2018 Winners

Improving government services

This award category recognises those who have worked on programs, initiatives, innovations or improvements that contribute to improving customer satisfaction with government services (supporting the Premier’s priority to improve customer satisfaction with key government services every year, this term of government to 2019).

Team

  • Reducing Energy Bill Stress in Aboriginal Social Housing
    Aboriginal Housing Office, Fourth and Centre Pty Ltd
    Family and Community Services

    Recent studies show that energy bills in Aboriginal communities are, on average, far above the national average and there are disproportionate numbers of people having trouble paying their bills. In response to these studies, the Aboriginal Housing Office consulted with the community and developed a project to ensure it met the community’s needs. The project involved installing rooftop solar systems on 150 Aboriginal social housing properties in Dubbo. Partnerships developed with energy retailers gave tenants the opportunity to have their existing energy debts wiped, so they could start with a clean slate after having a solar system installed. In addition, the solar contractors recruited, trained and employed six previously unemployed local Aboriginal people to work on the project.

Individual

  • Dr Antionette Anazodo
    The Sydney Children’s Hospital Network
    Health

    Antoinette led hospital campus initiatives to develop oncofertility care for both paediatric and adult cancer patients, from diagnosis into survivorship. Her leadership and collaboration created the first integrated public oncofertility service, which is patient-focused and provides comprehensive medical and psychological oncofertility care to patients of all ages. Oncofertility care involves discussing fertility risk and fertility preservation, as well as the management of medical and psychological reproductive complications.

Improving service levels in hospitals

This award category recognises those who have worked on programs, initiatives, innovations or improvements that lead to more patients going through emergency departments within four hours (supporting the Premier’s priority to achieve 81% of patients through emergency departments within four hours by 2019).

Team

  • Project RED- How Blacktown Hospital redesigned Emergency
    Western Sydney Local Health District
    Health

    A partnership between the Blacktown Hospital and the NSW Ministry of Health, Project RED was a user-led, whole-of-hospital redesign project. The project improved emergency treatment performance service levels at Blacktown Hospital from critically low levels to meet or exceed the requirements mandated by NSW Health for optimal patient care. Project RED involved more than 30 departments and hundreds of medical, nursing, allied health and support staff. Within four months, Project RED revolutionised the patient experience of care in the emergency department.

Individual

  • Thomas Glanville
    Murrumbidgee Local Health District
    Health

    In his role as Manager of Activity Based Management and Business Intelligence at the Murrumbidgee Local Health District, Thomas saw an opportunity within the emergency department to remove manual reporting processes that were taking up substantial time of front-line clinical staff. The result was ED NOW, a real-time dashboard that provides an easily understood snapshot of what is happening in the emergency department now and what is expected to happen in the future (up to four hours). This new system, now scaled across the state, provides actionable information for clinical employees in emergency departments or on mobile phones to assist in improving patient flow, getting patients through the emergency department in less than four hours and returning hours of clinical time to patient care.

Delivering infrastructure

This award category recognises those who have worked on programs, initiatives, innovations or improvements that contribute to key infrastructure projects being delivered on time and on budget across the state (supporting the Premier’s priority on Delivering Infrastructure).

Team

  • Pacific Highway- Final Section of Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour
    Roads and Maritime Services
    Transport

    The 657-kilometre Pacific Highway upgrade is one of the largest infrastructure programs in Australia, with a critical stage of the project being the 150-kilometre link between Port Macquarie and Coffs Harbour. The first 45 kilometres of this section was upgraded between 1996 and 2013. The final section was successfully completed by the Pacific Highway Project Office of Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) using a holistic and highly collaborative approach. The project’s many challenges were addressed quickly by collaborating with external stakeholders, agencies and industry partners. The resulting cost and time efficiencies led to the section being delivered $1.2 billion under the estimate in the 2011 Infrastructure Australia submission, and half a billion less than the $3.3 billion cost announced after contracts were awarded. The delivery of the final section has, among other things, saved lives, reduced travel times, increased economic opportunities and improved the amenity of bypassed towns.

Individual

  • Wije Ariyaratne
    Roads and Maritime Services
    Transport

    The National Transport Commission (NTC) identified bridges and their load capacity as the oreatest impediment to improving transport efficiency and safety, and to reducing the impact on the environment. Wije led a team at Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to develop the Bridge Load Assessment Process. This includes reviewing design loads and the use of the Bridge Proof Load Testing Facility, which tests bridges that are suspected of being under the desired load capacity. His engineering innovation meant that many older bridges were found to have residual strength, which could be used to open up the road network and improve productivity.

Tackling childhood obesity

This award category recognises those who have worked on programs, initiatives, innovations or improvements that lead to a reduction in overweight and obesity rates of children (supporting the Premier’s priority to reduce overweight and obesity rates of children by five percentage points by 2025).

