Running, curiosity, and being of service – IPAA Queensland take 5 with Jasmina Joldić PSM before she takes to the couch

IPAA Queensland took a few moments to chat with Director-General for the Department of Justice and Attorney-General, Jasmina Joldić PSM in the lead up to her taking to the couch with Russell Fairbanks from Luminary in June 2024.  In the questions below, we seek to dig a bit deeper into her experience, life, and background to give those attending the event a taste of what to expect. 

We invite you to #keepinformed about the thoughts, expertise and insights from one of the leading executives in the Queensland public sector. 

    1. What are the qualities you see as being most important for younger public purpose workers to develop? 

A desire to keep learning. 

It doesn’t have to be formal education or doing training courses – and often the best learning isn’t formal – but find a way to learn something from every job you have, every project you lead, every manager you work for, and every colleague you work with. 

In terms of skills, I come from a policy background, and in policy development, developing the skills to effectively engage is paramount. Develop your networks, gather information and intelligence from everywhere you can, and listen to others with different viewpoints and experiences. 

And don’t forget why you are in the public service – to serve the community you’re a part of. 

   2. What are the leading priorities for your department, and why?  What does success look like? 

DJAG has such a diverse footprint and every Queenslander will interact with us at some point in their lives. 

We have many roles – we deliver front-line services, we are an industry regulator, we partner with the non-government sector, we support the Attorney-General as Queensland’s first law officer and we manage a significant portion of the State’s statute book. 

We have a significant role in supporting victims of crime, and delivering supports and services to reduce domestic, family and sexual violence. Living in a community that never accepts or walks past such violence, and supports victim-survivors of crime, is our aim. 

Reforming the justice system is another focus area. Ultimately, we want to reduce repeat contact with the criminal justice system, and that means investing in programs and services to help people get back on track. Tackling the over-representation of First Nations people in the justice system, through community-based delivery of services, is vital. 

There are many more priorities that drive our work every day – protecting consumers, reducing harm from gambling, and delivering an efficient court system to name just a few more – but ultimately, our vision is for a fair, safe and inclusive Queensland. 

    3. What career advice would you tell your 25 year old self? 

Be confident, be curious and take on the challenge. 

Early in my career, I would sometimes get anxious about taking on new roles or challenging projects. I had to learn to be confident. Part of that comes with experience, but it’s also a choice. Being curios helps broaden your horizons and build experience. 

I had a number of wonderful mentors who pushed me to accept challenges, and I am glad I learnt to embrace them as opportunities. Some of the most rewarding experiences of my career have been when I stretched myself professionally. 

    4. What do you do to attend to your health and wellbeing? 

I am a runner. It’s something I started during COVID, as a way to clear my head. My role at Queensland Health at that time was particularly demanding, and the hours were long, so my evening run was often the only time I got to myself. I’ve continued the habit ever since. 

I use my runs to decompress and to generate ideas. My team will tell you that I often send them text messages after my run with all my ideas! 

I now consider running essential to my mental health. The physical benefits are just a bonus. 

    5. What do you believe to be the most rewarding part of being a public servant? 

I’m a first generation humanitarian migrant to Australia. My family was forced to flee Bosnia in 1992, and we lived in Germany, before settling in Brisbane.  

This country welcomed my family, and gave us a second chance at a safe and prosperous life. 

I never had any doubt about going into the public service, and to this day, it’s my way of giving back to the community that has given my family so much. 

Public service is one of the most honourable professions, and being able to dedicate my career to serving others is something I find incredibly rewarding. 



Ms Jasmina Joldić PSM is an accomplished senior executive and policy expert who has advocated for equity throughout her career. Jasmina’s expertise in guiding high-performing teams and driving outcomes on critical initiatives has been built from over 15 years of experience across the State and Commonwealth governments, as well as the higher education sector.   

Ms Joldić has been Director-General of Queensland’s Department of Justice and Attorney-General since May 2023. This role follows her experience as Associate Director-General, Strategy, Policy and Reform in Queensland Health, in which she led the development of visionary system-wide policy, including HealthQ32, and prior leadership of critical functions contributing to Queensland’s successful COVID-19 response, for which she was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2022.   

Ms Joldić previously served in strategic leadership and policy roles across a range of Queensland and Commonwealth Government agencies, including the Department of the Premier and Cabinet; Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning; Department of Community Safety; and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.   

Ms Joldić received the Griffith University and Griffith Business School Alumnus of the Year awards in 2023.   

Her experiences in the higher education sector with the University of Queensland and University of Melbourne have also contributed to her innovative approaches to public sector reform, strategy and organisational design to facilitate transformation.   



Stewards on the Couch is a regular and highly popular feature of IPAA’s annual event program, where one or more chief executives is joined by a respected journalist or facilitator ‘on the couch’ for an informal, conversation-style interview.   

These events provide the IPAA community an opportunity to learn more about the influences, priorities, and core values of stewards leading public purpose work along with the key challenges and opportunities facing their organisation and/or sector.  Guests are invited to stay for networking and refreshments after the interview. 

Luminary is proud to support IPAA Queensland as a major sponsor and Stewards on the Couch series partner