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How the EMPA expanded Clare Beech’s horizons

19 May 2022

News and media


Image of EMPA Alumni Clare Beech

ANZSOG’s Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) brings together a unique group of experiences, academics and practitioners, plus a cohort of experienced public sector leaders from across agencies and jurisdictions.

The result is a program that can be career-changing for participants, who leave with new skills and a new ability to think strategically, as well as a network of peers from across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand

Clare Beech is senior assistant commissioner and executive director of clinical systems at NSW Ambulance, and was part of the 2019 cohort of the EMPA.

She said that her EMPA experience had been incredibly positive, because it was so focused on developing public servants.

“There has been no other program that I’ve been engaged in, that is so heavily focused on the needs and capability development of public servants, both emerging and senior. That has been incredibly important and has added quite significantly to the value that I took out of the program,” she said.

“Another positive of the EMPA is about being able to learn with your peers. It’s quite rare that you have an opportunity to spend time with like-minded individuals who are coming across the same challenges you are, in environments which might seem quite different but are actually quite similar in terms of the challenges that they are facing.”

“You have a network of peers from around the country and importantly New Zealand, and the relationships that continue to this day. I’m sure that the learning you get from your peers continues beyond your completion of the program.”

Clare says that, like most other public servants, she is excited by the chance to contribute to the common good.

“It’s the challenge that I find motivating on a daily basis – delivering services for all our communities. I work in health and it is incredibly motivating to see the progress can be made and the impact that can be had on individuals’ lives.”

“I started my clinical career on the frontline, and spent many years responding on the front line and have really felt quite motivated to take my skills, abilities and motivation out of the field and into roles where I think I can potentially contribute on a larger scale.”

“This ability to contribute in a way that improves the lives of anyone who receives services that you are providing, is a very exciting job to do and something that I think keeps most of the people in the public service going to be honest.”

She said that the EMPA had broadened her understanding of the work of government and given her perspectives she wouldn’t have otherwise encountered.

“Most public servants tend to work in their areas of expertise, and I think that ANZSOG and the EMPA, with such a strong cohort of experts, allows students to have a greater understanding of how government works in different portfolios and departments.

“For very busy people, the EMPA allows you to jump into regulation and the market economy, decision making under uncertainty. There’s robust and rich discussion with peers and academics alike, and you can step back out of it and have an appreciation you wouldn’t otherwise have had.”

“I think it’s a very rounding program. It gives you an opportunity to confirm what you don’t know and ignite in you any motivation or passion you might not have recognised in yourself.”

Clare said the EMPA had helped her think more deeply about key issues in her area, such as the sustainability of public service provision, the increasing role of technology in delivering health care, and the balance between stability and change in providing services.

“The EMPA program sets students up perfectly to reflect on those issues and balance them up and give good consideration to the competing demands, the levers to construct a future for the public service that does exactly what we’ve spoken about and that is to deliver the common good.”

“If we are asking ourselves every day ‘what is the common good?’ and ‘are we contributing in a way that adds value to the common good?’, then I am confident that we’re heading in the right direction – and candidates who have been through the EMPA process have had a good opportunity to think about those issues.”

Find out more about ANZSOG’s Foundation Programs

Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA)

A part-time postgraduate qualification developed and delivered by ANZSOG exclusively for high-performing public sector managers.

Executive Fellows Program (EFP)

A program that challenges senior public service executives working in the public domain to develop new leadership perspectives in a contemporary and highly interactive setting. 

Towards Strategic Leadership (TSL)

A unique program that helps public service leaders develop the qualities needed to thrive in a senior executive role: a strategic outlook, political astuteness, personal resilience and the ability to reflect and learn continuously.

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