Talking Points

Clayton with Claudine Lyons, Vice President IPAA New South Wales Division

I was pleasantly surprised and very happy to see the name of Clayton John Trevilyan of Port Macquarie listed in the awardees of the Public Service Medal (Federal) in today’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Yes, that’s Clayton Trevilyan of the SYD 1701 PSMP class!  As you know the PSM is a comparatively rare honour that is not given lightly.  

Considering the number of employees in the APS there would be lucky to be two dozen APS officers recognised annually with the award of the Public Service Medal for the excellence of their service. 

Clayton has received this award “for outstanding public service through the creation of more inclusive and accessible workplaces for APS employees with a disability.” 

Clayton’s award is well aligned with his recent successful PSMP Work Based Project that examined the establishment of a corporate diversity mentoring program for individuals in key diversity groups, especially those with a disability. 

In my extensive PSMP experience, I cannot recall a current PSMP student being awarded the Public Service Medal, let alone having it awarded for work associated with the Work Based Project.

Clayton was selected as the student representative at the 2018 PSMP Graduation Ceremony in Sydney. This is part of his presentation speech:

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As Oscar Wilde famously quoted “You can never be overdressed or over-educated”. Education has been described by many as the foundation upon which we build the rest of our lives. For me personally, American minister and human rights activist Malcolm X’s description of education as a passport for the future is an apt description that has resonated with me.

Clayton prepares for the graduation ceremony.

During our time at QUT, we have been given some wonderful opportunities to develop our knowledge and professional development. The PSMP has helped develop our understanding of the role of the business of government, and our roles in it.

Upon personal reflection, the program has helped develop my management capability and opened my eyes to the new ways of interacting with my team and my stakeholders. It has allowed me to reflect on effective practices and the skills and knowledge needed to break through barriers and to achieve effective outcomes. It has enabled me to build inter-agency networks and forge professional relationships.

Progressing through each of the Units, I found that I started to think more innovatively, writing more effectively and seeking out and applying more evidence-based approaches to the policy and strategy development functions of my role.

If you would indulge me in another quote from former US first lady Michelle Obama,
“Through my education, I didn’t just develop skills, I didn’t just develop the ability to learn, but I developed confidence”.

Throughout the PSMP, I developed confidence in myself as a leader, to look at different ways to develop, manage and lead.

Having spoken with many of you both during and post-study life, I know there are those who have taken away immense value from your study and have grown in the process.

Many of you spoke about how working in the APS could often be insular, and may not always provide you with visibility of work being undertaken across the public sector.

Some of you spoke about how the PSMP has provided significant opportunity to explore current reforms and better understand the services and operations of government across the private and public sector. Several of you also spoke to me about how you are now actively applying many of the skills and knowledge in your workplaces.

It was great to hear that the PSMP has changed your approaches to decision making processes. That you are actively considering who your stakeholders are, what role they may play, the intrinsic value, the risks you’ve considered, and the mitigation strategies you’ve implemented.

It was also pleasing to hear that many of you are now actively considering the public value elements in the work you are doing.

It was good to hear that many of you also felt that the PSMP provided you the time and space to focus on your own personal development, something that many of us often put off for the benefit of others.

Some of you also offered some insights which I hadn’t really considered.

Kylie, I won’t mention you by name (whoops) but there was a comment you made which allowed me the opportunity to really reflect on. You said that the PSMP had taught you the importance of engaging in a way that fostered and supported your career, where you were the driver.

I hope you don’t mind that I mentioned this but I thought was a great insight to point out, as the comparison you’ve drawn is one which I think may resonate with others.

In the time I have remaining I would like to acknowledge the support provided to me personally and on behalf of my fellow graduates by family, support networks and work colleagues.

I would like to begin by thanking my beautiful wife Rachel, for whom I am very happy was able to come along to the ceremony today. Thank you for your encouragement and support to help me complete this qualification and for taking on the lion’s share of the work in taking care of the kids when I’ve been away from home. I know it hasn’t been easy with 3 young kids, particularly one with a disability.

A special thank you to my previous Director Ms. Amie Davies. Thank you for seeing something in me that I couldn’t, which was my ability to take on a significant challenge. Without your faith in my ability, your confidence and support I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to become a better manager.

To my fellow cohort, I thank you for valuing my input and my suggestions during the workshops, for your insightful conversations, and for your inclusive and collegiate approaches to learning.

On behalf of all graduands, I would like to thank friends and family for coming along today, and for supporting them in their academic journey.

I would also like to express my thanks to all of the facilitators that have supported us throughout each of the Units. Thank you for your support and insight, and for the light-hearted approach to learning that we had at the workshops.

I would like to recognise two facilitators in particular – Mary Crawford and John Currie who were instrumental in my learning and I know also to the 1701 cohort.

Thank you Mary for being so supportive to us all I the first Unit, for orientating many of us to the world of academia, explaining the intricacies of Blackboard, making sense of referencing and generally putting us all on the right path to academia.

John Currie – A big thank you on behalf of the 1701 cohort for sharing your knowledge, expertise and guidance with our workplace projects. Thank you for your encouragement, your detailed feedback which not only provided us to learn and grow, but also to deliver practical outcomes for our workplaces.

Public Sector Management Program Graduation, Sydney 2018

Graduands today the day that we should take stock of our academic achievements. We should feel an immense sense of pride and achievement for the work that we’ve done and the results that we have achieved. We should congratulate ourselves for hanging in there, particularly in those times of self-doubt or adversity, or when it seemed almost impossible to juggle amongst work and family commitments.

I would like to personally recognise the accomplishments, personal commitment, and dedication of all graduands, and I wish you all the very best in your future endeavours, whatever they may be. Irrespective of whether you continue your journey in academia I know that we will all continue to learn and grow.

To leave you with a closing quote from a very famous doctor, doctor Seuss:
“The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go”.

Congratulations graduands of 2018. Enjoy the day, be proud of your academic accomplishments and your resilience in getting here today. Thank you.

Clayton Trevilyan, PSM


John Currie has been facilitating into the Public Sector Management Program for more than 25 years.

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