Chris Eccles: building a culture of pride in serving the Victorian public


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As public servants, we strive to excel in our leadership, service and innovation. We are committed to creating public value, to deliver meaningful, positive and tangible outcomes for the community.

The Public Service Medal awards have been part of the official Australian system of honours and awards since 1989. There are national guidelines for the overall management and publicity of the awards Australia-wide. However each state or jurisdiction has its own processes and protocols for the administration of the award.

Chris Eccles
Chris Eccles

As the chair of the PSM committee in Victoria, I believe that we need to define ourselves through the value we create as a result of our work with others.

Victoria has recently reviewed and improved its processes with the aim of encouraging greater depth, quality and diversity of nominations. Nominations from across all levels of the public sector are sought and not reserved exclusively for senior officers. Of particular interest is how a nominee has exceeded the expectations of their role and what difference this person has made to a community, someone or something as part of a program, project or policy.

With an expansive reform agenda, the Victorian government’s mission is to be proactive in identifying, developing, proposing and implementing strategic reform opportunities and projects in our service to the community. In my recent article on the public sector of the future I identified the success factors as a strong sense of moral purpose, well-defined and realistic goal-setting, effective utilisation of latest technologies, diverse teams with a common vision and co-design of solutions with local communities.

Public servants who bring together and demonstrate these values and behaviours should be acknowledged for leading the way and implementing the highest quality service in whatever form that might take. Our application and review process has been refined to focus on the outcomes produced by the work of the applicants.

And if those leaders and achievers across all levels are celebrated, perhaps the rest of us will be inspired to think more strategically, more creatively and with more determination to get better results for the communities we serve.

Ultimately, in Victoria we are aiming for the recipients to be proud to have served the public in such positive way and to inspire others to strive for excellence.

PSM nomination instructions and forms are available from the DPC website. Nominations for the current round close August 1.

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