- Anna La CA and Brad Medland FCA have been recognised as the Leadership in Government Awards (LGA) winners for 2021.
- Nominees had to demonstrate the attributes of being a difference maker, including being a reliable and trusted voice within the accounting and finance sector.
- Winners of the LGAs are trusted leaders and champion high ethical standards.
By Hamish Barwick
Existing and upcoming leaders in Australia's government sectors were acknowledged at the 2021 Leadership in Government Awards (LGA) in Canberra on 9 December.
Anna La CA, who works with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), won the LGA Achievement Award, which recognises an individual who has driven innovation in their organisation and shows potential as a future leader in the accounting and finance function of the public service sector. The Achievement Award is a bursary worth A$10,000.
Brad Medland FCA, CFO at the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications, won the LGA Outstanding Contribution to the Public Sector Award, which brings a bursary of A$20,000.
This award recognises an individual who is leading by example and has achieved a step change for the Australian public through their public service.
Nominees had to demonstrate the attributes of being a difference maker, including being a reliable and trusted voice of the accounting and finance function, a trusted leader and champion of high ethical standards and to be recognised as a catalyst for change within their organisation.
Anna La CA: Making a difference at the ATO
La, an APS6 finance officer at the ATO in Canberra, was nominated for her work developing automation tools that have streamlined processes and delivered efficiencies at the ATO.
One of those tools was an automated solution which ensured accurate capture of costs relating to GST and the ATO’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
La also helped develop the Private Wealth Business Line budget. This entailed liaising directly with business stakeholders about their supplier budgets, and working with Business Line planners to resolve issues which arose while allocating scarce resources.
Katy Borrett, acting assistant commissioner at the ATO, who nominated La for the award, describes her as a “trusted and reliable adviser who exemplifies integrity and is widely respected as an emerging leader.”
Borrett says La has broad experience across many areas of the ATO’s finance function and “willingly shares her knowledge to build capability”.
She adds that La continually displays leadership qualities and has demonstrated personal drive to achieve outcomes for the ATO.
Picture: Anna La CA.
Brad Medland FCA: The problem solver
Medland, who has been CFO at the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications in Canberra since May 2019, was nominated for his work in connecting policy and program experts in his portfolio with the finance team both within his department and external agencies.
By connecting these areas, each team has a better understanding of the problem to be addressed and a shared understanding of the solutions and risks.
Department of Finance first assistant secretary Tracey Carroll, who nominated Medland, says he is a great mentor and coach to staff who assists in building the confidence and capability of the next generation of finance leaders.
Medland says he gets great satisfaction from mentoring young accounting professionals and enjoys taking an active role in the department by engaging in whole-of-government initiatives and adding clout.
“I share knowledge across the Australian public sector and learn what other agencies are doing to promote finance professionals and increase networks across the APS [Australian Public Service] such as the APS accounting stream working group,” he adds.
Picture: Brad Medland FCA.
“I share knowledge across the Australian public sector and learn what other agencies are doing to promote finance professionals…”
He is also a problem solver, with his mantra to “identify the problem and extend it beyond the portfolio.”
One problem he identified within his department was inadequate visibility around the lack of funding and accessing new funding.
“I worked with various departments to increase funding to agencies,” he explains. “[We] didn’t achieve funding but set off a process which addressed a better prioritisation process, asset sustainability and life cycle, and a forum for many agency executives.”
Leadership in Government Awards
Recognising the achievements of Accounting and Finance professionals in and contributing to the Public Sector.Read more