Team

  • Go4Fun Online
    Ministry of Health, Better Health Company
    Health

    The NSW Office of Preventive Health adapted the effective Go4Fun program – a 10-week face-to-face weight management program for children – for online and telephone delivery. This program includes a weekly online learning module; a weekly 20-minute phone call; a moderated closed Facebook page; various child-focused physical activities; SMS text reminders; and regular mailed participant resources, including learning tools and handouts. Evaluation shows children demonstrated significant improvements in nutrition and physical activity. The program has been adapted to expand its reach to regional and remote communities.

Creating jobs

This award category recognises those who have worked on programs, initiatives, innovations or improvements that have contributed to the creation of new jobs in NSW (supporting the Premier’s priority to create 150,000 new jobs by 2019).

Team

  • Creating jobs for people with a disability through social procurement
    Department of Industry, National Disability Services
    Industry

    The NSW Department of Industry has taken an innovative approach to increasing the rate of work participation for people with disability and providing sustainable long-term revenue streams for Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) across the state. In 2014, the department signed a first-of-its-kind Head Agreement with National Disability Services (NDS), the peak body for non-government disability services, to act as its commercial partner and broker of services with ADEs across the state. The approach forms a key part of the department’s Disability Inclusion Action Plan, which provides long-term employment for over 200 supported workers with total contracts of almost $12 million. The Head Agreement model is regarded as a benchmark in the sector, and NDS has recently signed similar Head Agreements with other NSW agencies and the Tasmanian Government.

Individual

  • Gail Silman
    Department of Industry
    Industry

    Gail was appointed by Training Services NSW (TSNSW) to establish and implement the Infrastructure Skills Legacy Program (ISLP). The ISLP was introduced to support the NSW Government to deliver skills for its $80 billion infrastructure investment by establishing minimum training and employment targets on major NSW infrastructure projects. Gail found that young people, women and Aboriginal people continually experienced high levels of unemployment and under-representation in the labour market. She recognised the need to better mobilise under-represented groups to ensure that they benefitted from the infrastructure investment. The ISLP succeeded in securing employment for approximately 2,000 young people, 7,000 locals, 300 Aboriginal people and 400 women in non-traditional roles. The skills legacy program will have significant long-term benefits for the economy as well as the individuals that undergo the training.

Protecting our kids

This award category recognises those who have worked on programs, initiatives, innovations or improvements that reduce the number of children and young people re-reported at risk of significant harm (supporting the Premier’s priority to decrease the percentage of children & young people re-reported at risk of significant harm by 15 per cent by 2020).

Team

  • See, understand and respond to child sexual abuse- A practical kit
    Department of Family and Community Services
    Family and Community Services

    In 2016, Family and Community Services (FACS) launched ‘See, understand and respond to child sexual abuse – A practical kit’. Its purpose is to help support child protection practitioners keep children safe from sexual abuse. The kit provides support and practical advice to practitioners to help them conduct safety and risk assessments and develop appropriate responses to children with sexually harmful behaviour, both in FACS child protection and out-of-home care work. The kit includes conversation ideas and resources as well as tools, books and factsheets that can be shared with children and families. The kit has received overwhelming endorsement from FACS child protection caseworkers, with 96% saying that they would use the kit the next time they suspected child sexual abuse. The kit and accompanying literature reviews have also been used to inform the development of the NSW Sexual Assault Strategy, led by Women NSW, and have transformed the way the Department of Education responds to harmful sexual behaviours in schools.

Driving public sector diversity

This award category recognises those who have worked on programs, initiatives, innovations or improvements that contribute to increasing the diversity of the public sector building the foundations and enablers for a diverse and inclusive workforce, or showing outstanding inclusive leadership that develops future leaders (supporting the Premier’s priority to increase the number of women and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in senior leadership roles by 2015).

Team

  • Creating Aboriginal Employment Pathways, Justice Aboriginal Employment Program
    Department of Justice, TAFE NSW
    Justice

    In 2017, the Department of Justice launched its Aboriginal Pre-employment Program. This pilot program was designed to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with pathways into careers with Corrective Services NSW. The Department of Justice partnered with TAFE NSW’s Aboriginal Pathways initiative to develop and deliver the vocational employment program, with the aim of enhancing skills and employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates applying for custodial roles, particularly those living in regional and remote communities. The pilot successfully delivered better employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander candidates. An initial target of 20 students was set for the pilot, but as a result of the successful marketing campaign, 31 students were enrolled, with an additional 30 short-listed for future programs. All members of the team have worked beyond their normal duties, due to their passion and commitment for the project.

