EP#15: Under Pressure – Chief Executive Officer of Services Australia, Rebecca Skinner

A shiny new leadership role in the Australian Public Serve and then … the implementation of 50 plus policy decisions by National Cabinet, 3 million phone calls in one day, the number of claims normally processed in years were being processed in days, the onboarding thousands of new staff, and the prospect of helping one million Australians who were about to lose their jobs.


Now while Rebecca maybe one of Australia’s most experienced public servants having held senior positions in Defence, Prime Minister and Cabinet and Attorney General’s, what she faced was unprecedented.

In this week’s Work with Purpose, Rebecca Skinner shares with David Pembroke her memories of the earliest days of the Covid 19 crisis and how she prepared her team to not just cope but thrive. She reflects on the importance of sharing the load, taking it one day at a time and always remembering that no matter how bad things looked, the sun would always rise the next morning.

Discussed in this episode:

  • Managing the pressure
  • Moving services online
  • Having one point of authoritative communication
  • How to sustain the momentum
  • How DSS support their staff’s wellbeing
  • COVID-19 allowing the APS and Services Australia to demonstrate its mobility
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