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Sonja is the Executive Director People, Culture and Diversity with the Western Australia Public Sector Commission. She has responsibility for sector-wide workforce and diversity planning, culture and agency capability. Sonja also holds an independent statutory position of Director of Equal Opportunity in Public Employment, a position responsible for eliminating and preventing discrimination and promoting equal employment opportunity in public employment.
Sonja has had an extensive career in the WA public sector across multiple agencies including the Department of Justice, Corruption and Crime Commission and the WA Police Force. Her roles have included leading policy and legislative reform, shaping strategic direction, and implementing accountable and transparent governance frameworks. In 2011 Sonja championed the introduction of GPS tracking for dangerous sexual offenders in WA, securing government funding and commitment, and introducing legislative reform to improve community safety. Her work in a complex environment, as well as her commitment to self, family and the community, saw her named the WA Telstra Business Woman of the Year in 2013.
Outside of the workplace, Sonja is a mother to three sons and step mum to three daughters – a real-life Brady Bunch! Sonja holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice Administration and an Australian and New Zealand School of Government Executive Master of Public Administration. She was valedictorian and received the Deans Award for Excellence in her cohort. Sonja is also a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a fellow of Leadership WA.
Sonja O’Leary graduated from the Executive Master of Public Administration in 2008 and is a member of ANZSOG’s Alumni Advisory Council. To find out more about the Alumni Advisory Council, click here.