Following the reflective and powerful International Women’s Day Gala Dinner on 8 March 2023, IPAA Victoria chatted to Elly Patira, Deputy Secretary, First Peoples – State Relations, Department of Premier and Cabinet, and explored the Treaty Framework in Victoria, the strengths and challenges of being a First Nations woman in the public service, and in keeping with IPAA Victoria's International Women's Day Gala Dinner theme, what are the specific opportunities for First Nations women as a result of the treaty process.
In front of an audience of 1,300 guests, IPAA Victoria’s International Women’s Day Gala Dinner was a unique opportunity for public sector leaders and professionals to listen to exceptional First Nations women who have challenged and triumphed against prevailing societal and political structures to pave a path ahead for future generations.
IPAA Victoria would like to thank Elly Patira for sharing her personal reflections and lived experience in this episode. IPAA Victoria would also like to thank podcast host Elke Smirl, Program Director, Victorian Public Sector Commission and member of IPAA Victoria's Aboriginal Advisory Committee, for giving their time to share personal reflections and thoughts.
Elly Patira Deputy Secretary, First Peoples – State Relations, Department of Premier and Cabinet
Elly was appointed as Deputy Secretary, First Peoples – State Relations within the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet in April 2021. Elly is a lawyer and policy advisor with broad experience across constitutional, indigenous and minority rights law and policy, both domestically and internationally. She holds a BA and JD from the University of Melbourne and a Masters in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford. Elly has held various executive positions in the Aboriginal Affairs portfolio within the Department of Premier and Cabinet, and also previously worked as an academic, in the corporate sector, for Aboriginal organisations and as an advisor during the Fijian constitution-making process. As Deputy Secretary, Elly is responsible for an extensive program of priority work with First Peoples in the areas of treaty, truth and transitional justice, self-determination and cultural rights and protection.
Elke Smirl Program Director, Barring Dijnang, Victorian Public Sector Commission; Member of IPAA Victoria’s Aboriginal Advisory Committee
While Elke was born and raised in Victoria, her family came from South Australia. She is a descendant of both the Kaurna and Narungga peoples of the Adelaide Plains and Yorke Peninsula. As an Aboriginal woman, Elke has extensive networks in the Victorian Aboriginal community and for three years managed an Aboriginal family violence service and was also Chair of EMR Indigenous family violence regional action group.Elke has worked in the government public sector for more than 30 years, and is currently Program Director, Victorian Public Sector Commission. About 20 years of her public sector career has been in Indigenous affairs, with most of her experience in governance and community development for Victorian Aboriginal communities. Elke has co-facilitated governance, community development and accredited and non-accredited cultural heritage training for the Victorian and Australian governments, working with communities across Australia.
Public Sector Perspectives is a podcast produced by IPAA Victoria, the professional association for people who work in and with the public purpose sector in Victoria.