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Winners of the 2019 Institute of Public Administration Australia WA (IPAA WA) Achievement Awards were announced at a special Awards luncheon held on Friday 28th June 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Perth.

The Achievement Awards offer 17 categories of awards, ten open to individuals and seven for organisations.

Patron’s Award

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

WINNER: Mal Wauchope AO

Mal Wauchope (AO) commenced in the WA Public Sector as a Trainee Graduate Assistant in the Treasury. Following ten years in research and policy roles he formed part of an interdepartmental team to establish a new Department of the Premier and Cabinet with a Cabinet office oversighting revamped cabinet processes, most of which exist today. What was supposed to be a three month secondment turned into twenty five years in senior roles in DPC, eleven years as Director General.

In 2008 he was appointed as the inaugural Public Sector Commissioner, an office he held until retirement last year. His career was characterized by an enduring ability to implement policy under eleven Premiers from both sides of the political fence.  His contribution to public sector administration was recognized by being made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2017.

Leader of the Year (4 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: Mr Darren Klemm AFSM
Commissioner – Department of Fire and Emergency Services

Commissioner Klemm was unable to make the Awards Ceremony, but passed on the acceptance message below.

Darren Klemm AFSM has been one of Western Australia’s rising stars in public administration and management, since joining the Fire Brigades’ Board in 1993. He is the only firefighter to be promoted six ranks in three successive promotions.

Since becoming the Commissioner, the Department has experienced transformation in operations that have strengthened community centred service delivery and its connection and respect for volunteers.

Darren has successfully reformed the agency to create a Rural Fire Division that decentralises and improves bushfire management. He has been the driving force behind unprecedented investment in mitigation, improved relationships with volunteers and stakeholders, and greater interagency collaboration.

In 2017, Darren was invited by the Premier of Western Australia to be a member of the inaugural Public Sector Leadership Council to drive reform across the public sector. Darren was awarded an Australian Fire Service Medal in 2018 for his outstanding contribution to fire and emergency services.

Leader of the Year Working within a Division / Team / Organisation

WINNER: Sandie McHugh
Water Resource Assessment Manager – Department of Water and Environmental Regulation ​

Dr Sandie McHugh has been recognised nationally for her achievements in groundwater investigation and water resources management. She has also developed a reputation for taking on leadership roles to manage change within the public sector.

When the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation was formed in 2017 following the merger of three agencies, Dr McHugh recognised that for a workforce confused about roles and responsibilities and struggling with change fatigue, developing a new culture would be critical to the success of the new department.

She took on the responsibility of driving the development of the values that would underpin the way the new department would operate on every level and, importantly, feed directly in the strategic plan. Using innovative and fun techniques to engage the whole organisation, the project has been a spectacular success, and Dr McHugh’s reputation as a leader has been enhanced.

Manager Statutory Road Planning – Main Roads Western Australia

Leader of the Year in Local Government

WINNER: Ray Tame
Chief Executive officer – City of Armadale

Ray has dedicated his career to Local Government, serving an astounding 47 years in the industry. His calm and considered demeanour, coupled with his unwavering leadership, has brought him much acclaim from his colleagues and the community.

Ray has demonstrated strong commitment to the people of Armadale, as has been most evident in the way he has managed the community recovery operations following the devastating fires that ravaged our community in February 2011. Based on a lifetime of solid service to the people of Armadale and his very strong commitment to bettering communities and improving the functionality of Local Government, Mr Tame is a worthy nominee for Leader of the Year in Local Government.

Chief Executive officer – City of Bayswater

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: Michael Emery
Rangers and Community Safety Manager – City of Cockburn

Michael Emery is the City of Cockburn’s Rangers and Community Safety Manager. He is committed to striving for excellence and continuous improvement in his pursuit of organisational goals and strategic objectives across his portfolios of Rangers, Community Safety and Crime Prevention, and Fire and Emergency Services.

Michael has been instrumental in the development and delivery of many significant projects across the City such as its first Bushfire Risk Management Plan, Bushfire Risk Identification Tool, ‘Disaster Aware’ emergency preparedness app, and ‘Stay or Go’ community emergency evacuation system. Many of these were a first for WA local governments, and have been highlighted as representing best practice across the state. Michael is a critical thinker and leader of community safety projects that use smart technology locally that have potential to improve the safety of residents state and nationwide.

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: Matthew Hammond
Senior Manager People and Culture – Lotterywest

Matthew Hammond is an excellent Human Resource professional. He is dedicated to the public sector; is committed to ongoing reform and creation of efficiencies and public value; and constantly goes above and beyond what is expected from his role.

