Celebrating the public purpose sector: Sandra Parker at Fair Work Ombudsman

15 Aug 2022

As part of IPAA Victoria’s campaign to celebrate the diversity of work undertaken in the public purpose sector, we spoke to the Fair Work Ombudsman, Sandra Parker, about her reflections on how the government agency promotes a harmonious, compliant and cooperative workplace for Australians.

Sandra Parker, Fair Work Ombudsman

In this instalment of our ongoing United Nations Public Service Day campaign, IPAA Victoria profiles the significant contributions made by the Fair Work Ombudsman to advocate for, protect and foster harmonious, productive, cooperative and compliant workplaces in Australia. We spoke to the Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker to hear her perspective on the value of the public purpose sector for the community.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is the independent, national workplace relations regulator. In accordance with the Fair Work Act 2009, the Fair Work Ombudsman achieves their purpose through providing education, assistance, advice and guidance to employers, employees and organisations; promoting and monitoring compliance with workplace laws; investigating breaches; and taking appropriate enforcement action.

Each year the Ombudsman announces its priority sectors and issues, and in 2022–23 its focus is on fast food, restaurants and cafes, agriculture, sham contracting, the large corporate and university sectors, and contract cleaning.

 In our interview with Sandra Parker, she discloses that the agency regulates one million employing businesses and 13 million workers in Australia, and through their enforcement efforts, recovered a record amount for employees in the 2021 Financial Year.

The interview explores why a career in the public sector is rewarding. Sandra talks about her diverse career journey and outstanding achievements, her motivations to give back to the community, and the importance of upholding standards of ethics and conduct and public servants acting as role models.

Being an employee of the public sector means commitment. It means dedication. It means knowing your patch well so you deliver for the public that relies on you. It means thinking about the bigger picture, such as the broader political environment we operate in, as well as the day-to-day focus required to get advice and decisions right,’ says Sandra Parker.

The public service provides incredibly diverse and rewarding work, with the added benefit of having the goal of building more stronger and equitable communities. That’s always been a key driver for me and I’m genuinely proud to work in the public purpose sector.
— Sandra Parker, Fair Work Ombudsman

IPAA Victoria would like to thank Sandra Parker, Fair Work Ombudsman, for her time and sharing her thoughts with our members.