Text size: A A A

Public sector leaders recognised in IPAA awards

Public servants working on a world heritage bid for Southwest Victoria’s Budj Bim cultural landscape, the site of Aboriginal aquaculture systems dating back over 6000 years, are one of the teams to have been recognised at the annual IPAA Victoria Leadership in the Public Sector awards.

The awards recognise innovative and inspiring public programs, initiatives and services and the people behind them. Now in their 11th year, they cover eight categories, celebrating the excellence of teams and organisations working in — and with — the public sector at all three levels of government in Victoria.

This year’s awards attracted over 90 nominations across eight categories. Four new categories were added: innovative regulation, robust governance, leading public sector employers and initiatives that advance Aboriginal self-determination.

The biennial Young Indigenous Leaders Scholarship, offering a professional development program to a high-performing Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person, went to Bonnie Cavanagh from Victoria Police, for her significant leadership potential and dedication to the public sector. The JA Aird Award, for the student who receives the highest score in the Public Policy subject at the University of Melbourne, was presented to Wai Huen (Charlotte) Choi at the ceremony.

The 2018 award winners are:

Advancing Aboriginal Self-Determination Award

Department of Premier and Cabinet for Budj Bim World Heritage Nomination Project

The Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, located in Gunditjmara country, includes one of the world’s oldest and largest aquaculture systems. The Gunditjmara have pursued Budj Bim’s world heritage listing for more than 20 years and through the help of Heritage Services, Aboriginal Victoria, the nomination has been accepted for consideration. If successful, it will make Australia’s 20th world heritage place.

Aboriginal Justice Caucus for Burra Lotjpa Dunguludja — The Aboriginal Justice Agreement Phase 4

The Aboriginal Justice Agreement is a formal partnership between the Victorian government and the Aboriginal community to work together in reducing the over-representation of Aboriginal people in our justice system. The caucus represents the voices of Aboriginal communities and believes Aboriginal self-determination is a matter for Aboriginal people. They have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in enhancing the government’s understanding of how Aboriginal self-determination can be fully expressed in the justice system.

Communication Excellence Award

Department of Premier and Cabinet for Deadly Questions

The communications team at Aboriginal Victoria in the Department of Premier and Cabinet created the Deadly Questions project to provide a public space for Aboriginal Victorians to discuss their history and how it affects their lives. By providing online questions and answers, a range of Aboriginal Victorians are able to share their culture and a greater understanding has developed between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people, including the issues facing Aboriginal communities.

Evidence-Based Policy Award

Department of Health and Human Services Victoria for SafeScript: Real-Time Prescription Monitoring Implementation

SafeScript, a real-time prescription monitoring system, was introduced by the Victorian government to reduce growing harms, such as overdose deaths due to high-risk medicines. SafeScript alerts doctors and pharmacists within seconds after a prescription has been supplied, notifying on any clinical risk. The Real-Time Prescription Monitoring Implementation team has set a benchmark in the design and implementation of an eHealth initiative and a basis for the platform for the national system.

Human-Centred Service Delivery Award

Transport for Victoria for Designing Melbourne’s High Capacity Metro Trains

The High Capacity Metro Trains project is the largest train order in Victoria’s history, with a new fleet of 65 high capacity metro trains expected by 2023. Their design involved 32 groups, including 17 passenger and accessibility groups, plus a range of technical experts and transport stakeholders. A key feature of the 12 month process was the production of a 40 metre life-sized model train allowing passengers and stakeholders to experience the new design.

Innovative Regulation Award

Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation for A fresh approach to regulation — new digital tool provides consistent risk assessment

HiVE is a new digital tool providing risk assessment of licensed venues by using an artificial intelligence algorithm to inform operational decisions. Built entirely in-house, the tool harnesses knowledge to potentially reduce alcohol-fuelled harm. By informing better decisions about the regulation and supervision of premises which have greater risk of harm, HiVE’s technologically advanced artificial intelligence capability anticipates risk at the licence application stage.

Leading Employer Award

Westernport Water

Westernport Water have created a diverse, inclusive and healthy workforce with a strong employee engagement and a high performance culture. The organisation has invested in a range of initiatives to prioritise workplace health and safety and develop leadership capability, while continuing to maintain high quality water and wastewater services. Some of their initiatives include  a reconciliation action plan, diversity and inclusion plan and cultural awareness and unconscious bias training.

Robust Governance Award

Department of Education and Training for Education State Board

Having established the education state student advisory group, and by overseeing the regional performance review regarding policies and programs, the Department of Education and Training’s education state board cross-portfolio strategic integration unit has delivered an integrated reform approach across the three education sectors, including early childhood, schools and higher education and skills. This includes overseeing the regional performance review actions and targets, and establishing the education state student advisory group.

Sustainable Communities and Environments Award

Wyndham City Council for Wyndham Solar City

Facing a range of future environmental challenges, including rising energy demands and risks to the natural landscape, Wyndham City Council designed the Wyndham Solar City project. By reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions through the large-scale rollout of solar photovoltaics across council buildings, over $4 million will be saved in energy costs over the next 20 years.

Author Bio

David Donaldson

David Donaldson is a journalist at The Mandarin based in Melbourne.