Open letter to the IPAA Queensland community

As President of the Queensland Branch of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA), I wish to place on record the thanks of the Institute for your continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic in our State (and Nationally). We note that the media have consistently and regularly reported on and supported the work of our amazing front-line services personnel, and we remain grateful for this deserved acknowledgement. This coverage has provided a high level of confidence in our community’s ability to overcome arguably the most challenging disaster in living memory. I am sure every Queenslander would agree.

The focus by the media on the work of our medical staff, emergency service and defence force members and more recently our corrective service staff, have shown the amazing ability of these front line teams of public servants to do whatever is needed to keep us all safe. Many have no doubt put themselves at significant risk for our benefit. We are grateful for their service.

We at IPAA Queensland also know that valuable public purpose work in this State and Country is not only performed by front-line public servants but also by many who provide much needed services across all communities big and small that make up our ‘lucky country’. They include non-front line staff employed by local, state and federal governments who work to provide, for example, the new legislation that supports the management of the pandemic, websites that keep vital information up to date and accessible 24/7 by the community, new practices that keep workplaces safe as well as those non-front line staff who shift their focus to support, for example contact tracing and other critical activities. Equally important are those paid staff and volunteers, working for not-for-profit, service, religious and charitable organisations, all providing much needed assistance to, or on behalf of our citizens. There are also many in the private sector and academia who assist with expert advice and specialist skills. Without all their efforts over these past months, the ability of Governments at all levels to deal with the myriad of challenges thrown up by the pandemic would have been critically impeded.

We regularly hear stories from you, highlighting the changed roles, the new services and clients, the added pressures but also the exciting innovations in policy, service delivery and management that are occurring. The commitment that is being shown by public servants and those from other sectors engaged in public purpose work – whether as individuals, teams or as organisations – to overcome these new challenges and to make life just that more comfortable for some of our most vulnerable citizens is inspiring. I have never been more proud of the dedication to service from all these public purpose workers, no matter what their role in keeping Queenslanders and Australians safe, than during this pandemic response.

My purpose is writing this open letter is to remind us of the very many we have to thank, acknowledge and continue to support. Queensland and our country’s future depend on it.

Yours Sincerely,

Ian Stewart AO APM


IPAA Queensland