Women proud to lead ‘the most extraordinary of all workforces’

International Women's Day logo

In a recent video released to celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, women from every Australian public service have shared their thoughts on what makes them proud to be a leader.

Anita Perkins PSM — ACT Government

Anita Perkins PSM

Anita Perkins PSM
Executive Group Manager, Communications & Engagement
Chief Minister, Treasury, and Economic Development Directorate | ACT Government

Anita Perkins PSM said that she has ‘never been more proud to be a public servant than I have been in the past year as governments all around the world have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic’.

‘Governments play a critical role in supporting communities at all times, but there’s never been a more important time than during COVID.

I’m really proud that I’ve been able to make a small contribution, and there’s probably never been a more important issue that I’ve been able to contribute to.’

Catherine Dixon, Victorian Government

Catherine Dixon

Catherine Dixon
Executive Director, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission

Catherine Dixon joined the public service to make a difference and to fight for the things she believes in.

‘I’ve been lucky enough to work on some landmark pieces of work — protecting Aboriginal cultural heritage, embedding a human rights charter in the public sector, and more recently protecting human rights during the pandemic — and this is all work that I think’s had an impact and that I’m really proud of.’

Deb Wilcox, NSW Government

Deb Wilcox

Deb Wilcox
Chief Executive, Northern Sydney Local Health District

Deb Wilcox leads a Local Health District with around 10,000 staff and thinks that ‘serving the public is one of the greatest things we can do in our careers’.

‘Every minute of every day, of every year, we are interacting with the community and taking care of them.

And it’s not only incredibly rewarding but for every part of the organisation — whether it be surgeons, nurses, physiotherapists, admin staff, cleaners — it’s an absolute privilege.’

Deb reflected that there are many other parts of the public sector that are incredibly valuable but her heart lies in Health. She went on to say:

‘We permeate every part of a person’s life, right from birth through to death.

And there can’t be anything more special than that.’

Other senior public sector leaders interviewed included Cathy Taylor FIPAA (South Australian Government), Kathy Baker (Tasmanian Government), Jana Stewart (Victorian Government), Trish Woolley (Queensland Government), Elizabeth Kelly PSM FIPAA (Australian Government), Catherine Fletcher (Western Australian Government), Gemma Lake (Northern Territory Government), Anne Hayes (NSW Government), Erma Ranieri PSM FIPAA (South Australian Government), Associate Professor Francine Douce (Tasmanian Government), and Rene de Francesco (Victorian Government).

A link to the video of these fantastic women is provided below.

Proud to Lead