David Hawkes Orations

In 2002 the Northern Territory Division of the Institute of Public Administration Australia inaugurated a regular series of speeches on the major issues of the day as part of its contribution to the development of public administration in the Northern Territory.

The Division decided to honour its long-serving President, David Hawkes, by naming the series after him. Not only did he make a significant contribution to the work of the Division over many years, he also played a major role in the development of public administration in the Territory. His leadership was instrumental in placing the Territory at the forefront of innovation in the public sector in the 1990s.

David Hawkes was Commissioner for Public Employment for thirteen years between 1989 and 2001 and was, at his retirement, the longest serving Commissioner in Australia.  He was the driving force behind the creation of the Public Sector Employment and Management Act (1991), regarded at the time as the most advanced of the new devolved public management models in Australia.

In his earlier career as a public sector union official, he played a major role in the development of redeployment and voluntary redundancy arrangements in the Australian Public Service. These arrangements were later used to good effect in the Territory over many years as a means of managing structural change.

David was also a strong supporter of personal and professional development programmes and the Territory’s Executive Development Programme broke new ground in the application of action learning techniques when it was first introduced in 1991.  David was also a strong supporter of the national Public Sector Management Course (PSMC) and was a regular workshop presenter.

He will be most remembered as a supporter of sound and innovative HR management policies and processes and as a strong but fair negotiator in industrial relations matters.

David is also a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration and continues to contribute to the work of the Institute in his retirement.

The Hawkes Orations have become a regular feature of the Division’s activities.

The most recent Hawkes Orations have been delivered:

2015 – Professor Simon Maddocks on Developing the Northern Territory
2014 – Annabel Crabb on The Missing Link: Future Steps Towards Gender Equality
2013 – Fred Chaney on Structural Impediments to Policy Deliver.
2012 – Peter Shergold on 21st Century Service Delivery to Citizens.
2011 – Professor Ian Chubb on Issues confronting Australian science and its use in future Australian prosperity
2010 – Natasha Stott Despoja – “Public Policy Challenges in the new Australian Political Paradigm”
2009 – Simon Longstaff – “The Uses and Abuses of the Public Service”


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