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About the Author

Dr Ann Villiers is a leading expert in public sector staff selection and retention. Specialising in the sense-making process, her approach stems from her combined business and public sector management experience, spanning more than 20 years, on both sides of the selection process.

Managing a career, selecting staff, preparing a job application and performing well at interview are all exercises in sense-making and managing meaning. Staff need to be career activists, taking responsibility for their learning and work within the context of life circumstances. Selection panels must make sense of the job vacancy, the selection process and what applicants are offering. Applicants must make sense of the job vacancy, the organisation, the process and what they have to offer, both in writing and orally, plus the result of the process.

To perform well, both as an applicant and as a selection panel member, you need to think flexibly, build language practices for confident speaking and make quality connections throughout the selection process.

Author of How to Write and Talk to Selection Criteria, (6th edn.) and a range of tools, ebooks and articles, Ann has presented at a range of conferences and professional association meetings. She regularly delivers professional development programs for public sector departments and coaches individuals so they unlock their potential and hold the keys to greater job success.

Australia’s only Mental Nutritionist®, Dr Villiers is a learning guide and coach, professional speaker and author, specialising in mind and language practices that help people build flexible thinking, confident speaking and quality connections with people. You can learn more Mental Nutrition at

Clients who have benefited from Dr Villiers’ programs:

  • Attorney General's Department
  • Australian Communications and Media Authority
  • Australian Government Libraries Information Network
  • Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  • Australian Quarantine Inspection Service
  • Canberra Clinical School
  • ComSuper
  • Comcare
  • Child Support Agency
  • Centrelink
  • Crim Trac
  • Department of Industry, Tourism and Resources
  • Department of Environment and Water Resources
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • Department of the House of Representatives
  • Department of Finance and Administration
  • Department of Defence
  • Defence Materiel Organisation
  • Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs
  • Family Court of Australia
  • Geoscience Australia
  • Indigenous Business Australia
  • National Archives of Australia
  • National Library of Australia
  • National Science and Technology Centre, Questacon

Organisations that have offered Dr Villiers’ programs:

  • Capital Careers
  • Australian Public Service Commission  
  • University of Canberra, Professional Management Programs

Organisations that have invited Ann to speak:

  • Australian Institute of Human Relations, Special Interest Group
  • Australian Institute of Management, Special Interest Group
  • Career Development Association of Australia 
  • Careers and Employment Centre, The University of Melbourne
  • Careers Centre, Australian National University
  • National Association of Careers Advisory Services
  • EXPAND (Network of APS Executive and Personal Assistants)

Client comments:

"Having a speaker of your calibre, expertise and experience at the seminar was highly valued. Participants were most forthcoming in their praise: The quality of the presentation was outstanding! The session provided me with valuable material". (ANU Careers Centre)

"I felt the workshop was really useful. Excellent way to review the skills you have and put enthusiasm back into the job. Ann is an excellent presenter and brings everyone in the group into the session". (Participant, Job Application Mastery, Brisbane)

"Your book is my bible and I thought it comprehensive until today when I found lots more useful tips. The section on preparation was very valuable". (Careers Counsellor at Job Application Mastery, Brisbane)

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