Three public sector leaders have been named among the finalists in this year’s Women’s Agenda Leadership Awards.
Those named in the running for “emerging leader in the public sector” include VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter, Anneke Schmider of the Civil Registration and Vital Statistics section at the World Health Organization and Linda Spurr, general manager at Airservices Australia’s Learning Academy.
The awards, run by Mandarin sister site Women’s Agenda, aim to celebrate the best and most inspiring female talent in business and the community, as well as the men and women who help women achieve. Winners will be announced on February 25.
Jerril Rechter recently led VicHealth through a major restructure to help deliver its first ever 10-year plan, the Action Agenda for Health Promotion, and to continue to drive leadership in health promotion. The agenda aims to achieve long-term population health gains by encouraging regular physical activity, preventing tobacco use, preventing harm from alcohol and improving mental wellbeing — underpinned by the premise that health is more than being free from disease.
Consultation and collaboration with VicHealth’s team of 80 has been an important component in implementing the new strategic direction. A management team was created to share information, coordinate activity, discuss issues and serve as a vital conduit for communication back and forth between staff. Rechter has drawn on her creative background to develop a leadership style which focuses on innovation, well-being and collaboration to ensure the organisation and its culture.
Anneke Schmider has spent the past 18 months taking a lead role developing the World Health Organization’s global agenda to improve civil registration and vital statistics for development, especially for results in women’s and children’s health.
In partnership with the World Bank and Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development, she contributed to the first global plan for scaling up investment in CRVS development, established global targets for results, and is now working on an investment program through the proposed Global Financing Facility for Women and Children.
She has also built critical partnerships including global and regional networks with development partners including UNICEF and the UN Regional Commissions. Having worked previously with Queensland Treasury and the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Anneke has successfully translated her leadership and technical skills, and especially her knowledge of the power of data in more effective policy decisions and results at a domestic level, into the regional and global context.
She says she is passionate about the importance of generating valuable data and vital statistics to improve development policies and results, particularly in regards to health.
Linda Spurr has led a considerable reform agenda at the helm of government-owned corporation Airservices Australia’s Learning Academy, focusing on improvement and innovation at a time of unprecedented demand, emerging workforce requirements, fiscal constraints and regulatory changes.
In addition to successfully reaccrediting as a registered training organisation, under Spurr’s management the academy has yielded an increase of 62% training throughput, a 9% reduction in unit training costs, award recognition for training excellence and a 25% increase in staff engagement.
In 2014 she succesfully introduced a number of initiatives to ensure the organisation can meet its future workforce requirements, improve programs and increase staff development and engagement.