IPAA’s 2022 Spirit of Service Award winners

By Anna Macdonald

Friday May 13, 2022

IPAA’s Spirit of Service Awards
Foreign Affairs, Social Services, ATO, ABS, ASD, and the Royal Australian Mint named winners at IPAA (ACT)’s 2022 Spirit of Service Awards. (Supplied)

The recipients of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (ACT) Spirit of Service Awards have been revealed, with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Department of Social Services, the Australian Taxation Office, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Australian Signals Directorate, and the Royal Australian Mint named the winners.

IPPA ACT president Katherine Jones PSM presented the awards during a gala event at Canberra’s National Arboretum on Thursday night, while also praising the initiative and innovation across the entire Australian Public Service.

In the Breakthrough category, DFAT’s Australia Passport Office won for delivering the back-end solution for Australia’s International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate.

Impressing the judges was the Passport Office’s outcome given a short timeframe and the level of global collaboration required to pull the vaccination project off. The judges noted as well the possibility of the process paving the way for future digital travel projects. 

The runner-up was Australian Digital Health Agency, for its COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard.

The ABS and the ASD won the Collaboration award for the 2021 Census Digital Service.

The judges noted the high level of participation in the census, with 96% participation from Australian citizens, the counting of more than 20 million people, and repelling of more than 1 billion cyberattacks. This high level of interaction was reflective of the ‘trust in the improved system’, having applied learnings from the previous census. 

In this category, the runners-up were Services Australia and the ATO for the linking of myGov. 

The winner of the Community Engagement award was DSS, for the development of of Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031.

The inclusiveness and thoroughness of the stakeholder-engagement process made the work by DSS a stand out for the judges. Included in the strategy were both significant funding and new features that were lacking in the previous strategy, with parts of the disability sector publicly voicing their support for the changes. 

Australian Radioactive Waste Agency was the runner-up for its work in trying to establish community support for Australia’s first radioactive-waste-management facility. 

The ATO won in the Learning category for the Tax Super and You and Paying It Forward schools’ learning project.

The products, targeted at school children to improve their understanding of both taxation and superannuation, excited the judges. In particular, the judges were impressed by how the program equipped the future generation with practical knowledge of the system, leading to lasting impacts.

The runner-up for this award was the National Indigenous Australians Agency, for its Footprints program for cross-cultural competency learning.

The Kerry Kennedy Award went to Donation Dollar from the Royal Australian Mint. Donation Dollar is a campaign encouraging Australians to donate via a specially designed coin, prompting them to donate the coin to charity.

The simplicity of the initiative impressed the judges, with $11.8 million donated through the campaign thus far, noted as a strong achievement for a small agency with limited resources. 


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