Bright and brilliant careers ahead

Last updated: 26 Oct 2017

This page is: current

Hosting the final event in the graduate series this year, the Commission bid farewell to our 500 APS graduates of 2017 at our Leadership Reflections event yesterday.

Gathered at the Hellenic Club in Woden, there was a great vibe in the room as participates waited to hear from panel members who candidly shared their career journeys from being a graduate year to taking on their leadership roles.

Photo: Damian Tobin, Rona Mello, Kerren Crosthwaite, Cameron Gifford and Stephanie Foster

Mr Damian Tobin, Director, Canberra Design and Practice Management, Department of Human Services facilitated a personable and refreshing discussion with panel members, Ms Kerren Crosthwaite, Group Manager, Employment Policy, Australian Public Service Commission; Ms Rona Mellor, Director Auditor General at the Australian National Audit Office and Mr Cameron Gifford, First Assistant Secretary, Civil Justice Policy and Programmes Division, Attorney-General’s Department. They shared honest stories of striking the work-life balance and taking risks during their careers to date.

Entering the public service with a law degree, Ms Crosthwaite quickly became passionate about working in workplace relations. She told graduates that although industrial relations can be a tough area, it was a great learning ground.

Ms Mellor provided graduates with her top five learnings that include; keep thinking that it’s a privilege to work in the public service and respect the information that you are privy to. Secondly, know the difference between the Government and the public service, be aware that the money you spend is not your own, take responsibility for your performance, think about what your success looks like and own it. Finally, have a go at broadening your experience, straddle between policy creation and implementation because both elements have to work together.

While Mr Gifford encouraged participates to gain experience and move around various areas of the private and public sector; he advised it’s ok to stay in the same department/organisation for years if you’re passionate about the work you do.

Graduates were encouraged to seek regular feedback and to use their network to expand their knowledge and for support.

Stephanie Foster thanked the graduates saying, “you are the APS, the culture, the future. May you have brilliant and bright careers ahead”.