Australia’s Public Sector

Fit for Purpose. Fit for the Future

Events - 23 Aug 2018


IPAA’s inaugural National Event Series arrived in Perth on the 23rd of August. Delegates had the opportunity to be part of the national discussion about the readiness of the public sector to meet imminent challenges.

The conversation considered the challenges of maintaining faith in the traditional values of public administration and the opportunities for bold innovation in the sector. IPAA National President, Professor Peter Shergold AC FIPAA, delivered a keynote presentation on the theme of rebuilding trust in public purpose.

He was joined on the program by some of Western Australia’s leading influencers and thinkers in public service design and delivery.

Delegates heard the latest thinking from across Australia in Prof Shergold’s address, before local leaders provided essential insight into the critical challenges and opportunities facing public service delivery in our state over coming decades.

Ideas discussed in this session contribute to a final report to the 2018 IPAA National Conference in October.

Have your say: Professor Shergold would like to hear from you, the public service in WA, on what you see as your biggest challenges, and to gauge the pulse of WA's public sector. Complete this short 3 minute survey here. 

Last year at the IPAA 2017 National Conference in Canberra, Professor Peter Shergold AC FIPAA spoke on the topic of 'Shifting Trust'. In his trademark style, Prof. Shergold delivered a readily understood discussion of the complex and important topic at hand. View his presentation below.


Key issues explored

The conversation was  future-focused and considered the challenges and opportunities for the sector. Issues discussed included, but were not be limited to:

  • disruptive cognitive technologies (e.g. advanced robotics, automation of knowledge work, the Internet of Things, the Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, machine learnings, big data analytics)
  • the use of systems approaches and human-centred design to tackle complex problems
  • innovation in the face of cross-cutting challenges (e.g. climate change, ageing, socio-economic inequality and the future of work)
  • citizen engagement and digital democracy
  • applying behavioural insights to public purpose
  • creating effective cross-sectoral collaboration for public impact
  • restoring trust in government, public institutions and the value of non-partisan expertise.


Mike Rowe
Vice-President, IPAA WA
Director General, Department Water and Environmental Regulation




Keynote Presenter

Prof. Peter Shergold AC FIPAA
President, IPAA National; 
Chancellor, Western Sydney University

Peter Shergold is now the Chancellor of Western Sydney University. He had a distinguished career in the Australian Public Service, including as Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He now serves as a director on the boards of both private and community sector organisations. He also remains active in public administration at both the Commonwealth and State level, including in the areas of higher education, vocational education, public administration, refugee resettlement, Medicare Data and the development of Western Sydney 


Colin Murphy PSM FIPAA
President, IPAA WA





Darren Foster
Director General, Department of the Premier and Cabinet

Mr Foster is the Director General of the Department. Mr Foster joined the Department in March 2017 and was appointed as Director General in July 2017.

Mr Foster has over 30 years of public sector experience as a senior policy and strategy adviser in Commonwealth, State and local governments, in areas as diverse as Environment, Treasury and Finance; Energy; Health; Education and Training; Tourism; Racing and Gaming and Native Title. Mr Foster has held senior roles in the Department of Fisheries and the Office of the Environmental Protection Authority, and the National Native Title Tribunal.

Mr Foster holds a Bachelor of Arts (Communication and Cultural Studies) and a Postgraduate Diploma of Arts (History), and is an alumnus of the Australian and New Zealand School of Government Executive Fellows Program. Click here for more information.

Sue Ash AO
Deputy Chairperson, Early Years Initiative

Ms Sue Ash AO is a leader in the community sector in Western Australia. Ms Ash was recognised for her distinguished service to the community, particularly in the area of social policy development, reform and implementation, and to the provision of services to people in need with the award of Officer of the Order of Australia in 2014.

Ms Ash was appointed to the position of Deputy Chairperson of the State Emergency Management Committee in 2012. She was a member of the Premier's Partnership Forum from its inception in 2008 until her retirement from the position of Chief Executive Officer of UnitingCare West, a not-for-profit community services agency providing a diverse range of services in the areas of independent living and accommodation; mental health and disability; community and family support in order to work with people and communities so those most in need can belong and thrive. Click here for more information.

Cr Lynne Craigie
President, Western Australian Local Government Association

Elected President of WALGA in July 2015, Lynne Craigie has been a State Councillor since April 2008. Cr Craigie has been President of the Shire of East Pilbara for ten years and Councillor since 2003. Click here for more information