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Winners of the 2020 Institute of Public Administration Australia WA (IPAA WA) Achievement Awards were announced at a special Awards luncheon held on Friday 11th December 2020 at the Hyatt Regency Perth.

The Achievement Awards offer 19 categories of awards, ten open to individuals and nine 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.

Commissioner of Police – WA Police Force

Commissioner Chris Dawson has provided long standing, distinguished service to the public sector in Western Australia in his senior leadership roles within the Western Australian Police Force. In his time in the WA Police Force, he has made a number of significant changes to improve the capabilities of his agency to deliver a safer community for all Western Australians. More recently, in his capacity as State Emergency Coordinator, Commissioner Dawson has been responsible for coordinating the State’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

At a national level, Commissioner Dawson served as Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission, and as the Director of the Australian Institute of Criminology. Improved intelligence received by the ACIC under the stewardship of Mr Dawson resulted in record drug seizures across the nation and led to the creation of the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program.

Commissioner Dawson has supported the Institute of Public Administration Australia WA (IPAA WA) by ensuring the WA Police Force are corporate members of IPAA WA since 2009. Between 2009 and now, WA Police Force have been strongly represented at various professional developmental and networking opportunities offered by IPAA WA.

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 Bradley Delavale
Assistant Commissioner Asset Management – Department of Fire and Emergency Services

In 2019, Brad Delavale was appointed to the position of Assistant Commissioner to lead a new portfolio in DFES – Asset Management,consisting of four divisions. Brad’s has extensive experience in management in the fire and emergency services. In his various roles has placed a strong emphasis on public administration and management and in particular ensuring that agencies have in place appropriate governance arrangements and a strong commitment to service delivery that is client focused. Brad leads by example and embodies the spirit of DFES by placing the needs of the community at the forefront of decision-making.

Leader of the Year Working within a Division, Team or Organisation (Dual Winners)

WINNER: Ms Amber Fabry
Regional Executive Director – Department of Communities

Amber Fabry has been a State Government employee for over 20 years. Amber has taken on a range of complex and challenging roles including as Regional Executive Director South West, and has proven her excellence in the public sector at a local, regional and state level. Amber’s exceptional leadership demonstrated throughout her career personifies the leadership capabilities of the Western Australian public sector. She exemplifies personal integrity and self-awareness, shapes and manages strategy, achieves results, builds productive relationships, and has a continuous commitment to positive outcomes in all aspects of her work.

WINNER: Mr Mohammad Siddiqui
Project Director, Infrastructure Delivery – Main Roads Western Australia

Mohammad Siddiqui is an outstanding ambassador for the Government and Main Roads through his administration of complex projects and stakeholder relations management. He has had the unique experience of managing both regional and metropolitan projects with their differing environments and challenges. Mohammad demonstrates strong collaborative leadership skills by creating mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders within Government and the wider community. He has led large programs of works including projects under the Road Trauma Trust Fund and the Grain Freight Improvement Program and is currently Project Director for three major Main Roads projects, all in construction stages.

Executive Director Operations and Compliance – Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development

Leader of the Year in the Not for Profit Sector

WINNER: Ms Julie Waylen
State Manager – National Disability Services (NDS)

Julie Waylen is State Manager, National Disability Services in WA. Julie has a deep commitment to the community of WA in all its forms and throughout her career, has supported vulnerable people and communities and the organisations that serve them. Julie’s management and leadership style and practice are founded on principles of trust, collaboration, accountability and capacity building. These values guide her actions and behaviours. She is a well-respected and highly-regarded community leader particularly in the not-for-profit and community sectors. She champions the rights of others and is a strong advocate for substantive equality and equal opportunity for all.

Leader of the Year in Local Government

WINNER: Mr Andrew Brien
Chief Executive officer – The City of Bayswater

Mr. Brien has been nominated for not only successfully leading his current organisation through a period of significant change, but for empowering the staff and the communities of all the local governments he has run. Because of his influence, he is now at the helm of an organisation thriving on his philosophy of accountability, excellence, innovation and respect. His professional support of others now spans two states, and the number of people he helps is growing exponentially. He is a supportive, empowering and skilled CEO and the people who get to work with him benefit greatly because of the experience.

