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The inaugural winners of the 2012 WA Institute of Public Administration Achievement Awards were announced at a special Awards luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Perth.

The Achievement Awards offer seven categories for entry with a total of fourteen awards. Nine open to individuals and five best practice awards for organisations.

The achievement and hard work of those working in the public service was celebrated in style at the launch of this prestigious event. Opened with a special performance by the Big Issue’s Spirit of the Street’s Choir.


Patrons Award

The highest accolade in public administration in WA awarded to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the State.

WINNER: Grahame Searle, Director General, Department of Housing

Throughout his time in the Western Australian public sector Grahame Searle has made an outstanding and ongoing contribution to improving the quality of public sector management and service delivery.  In late 2008 Grahame was appointed Director General of the Department of Housing and Works, now the Department of Housing.

Since taking on the role Grahame has driven significant reform across the agency and the sector.  This has including re-orienting the agency to be strategy driven, rather than program driven – and to see its role as facilitating affordable housing solutions rather than just delivering public housing.

Grahame has not only sought to promote public sector excellence within his own agencies but has also made a strong professional and personal commitment to fostering excellence across the public sector more broadly. Grahame was President of the IPAA WA Council from 2006-2008 and has contributed strongly to the development of the Institute into the strong association it is today.

Public Sector Commission Young Leader of the Year

The winner of this award will have emerging leadership qualities; a thirst for knowledge and a commitment to learning. Making a difference by demonstrating best practice in the public service.

WINNER: Coan Harvey, Acting Director, Department of Treasury

Coan graduated from UWA in 2005 and started his public sector career in the Department of Treasury and Finance in 2005. He has been Acting Director Budget Coordination since 2011 at the now renamed Department of Treasury.

Coan has undertaken study in a number of areas and in 2008 gained First Class honours in accounting and finance from UWA. Coan’s achievements are many and include being awarded a scholarship to undertake the Executive Masters of Public Administration course with the Australian and New Zealand School of Government.

Coan is a fully engaged young professional and has furthered his knowledge and experience by sitting on a number of committees, has made presentations to high level audiences and has been a member of the IPAA YP Network Committee.

Leader of the Year (3 Awards)

The winner of this award will be working in a senior position and have clearly demonstrated leadership qualities. He/She will be respected and demonstrate excellence in leading a team to meet designated objectives and outcomes in the interests of public service.

Murdoch University Leader of the Year Working in State or Federal Government

WINNER: Paul Rosair, Director General, Department of Regional Development and Lands

Paul Rosair has worked for over 30 years across the government sector in the portfolios of environment, water, land management, indigenous capacity building, corporate services and natural resources management.

Since 2009 he has led the establishment of the Department of Regional Development and Lands. He has initiated reforms across State Lands, Regional Development and Community Resource Centre Programs which are having significant impact on the lives of Western Australians across all nine regions.

Hyatt Regency Perth Leader of the Year Working in the Not for Profit Sector

WINNER: Sue Ash, Chief Executive Officer, UnitingCare West and Chris Hall, Chief Executive Officer, MercyCare

Sue Ash and Chris Hall have been pivotal in recent Western Australian community sector reform and in successfully getting an additional $600million in State funding over 4 years for community sector organisations.

This has ensured the sustainability of vital community services to those at disadvantage in the community and enabled employers to pay their staff, their most important asset, fair and just wages.

Sue and Chris were invited by the Premier to sit on the Partnership Forum which was established to steer the way forward for the implementation of the Economic Audit reforms which involve partnership with the Not for Profit Sector in WA..  They have been instrumental in some of the key achievements of the Forum including a new Delivering Community Services in Partnership Policy, a new procurement model, a formal approach to indexation and forming a new relationship between the State Government and Not for Profit Sector.

Expo Group Leader of the Year Working in Local Government

WINNER: Andrew Hammond, Chief Executive Officer, City of Rockingham

Three years ago Andrew Hammond commenced with the City of Rockingham as CEO and embarked on a comprehensive strategy to transform the organisation into one that was business oriented, had strong management systems, was strongly financially viable, focussed on community outcomes  and  community capacity building. This heralded a change from the traditional model of local government service provision.

