett,
will also see signifcant increases in population.
One thing this will mean is building more
infrastructure. Queensland has two major
commercial Public Private Partnerships
currently underway - the Airport Link and
South Bank TAFE - which together are worth
almost $4bn. Many governments, here in
Australia, and internationally, are increasingly
using PPPs and Queensland should look
to continue to develop and harness these
commercial approaches in the future.
As a geographically large and diversely
populated state, we also need to think about
how we will deliver Government services
equitably, effciently and effectively to all
clients in all parts of the state.
A fnal challenge arises from the range of
functions that the Queensland Government
undertakes to deliver across a large state.
For example, around 4 in every 5 of
Queensland’s public service offcers are working
out there in the ‘front-line’ – as teachers,
nurses, police offcers. The Queensland Police
Service employs 13,000 staff and provides
services 24 hours a day across a land mass
of 1.7 million square kilometres. But front
line staff can’t do it all - there are many
people working behind the scenes in policy,
administration and corporate support. All of
these people help deliver services that are vital
for Queenslanders.
We have a solid foundation and strengths
that we can build on to start to meet these
challenges. I’m impressed by the commitment
and identity that people have for Queensland;
the ethos that public servants here have
to delivering outcomes for Queenslanders;
and how over many years the public service
here has proven itself adept at dealing with
new challenges when they arise.
But, despite our strengths, we also have a
range of issues we need to address. The frst
of these is related to our policy capability –
particularly the sector’s capability in strategic
policy and public policy. To achieve policy
leadership we need excellent, and at times,
innovative, policy capability. The public sector
is increasingly being called on to deliver
policy advice in a complex and changing
environment. In response, cross-agency
policy development and collaboration will be
needed. This is evident in the approach to
Q2 which emphasises the importance of shared
priorities, shared objectives, clear lead-agency
accountability and partnerships to achieve
outcomes.
Secondly, we need to get past agency silos.
Agencies need to make a concerted effort to
work more closely together. Collaboration and
coordination across government is required.
This is clear when we think about the challenges
we face: for example, chronic disease cannot
be solved alone by even the best health agency
in the world. Agencies that continue to work
in silos will provide fragmented services
to clients through duplicated processes.
This will result in increased costs.
A third, related issue that we need to
address is a shift to focus on outcomes
rather than process. The Queensland
Government has recently placed an
increased emphasis on outcome-focused
performance management in the public sector.
Under these new arrangements, Chief Executive
Offcers will be accountable for outcomes.
These outcomes will be reported in key
corporate documents, and agency performance
will be monitored by central agencies.
The Public Service Commission has a key role
to play in implementing this new approach to
performance management. It will work with
Queensland Treasury and the Department of
the Premier and Cabinet, to ensure agencies
have the capability and systems to implement
these new arrangements.
Fourthly, Ken Smith has talked about
leadership as one clear priority for the next
stage of public sector reform. In particular,
he focused on the importance of identifying
and investing in the next group of public
service leaders, and the criticality of succession
planning and rewarding talent. As the public
sector moves toward a more outcome-focused
approach to performance, leadership skills will
become increasingly important. In the words
of the leading management writer Margaret
Wheatley: I believe that the capacity that any
organisation needs is for leadership to appear
anywhere it is needed, when it is needed.
18 Public Interest - December 2008
Finally, to provide a diversity of services to
the community, the Queensland public sector
is increasingly engaging the commercial and
non-government sectors in service delivery.
Public-private partnerships can achieve
value for money in public infrastructure and
service delivery by sharing project risks across
public and private sector parties. Partnerships
have been effectively used in Queensland to
deliver housing in sustainable communities
– for example, the Kelvin Grove Urban Village.
Kelvin Grove is the result of an award-
winning partnership between the Queensland
Government and the Queensland University of
Technology. It links learning with enterprise,
creative industry with community, and is a
great example of innovative mixed-use and
sustainable urban development. To effectively
manage these partnerships, thought needs to
be given to the governance arrangements and
skill sets required – both now and in the future
– to deliver future projects of this nature.
PRIORITIES FOR THE QUEENSLAND
PUBLIC SERVICE
So, in this context, what should the
priorities be for the Queensland Public Service?
In my view, the top 5 priorities for getting us
to the 2020 vision are:
• Buildingandnurturinghigh-performing
organisations.
• Creatingacadreofexcellentleaders.
• Motivatingandupskillingtheworkforce.
• Partnering for outcomes: across
government and outside.
• Involving and engaging the public
throughout.
First, we know we can only get there
if we have high performing organisations.
To realise a high-performing public service
that achieves results for the community, both
central agency and individual agency business
models must be aligned. Central agencies
will have a critical role at the strategic centre
of reform delivery. The Commission forms
part of this strategic centre along with the
Department of the Premier and Cabinet and the
Queensland Treasury.
The role of the Public Service Commission
is about working with agencies to build their
capability and capacity to deliver services.
