Kyle Sandilands' former HR boss becomes NSW public service commissioner

By Stephen Easton

April 9, 2018

After being the HR boss for the company that has controversial radio host Kyle Sandilands on the payroll, surely a few hundred thousand public servants shouldn’t present too much of a problem.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian’s new public service commissioner brings experience in some of Australia’s biggest companies, including a media company with some high-profile employees.

Emma Hogan comes to the role after a brief stint as the HR boss for media and events company Here, There and Everywhere — better known as APN News and Media — which owns the Australian Radio Network. That means, for a few months last year at least, she managed the workforce that contains Sydney household names like Kyle and Jackie O from KIIS FM or the less controversial WSFM duo Jonesy and Amanda.

Emma Hogan. Image: LinkedIn.

She has also held similar roles at Foxtel, Qantas and Woolworths. Berejiklian said her appointment showed that “lifting standards and improving outcomes” was the government’s focus for the public service.

“Our government’s vision is for the NSW public sector to be known as people focused and engaged, with a dynamic culture that delivers high quality services and infrastructure throughout the State,” the Premier added in a statement last week.

Change is the key theme for the NSW government at the moment, in the view of Berejiklian’s most senior mandarin, Tim Reardon. The Department of Premier and Cabinet secretary backed up her preference for leaders with private-sector experience, which was also reflected in her recent decision to suddenly replace the head of the Department of Industry.

“New technologies, increasing customer expectations and an evolving workplace mean that now more than ever we need leadership that combines private sector focus and public sector principles, leadership I know Emma will provide,” Reardon added in the statement.

Hogan’s task will be to “build on the innovative work” of the state’s first public service commissioner, Graeme Head, according to the commission’s chair, Peter Shergold — who has just taken on a new position himself as chair of the Centre for Social Impact.

“Emma has a strong track record in people and change management within large and complex organisations, and her strong stakeholder and communications skills will serve her well in continuing to drive change and readying the NSW public sector for the future,” said Shergold, a former head of the Australian Public Service.

For NSW public servants who are interested in Hogan’s background and what she might bring to the role, her LinkedIn profile provides some insight.

“Firmly focused on driving a people-first agenda that celebrates high performance, my core value rests on an ability to have strategic input, and realise corporate vision by lifting leadership capacity and aligning people to best practice, operating models and frameworks, realising improvements that not only boost staff engagement, but drive full-cycle customer experience improvements,” she writes.

“By prioritising collaborative working environments premised on innovative thinking and constant review, I am able to establish an agile, flexible business capable of switching direction quickly and confidently when faced with the challenge of disruptive markets, increasing competition and ever-evolving customer requirements and behaviours.”

As well as HR, Hogan has qualifications in executive coaching and as a company director. She established the Rainbow Jane charitable foundation and sits on the boards of the Indigenous educational mentoring organisation AIME and the Cantoo Foundation, an innovative cancer charity that raises funds for medical research and provides athletic training.

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