EP#100: Communicators in Leadership – with Kerri Hartland

On this episode of the GovComms Podcast, contentgroup CEO David Pembroke speaks to the Principal Advisor to Proximity, Kerri Hartland.

Before joining Proximity, Kerri was the Secretary of the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business. Throughout her thirty-year APS career, Kerri was also the Deputy Director General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

In this podcast, Kerri discusses her new role in government consulting at Proximity. She gives her thoughts on the evolving role of consultants in the public sector.

Kerri explains how her background and skills as a journalist and a communications professional translated into her role as the Secretary of a major government department in Australia.

Kerri reveals what it is like being a Secretary in the Australian Public Service (APS), shining a light on the job of some of the most important people in government. What skills are needed to become a Secretary? What is it like briefing a government minister? How do you get a Secretary’s attention?

Kerri discusses what she enjoyed most about her career in the APS, including what her favourite roles were. She reflects on what she did well as Secretary, and what she could have done better.

She gives some advice on how public servants should interact with department heads, and how communications professionals can get their foot in the door of a Secretary’s office.

Kerri and David examine the changing media landscape in Australia, and what this means for government and communications professionals. They also discuss the coming COVID-19 vaccination campaign, and what communications professionals and APS leadership should know about the road ahead.

Discussed in this episode:

  • What it is like working as the Secretary of a major government department in the APS.
  • The skills of a journalist, and their relevance to a career in the public service.
  • The career of Kerri Hartland, a journalist and communications professional who ascended to the highest rungs of the public service ladder.