Darren Bickham

Acting Executive Director People and Culture

NSW Department of Finance, Services & Innovation

The ‘I get it’ moment

I hadn’t read Plato for a long time. I saw the pre-reading and thought, “holy shit, what is this?”. And I was struggling on day three, looking at the incredible people in the room and the amazing work they do in the community and wondering how it applied to me working in a support role in government. It was confronting. But then I realised the programme was really about directing attention to the right places. For me it was about the impact we all have on other people.

The Colloquium taught me to reflect on and understand the role I play in government, where I have a large people function supporting 5500 across multiple disciplines. It was one of those “I get it” moments; it helped me get my place in the world.

I reflect back on what I learned all the time. Two weeks after the Colloquium we had an on-site planning day and I was talking about the programme. One of the catchphrases on the website is wisdom in leadership and that’s exactly what occurred for me. Everyone who leads people should do it. It was an incredible experience.