Susie King, SVA Consulting Director, reflects on a panel conversation she facilitated with senior leaders during a session at IPAA Victoria’s Public Sector Week 2019 on navigating transformation and disruption in the public and social sectors.
Social Ventures Australia (SVA) partnered with the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) Victoria during its Public Sector Week 2019 to explore how the public and social sectors can navigate transformation and disruption. On the panel were:
- Kym Peake, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services (Vic) and President, IPAA Victoria
- Lisa Paul AO PSM, Adjunct Professor at Melbourne School of Government, Chair of headspace, non-executive director at SVA, and previously Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training, and
- Suzie Riddell, SVA’s CEO and non-executive director at The Observership Program.
Governments and the public sector across Australia are confronting unprecedented disruption. There are significant pressures from demographic and other trends such as rapid population growth, an aging population and rising expectations from citizens. Our transport, healthcare, education and community support systems and services are increasingly being challenged to continue delivering the best outcomes for all Australians. At the same time, the social sector is dealing with the frontline implications of these changes.
This conversation took place in the context of the Victorian Government delivering an ambitious reform agenda focused on addressing these disruptions and significantly transforming policy settings, funding mechanisms and service delivery in partnership with the social sector. But much of it is relevant around the country, as the Commonwealth and all States and Territories grapple with the policy and service delivery complexities of reforms, such as the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Successfully navigating these ongoing disruptions and transformations is a necessity. Many of the panel contributions aren’t new but some surprised me.
The panel spoke about the current social and political climate, some of the broader challenges and opportunities the public sector faces in ‘governing’ today, as well as highlighting the even greater importance of really understanding what citizens want and the value of collaboration between the public, social and corporate sectors in improving outcomes for all Australians.