In this special Q&A series, we introduce the members of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) ACT Future Leaders Committee (FLC) who work closely with us to deliver a series of events throughout the year.

What is your role in the public service and what do you enjoy most about it?

I am the acting director of Decision Support at the Department of Defence. I enjoy briefing our senior leaders both verbally and in writing, and putting myself in their shoes – what change does their position and authority allow them to influence? How can they implement large-scale change?

What is your role on the committee?

I am the current chair of the committee.

Why did you join the committee?

After my first IPAA event, I was instantly hooked on the value and inspiration I gained from hearing experienced leaders speak on their thoughts of leadership and the interesting stories that accompanied them. I participated in the IPAA ACT Future Leaders Program and IPAA mentoring program and was very keen to express my interest in supporting IPAA and the committee. Needless to say, I continue to attend every IPAA event I can.

What does great leadership look like to you?

Great leadership means showing courage and virtue when faced with responsibility – it is a function, not a position. I think great leaders value curiosity and listening, and asking questions that influence thinking. I really value growth and continual learning and believe leadership should be contextualised to the individual. A ‘stretch task’ for one person is completely different from that of another. To enable personal growth to occur a one size fits all approach won’t work.

If you have participated, can you tell us your three key takeaways from when you attended the Future Leaders Program?

  • Great leaders demonstrate their values through how they speak and behave every day.
  • It’s important to be curious and realise that even though you have settled on a point of view or made a decision, it is not too late to consider new evidence and change your mind.
  • It is vital to create an environment where there is diversity of thought and staff are comfortable sharing bad news. Even in high-pressure times, it is important to have fun and enjoy the great profession that is public service

If you have participated, can you tell us about a time when you applied some of the lessons you learned from the program?

I like to lean into leadership by engaging with graduate cohorts: ensuring they have appropriate expectations, inspiration, and ability to influence change, and of course – to let them know about IPAA!

Make sure to follow the Future Leaders Committee on LinkedIn.

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