It’s about spreading best practice, particularly
in relation to ‘people’ issues. All while working
collaboratively with the Department of the
Premier and Cabinet and the Queensland
Treasury to meet the challenges we face.
This means combining the Commission’s
strengths in human resource policy and
organisational management with the
Department of Premier and Cabinet and
Treasury’s respective strengths in strategic
policy, performance monitoring, and budget
management so that together, we can become
more than just the sum of our parts.
All agencies, CEO’s, and public servants
must get serious about performance. This means
setting clear expectations and holding CEOs,
their agencies and public servants to account.
But it’s not just about sticks: we also need to
reward those doing well, for example linking
performance to pay and career development,
and ensuring high performing agencies have
the autonomy to continue their excellent
work and spread this to others. Innovation in
public service delivery is vital. Innovation can
mean fnding new ways of delivering services,
fnding new ways to reach the community,
or fnding new ways to manage and organise
the public service itself. The Commission
will have an important role here: to fnd and
champion these innovations in best practice.
We must aspire to become world-class
in this regard – and of course look not only
at Queensland but also to innovations
occurring in public service elsewhere in
Australia and internationally.
Second, we can only get to the 2020 vision
with excellent leaders working together with all
public servants on the journey. As you would
know - and may have experienced during your
working careers - great leaders are the agents
of effective and lasting cultural change.
In Jesse Jackson’s words: ‘Time is neutral and
does not change things. With courage and
initiative, leaders change things.’ But, while
we know that this is the case, the question
remains - how do we create the leaders of
tomorrow? I was struck by some recent data
looking at the age profle of managers in
the Queensland Public Service. The average
age of our managers at the three main levels
are in their late 40s. Indeed it’s striking how
similar the profles are – raising important
questions for us about succession planning.
Of course leadership is not about age.
But there are two things that we should
note here.
First, how can we encourage more young
and dynamic leaders into the public service?
I don’t think it’s just about money –
if anything, young people today seem to
place an even greater emphasis on ‘making
a difference’ than in the past. So we need
to fnd the ways to attract, motivate and
develop young talent. Second, there are
many good reasons to keep public servants
with valuable experience - so how can we
continually motivate and challenge those in
the later phases of their careers to be leaders?
Clearly it would be of beneft to bring talent in
at an early age. Given our ageing workforce,
this approach would help provide the sector
with the lead-in time to develop any critical
skills sets it needs for future service delivery.
As we know, organisational performance and
individual performance go hand in hand.
The Queensland Public Service should
aspire to be world class in how it creates
rapid trajectories that stretch and challenge
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PRIORITIES AND PITFAllS
Te role of the
Public Service Commission
is about working with
agencies to build their
capability and capacity to
deliver services.
Public Interest - December 2008 19
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the best. This approach should be combined
with more effective management of our
talent pool at mid-career levels to support
and mentor the development of these high
performers. According to John C Maxwell,
an American leadership scholar and author,
The single biggest way to impact an
organisation is to focus on leadership
development. There is almost no limit to
the potential of an organisation that recruits
good people, raises them up as leaders and
continually develops them. ’
Given the importance of leadership,
the Public Service Commission has recently
developed a Capability and Leadership
Framework to assess and develop leadership
skills at all levels of the public service.
The Commission will actively work with
agencies to build leadership skills in the
Queensland public service. Ad hoc development
will no longer be suffcient in ensuring the
public service executive is equipped to deal
with the complexities and challenges of the
future. We will raise our game here. In addition
to bringing in, developing and rewarding
talent, we also need to open up the public
service so that people from all walks of life
can make their unique contributions to the
community. I’m struck that less than 1 in 20 of
our senior public service leaders in Queensland
are drawn from outside the public service.
This is interesting food for thought given the
vital role that senior management plays in the
creation of quality public service workplaces.
I also won’t let this opportunity pass without
mentioning that women make up only 26.3%
of the Queensland Senior Executive Service,
a fgure which has remained fairly static since
2003 and indicates that women are not in
leadership roles in the numbers or proportion
that we would have hoped for, or expected.
The leadership approaches I’ve just
discussed require thinking more clearly about
our pitch and proposition – in particular,
what is it that makes the Queensland public
service an attractive place to work? Why would
people choose to work in the Queensland
public service rather than somewhere else?
Finding answers to these questions is critical
if we are to effectively compete in the tight
labour market we have at the moment.
It is going to mean targeting our ‘offer’ to
different groups: becoming more agile and
responsive to different people’s aspirations
because we know people want more than just
a 40-year career in just one area these days.
Third, we need a motivated and skilled
workforce ready to meet the modern challenges
of public service. Many of the services provided
by government to the community require
expert skills and judgement. Approximately
half the Queensland public service workforce
requires a tertiary qualifcation to do their
job. Given this reliance on skilled workers,
planning for and investing in the future
supply of staff is essential. High-performance
organisations ensure an ongoing commitment
to the training and professional development
of all employees, regardless of their level,
occupation or role. Paying attention to the
needs of individual employees, including what
motivates them, has never been more important
than in the current labour market.
