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Four new members for ANZSOG’s Alumni Advisory Council

14 June 2023

News and media


Banner for ANZSOG's Alumni Advisory Council

ANZSOG’s Alumni Advisory Council will be joined by four new members, Jacinta Blanch (Victoria), Manaia King (Aotearoa New Zealand), Eliot Palmer (Victoria) and Peta Robertson (Queensland). 

The Council was created in 2018 to represent our 3600-strong alumni and give them a greater involvement in ANZSOG’s activities and the chance to advise on our future direction. 

Its role is to help build a strong, engaged and cohesive alumni community, foster links between ANZSOG and public services, and provide strategic advice to ANZSOG on program delivery, support capability and leadership development in the public service, and encourage equity and diversity in ANZSOG program participation. 

The Council continues to evolve and adapt, reflecting ANZSOG’s deep and genuine commitment to strong public administration, reflecting the aspirations of – and our close relationship with – our government owners. 

At the most recent meeting in May 2023 the Council discussed the ongoing development of the next ANZSOG strategic plan, and questioned Chris Walker, ANZSOG’s EMPA Academic Director and Deputy Dean, Education and University Relations, on a presentation about the future of ANZSOG’s education programs. It also featured a broader discussion around current issues in the public sector – integrity, capability building and the role of Artificial Intelligence – and the opportunities they presented for ANZSOG. 

More information about the new Council members is below. If you have any suggestions, feedback or issues you would like the Council to consider please contact us on alumni@anzsog.edu.au 

Manaia King is the General Manager, Māori, Partnerships and Programmes with Te Puni Kōkiri/The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) in Aotearoa New Zealand, and is also currently serving as a Private Secretary to cabinet minister and Deputy Prime Minister, the Hon Carmel Sepuloni. 

He trained as a lawyer and has had a varied career in the public service including working for the Ministry of Health as National Manager, Chronic Disease Prevention . He has been responsible for leading a number of critical work programmes that have strengthened MSD’s leadership, whānau, hapū and iwi relationships, strategic engagement, service delivery and capability.

Jacinta Blanch is currently the Chief Operating Officer at the Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA). ​ Jacinta joined the Department of Education and Training (DET) in 2017 and has overseen a number of priority projects for DET and VSBA to support planning for future schools including the development and launch of findmyschool.vic.gov.au, Victoria’s interactive school zone website, in 2019.​ She has worked across multiple government departments and agencies and has a strong understanding of public sector governance and administration as well as policy design and operational implementation.​

Eliot Palmer is a regulatory specialist, facilitator and public sector manager who helps policy-makers and regulators to improve their approach to design and delivery of the law.​ In his current role with Better Regulation Victoria, Eliot develops guidance for regulators, and oversees a program of health checks to help regulators improve their operations. Before this, Eliot worked for over 15 years in state and local government regulatory settings as a policy and practice reform leader.​ He was central to the generational reforms of Victoria’s environmental laws and EPA Victoria’s organisational transformation. He also revised the Victorian Guide to Regulation, and has managed reforms to Victoria’s Human Service Regulator. 

Peta Robertson is an experienced public sector manager with a background in public administration, governance, compliance, performance management and business improvement. Prior to her current role as Director of Queensland Ambulance Service, Peta has held roles primarily in disaster management, emergency services and public safety organisations which have included ministerial and executive liaison, whole-of-government coordination, policy development, performance management, program management and volunteer management. ​Peta is experienced in leading reform, with a focus on business improvement, accountability and performance management. Peta is the alumni of ANZSOG Executive Master of Public Administration 2011.​