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ANZSOG Executive Master of Public Administration award winners announced

3 April 2019

News and media


Woman giving speech at podium

Outstanding public sector leaders who began their ANZSOG Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) journey in 2017, have been recognised for their achievements at the annual Dean’s Awards in Melbourne.

Sonja Cox, from the Western Australian Public Sector Commission, was awarded the Dean’s Award for the best academic performance across the EMPA subjects.

ANZSOG’s EMPA produces graduates who are confident, critical thinkers with the skills required to manage complex challenges and deliver value to the communities they serve.

Ms Cox, who was employed by the WA Police Force when she began the EMPA, called on public servants to recognise the privilege of delivering services to the community.

“We must constantly reflect on our work and our performance, asking ourselves whether we did the best we could or whether we could do things differently,” she said.

“Each EMPA unit made us dig a little deeper to consider how we can deliver better value, how we can ensure more equitable and efficient outcomes and how we can promote the wellbeing of all Australians, especially our most disadvantaged groups.

“As senior government officials, we have incredible power and the ability to influence outcomes on such a massive scale. There are no short cuts to designing and delivering outcomes for the community and if we try to take them, we are operating dangerously.”

Ms Cox praised the EMPA curriculum and faculty, describing it as: “the most thought-provoking, practical and information rich units delivered by some of the most respected and valued academic minds of Australia and New Zealand”.

She said she had been inspired to take charge and become a leader in her agency.

“I must admit that I came to the EMPA perhaps a little bit broken. Having served in the sector for over 23 years I felt I had lost my way. The complexities, the battles, delivering outcomes under unrealistic political timeframes and with little investment, had deflated me,” she said.

“But I was energised, and I am shining brighter for that experience. Now we have toolkits that are brimming with ideas and knowledge and we have graduated with renewed passion for our purpose.”

EMPA graduates who achieved the highest mark in each EMPA subject were also recognised at the event, held as part of ANZSOG’s annual Paterson Oration.

WATCH: Sonja Cox, from the Western Australian Public Sector Commission, accepts her 2017 Deans Award for Best Academic Performance.

EMPA 2017 award winners

Delivering Public Value: Penelope Marshall, Queensland Treasury, QLD

Government in a Market Economy: Louise Majkut, Department of Health and Human Services, VIC

Designing Public Policies and Programs: Melissa D’Agostino, Department of Education and Training, Victoria; Yasmin Hunter, Department of Justice, NSW; Kaylene Jones, State Emergency Service, NSW; Tim Price, Department of Social Services, Commonwealth; Simon Taylor, Department of Communities, WA

Decision Making Under Uncertainty: Adrian Bootes, Department of Health, Commonwealth

Governing by the Rules: Stephanie Jolly, Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Energy, QLD; Fiona Lansdown, Department of Education, NSW

Leading Public Sector Change: Sonja Cox, Public Sector Commission, WA

Managing Public Sector Organisations: Michael Garrod, Department of Environment and Water, SA

Work-Based Project: Andrew Dundon, Cenitex, VIC; Jan Dundon, Mental Health Tribunal of Victoria, Vic; Thomas Kuster, Department of Health and Human Services, VIC; Anne Lenz, Brisbane City Council, QLD; Rebecca Smith, WA Country Health Service, WA

Applications are now open

Applications for the 2020 Executive Master of Public Administration are now open.

Build the leadership capabilities you need to contribute at the highest levels in the contemporary public service.

Find out more here: https://www.anzsog.edu.au/masters