August 6, 2020

From all sides podcast

A series of podcasts exploring the strategic, organisational and human sides of public value ecosystems in the current COVID-19 crisis.

Following our “From response to recovery” report, published in May 2020, we are excited to announce the release of our “From all sides” podcast.  Our series of podcasts explore the strategic, organisational and human sides of public value ecosystems in the current COVID-19 crisis.


Episode Twenty Five

In this episode, Robert Hortle, the Commissioner of Wage Inspectorate Victoria, joins Cube Group Director Chloe Symes. Wage Inspectorate Victoria ensure employers pay their workers fairly under powers set out in the Wage Theft Act 2020. Their work protects people from being paid too little or not receiving the correct entitlements, such as overtime, penalty rates or superannuation.  

Wage Inspectorate Victoria has a vision to create productive and prosperous Victorian workplaces. In their first year of operation they supported more than 15,000 Victorians. The Inspectorate recouped over $309,367 in underpaid long service leave entitlements and has taken strong action in the courts for those not complying with legal obligations. Their role also includes issuing permits to employers of children under 15 years of age as well as overseeing compliance with Victoria’s owner-driver and forestry contractor laws. 

In this episode, Rob and Chloe talk about the establishment of Wage Inspectorate Victoria which occurred in the depths of Victoria’s lockdowns. Rob reflects on the importance of engaging staff deeply to build culture from the ground up and how to hold steady during times of uncertainty. Given the Inspectorate’s role in supporting some of Victoria’s most vulnerable people the conversation reflects on ensuring accessibility of services. The recording ends on an interesting reflection on the role of ‘ego’ in leadership and maintaining the different energy it takes to lead an organisation authentically.  

Show notes:  

Episode Twenty Four

In this episode, Sue Eddy, the CEO of the Victorian Building Authority joins Cube Group Director Chloe Symes. The Victorian Building Authority (VBA) works to safeguard Victoria’s future through regulating Victoria’s building and plumbing industries.   

The VBA oversees a $41.9 billion industry, issues 123,330 building permits and oversees 25,489 building practitioners. The VBA is facing extraordinary change including significant growth projections for Victoria, the transformation of Victoria’s building sector and a shift towards encouraging and incentivising good behaviour.

In this episode, Sue and Chloe talk about the development of VBA’s ‘Vision27’ strategic plan, the importance of having a collaborative way of engaging with stakeholders and staff when developing a strategy and the VBA’s shift towards prevention and early intervention.

Show notes:

Episode Twenty Three

In this episode, Lynda McAlary-Smith, the Victorian Small Business Commissioner joins Cube Group Director Chloe Symes. The Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) plays a critical role in enabling entrepreneurship across Victoria – ensuring small businesses have low-cost dispute resolution options for disputes they may face with anyone who’s not a retailer consumer.

Victoria has over 600,000 small businesses and still has some of the highest small business growth – despite COVID-19 lockdowns. The VSBC responded to over 5,175 applications for help last year and aims to make their services accessible to the diverse range of small business owners across Victoria.

In this episode, Lynda and Chloe talk about Lynda’s personal connection to small businesses, tips for people starting a small business, the unique challenges small businesses face in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and reflect on modern regulation.

Show notes:

  • This episode’s transcript can be accessed here
  • You can get in contact with VSBC by dialling ’13 VSBC’ or ‘13 8722’ or visit their website at
  • A lot of the resources referenced in this podcast are available at where you can find tools and templates to help you start a business, manage finances and operations.

Episode Twenty Two

In this episode, Stephen Gniel, CEO at Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority joins Cube Group Director Tom Craven. VCAA and its partners in the Victorian education system are currently doing a major reform of senior school education, and it is said to be one of the most significant changes since the introduction of the VCE.  Together, Stephen and Tom chat about the task of leading a major, complex, and multifaceted reform, what leaders can learn about the process and how we can set up our systems to adapt into the future. 

This episode was recorded in August 2022. 