The public service needs to continue to
closely examine issues such as quality of
working life, job and career satisfaction and
look at ways to overcome cultural or attitudinal
barriers to change. Through retaining current
staff we will be able to ease some of the skills
supply issues we are facing now. To do this
we need to pay more attention to who is
leaving the Queensland public service, and the
reasons why they are going. People often leave
organisations as a result of ‘people’ issues.
Quality of leadership, recognition, training
and development, and career opportunities
are usually high on the list of reasons why
people go looking for work elsewhere.
To keep our people in Queensland we should
build on the existing professional ethos of
the public service. Clearer alignment between
public sector values and daily behaviour
so that all public servants, including
leaders, are ‘walking the talk’, might also
be encouraged.
Finally, we need to be able to deliver on
our promises to applicants that the public
service offers a wide range of challenging and
rewarding jobs. I support the Commission’s
view that public service Chief Executive Offcers
continue to be accountable for the outcomes
and services to be delivered by their individual
agencies. They will also continue to lead their
agency’s response to their unique workforce
challenges. However, in some cases, responses
to these workforce challenges might involve
a collaborative approach across agencies.
Agencies with common occupations in demand
could be encouraged to conduct cross-agency
workforce planning, offering coordinated
career opportunities and education pathways
that span all stages of public service careers.
As a result, these agencies might offer
coordinated career opportunities and
education pathways that span all stages of
public service careers.
In addition to accountability for CEOs,
the way of the future must be for increased
accountability and clarity about purpose for all
public servants at all levels in all agencies.
The fourth priority I would like to talk
about is partnering for outcomes. It is clear
to me, and to many others, that the complex
and intractable problems, like closing the
gap on Indigenous health, the challenges
of obesity, chronic disease, life chances and
Ann Sherry speaking at the 2008 Annual Public
Sector Conference
Quality of leadership, recognition, training and development, and career opportunities are
usually high on the list of reasons why people go looking for work elsewhere.
20 Public Interest - December 2008
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infrastructure cannot be met by single agencies
acting alone.
Let me give you a few examples from the
Toward Q2 work:
• The environment target to cut
Queenslanders’ carbon footprint.
• Thehealthtargettocutobesity,smoking
and drinking.
• The communities target to increase
volunteering.
Clearly these involve each and every one
of us – not relying on single agencies but
working across government and with the
community. I talked before about the need
to break down silos. There is also a need to
build a partnership model between agencies.
The focus needs to be on the delivery of client-
centred services. We also need to be prepared
to develop mutually benefcial partnerships
with the community, with stakeholders,
with businesses and with voluntary groups
to achieve outcomes. We all have an
important role in reaching the outcomes we
want, particularly as Government may not
always be the best placed provider of some
services. How can we partner for outcomes?
I believe it is incumbent on our leaders to
drive this approach and ‘walk the talk’.
But we also need new and innovative thinking
– like how we can bring together the respective
roles different groups can play, and how we use
incentives and rewards for collaboration and
partnership. New governance arrangements
can also be part of supporting new service
delivery strategies.
My ffth point is that we need to continue
to engage and involve the public in the design
of services. By this I mean the what, when,
where, and how services are delivered to each
and every one of us. Exciting work has been
done in engaging the Queensland community
in the work on Q2. I’m sure you will have
seen the television adverts and may also have
participated in one of the many community
events going on across the state. So far we
have had over two thousand ideas come
back to us from Queenslanders. These will be
important for the next stage of the work to
develop the strategies and community plans
to deliver. We can take these lessons further.
We need public services that are outward
looking and involving. The client’s perspective
is a key aspect to be considered in the design
of future services. We need to be alert to the
experiences of users as they journey through
public services. What we do know is that
government clients expect services that are
easily accessible. They want quick and simple
transactions and readily available responses to
more complex issues.
We need to fnd new ways to increase
the control and ownership clients have
over services. So as people now have more
choice and control in the private sector,
so too people are beginning to demand it from
public services. This is about coproduction:
government providing excellent services with
users taking control and ownership to together
produce the positive outcomes we all want.
Government needs to be in a position to
‘instil a sense of shared responsibility with
the community’. Government cannot solve
problems alone and will need the participation
and effort of individuals. I think there’s an
important deal here. Public services earning
client trust by resolving service issues quickly
and effectively, and providing excellent
and personal services. In return asking the
community to make changes too and take
personal responsibility for behaviour and how
they use services.
The challenge now is not to fall at the
hurdle for change. The frst pitfall would be
being pessimistic about whether we can create
change. The public service has a broad range
of staff and departments providing a diversity
of services to the community on a daily basis.
Some would say that public services are too
complex to change. I don’t share that view.
There are important lessons we can distil and
share across different areas of public service.
And we should take a long-term view - as Geoff
Mulgan says: governments often overestimate
what can be achieved in the short-run, but
critically underestimate what they can change
in the long-run. Big companies can and do
change – government is a big company.
