Future Public Service: Flexible work delivers smarter solutions

Events - 30 Nov 2016

Successful flexible work arrangements create a more satisfying work experience for both women and men. A satisfied, more diverse workforce, will deliver smarter solutions at a time when the public sector needs them more than ever.

Why this session matters:

  • Delivering a high-performing public sector agency in an ever more demanding environment requires every leader and manager to ensure they attract and retain talented staff.
  • Making the most of diverse and talented staff when and where they are available is increasingly a business imperative.
  • Leaders who hope to enjoy a successful career of their own, will need the skills to lead and develop flexible teams and organisations.

This session is part of our annual 'Women in Leadership' series, and discussed important issues facing both women and men.

Research by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) has identified the benefits of flexible work. In her keynote address, Libby Lyons, Director of the WGEA, will discuss strategies to achieve them.

Putting everything in context was two panel members who are challenging the status quo by bringing flexible work practices into professional settings. A senior lawyer discussed her experience of managing flexible work arrangements in a competitive, time sensitive profession and a senior public servant highlighted how he has made flexibility work while managing the responsibilities of a decision maker.

Participants left this session with a better understanding of the role of flexible work arrangements in delivering a more equitable and gender diverse workforce, what flexible work arrangements look like and the benefits they deliver for them, why they should consider implementing them, when to use them and how to manage them.

This event was for:

  • Senior leaders looking to improve the productivity of their organisation
  • Managers seeking to overcome the challenges associated with implementing flexible work organisations
  • Public servants seeking to increase gender diversity within public sector leadership

Topics included:

  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Women in Leadership
  • Challenging the status-quo
  • Productivity
  • Leadership
  • Attracting and retaining talent


Cathryn Greville MIPAA
Assistant Director  
Economic Regulation Authority




Keynote Speaker:

Libby Lyons
Workplace Gender Equality Agency

Libby Lyons was appointed as Director of the Workplace Gender Equality Agency for a period of five years from October 2015. Prior to joining the Agency, Libby held senior management roles across the corporate and government sectors in the energy, resources and telecommunications industries. Libby started her working life as a primary school teacher and so has experience in working in both female and male dominated industries and understands first hand that a more diverse work group makes for better decision making and organisational performance.


David MacLennan
Assistant Director General, Policy and Priority Initiatives
Department of Planning

David MacLennan joined the Department of Planning in March 2015.

He is an experienced public sector leader and served in various roles in the Commonwealth Government in Australia and overseas. This includes diplomatic postings with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in London, Lima, Mexico City and Papua New Guinea. 
Prior to joining the Department of Planning, Mr MacLennan held the position of Head of the Political and Economic Branch at the Australian High Commission in London.  Prior to that, Mr MacLennan was DFAT’s State Director in Western Australia.
He holds a Masters in Management from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of WA. 
In his current role, Mr MacLennan’s provides strategic direction for land use and infrastructure planning, policy and projects in Western Australia.

Karen Farley SC
Senior Counsel
Legal Aid WA

Karen holds a Bachelor of Jurisprudence and a Bachelor of Laws from UWA and was admitted to practice in 1982.

She left Phillips Fox (as Lavan & Walsh was then known) as a Senior associate in 1986, to complete a six month locum at Legal Aid WA in the Criminal Law section. Since that time, and fractured by three periods of maternity leave, Karen has held several positions at Legal Aid. Currently she is Senior Appeals Consultant.

Karen has taught at UWA, Notre Dame and Murdoch Law Schools. She has held positions on many government and non-government Boards and Committees. Karen served on the Council of Management of St Hildas ASG for 15 years, and was Chair of Council for 7 years. Currently she is an elected member of the Shire of Peppermint Grove, and a member of the Racing Penalties Appeals Tribunal.

In 2011 Women Lawyers of WA named Karen as Senior Woman Lawyer of the year. In December 2013 Karen was appointed Senior Counsel for and in the State of Western Australia