Episode Twenty One

In this episode, Elissa Scott, CEO Blue Light Victoria joins Cube Group Director Tom Craven. Blue Light Victoria aims to inspire, engage and equip young people to be their best self. Together, Elissa and Tom discuss the changing needs of young people today, why partnerships are essential to the organisation’s impact and success and about leadership as we emerge into the ‘new normal’ following the pandemic. 

This episode was recorded on 2nd August 2022. 


This episode’s transcript can be accessed here.
You can find out more about Blue Light Victoria here.

Episode Twenty

In this episode, Louise Glanville, CEO Victoria Legal Aid joins Cube Group Director Tom Craven. Victoria Legal Aid provides free legal information and education to all Victorians, with a focus on prevention and early resolution of legal problems. Together, Louise and Tom discuss how VLA continued to deliver their essential service during the pandemic when historical face-to-face business models didn’t easily translate into a virtual environment.

This episode was recorded on 11th January 2022.


This episode’s transcript can be accessed here.
You can find out more about Victoria Legal Aid here.

Episode Nineteen 

In this episode, Tom Craven speaks with Lee Miezis, who in January 2020, became the Bushfire Recovery Victoria (BRV) CEO, a permanent and dedicated agency working directly with local communities impacted by the devastating bushfires. Shortly after this, coronavirus hit Australian shores when many Australian communities were only just emerging from the devastation.

In this episode, Lee shares how his team at BRV worked to ensure focus and priority remained on the bushfire recovery efforts when the pandemic became Australia’s top priority. Now, as the CEO of Environment Protection Authority Victoria, Lee also shares how the EPA has remained engaged with staff in the online environment and why you can’t communicate too much. 

This episode was recorded on 2nd December 2021.


This episode’s transcript can be accessed here

You can find out more about BRV here and the EPA here.

Episode Eighteen: 

In this episode, Christine Mathieson, CEO of EDVOS (the specialist family violence service for Melbourne’s eastern region) joins Cube Group Director Tom Craven. EDVOS is a non-government organisation providing a range of services to women, their children and their pets, to help keep them safe from harm and recover from the impacts of trauma and abuse. Together, Christine and Tom discuss the impact of pandemic related lockdowns for people experiencing family violence.

Show notes:

  • The episode’s transcript can be accessed here.
  • You can find out more about EDVOS services here.
  • To read the Monash University paper Christine cited in the episode, Responding to the ‘shadow pandemic’: practitioner views on the nature of and responses to violence against women in Victoria, Australia, during the COVID-19 restrictions, please click here.

Episode Seventeen: 

Melbourne’s continued lockdowns and social distancing rules have profoundly impacted our homeless population. In this episode, Anne Mitchell, Program Manager for Steps Outreach Service, joins Cube Group Director Tom Craven to discuss how the organisation’s in-person support model was quickly adjusted to support vulnerable young people during the pandemic, and specifically in the continued lockdowns.

Show notes:

Walk in my Shoes, the augmented reality journey Anne talks about in this episode, along with information about the Steps Outreach Service and Concern Australia, can be found here:

Episode Sixteen: 

Katrina McKenzie, General Manager for City Economy and Activation at the City of Melbourne joins Tom Craven for our latest episode of From all Sides. Together, they discuss the local government’s recovery and revitalisation efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Episode Fifteen: 

Authenticity and connection through a shared sense of purpose has never been more important, Joe Rogers Co-Founder of the Contenders joins Tom Craven for our latest episode of From all Sides to discuss the importance of brand in communicating value for public purpose organisations.


Episode Fourteen: 

In this episode of From all sides, Tom Craven meets with Catherine Kirby, CEO of Kids like us to discuss the impacts COVID-19 has had on twice exceptional children and the opportunities for extending reach and providing high quality and caliber engagement moving forward.


Episode Thirteen: 

This week Cube Director Tom Craven caught up with Rebecca Scott, CEO of STREAT. “You wouldn’t want to run hospitality right now, let alone hospitality in the heart of the CBD” despite this STREAT saw COVID as a chance for social innovation and to go where they really wanted to.  Check out the episode to hear Rebecca Scott discuss going from food service to food systems.


