Career development builds skills to transform the future

07 December 2018

With expertise in stakeholder engagement, Jeanette Corbitt thrives on the challenge of making a difference through cultural change in organisations. Completing the Executive Master of Public Policy (EMPP) will help Jeanette to gain a better understanding of policy frameworks and the public policy process, so she can make a difference to the world.

Her current position of Director, State of the Environment and Enabling Services Reform in the Department of the Environment and Energy draws on all her career experience. Jeanette’s days are split between two complex roles.

Firstly, she’s lead developer for the State of Environment Report (SoE) due in 2021.

“I am responsible for pulling together the strategic planning documents for the next SoE,” says Jeanette.

“My day will include engagement with internal departmental policy areas, state and territory government counterparts, and industry representatives. My current focus is putting together an approach options paper and a project plan for our Executive board, based on recently completed user research.”

She also manages an internal enterprise reform program with responsibility to four division heads.

“The program is designed to join up all support areas of the Department and enable them to work more effectively and efficiently,” Jeanette explains.

“A big part of this role entails linking work with strategy so that our efforts are focused in the right areas.”

Getting people to communicate and work together across organisational structure lines is one of Jeanette’s key talents.

“A few years ago, I deliberately looked for opportunities in the business information, strategy and policy areas. Having worked as a transformational leader for many years, I find implementing cultural and behavioural change extremely challenging but also very rewarding, and somehow end up in those roles wherever I go.”

Jeanette has thrived on a varied career, mostly in ICT and project management. She’s worked in both the public and private sectors in Australia, UK and USA.

“Working in ICT in the UK was an incredibly rewarding experience,” she says. “I was involved in both large global organisations and small start-ups which gave me fantastic experience as a manager, a leader and a consultant dealing with a wide array of people. It also gave me the ability to adapt to any situation and deepened by technical expertise.”

Back in Australia, Jeanette then worked in the Digital Transformation taskforce in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C); her first introduction to Australian policy-making. It gave her a greater understanding of the policy framework and stood her in good stead for subsequent roles.

It also inspired in her a passion for public policy which led her to Crawford School, an experience she says was amazing.

“My wonderful EMPP colleagues –fantastic people with a wealth of knowledge and experience have really inspired me,” she says.

“The lecturers are the best academics with real life experience that I have come across. I love their passion, pragmatism and drive to benefit us as their students. It has felt like a partnership with our lecturers, as they value our input too.”

Crawford School’s EMPP strengthens capacity for effective executive leadership in public policy particularly in analytic, strategic and reflective thinking.

“I am ‘stretched’ by each face-to-face session and assignment, this is good practice for working at the executive level; and with the policy framework knowledge I can use this to perform better at work,” Jeanette explains.

While Jeanette is looking forward to the next stage of her career, she also is committed to making a difference for her children’s futures.

“The course is highly relevant to my work and my life: as a mother I really want to contribute to my daughters’ futures and that means understanding the big issues of the world; I can use real work examples in the EMPP which helps in both work and study aspects of my life, it also makes it seem less effort and more enjoyable.”

Find out more about Crawford School’s Executive Master of Public Policy at

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