In my view, our second pitfall would be
failing to prioritise. I think we all know that we
cannot change the public service overnight.
It will take time and a concerted effort. So this
means prioritising around some key themes.
I have talked about some of those key themes
today. Over the next year I want to see the
Public Service Commission developing ideas
that will address these key themes. The Premier
and the Commissioners want to see a smaller
number of ideas that will work well and make
a real difference – let’s not try to implement
ffty ideas and have them work patchily, or not
at all. I know this will be an important test for
the Public Service Commission: to establish
ourselves as a world-class organisation we
will need credibility, focus, and attention on
results. The test, to again quote the Premier,
is that we all ‘feel the winds of change’.
Conclusion
For me, it is an exciting time to be chairing
the Board of the Public Service Commission
and being part of the reform of the Queensland
public service. We have an ambitious vision
ahead of us. I’m optimistic about the sector’s
capacity to respond having now seen the work
that is being undertaken in the Queensland
public service, and the valued contributions
that all offcers are making. This journey to
the future has begun. We now all need to play
our part so the challenges can be managed
and the outcomes achieved.
Ann Sherry is Chair of the Public Service
Commission and CEO of Carnival Australia.
Footnotes
The Hon Anna Bligh, Premier, Public Service Bill Second Reading
Speech to the Parliament of Queensland, 6 May 2008
Robert F Kennedy, Day of Affrmation Speech, Cape Town, South
Africa, 1966
Notes from Ken Smith’s presentation are available at www.
qld.ipaa.org.au
For further detail see: www.towardq2.qld.gov.au
Offce of the Public Service Commissioner, Service Delivery
Challenges - Research Papers: Workforce Sustainability,
November 2007
for the Queensland Public Sector by Ann Sherr y
PRIORITIES AND PITFAllS
Public Interest - December 2008 21
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A large part of the program was
devoted to case studies on public-private
partnerships as a major mechanism for
improving delivery of government services,
with a particular emphasis on poverty
alleviation and community improvement.
All these presentations demonstrated
innovative solutions in areas previously seen
as the sole responsibility of governments and
all of them refected successful outcomes in
diffcult environments.
The case study that interested me most was
that presented by Aisha Ghaus-Pasha, Director
of Research at the Institute of Public Policy
in Lahore, Pakistan. She described in detail
the engagement of private sector schools as
partners in a number of poor and backward
districts in her country in an effort to raise
the level of participation in education among
children (particularly girls) in rural areas and
urban slums.
The scheme is managed by the Punjab
Education Foundation, and involves the
provision by the state of a subsidy of around
300 Rupees (approximately $AUS10) per
pupil per month to the private sector schools.
The curriculum is entirely in English, in contrast
to the government schools where English is but
one subject in the curriculum. The Government
schools are not capable of delivering a full
English curriculum at this cost.
The education vision is to:
• achieve universal primary education
by 2015;
• achieve gender equality at all levels
by 2015;
• create economic opportunities for the
poor with the help of education;
• empowercommunitiesthrougheducation;
• increase access to all communities to
physical and social assets.
If these objectives sound familiar, you
have no reason to go any further than
the long standing debate on the issue of
Aboriginal education in Australia, particularly
in the Northern Territory. These issues have
been highlighted during the Commonwealth
Intervention and have been the subject of
earnest debate and substantial expenditure for
decades without any discernible improvement.
The Pakistan initiative has been in operation
since 2004.
While issues and challenges remain,
including coverage in particular, the scheme
is being extended and the relative simplicity
of the arrangements are seen as a major
reason for success. The extraordinary level of
participation and attendance is seen to be
directly related to the fact that the curriculum
is in English. Both students and parents see
literacy and numeracy in English as the key
to “Babu” – future prosperity of themselves
and their community.
This naturally led me to question the
validity of maintaining teaching in Aboriginal
languages to the extent currently observed
and mandated. While most people would
see the preservation of Aboriginal language
as an inherent part of the maintenance of
the Aboriginal culture and endorse the
sentiments expressed in David Malouf’s classic
story “The Only Speaker of his Tongue”,
there is a growing body of thought among
Aboriginal leaders, such as Tracker Tilmouth,
Warren Mundine and Noel Pearson, that the
curriculum in Aboriginal schools should be in
English if people in remote communities are to
have any real prospect of achieving economic
development and independence.
While the circumstances within Pakistan
are different to Australia, the issues are the
same. While we may not be capable, at
least in the short term, of develop effective
public-private partnerships for the delivery of
educational services to remote communities,
we could challenge the current language of
the curriculum and the belief that it is the one
of the keys to the preservation of traditional
culture. As Pakistan has found, there are
other methods of preserving local language
in conjunction with an educational regime
focused on English.
Aboriginal Education: A Comparative Perspective
HAWKES’
EYE VIEW By David Hawkes
During October
I had the privilege
of attending a
Conference in
Hyderabad, India,
sponsored by the
Commonwealth
Secretariat and the
Commonwealth
Association of Public
Administration
and Management
(CAPAM) on the topic
“Innovations and
Good Practices in New
Public Management”.