Episode Twelve: 

In this episode Cube Director Tom Craven meets with Simon Kuestenmahar, Co-Founder of The Demographics Group for a fascinating conversation about Australia’s recovery progresses. The question for everyone (not least of all public purpose leaders) is “What will a new normal look like?”, what will ‘snap back’?, and what changes are here to stay.


Episode Eleven: 

In this episode Cube Director Tom Craven meets with Janine O’Flynn Professor of the Public Management at the Australian New Zealand School of Government and the University of Melbourne to reflect on the extraordinary experience of the last 12 months living with COVID-19 and the implications for government and the broader public sector throughout this period and beyond.

You can find Janine’s article, that we discuss on the podcast, here: Confronting the big challenges of our time: making a difference during and after COVID-19 | ANZSOG


Episode Ten: 

In this episode Cube Director Tom Craven speaks to Marius Smith, CEO of VACRO about the challenges of COVID-19 within the Victorian justice system, the learnings, and opportunities to better leverage technology moving forward.


Episode Nine: 

Collaboration is perhaps THE buzz word in social services. For this episode, Tom Symondson of VHA, Deb Tsorbaris from the CFECFW and Sam Biondo from VAADA join Cube Director, Tom Craven to discuss what is really needed to work across sectors, learning from their Tri-Peaks project. Frontline workers have the urgency of the person in front of them, that makes collaboration happen. It is probably about time our systems took the same approach.


Episode Eight: 

In this episode Cube Director Tom Craven meets with Gemma Saunders, Founder of Workplace Edit.
Together they explore how last 9 months has NOT been an experiment in working flexibly; rather a rushed move to working remotely in a pandemic. These are two very different things. The challenges we are experiencing do not mean flexible working won’t work for you and your organisation. But those organisations that have adapted quickly are best placed to capture great opportunities to create a better workplace for their staff, their teams and their organisation.

Episode Seven: 

In this episode Cube Director Tom Craven meets with Liana Buchanan, Commissioner for Children and Young People.
Commissioner Buchanan describes a ‘perfect storm’ impacting children and families during the crisis: the usual strategies that children use to protect themselves are unavailable at a time when they needed them the most.

Episode Six: 

In this episode Cube Director Tom Craven meets with Luke Wilson, Cross Border Commissioner for the State Government of Victoria to discuss the impacts COVID-19 is having on state border communities.

Episode Five: 

Cube Director Tom Craven meets with Gill Callister, CEO of Mind Australia to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 on mental health. “Many Victorians who already live with high levels of stress, and high levels of resilience, and do an amazing job. But start to chip away at that from more multiple sides and you leave people really exposed.”


Episode Four: 

In this episode Tom Craven meets with Lisa Buckingham, CEO of working for Victoria to discuss how COVID-19 has “Pulled back the curtain on schisms that exist in our society”. Find out how Lisa has found the working from home and the impact of COVID-19 on Victoria’s economy.


Episode Three: 

In this episode Tom Craven meets with Karen Bolinger, Managing Director of APAC for PCMA, former CEO of Melbourne Convention Bureau and Stategic Advisor to the Best Cities Global alliance to discuss the substantial impacts of COVID on the “Visitor economy”.


Episode Two:

In this episode Cube Group Director Tom Craven speaks with Michael Hogan, former Director General of Queensland Department of child safety, youth and women. Michael’s career has included several decades of senior roles within the Public Sector, focused on crime and violence prevention, child safety and family support. Hear how Michael has found the working from home and the impact of COVID on children, families and vulnerable cohorts within our communities.


Episode One:

In this episode Cube Group Director Tom Craven speaks with Stuart Mosely, CEO, Victorian Planning Authority.  Hear how Stuart has found the working from home, what COVID has meant for his team and the VPA more broadly including the impacts on Victorian planning policy.


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