The Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel

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The Government appointed an independent Expert Advisory Panel in January 2018 to help shape the future design of employment services in Australia. The panel was chaired by Mrs Sandra McPhee AM.

View the Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel Terms of Reference.

Members of the panel included employer, provider, and welfare group representatives, as well as a labour market economist and an expert in business transformation. The list of members is below:

List of members




Sandra McPhee AM - Chair

Non-Executive Director

St. Vincent’s Health Australia

Caryn Katsikogianis

Chief People Officer

Woolworths Group

Peter Davidson

Senior Adviser

Australian Council of Social Services

Chris Blake

Executive General Manager, Group Services

Australia Post

Prof. Jeff Borland

Truby Williams Professor of Economics

University of Melbourne

Nick Debere

Interim CEO

Jobs Australia

Sally Sinclair


National Employment Services Association

Allan McCallum



Wally Tallis

Acting Deputy Chief Executive Officer

Indigenous Business Australia

Matt O’Sullivan

Employment and Workforce Development Specialist


Dr Susan Neuhaus CSC


Minda Inc

Robert Pennicott

Managing Director

Pennicott Wilderness Journeys

Karen Sheldon AM

Managing Director

Karen Sheldon Catering

Jenny Lambert

Director, Employment Education and Training

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Kate Carnell AO


Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman

Martin Hehir

Deputy Secretary

Department of Jobs and Small Business

I Want to Work: Employment Services 2020 Report

The Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel’s report I Want to Work: Employment Services 2020 was provided to Government for on 15 October 2018.

The panel’s report highlighted the performance of the current employment services, jobactive, in providing over 1.2 million job placements since its launch in July 2015. Stakeholders suggested, in moving forward, there were numerous opportunities to enhance employment service delivery by simplification, harnessing the use of digital technology and cutting red tape.


The panel’s report was informed by extensive consultation held across Australia with:

  • employers
  • providers (training, education and employment)
  • job seekers
  • community organisations (including housing, health and welfare)
  • unions
  • think tanks/academia
  • industry
  • other governments (state and local).

During the consultation period:

  • more than 560 people attended 23 roundtables and community forums held in metropolitan and regional centres
  • 556 people participated in design research workshops, focus groups or one-on-one interviews
  • 450 submissions were received in response to the public consultation paper 'The Next Generation of Employment Services 2020'

A summary of stakeholder feedback is available in The Nous Group Report, Employment Services 2020: Consultation report.

User Centred Design

The department collaborated with user-centred design experts, ThinkPlace, to consult with stakeholders of the employment services system.

The information gained from this research was provided to the Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel for their consideration. Panel members also participated as observers during the research to hear first-hand from job seekers and other stakeholders.

Public Discussion Paper (June 2018)

The Department of Jobs and Small Business released ‘The Next Generation of Employment Services: Discussion Paper’ in June 2018. The paper was informed by the Employment Services Expert Advisory Panel, national and international research, and intensive co-design with stakeholders including job seekers, employers, and employment service providers.

You can view the 296 published submissions at Future of Employment Services Consultation Published Responses.