The attendees,
who were at the
Permanent Secretary
and Deputy levels
represented India,
Bangladesh, Pakistan,
Sri lanka, Brunei,
Malaysia and
the Maldives.
22 Public Interest - December 2008

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By Chandni Gupta
A YOUNG PROFESSIONAl
IN NEW YORK
Imagining how
it would be to work
on world issues
is one thing;
having the
opportunity to
experience it is
a whole other
world in itself.
From George Clooney
to Secretary-
General’s campaign
on violence against
women, it was all
an unforgettable
experience.
In January this year I packed my bags
and with a huge grin on my face, I headed
over to the United States for a two-month
public relations internship at the United
Nations headquarters.
When preparing for my trip, there was
so much anticipation. I was excited about
working in a new place, meeting new people,
being part of new projects and experiencing
it all in the beautiful city of New York.
What is even more exciting is that the
experience surpassed my anticipation.
The Work
During my time at the UN, I was based
in the Department of Public Information
and worked on two global media campaigns
– launch of the Secretary-General’s UNite
to End Violence Against Women campaign
and International Women’s Day 2009.
My work ranged from pitching the campaigns
to celebrities’ agents and to editors and
journalists of various global media outlets
like New York Times, CNN, BBC and
Guardian to working with UN agencies like
UNICEF and UNIFEM to shape their role in
the campaigns.
Dealing with international media,
spokespersons and staff really made me
appreciate the effort of making a global
campaign work. It was amazing to experience
frst-hand how the focus of one campaign
could be delivered in so many different ways.
Most importantly, it was a great feeling to
know that the work I was doing would in some
way positively contribute towards shaping the
lives of so many women around the world.
The City
Working on such projects was incredible
but working on them in the middle of
Manhattan, New York was just wonderful.
The city, the crowd, the snow, the lights,
the shopping… there was nothing that wasn’t
in New York. The atmosphere was always
buzzing be it seven in the morning or one
at night. It was overwhelming yet beautiful,
strong yet dreamy, grand yet intricate.
The People
People of New York were so welcoming
and are a huge factor of what makes New
York so special. And when it came to people
at the UN, the place had so much to offer.
During my internship, I had the opportunity
to meet George Clooney when he was
appointed as the UN Messenger of Peace.
Through my role, I also attended press
conferences featuring Reese Witherspoon,
Richard Branson and Daryl Hannah.
Apart from the celebrities, it was actually
my UN colleagues who were the real stars.
The experience I had wouldn’t have been
possible if it wasn’t for the wonderful
colleagues that I got to work with. They were
so supportive and were willing to put a lot of
faith in me and the other interns, giving us the
opportunity to show what we could offer.
If you could change one thing –
what would it be?
The current economic environment as many
people are concerned about what this means
for their ability to retire, own their home,
employment, career opportunities etc.
If you were PM for a day, what would
you do?
Fund the health agreements appropriately so as
there is some chance in addressing the public
health issues in the future. M
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Jen
Rossiter
Position
A/Director,
WorkforUs
Agency
Queensland Health
Location
Brisbane
Public Interest - December 2008 23
The Support
As riveting as it was being amongst so
many new people, my time there showed me
just how supportive Government here is in
ensuring that a staff member can take the
time off to experience something so left-feld.
My director and manager were so supportive
of my internship and rearranged and managed
so much to make sure that I could go.
It was lovely to know that as good as it was
in New York, I had a fabulous team to come
back to.
The Memories
The experience has given me so much.
It has instilled confdence in me that earlier
I could have only dreamt of. Most importantly,
the people I met, be it my UN colleagues,
the other interns or local New Yorkers, it was
them that shaped my time there and made my
experience exceptional.
The work, the perks, the celebrities –
that’s all fun but it’s the people you meet
that make the experience what it is. And if
for nothing else, but just to meet new people,
to build your network of support and strength,
it’s worth pushing yourself out of your comfort
zone in a whole other world because before
you know it you’ll realise that’s exactly what
your world needed.
UN internships are available for post-
graduate students across the world. For
more information visit www.un.org/Depts/
OHRM/sds/internsh/index.htm
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What’s your favourite read?
Autobiographies as I like to read about people’s
life experience and journey – am currently reading
one on Dawn French, the English comedian.
What do you like most about the
Public Sector?
Delivering programs that beneft the community
directly and the spirit in which most public sector
people have to ensure this occurs. I am from
North Queensland and saw this spirit openly when
Cyclone Larry devastated the Innisfail area where
many of my family members live.
Who do you admire and why?
I admire people who learn from their mistakes
and are humble enough to recognise their errors
in the frst place. There are many people in my
life who do this and they all continue to grow
and develop in front of my eyes.
Who would you choose as a coach and why?
Without naming names I would choose a number
of women who have balanced family, work,
community, self throughout their career and
are genuinely happy with their achievements
and situation. There are a few of these amazing
women in my life so I would keep on asking
them questions and seeking advice as I too try to
balance it all myself.
