Peta Ashton, Barry O'Farrell, Ted-Pickering, Nick Greiner

Strategy and Planning Sessions for CEOs and Leadership Teams

Strategy day at Ashton Park

Strategy planning day at Ashton Park

Statement of national challenges

Statement of national challenges

Peta Seaton on Radio National

Peta Seaton on Radio National

Dr Peta Seaton AM is a Company Director, and a consultant to CEOs in business, government, and non-government organisations.

Her consulting practice includes strategic and policy counsel:

  • public sector policy and service design particularly in health and human services, micro-economic reform, public sector performance management, regulation, public sector finance, infrastructure and change management;
  • assisting the private sector in its policy, project, regulatory and strategic interactions with government and the community;
  • thought leadership in public sector management; and
  • thought leadership on planning and development including in Western Sydney.

Peta is sought for media commentary (ABC Radio ‘What Keeps Me Awake’) and guest lecturing (ANZSOG, University of Sydney Graduate School of Government).

Peta also facilitates and hosts high-level strategy and planning sessions with CEOs and leadership teams. Read more about The Barn  as a corporate meeting facility.


Peta was appointed Chair of Australian Hearing, the nation’s leading hearing specialist and largest provider of Government funded hearing services, in 2014.

She became an Associate Director of the BDCU Alliance Bank in December 2016.

She is also a Director of the Menzies Research Centre, and a Council member for the Near Eastern Archaeology Foundation (NEAF) at the University of Sydney.

Peta has been a non-executive director of CARE Australia and the Bradman Foundation in Bowral and served on the Advisory Council to Faculty of Science, University of NSW.


Becoming interested in regulatory, economic and business issues, Peta joined the Opposition research and media staff of NSW Liberal Leader Nick Greiner in 1987, and joined the Premier’s staff team in 1988. She worked with NSW Premier John Fahey and the Leader of the Federal Opposition, before returning to the private sector in 1993.

She was elected to the NSW Parliament as the Member for Southern Highlands in 1996 and served for 11 years before choosing not to contest the 2007 election.

Politics and Policy

As a NSW State MP and shadow frontbencher Peta led policy reform in Treasury, Infrastructure, Planning, Environment, and Reform of Government.

In 2010 she worked with the NSW Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell to prepare key elements of the NSW Liberal & Nationals policy agenda and implementation plan, and from March 2011 to mid-2014 was Director of Transition and Strategic Priorities in the NSW Premier’s Office.

Peta contributed significantly to the achievement of the principal strategic objective of the O’Farrell Government which was to ‘Make NSW Number One Again’ on key economic criteria.

Peta led the establishment of the NSW Strategic Plan and performance reporting, Infrastructure NSW, the NSW Public Service Commission, and Service NSW, asset management and reform of State Owned Corporations. She drove successful reforms to NSW WorkCover, execution of diverse efficiency strategies to rein in spending and identify and manage program outlays; she worked with Treasury to establish program-based budgeting and with DPC to instigate consistent program evaluation and drive program effectiveness. Other project responsibilities included the commencement of a major data analytics capability across the NSW Government, including to identify NGO and government program duplication and prioritise evaluation focus; the development of key Budget initiatives to recycle assets into priority housing and employment land infrastructure and management of these on behalf of the Premier in Cabinet Expenditure Review Committee and Cabinet Housing Taskforces.

She directed NSW’s adoption of a Construction Code of Conduct to address adverse industrial practices in public sector infrastructure projects and their ‘pattern’ impact across the economy. She managed NSW’s Commonwealth State relationships and COAG agenda, including negotiations on NDIS establishment; she led discussions with other states on improved mutual recognition initiatives


After graduating, she worked in television in Los Angeles. She then started a small advertising and music video production company in Australia before joining Clemenger as an-house television producer.

With her husband, Peta has been involved in agricultural enterprises including fine wool sheep, and now Angus cattle and related business activities at Ashton Park, Moss Vale.


  • PhD, University of Sydney, 2006
  • GAICD, 2007
  • University of Sydney (BA Hons), 1980


Public Policy

2018 — Forgotten People: Updated (Chapter on ‘The Task of Democracy’ in Paul Ritchie (ed), Connor Court, Australia

2016 — Medi-Vation: Health Innovation Communities for Medicare Payment and Service Reform (with Jeremy Sammut, Gerald Thomas), CIS Research Report, Nov 2016

2016 — What Keeps Me Awake, ABC Radio National, 21 November

2014 —Why Liberal MPs should vote according to policy, not conscience, on marriage equality. August edition of Policy Magazine (ed Stephen Kirchner), CIS, Sydney

2010 — What If? (Editor and contributor), Connor Court, Melbourne.

2007 — Governing NSW – The Wran and Greiner Years: Decision Making in the Greiner Administration, The Sydney Papers. Vol. 19, No. 2 Sydney Institute

2006 — Decision Making in the Greiner Government: an Insider’s Perspective in The Worldly Art of Politics Turner, K., and Hogan, M., (eds.) Federation Press, Australia.

2007 —The Wran and Greiner Years. Paper delivered to the Sydney Institute.

2006 — Innovation in the Public Sector, 3 May 2006, Building Science Forum Australia, Public Private Partnerships – Panacea or Problem? – Building Science Forum of Australia, 21 September 2005.

2005 — Contribution to Practical Federalism; an Agenda for Reform. Discussion Paper released to Federal Council, Liberal Party of Australia by the Leader of the Opposition, June 2005

2000 — Liberating Our Environment: Environment policy discussion paper


Peta grew up in New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. Returning to Sydney in 1976, she pursued her passion for Middle Eastern archaeology at Sydney University, including numerous seasons of excavation in Jordan. She has a PhD in Archaeology.

Contact Peta for further information.

Peta Seaton Strategic Consulting with Hear For You