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: Mr Anthony Williams
Asset Management Officer – Main Roads Western Australia

Anthony Williams has made a strong contribution to Main Roads Pilbara Region through his management of road maintenance planning tasks and programs, leading the Reseal and Pavement Repair Program. He has encouraged local Indigenous businesses to deliver maintenance and network management contracts using his experience to forge outstanding relations with local authorities in the Region. Anthony has managed the transfer of Main Roads data into a ten-year outlook, allowing informed decisions on investment and funding. Through Anthony’s work the Region has been able to accurately demonstrate its investment needs, which has assisted in securing essential road safety improvement funding.

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: Mr Tony Somers
Workforce Planning Advisor – Department of Water and Environmental Regulation

The strategic workforce projects introduced by Tony Somers at the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation have given staff a voice, brought collective resolve to workforce planning and showed teams how to solve workload management challenges. His commitment to employee engagement has been the keystone of his success. The implementation of his Workforce Planning Structure has changed the way the department operates and changed its approach to workforce strategy. The new structure has encouraged people to focus on the bigger picture. At DWER today, the focus is on the whole workforce and the well-being of everyone in the organisation.

Information Technology Practitioner of the Year

WINNER: Mr Christian Thompson
Executive Director Business Information Systems – Department of Transport

Christian Thompson has been an integral contributor to DoT’s digital transformation journey. Christian’s strong strategic acumen, extensive ICT experience and leadership skills in fostering collaboration both internally as well as across the public sector has resulted in DoT being able to deliver flexible and accessible services to its customers and deliver against the Government’s commitment to ‘Delivering Real Outcomes to the Community’. Christian is highly respected by his colleagues both within DoT as well as across the Public Sector and highly valued member of DoT’s Executive Team who has introduced a culture of collaboration across DoT through leading by example.

Policy Practitioner of the Year

WINNER: Ms Kim Lazenby
A/Deputy Director General – Department of the Premier and Cabinet

Kim strives to keep the vulnerable members of the Western Australian community at the forefront of every social policy decision and carefully considers every initiative or action through that lens. Kim always champions the Department of the Premier and Cabinet’s vision and goals and promotes a shared commitment to the government’s priorities and policy initiatives. Kim’s leadership approach is always to encourage stakeholders to collaborate and work together to address issues and share information. She has successfully led multiple teams to achieve whole of government commitments and priorities across a range of social policy issues.

Department of Finance Award Finance Practitioner of the Year

WINNER: Mr Mark Cawthorne
Executive Director Corporate and Finance – South Metropolitan Health Service

Mark had only been with SMHS for a short period of time but was a key player in developing and leading a comprehensive financial recovery plan that involved all parts of the business. He is an engaging leader who is generous with his time, consistently connecting with his staff and colleagues, keeping them informed of issues confronting the organisation, whilst sharing his views and listening to their thoughts and ideas. Most importantly he creates an environment where colleagues feel empowered to make decisions and are comfortable expressing their views, energising others by creating a sense of purpose through his enthusiastic and positive attitude.

General Manager, Finance and ICT – Pilbara Ports Authority

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: Legal Aid WA
Blurred Borders Process Review and Evaluation

The Blurred Borders Process Review and Evaluation, was participatory and collaborative. It used a mixed methods approach to evaluate Legal Aid WA’s experience in developing best practice legal communication tools and creating networks in remote areas. The evaluation mirrored the central tenets of the project, with the result being innovative and accessible evaluation reports using visual arts and story telling throughout. Evaluative thinking was embedded in the project from its inception. The expertise of those experienced in evaluation and key stakeholders, including senior Aboriginal community leaders and Legal Aid Community Legal Liaison Officers, were key to the evaluation process.

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: Mid West Development Commission
Mid West Digital Farm Grants initiative

Two years ago, a farmer in the Mid West of WA might have unreliable access to internet or be in a mobile black hole. Today, that farmer is using high speed internet to run a cloud-based business, make real time decisions on data instantly transmitted from tractor to office and video call their child in boarding school hundreds of kilometres away. The Mid West Digital Farms Grants initiative is making a difference in the lives and livelihoods of farmers across region, and is part of Mid West Development Commission’s plan for a digitally connected and enabled community and economy.