Would you recommend the Public Sector
to work in?
Absolutely, to people who are driven by their
desire to make a difference to the community.
Working on such projects was incredible
but working on them in the middle of Manhattan,
New York was just wonderful.
Chandni did have time for a spot of shopping
A view of the Manhattan Skyline from the UN
Chandni Gupta with other UN interns
George Clooney dropped into the UN
24 Public Interest - December 2008
The Rise and Decline of Queensland local Government T
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For students and
practitioners of public
policy formulation,
the treatment by
Australian state
governments of
local governments
around Australia
furnishes plenty of
examples of how
public policy should
not be conceived and
implemented.
There are also examples of enlightened
and effective policy formulation, and all in all,
Queensland can probably boast the best record,
thanks largely to the vision and understanding
of some exceptionally far-sighted political
leaders, senior public servants, and jurists
during the frst half of the 20th century.
I refer here to the sophistication and
intellectual grasp of such luminaries as Labor
Premier T.J. Ryan, Home Secretaries “Big Bill”
McCormack, James Stopford and Ned Hanlon,
Assistant Under Secretary Charlie Chuter,
and the youthful but distinguished
Solicitor-General William Flood Webb.
Of course, these men had the advantage
of standing on the shoulders of giants like
Samuel Griffth and Thomas McIlwraith,
who played a pivotal role in establishing
Queensland local government.
All these people understood that local
self-government, like universities and
locally owned and operated media, are vital
diversifying institutions in society: they help
to maximise freedom of choice, and thus help
express and accommodate the diverse needs
and aspirations of local communities.
And so Ryan, McCormack and the others
between them democratised local councils in
1920, transforming them from being mere
property-owners’ associations with limited
community legitimacy to fully legitimate,
democratic assemblies based on the
adult citizen (not ratepayer) franchise
exercised triennially.
According to one long-serving, senior state
public servant, these developments, “together
with the election of the Mayor or Chairman,
raised the status of these local personages
and the Aldermen and Councillors to such
an extent [that they] created jealousies of no
mean order.”
It took New South Wales another 20 years
to democratise local government, with other
states taking even longer.
Naturally, Parliament could now entrust
greater responsibilities to local councils
elected on the same basis as Parliament itself.
The problem was to do this without cluttering
the enabling legislation with a huge but
inevitably incomplete list of specifc powers
and functions.
The brilliant Charlie Chuter soon hit upon
the solution: as democratic local councils
were now fully legitimate local governments,
they should be granted a general power to
govern, or “general competence power”.
This power authorises local government,
in essence, to undertake for the community’s
beneft, any function not in confict
with any Commonwealth or State law
(or settled policy).
Parliamentary Draftsman John Woolcock
opposed the idea but Solicitor-General Webb
frmly endorsed it.
Parliament thereupon initially bestowed
the general competence power on the new
Greater Brisbane City Council in s.36 of the
City of Brisbane Act 1924.
At that council’s inaugural meeting on 3rd
March 1925, Home Secretary James Stopford
explained what this power amounted to.
He told the council: “You have a simple
Charter conferred upon you by Parliament –
it does not lay down any hard and fast
rules – you will take your authority for the
work that you will carry out by Ordinances
[now “local laws”] which you will consider
at your Council table, and which will have
legislative effect immediately it is assented to
by the Order-in-Council...
“Contrast that with the powers of the
old authority [i.e. the former Brisbane
city Council] and you will realise the great
power that is placed in your hands as rulers
of the destiny in local government matters
of the great area that will be brought under
your control.”
TUCKER’S BOX By Doug Tucker
Public Interest - December 2008 25
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Indeed, the legislation not only defned
a greatly expanded City of Brisbane,
but transferred to the newly elected council
an impressive range of new powers and
functions. These included electricity supply,
water supply and sewerage, tramways,
pest control and others previously vested in
unelected special-purpose bodies.
Democratic advantages aside, these
arrangements not only offered the benefts
of scale economies through horizontal
integration, but also scale economies through
vertical and circular integration.
In 1936 the general competence power,
having proven successful in Brisbane,
was extended to all other Queensland local
governments in the completely revised and
much admired Local Government Act brought
down by Health and Home Affairs Secretary
Hanlon.
In the House, Hanlon explained that
the ultra vires rule was so restrictive that,
for instance, local councils’ existing power to
regulate dogs evidently did not authorise them
to regulate specifc breeds (e.g. Alsatians).
Hence an amending statute was needed to
remedy the problem.
However, under his new statute, councils
would have “the widest powers. I doubt if there
is anything in the world so wide delegated to
the local authorities. They can make by-laws
on any question whatever...”
Mr Moore (interjecting): “Even Alsatian
dogs?” Mr Hanlon: “Anything at all,
even members of parliament. Anything that is
not illegal under some other Act of parliament
is now to be a function of local government.
That is as it should be.”
