Public service leaders win top award

The awards celebrated the breadth of skills, knowledge and experience within the Australian Public Service.

In brief

  • The Awards recognise exceptional achievements by leaders in the Australian Public Service annually
  • Award winners were announced 17 October 2019 at Parliament House

Leaders from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development and Department of Finance are among the winners of this year’s Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand Leadership in Government Awards™.

The awards, which recognises the achievements of exceptional leaders who have made a significant contribution to the prosperity and stability of the country, were presented last month at a special gala at Parliament House in Canberra.

Under the theme of building culture, governance and leadership, it was a night that celebrated the breadth of skills, knowledge, and experience throughout the public service, from well-established public servants to those in the early stages of their careers who show great future potential.

Philanthropist Peter Baines OAM gave the keynote address on implementing long-lasting corporate social responsibility programs and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand 2019 President Stephen Walker spoke on the power of ethical leadership.

“As we face the advent of new technologies, leaders need to continually explore what being ethical means so that ethical leadership is core to everything. We can no longer ask ourselves ‘can I?’ but must now answer the question ‘should I?’.

“Leaders are critical in embedding ethics in the hearts and mind of the leaders of tomorrow. This is a time to celebrate leaders who are actively encouraging and creating building stronger cultures through all levels,” said Walker.

The awards were judged by an independent panel that includes previous winners and is chaired by former Federal Commissioner of Taxation, Michael D’Ascenzo. Judges selected the winners based on who exemplified personal drive and integrity, cultivated productive working relationships, shaped strategic thinking, communicated with influence and achieved results.

There are three categories ranging from well-established public servants to those in the early stages of their careers who show great future potential; The Outstanding Contribution in Public Administration, Emerging Leader of the Year and Outstanding Graduate of the Year.

Hailing from the Australian Taxation Office, the winner of the Outstanding Graduate of the Year Award Caitlin Petersen was thankful to those who have supported me throughout her journey.

“To be nominated for such a prestigious award is an honour in of itself, and I was privileged to be in attendance alongside extraordinary leaders from right across the public sector especially at such an early stage in my career,” said Caitlin.

The Emerging Leader of the Year Award went to Brendon Buckley from the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development who said it was very humbling to receive the award and commended the night filled with inspiring speakers and networking opportunities.

“To even be nominated was rewarding as it provided recognition from my senior executive that they appreciate the work that I put in to support productive and liveable cities,” said Brendon.

“I was very surprised when my name was read out and I would like to give my thanks to Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.”

Outstanding Contribution in Public Administration Award winner Rachael Spalding from the Department of Finance also expressed gratitude to be acknowledged for her contribution to the public service sector.

Learn more about the Leadership in Government Awards

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