A bright future for the South Australian public sector depends on workplaces built upon the values of integrity, service and respect.

The Next Exec Program advances current managers (AS07 or equivalent and above) on their leadership journey so they can confidently lead other managers toward great outcomes for the sector.

Over the course of nine-to-twelve months, participants will embark on integrated learning experiences designed to build the fundamental qualities required of a flexible, inclusive and responsive leader.

The Next Exec Program provides cross-department networking opportunities and enriching sector specific content delivered by highly respected industry experts.

Over nine-to-twelve months, participants will learn effective management approaches in a combination of face-to-face online workshops, self-reflective practices, one-on-one coaching, leader connect sessions and a leadership bootcamp.

Program Structure

Next Execs program elements

Kick-Off Summit

The Kick-Off Summit gives participants the opportunity to virtually network with peers across agencies and be inspired by keynote speakers and special guests.

Face-to-face and/or virtual workshops

A variety of specially curated workshops delivered by experts from outside and within the South Australian Public Sector contextualised to modern leadership concepts and practices within the South Australian government.

360-degree assessment 

Participants will enhance their leadership capabilities through a 360-degree leadership assessment tool called The Leadership Circle (TLC).

TLC is a premium 360° feedback tool designed to accelerate leadership effectiveness beyond traditional competency-based approaches, helping participants understand the relationship between how they habitually think, behave, and how all this impacts their leadership effectiveness.

Coaching sessions

These one-on-one sessions provide specialised feedback to aspiring executives to develop their strengths and highlight potential areas of improvement.

Leader connect sessions

Leader Connect sessions provide participants with the opportunity to engage in small groups and learn from the collective wisdom of current South Australian government deputy chief executives and executives. 

These sessions enable participants to develop a stronger understanding of the roles and key strategic and systemic issues facing South Australian public sector executives.

Industry and community connect


Participants will undertake site visits to some of South Australia's leading businesses and community hubs. Further details of site visits will be discussed during the course of the program.

Leadership bootcamp and High Impact Leadership Challenges

These simulated experiences allow participants to work in teams undertaking a range of tasks in a high-pressure, time-critical environment.

These real-time experiences allow the application of key concepts learnt throughout the program such as design thinking, strategic communication, collective leadership and resilience.

This program is aimed at managers (AS07 or equivalent and above) who have been identified as ready and capable to broaden their leadership impact and strategic influence across the system.

Suitable candidates:

  • have at least 12 months' people management experience, and are ready to make a successful transition from leading a team to leading managers
  • are effective, reliable leaders
  • learn and adapt quickly
  • are engaged, committed and motivated to deliver for the people of South Australia
  • seek to embrace diversity and diversify their experience
  • are role models for the South Australian Public Sector Values

This program runs for 12 months. 

Investment: TBA

“A big thank you for all your efforts in putting on such a brilliant course. I thoroughly enjoyed it and took some really valuable lessons from my time that will definitely support me in my future roles. Good luck for the next one.” - Andrew Copus, Department of Primary Industries and Regions, 2021

“I wanted to send a heartfelt thanks to you for all your work in making the Next Execs program such a huge success. We had some unusual challenges last year, which you managed to navigate beautifully…and always with a warm smile. I enjoyed the program immensely and thought it was an excellent SA Public Sector initiative. The content was very relevant and calibre of coaches, session facilitators and presenters were of high quality.” - Christina Borg, Department for Infrastructure and Transport, 2021

“Thank you for putting together such a contemporary and professional leadership program. I have really enjoyed the program. The content and experiences have developed my leadership skills and will be beneficial throughout my entire career. I’d also like to mention the other course participants – it was a pleasure interacting/networking/learning with such a collaborative group of people across all areas of the public sector." - Darren Jones, Department of Treasury and Finance, 2021

“Thank you for all your hard work to put together such a fantastic program! I feel like the topics and connections have accelerated my leadership journey, and I’m certainly feeling more confident about taking the next step as opportunities arise.” - Emma Nankivell, Department for Innovation and Skills, 2021

“I just wanted to thank you both for the program; it was very well-run, the workshops were worthwhile, and the in-depth 360 feedback and work with a coach was incredibly valuable. The opportunity to sit down with a senior executive was also an excellent addition to the program and provided some great insights. I’ve learnt a lot about how I work, where to focus my efforts, and what I want to do next – I’m already using some of it as an acting director! Thank you for all your work in pulling it together.- Michael Brougham, Department of the Premier and Cabinet, 2021

“The Leadership circle 360 was a fantastic exercise to get feedback, understand better about what I do well as a leader and reflect on blind spots identified so that I can work on these.” - Naomi Struve, Department for Environment and Water, 2021

“Thanks to the team for all of your efforts and commitment to making the program a success. I thoroughly enjoyed it.” - Peter Stamp, Department of the Premier and Cabinet, 2021

“I’m sure I speak on behalf of everyone when I say thank you, to the South Australian Leadership Academy team. You’ve moved mountains this year to ensure that we could have the benefit of this amazing program notwithstanding a global pandemic and I’m incredibly grateful.” - Rebecca Walker, Department for Education, 2021

“Just wanted to say a personal thanks to you for such an amazing program! No doubt down to a lot of hard work by you and your team.” - Sally Nicholas, Department of Treasury and Finance, 2021

“Yesterday’s program provided a great opportunity to reflect on our learning journey and celebrate how far we have come. You missed an outstanding keynote, Rabia is without a doubt the most inspiring, authentic, engaging speaker I have ever heard. Her story reduced the group to stunned silence and tears as we hung onto every word. But she also made the connection to us so real, the words about leadership are still rolling around in my head. Thank you for delivering such an outstanding program, I feel so privileged to have been a part of this.” - Sarah Gleed, Department for Education, 2021

"South Australian Leadership Academy…you got it right with the Next Execs Program. I have participated in many other programs that would be considered comparable, and indeed complementary. The point of difference for this program is that it was tailored for the public sector and the very context we operate within. We were able to engage and learn from each other and experts with like minds, similar challenges and professional contexts, actual situations…it was REAL LEARNING. This program has created a safe space, now and going forward…"  - Jodie Gregg-Smith, 2019

“Next Execs has provided me with the best PD experience in my 15-year career – that is a given. It’s engaged me, stretched my thinking and challenged me. My goal is to lead a happy, engaged, high performing team that adds value to the public sector – and that gets results…the best part of this whole program is the invaluable networks and relationships I’ve had the opportunity to create with amazing leaders.” Tanya DiLorenzo, 2019

Your agency chief executive needs to endorse your nomination.

Please speak to your line manager about participating.

To register your interest for the 2021-2022 Next Execs Program, click here.

Your agency chief executive needs to endorse your nomination.

Please speak to your line manager or HR representative about participating.

Nominations for the 2021-2022 will open soon. To register your interest, click here.

We value your questions and feedback.

Please direct any general enquiries to the Next Exec project team via email: OCPSENextExecs@sa.gov.au