Our Committee

Craig Allen


Craig comes to the Northern Territory Public Service after holding a range of senior management positions for more than 20 years with a government career spanning more than 34 years. His last position was with the Queensland Government as the Assistant Director-General, Department of Education Training and Employment from July 2009 where he was responsible for strategic and corporate leadership in the management of the Department’s human resources. Prior to that he held the position of Executive Director, Corporate Services, Queensland Department of Corrective Services.

Graham Symons

Immediate Past President

Graham grew up in the Northern Territory and has lived on remote communities and in Darwin.

He joined the Northern Territory Public Service in 1984 and held a number of senior positions including: Commissioner for Public Employment; Chief Executive Department of Business & Employment; Chief Executive Department of Corporate & Information Services; Chief Executive Territory Housing; Deputy Chief Executive Department of the Chief Minister; Deputy Under-Treasurer; and Deputy Chief Executive Department of Health & Community Services.

He is a board member of several no-for-profit organisations, including the Central Australian Health Service, EASA and Table Tennis NT.

Graham is immediate past-president of the NT Division of the Institute of Public Administration IPAA) and a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).

He has tertiary qualifications in:  Science; Social Administration; and Business.

David Alexander


David Alexander has been an IPAA member for eight years and a committee member since 2008. David has administered and chaired the annual report awards adjudication panel since 2011.

David is currently the Senior Director Language Services, with responsibility for the Aboriginal Interpreter Services and Interpreting and Translating Service NT, and his previous roles have included Chief Finance Officer, Executive Director Corporate Services and Director Policy and Coordination. David’s other current public administration activities include chairing the Aboriginal Areas protection Authority Audit Committee and as a member of Basketball Northern Territory’s Finance and Audit Committee.

Kevin Thomas

Public Officer

Kevin Thomas coordinates the provision of scholarships for attendance at the IPAA National Conference and, is Northern Territory’s Public Administration Today representative. Kevin joined IPAA NT in 2006 and became a committee member in 2010. Kevin is a Business Programs Analyst for the Department of Corporate and Information Services.

Ian Thynne

Committee Member

Ian Thynne (an IPAA National Fellow) has been an IPAA member since 1974, and involved with IPAA NT since 2004 – as a member, Vice President, President and now immediate past president.

Ian has taught and researched public governance, policy, administration and management in New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Singapore and Hong Kong. He is also a co-editor of two journals: The Asia Pacific Journal of Public Administration and Public Administration and Development.

Desirée Ng

Committee Member

Desirée Ng first became involved with IPAA NT’s Young Professional Network in 2005 during its formation, before later taking on the role of committee treasurer in 2005.

She assisted with organisation and finance for the 2006 IPAA National Conference held in Alice Springs. Desirée was treasurer from 2005 to 2008, remained a committee member between 2009 and 2010, and returned as treasurer in 2011. She is currently working as Manager of Budgets and Financial Services for the Department of Primary Industry and Fisheries.

Dr Richard Barber

Committee Member

Richard is a management consultant with a strong focus on maximising public sector performance in an uncertain, changing environment.   He works with senior leaders and their teams, using systems thinking approaches to enhance leadership capability and to solve their most difficult challenges.

Richard has extensive public sector experience, including in executive leadership roles in the Department of Defence. He also has international experience as a Commonwealth liaison officer in the UK and through research and consulting experience in New Zealand.

He is a Director of the Australian Risk Policy Institute (ARPI) and lecturers in systemic risk leadership and governance at the Queensland University of Technology.  Through IPAA Qld and IPAA NT he has delivered numerous master classes on risk leadership in the public sector.  Richard has been an active member of IPAA for more than five years.

Lidia Di Lembo

Committee Member

Lidia has over 28 years’ experience working in senior management roles across both the Federal and Northern Territory public sectors. Lidia joined the NT Department of Correctional Services in June 2012 as Director Reform Initiatives, and up until recently was also responsible for Media and Communications and Community Engagement functions.

Lidia previously worked with the Commonwealth Department of Immigration and Citizenship as Deputy and A/g Territory Director of the NT Regional Office, Assistant Director and Director of Detention Operations. Lidia has also held a variety of positions as an Executive Committee member of various professional and community organizations, including appointment to the first Australian Council on Multicultural Affairs.

Trisha Howes

Committee Member

Trisha Howes is an experienced management consultant and has held a number of executive and senior management roles in government. Trisha has worked with all levels of government across Australia and her expertise includes design and facilitation of organisational reviews, strategic and business planning, business and service excellence including continuous process improvement.

Trisha’s experience as a member of various boards and committees, as an executive in government and a consultant, has provided her with extensive exposure to issues relating to large and complex government organisations and in dealing with a range of client groups including Ministers, board members, executives, management, staff, industry and the community.

In recognition of her experience with best practice management frameworks, Trisha has been honoured to be a judge for the Telstra Business Awards and the Telstra Business Women’s Awards.

Trisha has served as a committee member for IPAA in South Australia and now the Northern Territory and is committed to building leadership and management capability across the public sector in the Northern Territory.

Young Professionals Network

Sonia Mu

President YPN

Sonia commenced her career in the public sector after being selected to part of the Northern Territory Graduate Development Program in 2013. During that same year, she joined the IPAA committee to broaden her knowledge of public administration in delivering better and more efficient public services. She also serves on a variety of community organisations and has been the current President of the Young Professionals Network since 2014.

Young Professionals Network

Breanna Lee

Vice President YPN

Breanna Lee became involved with IPAA NT’s Young Professionals Network in late 2013 during its re-establishment as the committee secretary.

She assisted with all events held by the Young Professionals Network NT in 2013-2014 and has been elected Vice President for the 2015 committee. She is currently working as an Accountant at Merit Partners Chartered Accountants.

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