The Forgan-Smith Labor government
had clearly recognised that democratically
elected local councils, with their potential
for maximum responsiveness to their local
communities, entitled them to exercise a
general competence power: the constraints
imposed by local public opinion and the ballot
box were a more than adequate substitute for
the ultra vires rule.
By mid-century, then, these unique
developments had helped local government
cope with the Great Depression and two world
wars, marking the zenith of their fortunes.
Subsequently, a steady decline begins.
State governments on both sides of politics
either fail to bring certain services outside
Brisbane under full democratic control;
or transfer important powers and functions
from elected councils to unelected
special-purpose statutory bodies; or both.
By the 1980s and 90s, the growing
infuence of managerial ideology in national,
state and local government (at the expense of
local leadership) was obvious. This tendency
was an aspect, in turn, of the growth of
“rationalisation” in many countries that
sociologist Max Weber described, analysed,
and deplored.
Hence the Goss government’s new
and unwieldy Local Government Act 1993
clearly showed the infuence of ongoing
rationalisation. As recounted elsewhere, the
Act for example transferred the chief executive
role from elected mayors to appointed town
clerks, who now formally became CEOs.
Other signifcant rationalising
requirements, such as the mandatory adoption
of accrual instead of cash accounting for even
the tiniest (in population and revenue) shires,
were likewise included.
Subsequently, Queensland local government
experienced a substantial instalment of
regionalisation and a corresponding loss
of local community autonomy under the
state’s Local Government Reform Program in
April 2007. Furthermore, the government’s
takeover of signifcant aspects of water supply
further detracted from local government’s
importance and local democracy generally.
At present, the State government’s Local
Government Bill, if enacted, strengthens
CEO powers; and weakens elected leaders
still more by, for instance, empowering the
Minister to suspend individual mayors and/or
councillors, and to recommend their dismissal
to the government – probably without debate
in the House.
Democratic advantages aside, these arrangements not only ofered the
benefts of scale economies through horizontal integration, but also scale economies
through vertical and circular integration.
The Bill will likely be enacted, perhaps
with minor changes. Meanwhile, some rural
communities continue their long decline
into social and economic non-viability.
Yet vigorously led local councils and supportive
state governments might do much to counter
this trend.
Meanwhile the south-east’s force-fed
growth and less reliable rainfall threaten
soaring water prices, loss of agricultural
land, infrastructure backlogs, more traffc
congestion, and more pollution.
Footnotes continued from page 20
Public Service Commission, 2008
Public Service Commission, 2008
Offce of the Public Service Commissioner, Service Delivery
Challenge - Research Paper 5: Workforce Sustainability,
November 2007
Public Service Commission, 2008
Offce of the Public Service Commissioner, Occasional Paper
05/08, Sustaining the Queensland public service workforce
in a tight
labour environment, 2008
Margaret Wheatley, Is the pace of life hindering our ability
to manage? Management Today, March 2004
www.treasury.qld.gov.au
Jesse Jackson, Democratic National Convention Address,
18 July 1984
Public Service Commission, 2008
John C Maxwell, The 17th Irrefutable Laws of Teamwork, 2001
Offce of the Public Service Commissioner, Executive capability
development in the Queensland public service, June 2006
Public Service Commission, 2008
Offce of the Public Service Commissioner, Draft Queensland
Government Workforce Sustainability Strategy 2007-2017,
Unpublished
Offce of the Public Service Commissioner, Draft Queensland
Government Workforce Sustainability Strategy 2007-2017,
Unpublished
Offce of the Public Service Commissioner, Draft Queensland
Government Workforce Sustainability Strategy, 2007-2017,
Unpublished
More details on the Target 140 Campaign can be found at:
www.target140.com.au
Offce of the Public Service Commissioner, Occasional Paper
05/08, Sustaining the Queensland public service workforce in
a tight labour environment; 2008; Offce of the Public Service
Commissioner, Occasional Paper 06/08, Our service delivery
challenge, 2008
Offce of the Public Service Commissioner, Occasional Paper
05/08, Sustaining the Queensland public service workforce
in a tight labour environment, 2008, p4
Offce of the Public Service Commissioner, Occasional Paper
05/08, Sustaining the Queensland public service workforce
in a tight labour environment, 2008
Geoff Mulgan, Prospect Magazine, issue 110, May 2005 -
www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=6888
PRIORITIES AND PITFAllS
for the Queensland Public Sector by Ann Sherr y
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Young Professionals busy planning for 2009
YP UPDATE By Tanya Hornick
Have you ever
wondered what the
Young Professionals
Committee do?
The goal of the
Young Professionals
Committee is to
support the interests,
involvement and
development of
young professionals
in the pursuit of
excellence in public
administration
through the exchange
of ideas, discussion
of trends, and
promotion of best
practice.
The Young Professionals Committee
encourages young professionals to be
more involved in IPAA Queensland.
As such we are an advocate for young
professionals, provide an understanding
of young professionals, needs and issues,
and infuence IPAA Queensland directions,
services and products.