Matthew has taken a lead role in the recent successful integration of Lotterywest and Healthway MOG initiative, he actively supports Lotterywest’s Corporate Executive in managing change. His role in overseeing and maintaining a positive culture has also been key to achieving substantial organisational and structural changes.

Matthew has a strong commitment to equity, to people and to fairness. He is hard-working; believes in the value which the public sector can bring; and has strong leadership capabilities in managing his team and working collaboratively with his colleagues and others across government. These skills translate to an extremely effective Human Resource Practitioner who is greatly valued by all at Lotterywest-Healthway.

Information Technology Practitioner of the Year

WINNER: Richard Burnell
Executive Director Corporate Services – Department of Fire and Emergency Services

Richard commenced at DFES in September 2015 as Director Information and Communications Technology (ICT), before taking on the role of Executive Director Corporate Services. He has over 30 years of experience in accounting and finance, commercial management, business re-organisation and change management, business process re-engineering, cost management and project delivery of enterprise-wide programs, from a range of private sector industries in Australia and overseas.

During his tenure in the fire and emergency services environment, Richard has managed complex and wide ranging ICT reform to ensure DFES’ information and communications systems and services meet business needs, leveraging off the Government’s Digital Transformation strategy and services. In 2017, through Richard’s leadership, the Computer Aided Dispatch project team won a prestigious ‘OpenGov Recognition of Excellence Award’ which recognised the innovative inter-Agency collaborative approach to project delivery.

Chief Digital Officer – Department of Water and Environmental Regulation

Policy Practitioner of the Year

WINNER: Emma Kearney
Principal Policy Officer – Department of the Premier and Cabinet

Ms Emma Kearney has demonstrated excellent policy and leadership skills in coordinating the Western Australian Government’s participation in the Redress Scheme associated with the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Ms Kearney has engaged and worked collaboratively with the Commonwealth, other jurisdictions and Western Australian agencies to facilitate complex policy and legislative advice that supported Western Australia’s participation in the scheme.

The dedication and skilful leadership Ms Kearney has shown in her work associated with the Royal Commission clearly demonstrates her commitment to delivering exceptional policy, but most importantly her work will deliver important benefits for Western Australian’s who experienced institutional sexual abuse.

Senior Lawyer, Strata Reform – Landgate

Department of Finance Award Finance Practitioner of the Year

WINNER: Liam Carren
Chief Financial Officer – Department of Communities

The ability to lead and innovate during periods of significant crisis, uncertainty and change is an important measure of achievement. As the Chief Financial Officer responsible for leading the Department to consolidate, integrate and transform since its amalgamation following machinery of government changes in mid-2017, Liam Carren has demonstrated record leading the Department with superior judgement and skill in a pressured environment. Under Mr Carren’s stewardship, essential services have been uninterrupted amid the introduction of new business practices and consolidation processes to ensure a prudential and transparent transition process.

Mr Carren has led the transition process, which incorporates management of an operating budget of $3.3 billion. As an innovator and champion of change, Mr Carren led the Department’s Corporate Executive through a robust planning process in which his lateral thinking led to the re-engineering of systems and processes to guarantee ongoing compliance with statutory and legislative requirements.

Mr Carren has led the Department to a position from which it can confidently consider and develop its future business and operating model.

Chief Financial Officer – University of Western Australia

Australian Evaluation Society Award Best Practice in Public Sector Evaluation

Excellence in the design, implementation and reporting of evaluation strategies or individual studies of programs or policies that benefit the WA community is the focus of this award.

WINNER: Culture and the Arts WA, Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries; City of Perth
Shared outcomes evaluations initiative

The Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries and the City of Perth evaluate the outcomes of arts and cultural activities they fund; assisting organisations to demonstrate the holistic impact and value of what they do. A link between both agencies was established using a common evaluation framework employed through Culture Counts, a digital data collection and analysis system evaluating real time feedback from multiple sources across the cultural sector; including artists, their peers and the general public.

The development of a shared outcomes evaluation methodology employed between different levels of government is a new and innovative application of the Culture Counts system. All data collected contributes to the transparent accountability process of public investment and ensures that organisations link their strategic intentions to that of their funders. The referees (commonly funded organisations in 2018) outline how this innovative approach simplified data collection and improved reporting through technology.

