Speech Notes from IPAA YPN/CEO Breakfast

  This week, I was honoured and humbled to be asked to speak at the Institute of Public Administration Australia’s ACT Breakfast for Young Professionals and CEO’s on International Women’s Day.  Although not focused on IWD as such, it is an opportunity for IPAA to bring young female speakers to share a little about their experiences, and I chose to share thoughts on how to truly and effectively engage young people.

I should note the event itself was fabulous; held at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra in a fabulous hall, it was also playing host to a great concept, bringing the graduates and the heads of department together on the same table.  More of this needs to be done!

The crux of the presentation was around the two following slides:

From an organisation’s point of view (best practices):


From an individual’s point of view (best practices):


I won’t give away all the explanations, but one of the key points from above is the biggest learning I have taken away from my recent experiences:

Looking for uncommon opportunities.

Stretching your mind, erasing the boundaries of the box and redrawing them, finding stimuli and inspiration in unlikely places – this is all related to taking advantage and looking for uncommon opportunities.  Opportunities and experiences that may not have obvious or direct relevance to your current role still have the capacity to broaden your mind and perhaps send you on paths that you may have not considered, but paths that are equally worthwhile.

Personal Example: accepting a role on the Board of the Queensland Museum as a young engineering student.

Unlikely benefit: gaining an understanding and appreciation for the cultural precinct and the important of the museum, but also effectively enabling and encouraging the inclusion of young people (and minority groups) in the Museum’s target audience.


Offering the skills you have rather than the skills you think they need is also a big learning, and one that really reshaped the way I looked at being involved at the consultative level as a young person.


So this is just a brief snapshot of some of the things talked about at the presentation, and practical ways young people can be involved and at the same table as the movers and shakers.

Hope this is useful! Would love to hear your thought on true youth engagement!