Let ideas transcend jurisdiction: ACT invites widely for first territory IPAA conference

It’s usually in conversation and probing that you get to hear the depth of each others’ thinking, says Carmel McGregor. IPAA ACT will host its first conference next week to debate collaboration, capability and capacity for reform and how to make the public service great.

The ACT branch of the Institute for Public Administration Australia has a unique position with two very different governments from which to draw its members.

While most of the Australian Public Service and the mandarins that control its giant budgets stalk the capital’s inner suburbs, the territory’s government combines the roles of local council and provincial administration. At the intersection of issues affecting the business side of both, the local branch of the professional body for public administrators is hosting its own IPAA ACT conference for the first time.

The sold-out event next Thursday will focus more on panel discussions between experienced facilitators, drawcard speakers and delegates, rather than long pre-prepared presentations. A pre-conference dinner on Wednesday night promises to be a fiscal affair with the heads of Treasury and the Department of Finance, John Fraser and Jane Halton, having a chat with the ABC’s Emma Alberici.

According to IPAA ACT vice-president Carmel McGregor (pictured top), the decision to hold the event flowed on from the enthusiasm that remained after a very positive experience hosting the professional body’s national conference in 2013. The aim is to host lively discussions between people of different backgrounds that “transcend jurisdiction”.

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