The WA public sector’s dedication to making a difference to the lives of Western Australians was on show during the latest round of Order of Australia honours awarded by the Governor-General on Australia Day 2020.
Three Western Australians were awarded the Public Service Medal (PSM) as acknowledgement for outstanding public service, for their sustained focus on outcomes that benefit the workplace, industry or community.
Public Advocate Pauline Bagdonavicius has contributed over 40 years of service in the public sector in the social welfare field. Her leadership has driven changes in legislation and policy to enhance the way vulnerable citizens are cared for and protected. Of particular note was her efforts to address the issue of elder abuse, both in Western Australia and nationally.
Noelene Jennings, Director of Corporate Strategy and Performance at City of Wanneroo, has served communities in various State and local government roles for more than 35 years. The award recognises her efforts to promote best practice across the local government sector, and to inspire colleagues through business excellence and performance improvement initiatives to look for new ways to improve services to the community.
Lee Musumeci, Principal of Challis Community Primary School, has dedicated her career to improving education opportunities for children, especially those with disadvantage in the community. Her visionary leadership in early childhood education has led to her innovative programs being rolled out to 21 vulnerable communities across the State to support young children and their families before they start school.
Ms Musumeci was initially shocked by the acknowledgement.
“I consider myself one of those really lucky people who bounces out of bed every morning and drives off to a place I absolutely love. So I guess being recognised for something I love doing, and are completely committed to, seems scary,” said Ms Musumeci.
“What I see when I look in the eyes of the new students every year, I see endless possibility and that’s our job as teachers to inspire possibility and help turn that into a reality. We are all about high expectations, high quality education and quality relationships, and that is what we bring to the school,” said Ms Musumeci.
These achievements reflect the sector’s strong spirit of public service and genuine desire to improve the services in the community, as defined by the Service Priority Review. The public sector reform program is focused on bringing these strengths to the fore.
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