Individual

  • Samantha Smith
    Department of Justice
    Justice

    Samantha developed two key initiatives in support of the Department of Justice’s Maitland team and Hunter Aboriginal team to recognise the significance of National Sorry Day 2017 and to celebrate NAIDOC Week 2017. Within the Maitland and Muswellbrook Juvenile Justice areas, Samantha has coordinated the Cultural Support Group and focused on strengthening and enhancing the cultural profile of Juvenile Justice within the local Aboriginal community. To recognise the significance of National Sorry Day 2017, Samantha, in conjunction with Mindaribba Local Aboriginal Land Council, held a morning tea in the Maitland office. In celebration of NAIDOC Week 2017, Samantha collaborated with Mindaribba Local Aboriginal Council to organise and host the first annual Coquun Cup Lower Hunter NAIDOC Mixed Touch Tournament. Both of these events brought young people and services together and increased cultural understanding within the Maitland and Muswellbrook team, improving outcomes for Juvenile Justice working with diverse local communities.

Improving education results

This award category recognises those who have worked on programs, initiatives, innovations or improvements that increase the number of NSW students in the top two NAPLAN bands (supporting the Premier’s priority to increase the proportion of NSW students in the top two NAPLAN bands by 8 per cent by 2019).

Team

  • Aurora College
    Department of Education
    Education

    Aurora College, the first virtual school of its kind in Australia, is addressing challenges faced by students in rural and remote communities. The college allows students in regional, rural and remote NSW to stay in their local community while enrolling in a selective high school stream and studying subjects rural schools cannot consistently offer, in a highly personalised, future-focused learning environment. The school is in its fourth year of operation, having opened in February 2015. The Aurora College model is highly innovative when compared with other virtual schools worldwide. The college is improving the NAPLAN results of students in the higher bands. It also provides students with access to masterclasses, mentoring, career development and a broad curriculum to increase their post-school options and readiness for higher education.

  • Exceeding Learning Expectations
    Canley Vale High School
    Education

    Prior to 2013, Canley Vale High School was performing below the state average in key literacy skills. With the arrival of a new Principal, Peter Rouse, the school prioritised improving literacy results as a core skill to boost HSC results and life choices. From 2013 to 2017, Canley Vale High School created discrete literacy classes for students from Years 7 to 9. Teachers in these classes taught reading, comprehension and writing skills, which expanded support for students for whom English is an additional language or dialect (EAL/D). From 2014 to 2018, the school increased its identification and support of EAL/D students from 20% (268) to 88% (1,306) of the total student population. This year the school was identified by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority as one of eight schools nationally to have demonstrated substantially above average gains in National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) results for the past four consecutive years. In 2017, 49.4% of 253 Year 9 students were in the top two NAPLAN bands in reading and numeracy.

Individual

  • Dr Brad Russell
    Department of Education
    Education

    Brad is Director Educational Leadership at the NSW Department of Education. He leads the Albury Principals Network, which aims to close the rural achievement gap and retain students in secondary education by helping school leaders to increase student proficiency in reading. Brad’s relentless focus on the disciplined monitoring of student progress in reading texts and comprehension has resulted in a network that strives towards reading proficiency, a shared commitment to improving teacher knowledge and understanding of reading comprehension, and a focus on leading the implementation of formative assessment in schools. His vision to improve the educational outcomes of students in regional areas has been so successful that it has been rolled out throughout the Wagga Wagga operational directorate.

Making housing more affordable

This award category recognises those who have worked on programs, initiatives, innovations or improvements that lead to support the Premier's commitment to deliver 61,000 housing completions on average per year, including:

  • 90 per cent of housing approvals determined within 40 days by 2019; or
  • State-led rezoning for 10,000 additional dwellings on average per year in appropriate areas to 2021.
  • (supporting the Premier’s priority of Making housing more affordable).

Team

  • Transforming residential approval- FastTrack@LiverpoolCityCouncil
    Liverpool City Council
    Nominated by Planning and Environment

    Liverpool is predicted to be one of the cities that will lead Sydney’s growth over the next 15 years, which meant there was a need to help get families into their new homes sooner. To do this, Liverpool City Council looked at an innovative combination of policy changes and technology that would streamline approval processes. The result was FastTrack, an assessment system that saw almost 180 applications approved in one day, a dramatic improvement on the previous 75-day approval timeline. FastTrack uses tools including online payments and electronic workflow management to significantly reduce average assessment timeframes for low-risk development without compromising environmental or urban design outcomes. The council continues to monitor average assessment times and overall lodgement within FastTrack to ensure it is easy to use and relevant to the development community.

