Re-imagining Public Service – Professor Peter Shergold AC

Co-presented with Graduate School of Government at the University of Sydney

Date/Time:  Thursday 4 August from 6 to 7.30pm

Venue:  Law School Foyer, Level 2, Sydney Law School, Eastern Avenue, the University of Sydney. Venue location

Free and open to all with online registration requested.  Please register online at this page.

The vocation of public service remains a cornerstone of Australian democracy. Yet its traditional virtues are under pressure. Too often exciting innovations have remained at the periphery, failing to deliver on their promise. New approaches to the designing, commissioning and funding of government services have yet to transform the centre of public administration. Bureaucratic structures, regulatory compliance systems and a culture of risk aversion have narrowed the manner in which public accountability and stewardship have been perceived.

Yet, with political authority, governance can become more participatory and inclusive. Businesses, social enterprises and research institutions can partner with government agencies to become co-producers of public benefit. Sectoral boundaries can become porous and relationships collaborative. A new public service can emerge, based upon principles of flexibility, experimentation, facilitative leadership and organisational agility.

Associated Report


Peter Shergold
Professor Peter Shergold AC is Chancellor of Western Sydney University. He has had a distinguished career in the Australian Public Service. Peter headed a range of Commonwealth agencies and was Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet for five years from 2003. He now has a portfolio career serving on the Boards of AMP, Corrs Chambers Westgarth and QuintessenceLabs. He chairs Opal Aged Care. He remains active in public administration, having been appointed as the Coordinator General of Refugee Resettlement in NSW. In the tertiary education arena he chairs both the National Centre for Vocational Education Research and the Higher Education Standards Panel.
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