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NZ State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes to deliver Paterson Oration

28 February 2018

News and media


Peter Hughes

New Zealand State Services Commissioner and Head of State Services Peter Hughes will deliver the Paterson Oration at the State Library of New South Wales on 7 March.

The free event is open to all to attend and will be of particular interest to public servants.

Register to attend

Mr Hughes, who is also the ANZSOG Board Chair, will deliver an inspiring address on ‘a spirit of service’ – discussing how effective public services in a fast changing, globally connected world require system leadership, collective accountability and the underpinning motivation of a spirit of service to the community.

The address will analyse what reforms are now needed for public management to reinforce traditional values and modernise for contemporary circumstances.

The Paterson Oration is an ANZSOG initiative which recognises and commemorates the distinctive contribution of Dr John Paterson AO to public administration and public sector reform in Australia.

Dr Paterson was one of Australia’s most esteemed public servants, providing governments at state and national levels with practical solutions to long-standing problems and applying management expertise to improve the delivery of public services.

Previous Paterson Oration speakers include: Ann Sherry AO – Executive Chairman, Carnival Australia, and Professor Peter Shergold AC –  Chancellor, Western Sydney University.

The event will also feature a celebration of ANZSOG’s 2015 and 2016 Executive Master of Public Administration award winners – the cream of the crop of Australia and New Zealand’s public service.

Paterson Oration

Wednesday 7 March 2018Oration and awards 5.00 – 6.45pm with drinks to followMetcalf Auditorium, State Library of New South Wale, Macquarie Street, Sydney

Register to attend

About Dr John Paterson AO (1942 – 2003)

Born in Melbourne, John Paterson completed a commerce degree at the University of Melbourne and his PhD in Urban Studies at the Australian National University.

In 1978, he joined the NSW Planning Agency and almost immediately exhibited the lifelong passion for reforming the way government services are planned and delivered.

John’s seminal contribution was water policy reform which he initiated after moving to head up the Hunter District Water Board in 1982.

Later in Victoria, he initiated root and branch reform of the water industry.

In 1989 he moved to head up the Victorian Department of Community Services where he oversaw the creation of a professional child protection service and the progressive replacement of institutions for people with intellectual disabilities with community based services. In 1993 he brought together the Health and Community Services Departments under the new Kennett government and introduced the ‘case-mix’ funding system for public hospitals.

Between 1996 and 2000 he headed the Victorian Department of Infrastructure. Until his death in 2003 he lectured as a professorial fellow at the University of Melbourne, worked as a consultant to Telstra on applications of communication technology to the health sector,  as an adviser to the  Farmhand Foundation on water reform and as a part time Associate Commissioner for the Productivity Commission.