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The Spark: Shaping a world-class HR

The Spark: Shaping a world-class HR - Igniting new conversations and inspiring new ways of working in HR.

The Public Service Commission is committed to offering NSW public sector HR professionals contemporary and flexible development opportunities to drive capability development. The Spark – Shaping a world-class HR is a program designed for NSW Government HR leaders and practitioners to ensure the HR Community can support the transformation of the current and future NSW Government workforce to deliver a world class public service.

The Spark – Shaping a world-class HR program aims to:

Program content

Informed by sector feedback and global HR trends, content for the program has been designed with strategic HR experts from inside and outside the public sector.

The program will be delivered through a series of twelve podcasts and three masterclasses, which will focus on three key themes:


Each podcast is between 30 and 45 minutes long.  They are designed to be used as a learning initiative either individually or in teams. 


Following the release of podcasts, a virtual masterclass for each of the three themes will be held in order to go deeper into the content and empower HR practitioners to be the catalyst for change in their agencies.  The masterclasses have been designed to provide opportunities to engage in rich and diverse thinking under the facilitation of industry experts, as well as the opportunity to apply learning during and after the session.

Register here for the People analytics masterclass on 22 October. The remaining masterclass is on 18 November, registration will open closer to the date.

Access podcasts

Here is a sneak preview of Podcast 1.

Subscribe to The Spark – Shaping a world-class HR podcast channel

NB: If you are a member of the Community of HR professionals, you can access your link to the podcasts via the HR ComPrac eNewsletter.

We invite you to listen to The Spark podcast series to hear from leading HR practitioners from both the public and private sectors about:

    • Stay abreast of trends that will impact on future ways of working
    • Understand smarter ways of working and demonstrate how HR can lead and support the transitioning workforce through digital transformation
    • Support effective talent management in the context of the future of work - multiple careers, digital mindset and ways of working, creativity and adaptability


    Rhonda Brighton-HallRhonda Brighton-Hall, CEO Making Work Absolutely Human, known as MWAH, discusses talent management in the future of work.

    Rhonda is also Chair of the AHRI National I&D Reference Panel, the founding Chair of FlexCareers, and is recognised as a game changer in the future of organisations, culture, leadership, inclusion, HR and work.

    Jaye MathesonJaye Matheson, Director People Analytics PricewaterhouseCoopers discusses supporting managers in leading through disruptive change and adapting to the digital and human centred world of work.

    BA Adult Education, Human Resources (SPHR), Workforce and HR Transformation Expert. Jaye is a director with PwC Australia’s People & Organisation practice and has over 15 years of experience in workforce and HR transformation, leading projects for organisations in Australia, the United States and United Kingdom, in both the public and private sector.

    Major General Natasha Fox AM CSCMajor General Natasha Fox AM CSC, Head of People Capability Division, Department of Defence.

    Major General Natasha Fox was the Commanding Officer/Chief Instructor at the Australian Defence Force Academy (2009 – 2010) and has completed Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, Bachelor of Arts (English/Politics), Master of: Business Administration; Management in Defence Studies and Politics and Policy.

    Ben NealBen Neal, Partner, Workforce Transformation, Pricewaterhouse Coopers. Ben is a Fellow of the Australian Human Resources Institute (FAHRI) and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (FCIPD) in the UK and holds postgraduate HR and business qualifications. Ben's areas of expertise include strategic human resource management, research, policy development and implementation.

    Major General Natasha Fox AM CSC and Ben Neal discuss leading digital workforce transformation.

    Scott JohnstonScott Johnston, Deputy Secretary, Revenue NSW Commissioner of Fines Administration

    Scott’s career spans the Australian and United Kingdom public sectors. Prior to joining Revenue NSW, Scott was Acting Commissioner at the NSW Public Service Commission. An internationally recognised statistician specialising in economic analysis, Scott has developed and led significant change initiatives including a variety of complex people management programs.

    Jody GrimaJody Grima, Executive Director, Service Delivery, Service NSW.

    Jody leads a team of over 2500 staff responsible for creating tangible and valuable change at over 120 Service outlets across the state and a large contact centre network. Jody has worked in Senior Executive roles at Family and Community Services, & Department of Premier and Cabinet. These roles have all been transformational, leading significant reform in service provision.

    Scott Johnston and Jody Grima discuss curating responsive, flexible and resilient organisational cultures and work practices for ongoing change.

