26 September 2023

Commission possible?

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The newsbreaking news that the Commissioner of the national Public Service is to leave the job in a couple of months has prompted PS-sssst! to hop on its soapbox and put the case for a genuine independent and above-Government Commissioner to be appointed when the vacancy comes up for filling.

Just as a Tax Commissioner collects taxes from everybody – including politicians – and the Police Commissioner enforces the law – even against recalcitrant MPs – so a Public Service Commissioner should have the power to deliver a Public Service that serves the public first, regardless of the pro- or anti-public sector policies the Government of the day may cherish.

If the job is to be a Commission from the Queen (as it is!), the incumbent should report to Her Majesty regardless of the unpredictable whims of a temporary Government (or Parliament) that will be long gone when the PS is left to pick up the pieces.

If the job is to be less than 100% independent let’s not besmirch the good name of the Public Service by pretending it’s a Commission and instead rename it Director, Secretary, Manager or other non-commissioned officer rank.

The time is opportune. The people of Australia deserve it. And the Public Service can only benefit.

The question is one of statesmanship.

Synonyming in the rain

To our brain-teasing challenge of last week which posed the question of whether there’s a synonym for ‘synonym’.

Catherine L of the national Department of Veterans Affairs has elected to share her predilection for pretty words by setting aside the search for synonym synonymity.

“‘Interchangeableness’ is delightfully multi-syllabled and fun to say,” shared Catherine.

“(And) ‘Adequation’ is also nicely formal sounding.”

Hear, hear Catherine.

Not quite as synonymous or synonymical as expected but well worth the suggestion anyway.

A fabulous book prize will be synning its way to you shortly.

Career leap year?

And now to Rama Gaind’s regular weekly giveaway in which two lucky readers have the chance to become the proud owners of the potentially career-changing book: Career Leap: How to Reinvent and Liberate Your Career by Michelle Gibbings and wisely reviewed by Rama last week.

To become one of Rama’s regularly respected receivers of rewards and riches, all one needed to do was identify what the biggest game we play in life is – according to the book – and then emerge first among equals from the PS News infamous Barrel of Booty.

The correct answer is ‘work’ and the first two lucky and correct entrants to greet the judges were from Kylie W of the Australian Public Service Commission and Damian R from Queensland Fire and Emergency Services.

Congratulations to Kylie and Damian and thanks to everyone who took part. The books will be on their way soon.

For those of us ready to join the ranks of Rama’s recipients, simply follow this PS News link for this week’s opportunity and give it your best shot.

Good luck to all who do!


To bad taste but good fun now with another querulous query pressing the blowtorch of consistency against the belly of the English language.

Quoting someone whose spelling gives them away as a graduate of the American school of suspicious spelling, our querulous querier poses the following conundrum:

“Why,” he or she asks, “are hemorrhoids called ‘hemorrhoids’ instead of ‘assteroids’?”

Clever, sure, but the truth is they’re “haemorrhoids” whether they’ve been into outer space or not!

Crunchy numbers

Photo: Fermate

And finally, it’s a delight to report that our ongoing assurance to PS News readers that they’re not alone can once again be hammered home as our April subscriber numbers cheerfully skipped past the 190,000 milestone for the first time, settling on an impressive 190,037 across the nation.

While solid increases were recorded by our loyal and worthy subscribers in every State, Territory and the Commonwealth, first prize for the most numerous newcomers went to the ACT whose list jumped from 15,656 the month before to a record-breaking 16,062 at month’s end, scaling 16,000 for the first time.

Not to be outdone, the runaway ACT was closely followed by Queensland who also broke their list record by turning 15,656 into 16,062 in one month (another 16,000 first!) and in third place, but by no means least, Victoria, who swelled their already impressive list from 24,944 to 25,108.

To say this amount of support and interest in PS News is humbling in the extreme is to state the bleeding obvious but the team here at PS News is nothing, if not humbled by such figures.

All we can do is assure you, one and all, that we will keep cranking out our service to the public service as long as you keep reading it.

Of course the other thing we can do is break open (another) bottle of champers to toast our readers for their support.


Till next week….

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