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Susan Pascoe wins $20k prize for public sector leadership

Susan Pascoe has won the top honour at the Leadership in Government Awards for her work leading the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission.

Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand gave Pascoe the award for the year’s Outstanding Contribution to Public Administration at a recent ceremony in Canberra. The awards recognise “leaders whose work builds stronger economies, stable nations and prosperous communities” according to the professional body.

Pascoe said she was proud and surprised to win the award, which she said reflected the hard work and dedication of ACNC staff.

“Public administration, particularly within the Australian Public Service, attracts many committed, high calibre individuals,” the commissioner said. “It truly is an honour to be recognised as a leader within this sector.”

Pascoe said it was “humbling” to be singled out by the “exemplary public servants and academics” on the judging panel, who include among them a former Commissioner of Taxation, two former Commonwealth auditors-general, Department of Infrastructure secretary Mike Mrdak and former federal mandarin Andrew Metcalfe.

CAANZ also recognised Charlie Shandil from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and Kristine Tay from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade as joint Graduate of the Year winners.

Pascoe received $20,000 for “leadership development and growth” along with the honour. The graduate award comes with a $10,000 sabbatical to invest in leadership development and a trophy.


The accountants’ group says its awards are modelled on the framework of the United Nations’ 17 sustainable development goals and managed to secure a keynote address by video link from former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan.

CAANZ also hosted a panel discussion about sustainable development at the event, featuring Nobel Prize winning East Timorese statesman José Ramos-Horta, University of Canberra professor Barbara Norman and Kirk Pengilly, who is best known for playing the saxophone with INXS.

Author Bio

Stephen Easton

Stephen Easton is a journalist at The Mandarin based in Canberra. He's previously reported for Canberra CityNews and worked on industry titles for The Intermedia Group.