Jobwatch: WA’s top bureaucrat, Harvard scholarships, last chance to replace Gillian Triggs

By The Mandarin

Monday April 24, 2017

Today in The Mandarin’s Jobwatch: the WA government needs a new top bureaucrat, the Australian National University needs a public policy guru who knows the corridors of power inside-out to cement its influential role, and there’s two Harvard Business School scholarships up for grabs to female leaders who serve the public.

Also, if you think you’ve got what it takes to replace Gillian Triggs as president of the Australian Human Rights Commission and make nice with Attorney-General George Brandis and his colleagues, time is almost up.

Western Australia’s top public service job opens up

Post election, the WA government needs a new director-general of the Department of Premier and Cabinet.

In its own words, the department’s key roles are communication of policies and initiatives, promotion of the state’s interests overseas and management of special occasions and official visits, along with executive support and policy advice to ministerial offices, logistical support to the opposition leader, and administration of entitlements for current and former Members of Parliament.

Selection criteria cover all the bases: “outstanding leadership, significant personal integrity and exemplary ethical standards” as well as “the knowledge and skill” to help the new government run its reform agenda and keep as many of its election promises as possible.

You’ll need to be able to “inspire a sense of purpose and be able to think, act and focus strategically” as well as apply typical government leadership attributes to the “new priorities and objectives” that now hold sway in Perth.

Public service commissioner Mal Wauchope is on hand as the contact officer for any queries and the recruitment process is being handled by Julie Colvin at Derwent Executive. Applications close May 8

ANU’s new public policy powerhouse needs an ‘exceptional’ leader

The Australian National University already packs a punch in public policy, but it needs someone with “recent professional experience of working in, or closely with, national government at a senior level” to make sure it maintains and builds on that influential role.

The director of the new ANU Public Policy and Societal Impact Hub would also do well to have “expert working knowledge” of the federal government, but most importantly they must be “an exceptional leader capable of harnessing the breadth and scale of the University’s expertise” and helping its researchers to increase the impact of their public policy work.

The director will work with Public Policy Fellows and other academic Associates of the new Hub, reporting to a steering committee chaired by vice-chancellor Brian Schmidt and supervised by an ANU executive leader. Schmidt has even put together a video advertisement:

According to the listing:

“The Director’s primary strength will be engagement with researchers, public policy practitioners, political stakeholders and media colleagues. They must have the experience and ability to link interdisciplinary solutions to complex public policy challenges and the ability to engage and persuade accordingly. They will be attuned to the nuances of senior leadership in an academic or public policy environment. They will enjoy facilitating outcomes while letting the University and its research take centre-stage.”

Contact: Ilona Motyer at Perrett Laver

Last chance to replace Gillan Triggs as Human Rights Commission president

It’s been obvious for a long time that the feds would replace Gillian Triggs at the earliest opportunity and the government has been thinking about potential successors for months, but there’s still time to get in a quick application before the closing date of May 5.

As a statutory officer, the president of the AHRC must perform their job according to the legislation. But as Triggs found out, this can be difficult when the government disagrees with some of that legislation, and hopes to draw political support from sections of the community that disagree with the commission’s very existence.

Applicants from “the law and other professions, government, public policy, NGOs, academia, the media and the private sector” will be accepted as long as they “have a familiarity” with the relevant legislation. The listing emphasises the administrative aspects of the job — “the capacity to lead and manage a large and complex organisation” and “a capacity to deal with dispute-resolution, in furtherance of the Commission’s complaint-handling function” as well as areas where Triggs got tripped up:

“The role of the President also involves public advocacy of human rights issues, working constructively with Government to advance human rights issues, and being accountable to the Parliament through its committees.”

Contact: Emma Swinbourne

Ladies first: two Harvard Business School scholarships up for grabs

It’s not quite a job, but it’s definitely a great career opportunity for public sector leaders who aspire to bigger roles.

Two lucky Australian women will be supported to head over to Boston later this year and join the Authentic Leader Development program at Harvard Business School, thanks to a partnership between Chief Executive Women and the federal government.

The scholarships are open to senior executive women who have at least five years of “general management” experience involving performance management, strategic planning and budgetary responsibilities. They need to hold a decision-making role in service to the public, but not necessarily working directly for a government agency.

They need to demonstrate how they are “strong role models for women in Australia” and seek bigger leadership positions, and also how they would work together “in a deeply personal way” with other students in the course.

The program runs from July 30 to August 4 and applications have to be in by May 15. Contact CEW to apply

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