SPECIAL COMMENDATION: Department of Communities
Social Housing Investment Package Evaluation

Office of Digital Government Award Best Practice in Digital Transformation

The focus of this award is to recognise excellence in digital transformation that has led to the delivery of better services to the community.

WINNER: Department of Transport
Growth in digital services

Department of Transport (DoT) has transformed the delivery of services through the use of digital platforms to put customers’ needs at its heart. Expansion of the DoTDirect online portal has seen more than 50 different transactions and services made available online, improving customer experience and delivering business benefit.

DoT’s Driver and Vehicle Services business unit has been pivotal in working with other DoT business units such as On-Demand Transport, Marine and Safety, and Coastal Infrastructure, portfolio partner Main Roads and other agencies such as Department of Primary Industry and Development (Fisheries) to develop and deliver online digital solutions for their customers. The outcome of this whole of government approach is an easily recognisable digital footprint for customers, making it simpler for them to transact online across a number of agencies.

SPECIAL COMMENDATION: Department of Finance WA
Finance Digital Transformation

Business News Award 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: Financial Counselling Network
HUGS Service Centre

The HUGS Service Centre, a third party assessment centre for the Hardship Utility Grant Scheme, improves service accessibility, inclusiveness and response to those across Western Australia experiencing utility hardship. The Service was designed to support clients move forward to financial independence, and for many is an entry point for wider community services support.

The Armadale phone based service provides an innovative approach to delivering a holistic state-wide service, with a personalised assessment process for referred HUGS clients focussing on getting people back on track. Recruiting to establish the new HUGS team presented an opportunity to further innovate by providing meaningful work to people in the local Armadale area who had experienced barriers to employment.

The HUGS Service Centre is part of the Financial Counselling Network, a unique collaboration of 14 member organisations with the aim of reducing the drivers and impacts of financial hardship in the Western Australian community.

SPECIAL COMMENDATION: JSW Training and Community Services
Bunbury Regional Community College

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
(Gold, Silver and Two Bronze Winners)

Blurred Borders

The Blurred Borders project has created a set of legal communication resources. The story cards at the heart of the project use visual art, plain language and storytelling to communicate important and often complex legal messages around bail and family violence to remote Aboriginal people in a culturally appropriate way. The project targeted Aboriginal people in the East Kimberley/Western Northern Territory. These people have strong cultural connections across the border and cross it regularly. The resources help service providers explain the different laws that apply on each side of the border and legal matters generally. Interest in the project extends well beyond the original project region and audience. Blurred Borders resources are now in use across all of WA, the NT, and in many other Australian states. The resources are also being used with young people, people with cognitive impairments (including FASD) and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

SILVER WINNER: Department of Communities
The St Emilie’s Development

Esther Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation that provides accommodation and recovery services to at-risk Western Australian women. Since 1997, Esther has been pivotal in hundreds of women’s lives being restored.

In response to the increasing demand for Esther’s services, in 2010 the Department of Communities purchased St Emilie’s Convent in Kalamunda for Esther to use as a residential hub. Lotterywest subsequently supplied $3.447 million for the redevelopment of St Emilie’s.

To execute the redevelopment, the Department of Communities brokered a partnership between itself, Esther and project manager Community Housing Limited. In June 2018, the fruit of the long-running partnership was realised at the opening of the twenty-bedroom, forty-bed purpose-built facility.

The new facility is eminently suitable for residents and has enabled numerous service improvements, including the employment of several new staff. The results of a 2019 evaluation testify to the significance of St Emilie’s in participants’ recovery.

BRONZE WINNER: Pilbara Development Commission
Victoria Hotel Redevelopment

In 2014 the Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation (YAC) purchased the Victoria Hotel in Roebourne for approximately $2.5m with the aim of reimagining its infamy as a catalyst for alcohol abuse & anti-social behaviour into a facility that supports economic & social outcomes for the Roebourne community, whilst showcasing its history & architectural value.

YAC secured Federal & State Government funding to deliver the first stage of the project which had an innovative Procurement Plan, incorporating an Aboriginal Engagement & Employment Model (the Model) to support local Aboriginal employment and contract opportunities. This included inmates from the Roebourne Prison through the Department of Corrective Services & school-based trainees through the Roebourne District High School.  In addition, YAC contracted a joint venture between the Geraldton Building and Services Company & Yurra, a locally based Aboriginal contracting & services company to deliver the project.

