Deep Dive 5 - Productivity

Deep Dive 5 - Productivity

This event is part of a series of six events in the Doing things Differently series. If you would like to attend all six events in this series, please register for the package.

Virtual Event

Thursday 9 December 2021
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM 

Professional & Affiliate 
Non Member 

A link to the event will be sent to those that have registered the day before the event. 
If you are a NSW public sector employee, then you are eligible for Affiliate membership free of charge. Click here to join.

How increased productivity will allow us to do things differently.

Deputy Secretaries Deep Dive 5 with Alex O'Mara, Kiersten Fishburn, Kathrina Lo, Samara Dobbins, Phil Gardiner and Rose Webb

Our collective efforts over the last 18 months have shown what our sector is truly capable of. We’ve kept NSW open for business, allowed the economy to prosper and enhanced the lives of our citizens by offering new ways of engagement.  

Now we’ve got a once in a generation opportunity to learn from these extraordinary times and truly do things differently.  

NSW’s 11 economic recovery priorities capitalise on and accelerate our sector’s recent innovations. These 11 priorities will reshape the future of government services and the work we do.

Regardless of your Cluster or position, it is critical you understand how each of these priorities will impact the sector and your role in it.

The final of IPAA’s series of five Deputy Secretary Deep Dives focuses on planning system reforms, public service ways of working, procurement reform and streamlining regulation and service for business.

This session explores four priorities: a faster and more transparent planning system to create jobs and keep the economy moving, reforming the NSW public sector workforce to maximise productivity and employee engagement, delivering savings across the sector through the Procurement Saving Services and Fiscal Repair Procurement Reform and a step change in business interaction with govt to deliver on NSW commitment to be world’s most customer-centric government.

The panel of Deputy Secretaries will share details of the reform area they are leading including the objectives, initiatives, and barriers to be overcome. They will also share lessons other parts of the sector can apply to improve results and build productivity.

This is an exclusive opportunity for the whole sector to understand how these priorities drive recovery and position NSW as the place to live and work.

If you’re committed to playing an active role in the transformation of our sector, this event will give you the understanding and inspiration to do things differently.

This event is part of IPAA’s Doing things differently series which has been developed to help support the development of a world class public sector.

The series is offered free of charge to IPAA NSW Professional and Affiliate members as part of agreements that IPAA NSW has in place with each individual cluster.

While you can register for each event individually, we encourage you to register for all events as part of a package so you can build a deep understanding of the broader strategic priorities of the sector.


Alex O'Mara

Group Deputy Secretary of Place, Design and Public Spaces Group
Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Alex O'Mara is the Group Deputy Secretary of Place, Design and Public Spaces Group within the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. Alex is tasked with leading two NSW Premier’s Priorities: Greening Our City and Greener Public Spaces. She also leads work to re-orient the planning system around people, places and communities, with a continued focus on greater upfront strategic planning, excellence in design, local neighbourhood character, and public spaces.
Prior to that, Alex was the Deputy Secretary for Create NSW, leading the delivery of the largest investment in cultural infrastructure in NSW since the Opera House was built and the development of the NSW Cultural Infrastructure Plan. 


Kiersten Fishburn
Coordinator General of Planning Delivery and Local Government
Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Kiersten Fishburn is the Coordinator General of Planning Delivery and Local Government at the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment. Kiersten drives a strong customer culture working closely with councils, developers and government agencies to remove red tape and resolve issues on stalled projects in the planning system. Key to her role is supporting the Office of Local Government and ensuring they are well placed to improve their services for local communities, building great places now and into the future. Kiersten is the former CEO of Liverpool City Council. Under her leadership, Liverpool was successfully positioned as Sydney's third CBD, seeing the largest capital investment in commercial development in its history, and securing generational opportunities from the Western Sydney City Deal. Prior to her work at the council, she held a number of roles including Director of the Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre and management positions with the City of Sydney, as well as a range of senior board and committee positions. Kiersten has an Executive MBA from RMIT and a BA (Art Theory) from UNSW.

Kathrina Lo
Public Service Commissioner

Kathrina joined the Commission in April 2020 after previously working as a Deputy Secretary for the Department of Communities and Justice.
Kathrina has extensive public sector experience with both state and federal governments. She has held senior executive roles in the NSW Department of Justice, NSW Audit Office and NSW Information and Privacy Commission.
Kathrina has qualifications in law and economics. She is passionate about working in the public interest, and is a champion for diversity and inclusion.
The Public Service Commissioner is an independent office holder.