  • Identify how data analytics can inform workforce strategy and enable evidence-based decision making, management and practice. Transform data into actionable insights that drives business value.


    Tony AshtonTony Ashton, Chief Product Officer at OneModel, has been a pioneer in the people analytics field for over 25 years, Tony discusses trends in establishing and maturing the people analytics team.

    Working across all areas of HR with deep experience in Analytics, Workforce Planning, Strategic HR, Industrial Relations, Recruiting, Learning & Performance Management.

    Rodd StaplesRodd Staples, Secretary, Transport for NSW, discusses taking an evidence-based approach to all things customer, people and culture.

    Rodd currently leads more than 25,000 people to plan, manage and deliver transport infrastructure and services for all transport modes across NSW. Rodd has held Senior leadership roles in new and established organisations, with a successful track record of developing and implementing programs of change and improvement.

    Richard GriffithsRichard Griffiths, Executive Director, Workforce Planning and Talent Development, NSW Health, discusses sourcing workplace and people insights – starting with the basics.

    Richard leads strategic workforce planning, culture strategy, and workforce performance and reporting across the health cluster.

    Richard has spent nearly 25 years in public health entities, vocational education and law enforcement in senior people and culture roles.

    Sandra CrawfordSandra Crawford, Assistant Commissioner, Community Corrections, NSW Department of Communities and Justice, discusses imparting insights – the art of story telling to compel action.

    Sandra is responsible for leading the agency to deliver on its vision of enhancing community safety through changing offending behaviour. Sandra has led the implementation of strategic workforce planning and the delivery of the workplace modernisation program. Sandra has worked in a variety of policy, project and senior executive support roles across NSW Government.

  • Understand how the role of HR in the NSW public sector is changing, the drivers of change and the role of HR as a strategic enabler and advisor of the business and sector.


    Scott HansenScott Hansen, Director General of the NSW Department of Primary Industries, discusses partnering with the business to identify, develop and execute workforce strategies.

    Before joining the department in March 2014, Scott held senior management roles in both the public and private sectors in the areas of agriculture, innovation and productivity.

    Jacqui CurtisJacqui Curtis, Chief Operating Officer, Australian Taxation Office (ATO), discusses the future role of adaptive and flexible HR models leveraging technology, automation and responding to the “Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous” (VUCA) world.

    Jacqui joined the ATO in September 2013 as Deputy Commissioner ATO People, responsible for delivering an enterprise-wide human resource management service. Jacqui was previously General Manager, People Capability Division at the Department of Human Services.

    Margo DroulersMargo Droulers, Head of HR Client Services and Deputy HR Director, Macquarie University, discusses how to transition from transaction "policy police" to leading strategic and trusted business advisors.

    Margo has over thirty years as a human resources practitioner, specialising in HR service delivery and organisation, team and employee development. Margo has worked on diverse change management programs implementing new technical systems, realigning organisational culture and restructuring after mergers and acquisitions.

    Kirsten WatsonKirsten Watson, Chief People Officer at Transport for NSW, discusses the reality of what business partnering is and how it can be achieved through business acumen, 'soft skills'  and problem solving.

    Kirsten leads the teams responsible for delivering outstanding end-to-end experiences for Transport’s employees, shaping the organisation, workforce and workplaces to be future-ready, and setting the standards for how the business supports, develops and treats its people.

    Kirsten has previously led the People & Culture functions for Ausgrid and the Department of Finance, Services & Innovation and started her career with multi-national consulting firm Accenture.

Podcast host

Tanya HammondTanya Hammond is a Certified Fellow (FCPHR) of the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) and CEO / Founder Tailored HR Solutions. Tanya partners with and works collaboratively with clients on a range of strategic HR projects related to workforce strategies, through workforce planning and workforce analytics projects as well as HR transformation projects to ensure greater alignment and effectiveness of HR teams.

Tanya has undertaken extensive research in the field of HR capability and has built the capabilities of HR practitioners within organisations and across the Australian Public Service (APS), and as a lecturer at the Australian National University an Adjunct Associate Lecturer at the University of New South Wales, Canberra. Tanya has spent 17 years volunteering for AHRI.

For questions please contact Jane Latimer, Principal Advisor, Capability Design.

Join the NSW Government Community of HR Professionals to receive updates on The Spark program