Stewards on the Couch with Mike Kaiser

About this Event

Are you interested in leadership insights and reflections from one of Queensland’s most senior public service leaders?  

The latest in our Stewards on the Couch series will see Mike Kaiser, Director-General for the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, take to the couch for an in-depth and candid conversation on a career spanning more than 30 years in private and public sector leadership and consultancy. 

The conversation will be steered by Russell Fairbanks, Managing Director of Luminary, a boutique and leading executive recruitment and development firm. Russell knows how to ask questions that get to the nub of the issue when it comes to high-level leadership capabilities and challenges.

During this conversation, attendees can expect to hear more about Mike’s diverse career, his leadership journey, career challenges, and priorities for his portfolio – one that will be of increasing importance as the state gears towards the 2032 Olympics.

This event is a must attend for anyone keen to understand the career journey of one of Queensland’s top public purpose leaders and connect with other public servants and public purpose workers.


 Stewards on the Couch follows a casual, ‘in conversation’ style format where the interviewer, and the interviewee take to the couch to conduct and informative, engaging and interactive discussion.  The audience are invited to participate in a short Q&A opportunity after approximately one hour of conversation.  At the conclusion of the conversation, there is a short but engaging networking session over refreshments.

event details:

Date: Wednesday, 30 November 2022
Time: 5pm for a 5.15 start – 6.30pm, followed up by networking and refreshments
Location: Level 41, 1 William Street, Brisbane
Free for individual members
$40 Organisational Member employees and Full-Time Students
$65 Non-members

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Mike Kaiser is Director-General of the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning. He leads the department which oversees the Queensland Government’s agenda to drive economic growth and enhance the state’s lifestyle through good infrastructure and planning outcomes.

He brings more than 30 years’ experience to the role, having built a successful career in private and public sector leadership and consultancy.

Most recently, Mike was Director-General of the Department of Resources. Other public sector experiences include working as chief of staff to premiers in both Queensland and New South Wales.

In the private sector, Mike was a partner at KPMG and contributed to the Queensland COVID-19 Taskforce Economic Recovery Plan in that capacity.

Known as a strategic thinker and inclusive leader, Mike demonstrated strong customer focus throughout his time at NBN Co, where he led the business change and improvement function and introduced processes to measure and enhance customer satisfaction.

Mike completed his academic qualifications at the University of Queensland, earning bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and economics as well as a Graduate Certificate in Management.

ABOUT Russell Fairbanks

With over 20 years in senior executive roles at leading global consulting firms, Russell Fairbanks founded Luminary™ in 2019 to provide leadership advisory services to Queensland’s most respected organisations.

Russell works with senior executive leaders, supporting them in their leadership development and career transitions or helping them build high-performing teams.

Luminary™ has developed a track record of success as identifying leaders for positions such as Chairperson and Non-Executive Directors, Chief Executive Officers and Directors-Generals as well as senior executive positions across public and private sectors.

He holds degrees from the University of Sussex and the University of London. He has professional qualifications in leadership and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Russell is a non-executive director, has founded two businesses and is a regular presenter on workforce trends, leadership and organisational design, including a guest spot on Sky News Business and ABC Radio.


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