Samara Dobbins
Deputy Secretary - People & Operations
Department of Premier and Cabinet

Samara Dobbins has over 14 years’ experience in leadership roles in Commonwealth and NSW Government. 
Currently Deputy Secretary at the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) and responsible for all the corporate and ministerial functions as well as NSW industrial relations, Ms Dobbins has worked extensively as a people leader and in senior executive roles including as the Chief People Officer at DPC. Ms Dobbins previously worked at the NSW Information and Privacy Commission (where she also 
acted as CEO and Information Commissioner), the Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing, the NSW Public Service Commission and the Fair Work Ombudsman. 
Ms Dobbins’ experience extends to managing corporate services including finance, ICT and human resources, audit and governance, the development of a contemporary licensing scheme for liquor and gaming in NSW, leading the implementation of the inaugural NSW Public Service Commission and drafting and delivering the ethical framework and values for the NSW Public Sector. 
As a people leader Ms Dobbins has expertise in managing large and small teams of high-performing staff to deliver outcomes-focused strategic goals, change management and organisational effectiveness.

Phil Gardiner
Deputy Secretary, Commercial and Procurement Group
NSW Treasury 

Phil joined Treasury as Executive Director, Commercial Transactions in October 2015. He was appointed to the Deputy Secretary position in May 2017 and in that capacity, he leads the overall C&P Group which comprises the Transactions, Commercial Assets, Infrastructure and Structured Finance (ISFU), and Strategic Balance Sheet Management (SBSM) units, as well as NSW Procurement.
Phil is chair of the NSW government’s Asset and Liabilities Committee (ALCO) and the NSW  Procurement Board. He is a member of several boards and steering committee’s including TCorp, the NSW Social Impact Investment Expert Advisory Group, the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) NSW Council, and the NSW Leadership Academy steering committee. 
Phil has over 28 years’ experience working in capital markets, funds management and superannuation with Macquarie Bank in Sydney, Goldman Sachs in London, Singapore and Sydney, and Sunsuper as a member of their Investment Committee. Phil has degrees in Law and Economics from the University of Tasmania.

Rose Webb
Deputy Secretary - Better Regulation
Department of Customer Service

Rose is the Deputy Secretary of the Better Regulation Division in the NSW Department of Customer Service. In this role she is NSW Fair Trading Commissioner and is also responsible for SafeWork NSW and a number of other regulatory functions. Immediately before taking up her current position Rose spent three and half years at the Hong Kong Competition Commission where she was first Senior Executive Director, and then CEO. Between 2001 and 2008, and again between 2011 and 2014, Rose worked for the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) including as NSW Regional Director and Executive General Manager for Mergers and Adjudication. Rose has also worked in environmental regulation at the Commonwealth level and was at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) from 1991 to 2001.

John Hubby
IPAA NSW Vice President

Deputy Secretary, Corporate Services
Department of Communities and Justice

In March 2017 John Hubby commenced in the position of Deputy Secretary Corporate Services at the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS). In this role John is responsible for the organisation’s “enabling pillar” of corporate functions. John brings to this role a track record of implementing major reform in public and private sector organisations and is leading the transformation of corporate and governance functions responsive to the many changes in FACS’ service delivery model.
Prior to this John Hubby held the position of Deputy Secretary Government and Corporate Services at the Department of Finance, Services & Innovation (DFSI). He joined that organisation in April 2012 and filled the role of Acting Chief Executive for ten months when Finance & Services joined the Treasury and Finance Cluster. In his role at DFSI John was responsible for the delivery of Corporate and Shared Services across the organisation of 7,000 employees.

Ursula Brennan
National Leader, Public Sector and Public Policy 

Ursula is the National Leader for Deloitte's public sector and public policy practice, coordinating services from across our business to support State, Federal and local government clients in delivering better outcomes for citizens. Ursula also leads Deloitte's national Business Case Centre of Excellence, providing advice to assist clients in securing funding for major infrastructure, ICT and reform programs. Ursula's previous experience includes a broad range of corporate finance engagements, including strategic reviews, mergers, acquisitions and divestments, business planning and capital raisings. Prior to joining Deloitte, Ursula spent three years with ANZ’s Merchant Banking division in London and Paris, focusing on cross border funding, and a further four years in industry as European CFO of an international company.

We thank Deloitte for sponsoring the Doing Things Differently series of events. 

Follow the conversation at #doingthingsdifferently

9/12/2021 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
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