The City has been transformed into a contemporary leading local government organisation over a three year period through his strong leadership.

Best Practitioner in the Public Service (4 Awards)

The winner of each of these awards will be working at manager level or higher. He/She will be a respected practitioner and demonstrate excellence in high achievement in their field of expertise.

Human Resource Management Practitioner of the Year

WINNER: Ms Carol Fuller, General Manager Human Resources, Department of Mines and Petroleum

Carol Fuller has worked for the Department of Mines and   Petroleum for ten years, starting as HR Consultant. She was appointed General Manager Human Resources in November 2007 and  now manages a large team of human resources professionals that meet large agency business requirements in a multifunctional and disciplined operating environment of approximately 850 employees.

Information Technology Practitioner of the Year

No winner awarded

Department of Fisheries Policy Practitioner of the Year

WINNER: Mr Martin Clifford, Special Projects Manager, Department of Regional Development and Lands

Martin is currently working at the Department of Regional Development and Lands as the Special Projects Manager in the Strategic Policy Division, having previously been the Executive Officer managing the Review of the Regional Development Commissions.

In all his recent roles Martin has undertaken high-level policy analysis, framing policy issues around considerations on the role of government. This has included compliance and structure of government settings, working in contested policy environments.

Department of Finance Finance Practitioner of the Year

WINNER: Ingrid Hawkins, VenuesWest

Ingrid has achieved success in a number of areas including VenuesWest being named as a better practice agency in 2010/11 by the Office of the Auditor General after a qualified audit in 2008/09. She has also achieved significant improvement in the internal budget process to ensure ownership of the budget by VenuesWest management team.

WA Business News Innovation in the Not For Profit Sector

The winning organisation of this award will demonstrate the implementation and use of innovative practices and approaches to meet community and public service objectives.

WINNER: Hills Community Support Group Inc.

In response to a need for refuge services specifically for young teens the Hills Community Support Group opened Western Australia’s first safe house for young women aged 14-18 years old.  After many years of consultation, research, submissions and pilots a purpose built safe house was built in 2010 and has assisted more than 81 young women and 42 babies or toddlers who escaped violent environments.

Best Practice in Collaboration (2 Awards)

The award will go to a project or an ongoing practice that demonstrates high level collaboration and coordination across organisations to meet a priority objective in the delivery of service to the community.

Best Practice in Collaboration Between Government and Non Government Organisations

WINNER: Department of Housing – Stimulus Programs

In 2009 the Department of Housing was awarded a total of $736million from the Federal Government and the State Government to increase the supply of social housing across WA and assist many disadvantaged Australians. To achieve many of the challenging outcomes of the Programs, the Department could not rely on its existing practices. New and innovative procurement methods had to be developed to effectively engage and partner with the building and construction industry. As a result of these public-private partnerships, the Department has met or exceed all of the target outcomes of the Stimulus Programs.

Best Practice in Collaboration Across Government Agencies in the Same Jurisdiction

WINNER: Regional Youth Justice Services, Department of Corrective Services

In late 2008 the Department of Corrective Services introduced new youth justice services into the Goldfields and Mid-West Gascoyne regions, with the aim of reducing the high number of young people from these regions being remanded into custody in Perth.

The Judges commented that the nomination clearly demonstrated how a complex problem was approached, and the extensive cooperation by a number of key agencies – especially WA Police and the Department for Child Protection, with the result being a 31% reduction in admissions from these regions in 2011. A highly successful outcome.

Organisation Demonstrating Best Practice (2 Awards)

Excellence in demonstration and delivery of programs, policies and approaches in public values in corporate citizenry, social responsibility and welfare of staff are the two foci of these two awards. Organisations must demonstrate ongoing delivery and commitment in these areas.

Best Practice in Corporate Social Values

No winner awarded.

Department of Health Best Practice in Health and Wellbeing

WINNER: Department of Housing

The Department of Housing established a health and wellness program in 2007 to improve the health and wellbeing of its workforce. The judges commented that this is nomination best demonstrated the performance and outcomes of a wellness and health program for internal stakeholders. As a large Department the judges were also impressed that the program has been delivered to its workforce across the State.

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