The Young Professionals Committee
has a strategic focus, including understanding
and informing IPAA Queensland of
YP needs and views and encouraging young
professionals to be more involved with
IPAA Queensland.
The Young Professionals Committee
recently welcomed a new committee member,
Chris Morrison. Chris is from the Brisbane
City Council where he is the Principal Offcer
Built Environment and Land Use in the
Family and Community Services Division.
Chris is actively involved in the Brisbane City
Council Youth Forum. The committee is always
looking for new committee members, so if you
would like to be involved please contact us at
yps@qld.ipaa.org.au
The committee has been busy planning
for 2009, including planning for the CEO
Breakfast to be held during Youth Week.
We are keen to hear your thoughts and ideas
and will be sending out a short survey in
the near future. If you have any ideas for
the committee you can always email us at
yps@qld.ipaa.org.au
The big event next year will be the
2009 IPAA National Conference to be held
in Brisbane on 19 and 20 November 2009.
The Young Professionals are contributing
ideas to the 2009 IPAA National Conference
Organising Committee. The conference is a
fantastic opportunity to hear high quality
and profle speakers and network with people
from across the state and nation. We look
forward to seeing you there! Stay tuned for
more information.
26 Public Interest - December 2008
Young Professionals Committee members:
CHAIR Tanya Hornick
Australian Bureau of
Statistics
MEMBER Carmen Smith
Queensland Tourism
MEMBER Anita Hicks
Dept of Tourism, Regional
Development and Industry
MEMBER Megan Duynehoven
Public Trust Offce
MEMBER Rob Rose
Queensland Police
MEMBER Stewart Saini
Dept of Communities
MEMBER Chandni Gupta
Disability Services
Queensland
MEMBER Chris Morrison
Brisbane City Council
IPAA Queensland Executive Manager – Training
& Development Siobhan McCarville managed to
catch up with Corporate Services Director Michael
Kalimnios during the poster awards function as part
of the conference
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New face with IPAA Queensland baby on the way
IPAA QUEENSlAND
UPDATE
Eden Platell
A New Baby for a New Year
IPAA Queensland’s Executive Manager
– Membership & External Relations,
Eden Platell is taking some time off to have
a baby. Eden oversees all of IPAA Queensland’s
events, membership and marketing activities,
including producing your quarterly copy of
the Public Interest.
Eden and her husband Jim (whose wedding
pic was featured in an IPAA Queensland
update several issues ago) are expecting their
frst baby in January.
Replacing Eden while she takes
6 months leave is smiling new face,
Melanie Mead. Melanie comes to IPAA
Queensland with experience from organisations
like QR, RSL Queensland and Sirromet Wines.
Melanie starts in December so please say
hi if you see her at one of our events or
training courses.
Public Interest - December 2008 27
IPAA Queensland was very proud to
support Queensland Health’s Corporate
Services Forum in August.
The forum brought together people from
all areas of Corporate Services including
fnance and HR and was a great chance
for IPAA Queensland staff to mingle with
members & clients.
IPAA Queensland had its famous massage
chairs giving free massages at the forum and
also held a book stall with offerings from
the IPAA Queensland Online Bookstore.
We also had a number of prizes on offer
including a learning and development voucher
and some great book packs.
Congratulations to the organisers for a
great forum!
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Conference themes...
sub
19/20 November, 2009
Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre
Southbank | Brisbane
Call (07) 3228 2800 for further information
RISING ‘C’ LEVELS
SUSTAINABLE
The Public Sector is under
pressure to research, develop
and articulate effective policy
frameworks and to deliver
practical outcomes.
These expectations fy across a
number of ‘C’ levels including:
• competence
• collaboration
• community
• consultation
• capacity
• costs
SUSTAINABLE
PRACTICE
Sustainability implies renewable
resources, restrained
consumption, effciency of
production and a long-term view
of planning and strategising.
For public administration these
principles are paralleled in:
• arejectionofprocessoverload
• afocusonaspirational
planning and strategising
including inspirational and
creative approaches to policy
information
• adopting a philosophy of
optimism and positive force
WARMING TO GLOBAL
TRENDS
Learning from and contributing
to what we know is happening
elsewhere must be a key
element of the new climate.
Experiences from countries
of a common Westminster
tradition to Australia’s, as well
as those of different traditions
should be examined for
possible adaptations that add
value to public administration in
the new era.
SURVIVAL OF THE
FITTEST
Change is happening at an
unparalleled rate.
This is more true for the
demanding policy development
environment than most other
situations. Keys to meeting this
challenge involve:
• agility
• aclearfocusonreal
objectives
• asharpsenseofbalance
between political and
operational imperatives
Interested in sponsoring or exhibiting
at the conference?
The Countdown has begun!
Mark the date in your diary now and
sign up for conference updates at
www.ipaanationalconference.org.au
ADAPT s INFLUENCE s THRIVE
CHANGING CLIMATE
the
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2009 NATIONAL CONFERENCE

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