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Public servants going ‘above and beyond’ in NSW

Public servant John Filocamo spent nine months digging in the dirt to help a family reconnect with its roots.

Filocamo (pictured), an operations manager with Cemeteries and Crematoria NSW, went “above and beyond the call of duty”, judges of the Premier’s Public Sector Awards say, in helping an Aboriginal family reclaim the remains of a lost family member who was part of the Stolen Generation. After considerable research and planning the remains were exhumed and transported to the Burra Bee Dee Aboriginal Burial Grounds.

Filocamo, Premier Mike Baird says, is a “shining example of the dedicated and professional staff who make up our public service”. He was handed the Premier’s Award for Individual Excellence and Achievement at a ceremony last week.

Individuals and agencies — including Roads and Maritime Services, Transport for NSW, TAFE NSW and the Office of the Small Business Commissioner — were honoured in the 2015 awards.

The work the NSW Small Business Commissioner has done in helping rural enterprises was recognised with the “customer focused delivery” award. A community partnership led by TAFE NSW that offers training and employment opportunities for young Aboriginal people won the “building stronger and safer communities” award.

And the mental health support services featured on the renowned ABC documentary Changing Minds — South Western Sydney Local Health District — were recognised for making a “positive impact on the public perception of mental illness” with the “providing better support and opportunities to the vulnerable” award.

Tony Perusco, a graduate engineer with NSW Public Works, and Laura Debnam, a learning and support teaching at Niagara Park Public School, shared the Anthea Kerr Award for Individual Excellence.

Individual winners:

  • Providing better support and opportunities to the vulnerable: Juliet Munro, Department of Family and Community Services
  • Making NSW a better place to live: Greg Barclay, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District
  • Building stronger and safer communities: Steven Collins, Woy Woy Public School
  • Strengthening the economy and making NSW a better place to do business: Michael Erny, Department of Primary Industries

Team winners:

  • Customer focussed delivery: ‘Small Business Support’, Office of the Small Business Commissioner
  • Providing better support and opportunities to the vulnerable: ‘Changing Minds on Mental Health Issues through television documentary and social media’, South Western Sydney Local Health District, Australian Broadcasting Corporation and Northern Pictures
  • Building stronger and safer communities: ‘Indigenous Police Recruitment Our Way Delivery (IPROWD)’, TAFE NSW – Western Institute
  • Making NSW a better place to live: ‘Sydney Metro Northwest Pre-employment Program’, TAFE NSW – Western Sydney Institute, Transport for NSW, Breakthru People Solutions, Global Skills, Salini Impregilo JV, Workforce International and Thiess John Holland Dragados. And ‘Northern Beaches Hospital’, Health Infrastructure and Healthscope
  • Strengthening the economy and making NSW a better place to do business: ‘Implementation of Stewardship Contracts for Road Maintenance in Sydney’, Roads and Maritime Services

Author Bio

The Mandarin

The Mandarin staff journalists.