Work With Purpose

Monday August 15, 2022

Why be a public servant?

Working in the public service means to serve for the country and the future of its people. The public service is a critical function of Australia’s democracy; however, it is a complex and challenging environment. With the last couple of years of the pandemic, the Australian public service has shifted rapidly from a competitive environment to a more collaborative one between departments.

In this episode, we are joined by Harinder Sidhu, Australian High Commissioner to New Zealand at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Patrick Hetherington, Chief Operating Officer at the Department of Social Services, and Sean Innis, Principal of Damala Street Consulting. Hosted by Chairman of Partners Canberra at KPMG, Cath Ingram, they explore the purpose, impact, rewards, and challenges of contemporary public service.

Discussed in this episode:

  • The pressures of an ‘always-on’ environment.
  • The role of stewardship.
  • Ethical decision making.
  • The hollowing and building of capability.

Produced in partnership between

Supported by


  • Sean Innis image
    Sean Innis

    Principal of Damala St Consulting

  • Harinder Sidhu image
    Harinder Sidhu

    IPAA ACT Councillor
    Australian High Commissioner to New Zealand, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

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