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Katherine

Director, Concessions and Support Services

Department of Human Services

How did you get to where you are today?

I am a registered psychologist. I have worked for many years across the public sector, in areas including corrections and in health, working with clients in a service delivery role.

I then became involved in leading strategic policy which provided me with an opportunity to be more involved in designing client service delivery and gain a better understanding in the organisational processes of government.

What does an average day look like?

Now with Concessions and Support Services, I oversee a diverse portfolio that includes ConcessionsSA, the Interpreting and Translating Centre and the Office for Problem Gambling. As a Directorate within the Department of Human Services, our focus is on providing quality services to South Australians through: supporting low income households access concessions, enabling those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to participate more fully in the community, and enabling gambling help services and harm minimisation strategies.

What do you find rewarding about your job?

I am very grateful to be able to help deliver services to vulnerable and disconnected members of our community. I feel that my role is not only providing essential services, but also takes a responsibility for continuing to look for opportunities for improving our services. A great day for me is one where someone at work has a great idea, and we are then able to implement that, ultimately for a better work environment or better customer experience.

Why do you do what you do?

For me, it’s very motivating to be able to make a difference for people and I really enjoy getting stuck into complex social problems and engaging with other agencies and stakeholders in coming up with multi-faceted solutions to those problems. I am particularly interested in solutions-thinking, systems design, data-informed decision making, and citizen-centric policy.

What do you see are some of the benefits of working in the public sector?

I believe there is fantastic mobility in working in the public sector. I get to see how other agencies work towards issues and what other opportunities there might be - where there might be a good match between my skillset and interests - and ways in which I might be able to make a difference.

So for me there is a terrific combination of working with lots of interesting people, whilst at the same time being exposed to lots of opportunities for career progression and expansion.

Why have you chosen to work in South Australia?

I’ve always lived in South Australia. I find that it’s a really easy and enjoyable place to raise my children. The schools are excellent and there’s a fantastic diversity of experiences both in terms of our festivals and state culture but also our natural environments like our beaches and the Adelaide Hills.

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