Work with Purpose | Episode #79 | 13 March 2023

EPISODE #79 | Time, trust, turf: Building effective partnerships

Partnerships are crucial for achieving meaningful change, whether that’s between organisations, people, or communities. Wanting to leverage this potential, advancing partnerships has come into sharp focus for the public sector through the APS reform agenda.

However, developing these partnerships can be challenging – the more partners are involved, the more they have to grapple with different interests and challenges. Common purpose, diversity in perspectives, and effective governance are key to overcoming those barriers.

In this episode, we discuss building strong partnerships within and outside the Australian public sector with Professor Janine O’Flynn, director at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy, and David Pullen, assistant secretary, Cabinet Resilience and Crisis Management Division at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 

Discussed in this episode:

  • The role of vulnerability, humility, and trust within partnerships 
  • Finding a common purpose 
  • Bridging the divide between research and policy implementation
  • Building a shared understanding of each partner’s role


Professor Janine O’Flynn
Professor Janine O’Flynn is the director of the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy, the leading Public Policy school in the region. She is an expert in public administration and management, having advised governments around the world on issues ranging from the design of effective performance management systems through to collaborative approaches to policy design and implementation. She is a fellow of the US National Academy of Public Administration and the Institute of Public Administration Australia, and she sits on several advisory boards.

David Pullen
David Pullen is currently assistant secretary, Cabinet Resilience and Crisis Management Division, at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. He was previously acting first assistant secretary, COVID-19 Transition Taskforce, also at PM&C. In 2020, in his role as senior adviser at the Treasurer’s Office, he advised the Treasurer and Prime Minister on the design and implementation of major economic stimulus measures and supports.




Produced in partnership between

Supported by


Tier 1 corporate partners


Tier 2 corporate partners

Digital content partner

In-kind partners

IPAA ACT acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

Contact IPAA

ABN: 24 656 727 375
Phone: (02) 6154 9800
Unit 4A, 16 National Circuit,
Barton ACT 2600

Postal Address

PO Box 4349
Kingston ACT 2604

Subscribe to IPAA

Subscribe to our mailing list to receive information about upcoming events, initiatives and activities.