Integrity, workplace culture and leadership hot topics at GradMentor

Last updated: 31 Aug 2017

This page is: current

Photo from GradMentor

“Every one of you in the room is a winner and the opportunities across the public service are endless.” These were the words of Aboriginal Elder Jannette Phillips to more than 550 APS graduates at this morning’s inaugural GradMentor event in Canberra.

Not unlike a speed-dating event, today saw 37 APS mentors share insight into their career and role as a leader. Answering questions from a group of a dozen grads in rapid-fire 30-minute sessions, mentors shared as much insight as possible before the bell rang and grads moved to their next mentor session.

Grads had the opportunity to select sessions with three mentors from areas including policy and research, legal affairs, management and business functions, intelligence and security, communications and marketing, information technology and human resources.

Take home messages included the importance of networking, building relationships and taking control of your career. The graduates were encouraged to be resilient and to accept that things go pear shaped at times, however it’s the ability to self-reflect and learn from the experience that shapes a strong leader.

Speaking about policy development, Stephanie Foster, Deputy Commissioner at the Australian Public Service Commission explained that ‘policy is often spoken about as something complex but really it's essence is all of the things that you've learnt in your degree; critical thinking, writing well, researching and analysing an issue or problem. If you can do those things, you can work in policy’.

Other mentors acknowledged the one constant that we can rely on now is change. The digital revolution is the new industrial revolution. This is currently and will continue to fundamentally change the APS workforce.

Final words from the mentors focused on having the courage to question the status quo and striving to improve it can set you apart as a leader.

Initial feedback tells us that this was a highly successful event from the graduates’ and mentors’ perspectives, with insights gained from all.