Leigh Tabrett

Interviewed by
Maree Stanley & Danielle Miller
Mar 04 2011
Leigh Tabrett
Time Summary Keywords
00:00:05 Leigh Tabrett summarises her life and career, from her high school education in Gympie to an undergraduate degree in German at the University of Queensland and onto the Director of the State Office of Higher Education as a part of the Goss Government 1990. She became the Assistant Director General of Education in 2002 and then in 2006 became the Deputy Director General of Arts Queensland. Arts, Education Department, Goss Government 1989-96
00:02:25 Leigh Tabrett talks about the sexism inherent in the public service and the attempts of the PSMC to redress this. Education Department, Paul Braddy, Public Sector Management Commission, sexism, women
00:08:10 Leigh Tabrett discusses the setting up of the Office of Higher Education, its independence from the rest of the Education Department, and the separation of TAFE and Higher Education. Education Department
00:11:11 Leigh Tabrett discusses the development of higher education in Queensland. She outlines the development of equity and quality assurance policy, as well as marketing campaigns and regulatory backgrounds for universities. education, equity
00:15:49 Leigh Tabrett discusses working on tertiary education matters with other states and the federal government. She discusses the difficulty of balancing the interests of higher education with those of politicians, particularly in the context of the Nelson Reforms and the national curriculum. Education Department, education reform
00:17:46 Leigh Tabrett reflects on the impact of the Goss Government reforms, the struggle to professionalise the public service, and the growing complexity of government bureaucracy, particularly with ministerial appointments. Cabinet Office, Goss Government 1989-96, ministerial staff
00:23:04 Leigh Tabrett notes the incoming Education Minister Paul Braddy's agenda for the department, and comments more broadly on the relationships between the minister and their departments. Education Department, Indigenous issues, Paul Braddy, Peter Coaldrake, Peter Garrett, relationship with public service, women
00:27:08 Leigh Tabrett discusses the way the public service must balance the needs of numerous stakeholders, and the challenge of dealing with conflict as a woman. Education Department, unions, women
00:30:57 Leigh Tabrett discusses the importance of Australia as a higher education provider in the Asian region, and the Education Department's strategy to combat the effects of One Nation. Asia, Dean Wells, education, Education Department, One Nation, Peter Beattie
00:35:16 Leigh Tabrett details the Goss Government's education reforms, including the development of a national-class higher education system and equity in education. She details Anna Bligh's reforms to prep and the transition to high school, and the growing investment in education. Anna Bligh, Bligh Government 2007-12, Education Department, equity, Goss Government 1989-96, Indigenous issues, women
00:40:04 Leigh Tabrett recalls the development of the Smart State slogan for Queensland and the concomitant investment in research and higher education during the Goss and Beattie governments, as well as the growing interest in creative industries. Beattie Government 1998-2007, Chuck Feeney, creative industries, Education Department, Goss Government 1989-96, Jim Elder, Peter Beattie, Smart State, Terry Moran, universities
00:45:02 Leigh Tabrett discusses the process of regulating virtual universities in the context of higher education accreditation. education, universities
00:47:09 Leigh Tabrett discusses reforms to the accreditation process and funding for non-state schools in the early 2000s, as well as policy regarding child protection and the status of schools as non-profit organisations. Anna Bligh, child protection, child sexual abuse, education, Education Department, private schools, Roy Webb
00:52:19 Leigh Tabrett discusses the issue of public funding for private schools, and the relationship between public and private education. education, Education Department, private schools
00:55:07 Leigh Tabrett details her move to Arts Queensland in 2005, the naming of the department and dealing with unions and interest groups. Arts, unions
00:57:37 Leigh Tabrett describes funding for the arts, and the importance of arts and culture in society and to the economy. Art Gallery, Arts
01:01:48 Leigh Tabrett discusses the growing number of inter-departmental collaborations on the arts and art projects. Arts
01:03:41 Leigh Tabrett discusses the decision to build the Gallery of Modern Art, and the ongoing success of the programs and exhibitions and the use of social media. Arts, GOMA
01:08:40 Leigh Tabrett discusses the redevelopment of the Queensland State Library, and its role as a community centre. She discusses plans to build similar arts and cultural spaces in regional centres and Arts Queensland's commitment to touring exhibitions to regional areas. Arts, regions
01:12:41 Leigh Tabrett discusses the increased visibility of the arts in major Queensland events, and the 2006 changes to the way Arts Queensland funds organisations. Arts, Events Queensland, Sport
01:19:53 Leigh Tabrett considers the disappointments of her career, commenting that she would like to have done more to challenge the culture of conformity in the public service. She identifies her work on higher education quality as her most important innovation, well as her Indigenous Arts Program, and reform of the Arts funding process. Arts
01:26:56 Leigh Tabrett reflects on the work of the public service, which combines the daily grind of administration with the opportunity to make a difference in society.
01:28:07 Interview ends.