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Making a Difference: Putting people at the centre

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Making a Difference: Putting people at the centre
Making a Difference – Showcasing the exceptional work of public servants, making a difference to NSW 


Is this event right for you?

Join us at the next Making a Difference: Putting People at the Centre event, where we delve into transformative case studies from the Department of Regional and the Health Care Complaints Commission. 

Discover how the Department of Regional's award-winning digital capability uplift program put employees at the forefront of technological advancement. Be prepared to explore the SCORM files and gain insights into their success.

In addition, the Health Care Complaints Commission will shed light on the critical topic of informed consent for patients engaging with health practitioners. Delve into real-world cases involving Professor Teo and Dr Grygiel and understand the importance of prioritising people in healthcare decisions.

The Making a Difference series showcases the work of public servants like you – delivering outcomes in their teams and making a difference to the people of New South Wales. 

This series has been designed to inspire and celebrate the great impact that public servants like you have on our state, no matter your level or specialisation.  


What will you gain?

The case studies featured in this series have been recommended by your public sector leaders as examples of innovation and excellence.

Each 60-minute forum will feature 2 speakers, each showcasing an initiative which truly made a difference for the people of New South Wales.

Typically, case studies like these are only shared internally within their cluster, if at all. This is your opportunity to hear how other areas of the sector approach the challenges in their work and how you can apply their learnings in your own service delivery.

Feel a sense of community with your fellow public servants, connected by a shared purpose of serving the people of New South Wales

Sponsorship Acknowledgement

This event is presented with the support of Deloitte 




Wendy Lai

Wendy is a public sector partner focused on health and social services. She has nearly 25 years experience helping governments, private sector and NGOs work together to create a better experience and outcome for our citizens and communities. She has worked in a number of jurisdictions including NZ, USA, Singapore and Asia but believes that the NSW public sector is world class. She is focused on system performance, innovation and technology enablement; while recognising that change and adoption is a people centred endeavour.


Nicole Lawless
Director of Proceedings and Executive Director, Legal Services
Health Care Complaints Commission

Nicole Lawless is the Executive Director of Legal Services at the Health Care Complaints Commission and commenced at the Commission in October 2021. Nicole also holds the statutory role of the Director of Proceedings.

Nicole was admitted as a solicitor in 2002. Prior to join the Commission, Nicole was the NSW Deputy Ombudsman, where she led the Complaints and Investigations Branch. Nicole previously worked in the NSW Ombudsman’s Office as a legal advisor and Counsel Assisting the Ombudsman. Nicole has also held roles as a prosecutor at the NSW DPP, as the Deputy Director of the Criminal Law Review Division in the NSW Attorney General’s Department, as a policy advisor in the Department of Premier and Cabinet on the prevention of violence against women and heading up the legal and strategy team representing the Department of Family and Community Services in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Nicole holds a Bachelor of Arts, a Bachelor of Laws, a Post Graduate Diploma (Forensic Psychology) as well as a Master of Laws in human rights and is a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of NSW.

Donna McLeod

Director, Workforce Capability and Talent
Regional NSW

Donna is excited by people, culture, talent acquisition, employer brand, engagement, inclusivity, great relationships and ongoing learning. Using a human centred design approach, she is a decisive, creative influencer who is forward-thinking and ambitious. 

Donna encourages others to work hard, play hard, collaborate and celebrate; a happy and engaged team is a high performing team and she believes that in nurturing this you add huge value to your business and how it is seen out in the market.

Donna is a Senior professional currently working in Government with a background in investment banking and Big 4 Consulting who believes that being an effective leader is about having foresight into the business needs, building trust-based relationships with both stakeholders and candidates, understanding global and local trends and their impacts at both a macro and micro-economic level. Donna has a strong track record of developing reporting and insights, devising strategies that drive the people agendas, executive coaching, technology and process optimisation and driving engagement. In addition to this she has led teams in both the Private and Public Sector, worked across the APAC and EMEA markets and built sector leading hybrid teams.


Mary Elia
Manager, Learning & Development
Regional NSW

Mary is a seasoned professional with over 15 years of expertise in Human Resource Management, Organisational Development, Leadership Development, Agile project management, Change/Transformation, and human-centric program delivery. Her passion lies in fostering customer-centricity, human-centered design, and continuous learning, encapsulated by her motto "We never stop learning." 

Currently pursuing studies in Strategic Leadership at University of NSW, Mary aims to specialise in People centred organisational transformation and Strategic Leadership. Her diverse career spans roles in State Government, Local Government, and Private Industry, including notable positions at Woolworths Limited, City of Canterbury-Bankstown Council, Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, and the Department of Customer Service. 

Mary is currently the Manager of Learning and Development at Department of Regional NSW, in her current role, Mary leverages her skills to enhance capacity and capability, designing sustainable and resilient teams to meet customer needs today and tomorrow, while supporting leaders in understanding their teams and their requirements.




 11:00AM – 12:00PM (AEST/AEDT)


 Wednesday 28 February 2024


 Virtual event via Vimeo


 Members - Free
 Non-members: $99

Be at your best, for NSW.
Register now to secure your spot.

Sponsor acknowledgement
This event is presented with support from our partners.
Wednesday, 28 February 2024
11:00AM - 12:00PM
Free for Affiliate / Pro Members, $99 for Non Members

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