Moving to …

Last October was moved from the Department of Finance to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) and I moved with the team before going on maternity leave in January. In July of this year, whilst still on maternity leave, I announced that I was leaving PM&C but didn’t say what the next gig was. In choosing my work I’ve always tried to choose new areas, new parts of the broader system to better understand the big picture. It’s part of my sysadmin background – I like to understand the whole system and where the config files are so I can start tweaking and making improvements. These days I see everything as a system, and anything as a “config file”, so there is a lot to learn and tinker with!

Over the past 3 months, my little family (including new baby) has been living in New Zealand on a bit of a sabbatical, partly to spend time with the new bub during that lovely 6-8 months period, but partly for us to have the time and space to consider next steps, personally and professionally. Whilst in New Zealand I was invited to spend a month working with the team which was awesome, and to share some of my thoughts on digital government and what systemic “digital transformation” could mean. It was fun and I had incredible feedback from my work there, which was wonderful and humbling. Although tempting to stay, I wanted to return to Australia for a fascinating new opportunity to expand my professional horizons.

Thus far I’ve worked in the private sector, non-profits and voluntary projects, political sphere (as an advisor), and in the Federal and State/Territory public sectors. I took some time whilst on maternity leave to think about what I wanted to experience next, and where I could do some good whilst building on my experience and skills to date. I had some interesting offers but having done further tertiary study recently into public policy, governance, global organisations and the highly complex world of international relations, I wanted to better understand both the regulatory sphere and how international systems work. I also wanted to work somewhere where I could have some flexibility for balancing my new family life.

I’m pleased to say that my next gig ticks all the boxes! I’ll be starting next week at AUSTRAC, the Australian financial intelligence agency and regulator where I’ll be focusing on international data projects. I’m particularly excited to be working for the brilliant Dr Maria Milosavljevic (Chief Innovation Officer for AUSTRAC) who has a great track record of work at a number of agencies, including as CIO of the Australian Crime Commission. I am also looking forward to working with the CEO, Paul Jevtovic APM, who is a strong and visionary leader for the organisation, and I believe a real change agent for the broader public sector.

It should be an exciting time and I look forward to sharing more about my work over the coming months! Wish me luck 🙂

3 thoughts on “Moving to …”

  1. Hi Pia,
    Long time since we last corresponded in the context of my company, Tagmotion.
    Coincidentally I stumbled upon something of yours a couple of days ago – forget where – and I thought I’d reach out because there are at least 4 common touchpoints in our recent work and I wondered if you’d know of anyone who may be able to help me with my quest at the NGO I’m working for.
    1: NGO
    I’m working at Wesley Mission in Sydney – responsible for the primary research we do (among other things) in the corporate comms dept.

    2, 3 & 4: NZ, government and data
    I’m having coffee on Wed with Alan Greenfield, Sydney-based actuary and prime mover behind NZ’s ‘investment approach’ to welfare reform.

    I want to talk to Alan about whether he sees an opportunity for Wesley Mission to play a role – via our research – in the emerging conversation in Australia about this investment approach he wrote about recently in the Fin Review, and which the Turnbull government’s seriously looking into.

    I’m hoping we can use our grassroots experience running a host of government-funded programs like ‘Mums and Kids Matter’ (that looks after young mothers with mental health conditions, and their children) to partner with a big brother like a Deloitte Access Economics or a KPMG to jointly publish some research that makes a real contribution. I’m hoping we have some ‘qual’ data that would be useful in informing the ‘quant’ analysis the government does in deciding how to allocate funds to early intervention in order to avoid ‘at risk’ children becoming longterm welfare recipients and prisoners. Just as they’ve done successfully in NZ, reducing the welfare spend by 15% since 2011, apparently.

    Anyway, rather than prattle on longer, if you’d also like to have a coffee sometime, let me know. Or if you know any potential research partners, feel free to pass this on to them.
    Congrats on your bundle of joy. And your new gig with AUSTRAC.


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