National Cabinet has helped keep Australia one of the safest places in the world: Jodie Ryan

Jodie Ryan

Jodie Ryan, Chief Executive, Department of the Chief Minister and Cabinet, Northern Territory Government

Jodie Ryan, Chief Executive with the Department of the Chief Minister and Cabinet, Northern Territory Government, was recently interviewed for the WORK WITH PURPOSE — National Perspectives podcast series by IPAA’s National President, Dr Gordon de Brouwer PSM.

Similar to other Australian jurisdictions and to New Zealand, Jodie has observed an increase in trust in government and government services.

‘It’s improved 100% certainly.

I mean the Territory is a small place. The little Northern Territory Government is the biggest employer. So we’re used to getting a lot of scrutiny from the public. But I do think that the trust has grown exponentially through this process …

They expected us to make decisions. We’ve made decisions, we moved on, we responded very quickly around keeping businesses, trying to keep businesses, allow businesses to survive, adapt, and then rebound.’

The importance of National Cabinet

Jodie singled out the National Cabinet as a critical innovation to the work of government.

‘I honestly believe that National Cabinet structure helped to keep Australia one of the safest places in the world in terms of dealing with the pandemic, responding, working together, dismissing political lines, and actually working as a team to keep Australia safe.

It’s been an incredible process to be part of.’

One aspect of the National Cabinet that has been particular useful for small jurisdictions like the Northern Territory has been in having an equal seat at the table.

‘The Territory can have just as much of a say as Victoria and New South Wales, and it’s been really good in actually moving issues forward rapidly, as opposed to the previous COAG arrangement where issues could stay on the table for years at a time.’

Gordon de Brouwer PSM in conversation

Podcast host Dr Gordon de Brouwer PSM, IPAA National President.

Supporting Cultural Change

Jodie also spoke about how the Northern Territory Government has been looking to change its culture to one that has more of a customer focus.

‘So not just thinking about us delivering services for Territorians, but thinking about what Territorians need from us, and then how do we deliver that?

So we had some of that work … it was going a bit … probably at a public sector pace.

We ramped that up substantially with COVID. We changed out IT systems so that the front-facing systems were easy to use. We cut red tape at a whole range of areas that previously would have taken months to do. We made sure that we were putting people first.’

WORK WITH PURPOSE is produced in partnership between contentgroup and IPAA ACT, with the support of the Australian Public Service Commission.

The podcast can be accessed from the link below and is also available on Spotify, SoundCloud and iTunes.

Work with Purpose
A National Perspective

A well-earned tipping point with Jodie Ryan