Reducing domestic violence reoffending

This award category recognises those who have worked on programs, initiatives, innovations or improvements reduce the number of domestic violence perpetrators who re-offend (supporting the Premier’s priority to reduce the proportion of domestic violence perpetrators re-offending by 25 per cent by 2019).

Team

  • Community Corrections- Practice Guide for Intervention
    Department of Corrective Services
    Justice

    The Practice Guide for Intervention (PGI) is a new evidence-based tool designed to improve the effectiveness of community corrections officers in changing the behaviour of supervised offenders to reduce reoffending. It is designed to build on existing supervision practices to achieve coverage for as many offenders as possible and maximise results at relatively low cost. The guide was designed to be flexible in managing a range of offending behaviours. This approach recognised that many high-risk offenders do not just commit one type of offence. The guide was first rolled out in June 2016, with large-scale implementation achieved by mid-2017, and PGI sessions have now been delivered to over 36,000 offenders, including more than 13,000 offenders with domestic violence offences. The delivery of the PGI represents the combined effort and commitment of staff throughout Community Corrections, across both strategy and operations.

Keeping our environment clean

This award category recognises those who have worked on programs, initiatives, innovations or improvements that contribute to reducing the volume of litter in the state (supporting the Premier’s priority to reduce the volume of litter by 40 per cent, by 2020).

Team

  • Muli Muli Clean Up Country Project
    Environment Protection Authority, Muli Muli Local Aboriginal Land Council, Muli Muli Ladies Club, North East Waste, Woodenbong Central School, Githabul Rangers Incorporated, Remondis, Kyogle Family Support Services, Kyogle Council
    Planning and Environment

    The Muli Muli Clean Up Country Project was an initiative of the Muli Muli Ladies Club, whose members were concerned about the impact of a 50-year-old waste dumping site that had encroached on the traditional burial grounds of their ancestors. The NSW Environment Protection Authority, in collaboration with North East Waste, Muli Muli Local Aboriginal Land Council, the Ladies Club and Githabul Rangers, developed and implemented a community rubbish management plan. This resulted in the removal of 76 truckloads, or 2,000 tonnes, of litter and dumped waste; revegetation of the old tip site; introduction of new recycling services managed by the community; employment of a community engagement advisor; and delivery of an innovative recycling education program. The project acted as a pilot for the introduction of the Environment Protection Authority’s statewide Aboriginal Communities Waste Management Program.

Reducing youth homelessness

This award category recognises those who have worked on programs, initiatives, innovations or improvements that support more young people to successfully move from Specialist Homelessness Services to long-term accommodation (supporting the Premier’s priority to increase the proportion of young people who successfully move from Specialist Homelessness Services to long-term accommodation percent to more than 34 per cent by 2019).

Team

  • Hunter New England and Central Coast Commissioning and Planning Team
    Department of Family and Community Services
    Family and Community Services

    The Premier’s Priority to reduce youth homelessness provided an opportunity for the Hunter New England Commissioning and Planning team to make a real difference in their local area. Over the past three years, the team’s work leading local strategies resulted in the district consistently exceeding the Premier’s Priority targets, increasing the proportion of young people who successfully move from specialist homelessness services to stable, long-term accommodation. By providing stable accommodation to young people, a platform is established to improve education and employment outcomes. The team undertook a series of initiatives to perform above allocated targets and deliver support to young people to enable them to live independently. This included commissioning and implementing a pilot program, the Premier’s Youth Initiative, which builds partnerships with social housing providers to increase access to transitional accommodation. The team also engaged with high schools to deliver outreach programs and ensure that they are resourced to support students at risk of homelessness.

Anthea Kerr Award

The Anthea Kerr Award was established in 2013 in honour of Anthea Kerr who passed away suddenly after 16 years of outstanding service to the NSW Government sector. The then Minister for Finance and Services highlighted her service in Parliament and stated that an award in her honour would be established to help outstanding public servants develop their careers.

In recognition of Anthea’s outstanding contribution and as a testament to her memory, the Public Service Commission sponsors the Anthea Kerr Award for Individual Excellence as part of the Premier’s Awards. The Award seeks to recognise future public sector leaders and is awarded to a maximum of two individuals each year. The award is given in recognition of outstanding effort and commitment in the NSW Public Service. The recipient(s) of the Anthea Kerr Award receive an individually customised professional development program to assist them in accelerating their career.

  • Tammy O’Connor
    Western NSW Local Health District
    Health

    As a clinical midwifery consultant, Tammy recognised a need for rural and remote women to have access to quality antenatal and postnatal care. Through community consultation a model was developed that increased access in a way that was both timely and culturally appropriate. Her initiatives led to a number of positive outcomes for the community, including a decrease in emergency births. Tammy has a strong passion for health care and ensuring equal access to high-quality care is received by all people, regardless of their location and social determinants of health.