Australia’s nationwide professional association for the public sector, the Institute of Public Administration Australia, has confirmed the appointment of Penny Armytage as its new national president at its annual general meeting last week.
Outgoing president Terry Moran praised Armytage’s contribution to some of the most challenging and complex areas of the public sector.
“For ten years, Penny was responsible for leading the Victorian Department of Justice, an organisation of 7600 staff, 60 statutory agencies and an overall annual budget of $4 billion,” said Mr Moran.
“She was also responsible for the department’s legislative program and chairing the state’s Criminal Justice Steering Committee, established to drive reform of the Victorian criminal justice system.”
Armytage led the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires and the Victorian Bush Fires Royal Commission. In previous roles, Armytage was an executive director in the Victorian Department of Human Services and commissioner in the Offices of Correction Services in the Victorian Department of Justice.
Armytage is currently a partner with KPMG, and is its lead for the Victorian government account and the national sector lead for justice and security. She spoke with The Mandarin last year about being attracted to the most contentious issues:
“There are some issues where I think that people like me who have experience in the public sector and now in the private sector should be trying to contribute to some of the more difficult programmatic issues being faced.”
Moran moves on, new challenges for sector
Armytage said Moran has made an extraordinary contribution to IPAA over the last three years, and thanked him for his passionate advocacy for the sector.
“By international standards the Australian public sector delivers high-quality services for a share of GDP that is amongst the lowest in the ORCD,” she said.
“I have seen the incredible agility of our sector during disaster response. But that shouldn’t blind us to the challenges ahead including rising expectations about government services, tighter budgets, digital disruption and the need to involve citizens in the planning and delivery of services.”
“The current debate about federation reform brings many of those issues into sharp focus. IPAA’s program of event and professional development activities around Australia are helping to build the capabilities the public sector needs to meet those challenges and I look forward to playing a role in this important work.”