Public Sector Week (June 2015): Conferencing delivered differently
If you find yourself in the centre of Melbourne (or other regional Victorian locations) in the last week of June, be prepared to be swept up in Public Sector Week. From Monday June 22nd to Friday 26th Federation Square and other prominent Victorian locations will be transformed, as part of community education and a celebration of all that the public service does.
Matthew Monaghan (Institute of Public Administration Australia, Victoria Acting CEO) says the origins for the week came from an evaluation of the Institute’s past Conferences and a need to do something different. Their findings found they were historically strong on ideas and content, yet the 20th century conference style format was too passive and didn’t suit the modern work environment; with work time pressures and attendees having a greater desire to interact rather than be “talked at”.
Using Federation Square (the general public meeting place for Melbournians) as the hub, IPAA also hit upon the concept of a “festival of ideas” style in the spirit of the city’s comedy, writing and cultural events. This format will give the opportunity to network, learn, debate and share ideas. The IPAA team will take a co-ordinating responsibility for marketing events utilising a website, twitter and other social media channels.
Whilst IPAA will take a lead organising at least one event daily, they have already attracted sufficient interest from their members to have over 50 events across the State throughout the week. Event highlights already announced at the launch event include: a Twilight launch, examining what good government looks like with The Hon. Gavin Jennings (Special Minister of State), Leadership from the Centre with DPC Secretary Chris Eccles, the Jackomos Oration, a Senior Leaders dinner, the Young Professionals Breakfast, and even a VPS Book Club; with more events being added daily.
In the next month, the IPAA team will be promoting the events and also running news stories around a Faces of our Public Sector campaign to show the human side of the public sector. The week itself can be followed on Twitter using #publicsectorweek, with individual events having their own hashtags to stimulate social media interactions.
The role of IPAA
The Institute plays a key role in connecting its members, building and maintaining relationships, as well as fostering strategic partnerships with its corporate partners for events, research, professional development and thought leadership. It must also anticipate the future needs of the sector, and will soon launch its “Public Service of the future” paper.
There are the constant challenges of: overseeing organisation renewal, managing member and public monies prudently, creating value to members, focusing on areas of new and emerging sector needs, encouraging innovation and acting as a credible voice of the public sector. Not to mention breaking down the myths of being perceived as part of State government (it is not, although 85% of members are) or being viewed as solely a training organisation.
IPAA Victoria now has a growing member base of over 12,000, long term financial sustainability, a reputation for member-based thought leadership and an expanding professional team including new areas such as social media; and is the envy of many of its State counterparts.
The Cube Group team will be heading to events in and around Federation Square in late June, joining the IPAA team who will be decked out in their purple polo shirts; to be part of the conversations around public value and helping to celebrate all that the public service does.
To find out more about IPAA (Victoria), visit – www.vic.ipaa.org.au
To find out more about Public Sector Week, visit – www.publicsectorweek.org.au
Follow #publicsectorweek on Twitter.