The Institute for Governance Public Sector Excellence Awards are awarded to outstanding Australian public servants at different levels of governance who demonstrate excellence in leadership, policy innovation and/or policy delivery that leads to positive social or economic outcomes for Australian citizens. 

The 2018 Award recipients for outstanding contribution to the Australian Public Service were Jacqui Curtis FAHRI and Drew Baker


Jacqui Curtis joined the ATO in September 2013. As Chief Operating Officer (COO) she leads the ATO Corporate
and Enabling Services functions. These functions include Strategic Planning, Governance, Finance, Corporate, Risk
Management, People, Integrity, Change Management and Design for the organisation. Prior to the COO role, Curtis
joined the ATO in September 2013 as Deputy Commissioner ATO People and was responsible for delivering an enterprise-wide human resource management service which supports ATO employees in providing a sustainable, open and accountable workplace. Curtis was also responsible for leading the Reinvention Program Management Office and the change management driving this key reform. Before joining the ATO, Curtis was General Manager of the People
Capability Division with the Department of Human Services, where she led the department’s leadership and change, people development, workforce planning and research functions. She has also worked for the Australian Public Service Commission, where she was responsible for delivering integrated people development, SES and APS-wide leadership and talent, change management, strategic recruitment, communications, and learning and development. She also has extensive international experience. Jacqui is a key leader across the APS, known for her innovation, capability building and stakeholder management. She has led significant reforms in all of her roles. Curtis holds an Executive Masters

“Jacqui Curtis is an outstanding public servant who has worked in a variety of departments and agencies. Central to her expertise is that of building capability within organisations and the APS as a whole. She has been central to both APS and ATO reforms. She has always brought an inquiring mind, creative pursuit of solutions and is gifted in her ability to build relations to support better outcomes.”


Drew Baker is passionate about the public sector, with over 20 years’ experience working in and with the Australian Public Service (APS). His areas of expertise and focus are change management, leadership and management development, service delivery reform and business management. He has been CEO of IPAA ACT for the last four years. Under his leadership IPAA’s program and services have strengthened dramatically and IPAA is seen as a key partner to APS and ACT Government in terms of professional development. Drew has overseen successful national and ACT based conferences, introduced mentoring and Emerging Leader programs as well as supported Executive Assistant series. Prior to his role with IPAA, Drew was the General Manager of Public Sector for the Australian Institute
of Management (AIM) where he was also responsible for the AIM business in Canberra. This followed a number of
years consulting with the Centre for Public Management (CPM), where he consulted on leadership development,
strategic planning, facilitation and executive coaching. Drew was an elected member of the IPAA ACT Council for a number of years during his time as a consultant. Drew’s career in the APS spanned twelve years over the period 1995 to 2007 and included Senior Executive Service (SES) roles at the Department of Human Services and the former Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources. He also worked at the former Department of Employment and Workplace Relations and the former Australian Customs Service.

“Drew Baker has made an exceptional contribution to the APS/ACT Government in his role as CEO IPAA ACT. IPAA is the professional association for public sector  employees. During his 4 year term thus far as CEO IPAA he has transformed the relationship between IPAA and public service. In this critical role he has developed innovative and sustainable programs to assist the development and growth of the public service and demonstrates that partnerships are vital to enduring success of public sector.”