BRONZE WINNER: DFES – Aboriginal Advancement Unit; Bunbury Regional Office and the Goomburrup Aboriginal Corporation
Kaarla Artwork Project

Building organisational capacity to engage effectively with the Aboriginal community is a core outcome for the Aboriginal Advancement Unit within the Department of Fire and Emergency Services. The unit has effectively engaged with Bunbury Regional Office staff and firefighters, and the Goomburrup Aboriginal Corporation to deliver an innovative Kaarla Fire Art Project.

Firefighting appliances in the South West feature the artwork of the local Aboriginal artist, who was selected by the Wardandi Bibbulmun Elders from the local community to paint the artwork. It features a landscape and vegetation that is native to that region and a fire mitigation message “caring for Country is a shared responsibility”.

This collaboration developed a deeper level of engagement and partnership between DFES and the local Aboriginal community.

Best Practice in Collaboration Across Government Agencies
(Two winners)

WINNER: Kaleidoscope Initiative
Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program

The Kaleidoscope Initiative was developed in response to the identified need that migrants were struggling to secure employment in their field of expertise. Diverse workforces are proven to provide bottom-line benefits to businesses, as well as improved problem solving, creativity and innovation. The Kaleidoscope Initiative and the Kaleidoscope Mentoring Program were thus developed to harness the economic benefits of the City of Stirling’s diverse population by:

helping newcomers to Australia become job ready to secure employment in their field of expertise
support employers to benefit from developing a diverse and inclusive workforce.

This project has been developed in partnership with Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC).

WINNER: State Library of Western Australia, Child and Adolescent Health, WA Country Health and WA Public Libraries
Better Beginnings Family Literacy Program

The Better Beginnings Family Literacy Program delivered by the State Library of Western Australia in partnership with Child and Adolescent Health, WA Country Health and WA Public Libraries aims to create generational change for WA families, by supporting parents in reading to their children so that they build the early literacy skills they need to become good readers and succeed at school and throughout their life.

This 15 year partnership has led to over 700,000 families engaging with reading throughout the State, improving literacy outcomes and encouraging engagement in all 233 WA Public Libraries. The Yellow Bags have become synonymous with Child Health Nurses throughout the State as they support the program delivery and support families through their messaging.

Recognised throughout Australia and Internationally the Better Beginnings program is acknowledged as best practice thanks to the strong delivery partnerships and evidence base.

SPECIAL COMMENDATION: Department of Transport

SPECIAL COMMENDATION: Department of Water and Environmental Regulation, Department of Health, Department of Planning Lands and Heritage, Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety, and Shire of Northampton
Northampton Lead Tailings Project

Organisation Demonstrating Best Practice

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 this award. Organisations must demonstrate ongoing delivery and commitment in these areas.

Best Practice in Corporate Social Values

Main Roads Western Australia
Kimberley Regional Projects: Broome Cape Leveque Road Upgrade, Bidyadanga Access Road and Airstrip Sealing, Great Northern Highway Upgrade Maggie Creek to Wyndham and Bow River Bridge.

At Main Roads we are committed to enhancing the wellbeing of Aboriginal people through increased employment opportunities and have been proactively changing our policies, processes and working arrangements to ensure we make a difference within our industry.

We are leading the way in increasing Aboriginal Employment and are set to be one of the first agencies to meet the WA Government’s requirement for a set percentage of annual contracts to be awarded to registered Aboriginal businesses. Our new road maintenance network contracts, many of them in the north west of the State, have been a key factor in establishing these opportunities.

We have developed our new Aboriginal Employment Initiatives in close consultation with representatives from Aboriginal communities, other Government agencies and industry contractors. Already we are seeing big increases in Aboriginal employment in our regional road projects and a growth in supply contracts won by Aboriginal businesses across the State.

Department of Health Award Best Practice in Health and Wellbeing

WINNER: BreastScreen WA
Mobile in the Suburbs

BreastScreen WA (BSWA) aims to improve health outcomes and reduce deaths associated with breast cancer. The state-wide mammography screening service aims to promote early detection of breast cancer so that women require less invasive treatment and have better outcomes. BSWA provides a free biennial breast mammogram to women from 40 years.

The ‘Mobile in the Suburbs’ program was trialled in 2017/18 as an innovation to bring the Service to women in their communities and workplaces. Its aim was to address concerns in access, participation, rescreen rates and recruitment of new women. Its goals was to improve community support for breast screening and to increase BSWA engagement in the local communities. The program was innovative use of public resources by expanding the reach of the Mobile unit to areas of need within existing financial and staffing resources. The program was successful in providing screening opportunities and improving participation and access.

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