26 September 2023

PM expands on APS skills and capabilities

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Following his talk to the Institute of Public Administration Australia this week the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison was invited in a question and answer session to comment on the workforce skills and capabilities the APS will need to adopt to support the Government in achieving its agenda.

Mr Morrison needed no hesitation to identify his priority.

“Problem solving skills, that’s the most important thing,” the Prime Minister said.

“Because we’re in the problem solving business. We’re in the opportunity-taking business. And that requires complex problem solving skills that can work across disciplines.”

He raised the 1995 Hollywood film Apollo 13 as an example of the problem solving he has in mind.

“Apollo 13 was probably NASA’s greatest ever moment, arguably even greater than Apollo 11,” Mr Morrison said.

“I love that scene when they’re all up there and they’ve got to use the lunar module as an escape point and they walk into the room with some of the brightest minds in NASA.

“They throw everything that is physically on that lunar module on the table and they say, ‘We need this stuff to do that. And you’ve got this many hours to do it, or they die’.”

“There were no factions in that room. There were no Departments in that room. There were no people who were thinking that their degree was more important to someone else’s degree,” he said.

“There were just people who were trying to save the lives of three blokes in an escape pod off a lunar module.”

The Prime Minister assured his audience that the Public Service was also a life-saving organisation.

“Don’t think that the work that you all do isn’t saving lives – it is!” he said.

“You’re all involved in life-saving businesses here, in one way, shape or form.”

“Creating opportunities for young Indigenous Australians, or people in rural Australia at the moment through some of the most difficult times that they have ever had in their lifetimes.

“And you are the ones they’re ringing up and you’re the ones they’re hoping, together with my government, will be delivering responses – as we have been – to help make their lives just that little bit easier in tough times.”

He linked his commentary to his earlier talk.

“I want people that know how to solve problems and I want them to work together collaboratively so we can take the opportunities and we can deal with the problems that we have to face” the Prime Minister said.

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