Shaping the Views at the Top 2016

The Shape of Public Service to Come

Events - 23 Sep 2016

A fantastic ‘not to be missed’ career opportunity for Young Professionals!

Building on the success of the previous events in this series, Shaping the Views at The Top offered young professionals a glimpse of the issues and ideas of key leaders across the public sector in Western Australia.

IPAA WA provided this forum as an innovative way of informing government and top decision makers of Young Professionals' views and ideas on what they think is really going on in the public domain and could be done better.

This workshop and mentored discussion process offered a rare opportunity to feed into the key decision making processes of the state public sector and actively provide tangible policy ideas for public leaders to take back to their organisations for consideration.

The theme for this year's Shaping the Views at the Top was:
"WA 2025: Western Australian public sector issues that young professionals will need (and be needed) to help solve.

As well as hearing presentations from each of the panellists, participants had the opportunity to contribute ideas and share their perspectives through an engaging facilitated round table process. These ideas were worked upon by the group to create policy recommendations, to be fed into the respective organisations’ policy processes.

Group Notes

Sven Bluemmel's Group
Gail McGowan's Group
Len Kosova's Group
Nina Lyhne's Group


  • Complex problem solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Collaboration


Gail McGowan
Director General, Department of Planning

Gail was appointed Director General of the Department of Planning in April 2014.
Gail has overseen the development by the Department of Planning of the WAPC’s suite of draft strategic land use planning documents, Perth and Peel@3.5million, to consider how best to accommodate a population of 3.5 million people by 2050. She also has responsibility for implementing comprehensive planning reforms.

Gail is a highly regarded leader and negotiator across industry, government and the wider community. She has previously held senior positions at the Department of State Development, Worksafe and for State and Federal Ministers of Parliament. Gail is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and member of Chief Executive Women of Australia.

Len Kosova
Chief Executive Officer, City of Vincent

Len joined the City of Vincent as its Chief Executive Officer in August 2014. He is a Town Planner by trade and began working in planning in 1995 after graduating from Curtin University.

Before joining Vincent, Len held Director positions in three other local governments over a period of 13 years, spaning the portfolios of planning, building, health, environmental management, development engineering, policy and strategy, economic development and urban regeneration.

Len believes in finding and liberating the talent in every organisation, that the role of great leaders is not to gather followers but to create even greater leaders and that nothing is ever "as good as it gets".

Now, at the age of 41, Len says he's made a living out of rocking the boat, being curious, asking stupid questions, learning from others and collecting experience and ideas along the way.

Nina Lyhne
Managing Director of Transport Services, Department of Transport

Nina Lyhne has worked in the Department of Transport since January 2011 as the Managing Director Transport Services. Nina was previously the WorkSafe Western Australia Commissioner and the Executive Director of the Office of Road Safety. Nina’s work experience has involved working in diverse roles across Government agencies in sectors ranging from commerce and trade to community development and occupational safety and health. Nina also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology.

Transport Services is responsible for the delivery of a wide range of transport related services to the Western Australian community. These include driver licensing, vehicle registration, personal on demand transport (including taxis), rail safety, marine safety, coastal infrastructure for small boats and regional services. Transport Services also provides information technology, people and corporate services for the Department of Transport.

Sven Bluemmel
President IPAA WA;
Western Australian Information Commissioner

Sven Bluemmel is the Western Australian Information Commissioner.  He previously held senior positions serving the Western Australian and Commonwealth Governments in Perth and Canberra.

Prior to his career in the public sector, Sven practised law in the private sector in Melbourne and Perth, where he was recognised as a leading lawyer in the areas of information and privacy law in the national publication Legal Profiles.

Sven is a Fellow of Leadership Western Australia and actively participates in the community, including through his involvement with the Smith Family’s Learning for Life program.  He also serves as the President of the Institute of Public Administration in Western Australia. 

Sven holds a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and a Bachelor of Science, both from the Australian National University.