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Alumni profile: Katarina Carroll, Executive Master of Public Administration 2011

22 June 2015

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Profile of Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) Alumna Katarina Carroll

Q. Tell us about your career path.

A. My career has always been within the QPS, until recently when I was appointed the Commissioner of the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services. I attended James Cook University in 1981 to 1982 and joined the Queensland Police Academy in 1983. I experienced many diverse roles within QPS – headquarters and regional roles, operational and corporate roles. I spent many years as a Detective and many of the senior roles I undertook were in the Northern part of the State. In 2012 I undertook the role of Program Executive G20, planning for the security and safety of 26 world leaders and in November 2014 I was the operations commander for the delivery of that security operation.

I am a life-long learner and have studied throughout my career. I am married with two children (10 years and 13 years), so life is busy, hectic and always a mad rush to say the least. The juggling of my personal and professional life is not easy, but my family and particularly my husband is extraordinarily supportive of my professional life and does whatever he can to assist me in that regard. Decisions about my career are family decisions and are made for the good of the family as well as my career.

Q. What were the highlights and challenges of the ANZSOG EMPA for you?

A. The EMPA was an extraordinary experience and the knowledge and skills I gained along the way were essential in assisting me in advancing in my career, not to mention that the networking also has extraordinary benefits. The 2011 Queensland Cohort are an amazing group of people from across the public sector who have enriched my personal and professional life. The greatest challenge was to complete the 10 subjects within 2 years. I missed a few subjects through work related issues so I took 10 weeks recreation leave in 2011 and completed 5 subjects as it was important to me to graduate with my cohort and I did!

Q. Reflect on where the last three years have taken you since taking part in the EMPA.

A. The last 3 years have been a bit of a blur. Just after the successful delivery of the G20 security operation, I took on the role of interim Commissioner at Queensland Fire and Emergency Services commencing January 2015. This meant I have had little opportunity to take recreation leave – I plan on doing that soon!! I continue to study and learn and involve myself in ANZSOG offerings. Earlier this year I went to Canberra to attend the ANZSOG CEO’s forum, but returned as Cyclone Nathan was bearing down on North Queensland. The funny thing is, in February 2011 when I was to commence my first subject for the ANZSOG EMPA, cyclone Yasi hit Cairns and I was caught up in co-ordinating the policing response, so I missed it. Must be something with me, ANZSOG courses and cyclones.