SPECIAL COMMENDATION: Department of Fire and Emergency Services
Volunteer Hub

Business News Award for Excellence 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: St Bart’s
Reconnecting Lives Program

St Bart’s has been standing by the side of Western Australians at risk of, or experiencing homelessness, mental health challenges, trauma and hardship since 1963. In 2017, BHP donated $1M to St Bart’s for the pilot Reconnecting Lives Program. The ‘Housing Led’ approach focuses on finding existing consumers in St Bart’s services a home, and supporting them to maintain stable accommodation as well as connecting them to health, employment and other key services they need. After the first 12 months, we had 78 consumers in the program and 99 per cent had sustained their accommodation since its inception.

Best Practice in Collaboration Between Government and Non Government Organisations
(Gold, Silver and Bronze Winners)

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.

GOLD WINNER: Department of Finance
Aboriginal Procurement Policy

The Aboriginal Procurement Policy delivers on the Government’s commitment to award three per cent of contracts to Aboriginal businesses. The Policy aims to increase contracting with Aboriginal businesses and in turn create more economic opportunities for Aboriginal people. Year One (2018-19) has already achieved significant outcomes and the State awarded 4.77 per cent of contracts to Aboriginal businesses. Policy implementation involved genuine consultation and collaboration with the Aboriginal business sector. It is only due to the collaborative approach taken that underlying barriers have been addressed to increase opportunities for Aboriginal businesses to contract with state government.

SILVER WINNER: Blood Unit, Office of the Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health
Reducing avoidable red blood cell wastage in WA

The Blood Team within the Office of the Chief Medical Officer have lead a significant reduction in red blood cell wastage across WA; requiring collaboration with multiple stakeholders within public and private health service organisations and pathology organisations; coalition with national not for profit organisations including the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood and the National Blood Authority. WA red blood cell discards have reduced to an all-time low of 2.9%.

BRONZE WINNER: Banksia Grove PS, Ngala Child and Parent Centre Banksia Grove, Goodstart Early Learning Centre Banksia Grove
A Better Start

My name is David Hall, Principal of Banksia Grove Primary. As such, I am the host Principal of the Child and Parent, Centre Banksia Grove run so successfully by Ngala. I nominated our ‘A Better Start’ project run in conjunction with our local Goodstart Early learning Centre as I believe that it will become a model for other school in low-socio economic areas as a strategy for improving academic and non-academic outcomes.

Best Practice in Collaboration Across Government Agencies
(Two winners)

WINNER: Western Australian Government owned Port Authorities and the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development
State Wide Array Surveillance Program (SWASP)

Over the last 50 years, international trade has risen dramatically and transportation hubs, such as ports, are at a higher risk of infestation by introduced marine pests (IMP). Effective detection of IMPs in ports requires a collaborative approach. Recognising this, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) developed the State-Wide Array Surveillance Program (SWASP) in collaboration with WA Port Authorities. The SWASP has enabled the early, accurate and coordinated detection of marine pest incursions in WA ports for over 10 years. It forms the only collaborative marine pest surveillance network of its kind in the world.

WINNER: DevelopmentWA

WGV is an innovative residential infill project by DevelopmentWA, designed to deliver a smarter way of living with sustainable housing, community living and social awareness combining to deliver positive social, economic and environmental outcomes. This unique and ambitious project required effective engagement with a broad range of stakeholders – but key to its success has been the close collaboration between DevelopmentWA and the City of Fremantle. Working together, these two government agencies have made WGV a new benchmark for innovative and sustainable residential development, with a suite of positive measurable outcomes recognised at national and global level.

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

WINNER: Main Roads Western Australia
Western Ringtail Possum Regional Surveys

In 2019 as part of the planning work for the Bunbury Outer Ring Road Project, Main Roads made the decision to expand its environmental investigations beyond the project scope, working to protect the future of the Western Ringtail Possum, one of the world’s critically endangered species. The Western Ringtail Possum Regional Surveys Project demonstrated Main Roads commitment to corporate social values, bringing together key stakeholders from State and Federal Government agencies, public and private organisations and community groups to provide an invaluable resource for environmental regulators, universities and environmental research groups.

Effective Ways to Lead, Manage and Retain an Aboriginal Workforce Program

Department of Health Award Best Practice in Health and Wellbeing

WINNER: Office of the Commissioner for Children and Young People WA
Speaking Out Survey

The Speaking Out survey captures the views of almost 5,000 children and young people on their wellbeing, including health, mental health, family life, school and the wider community. There is a range of valuable insights that can assist many government organisations to provide programs and services for children, young people and their families. Key findings include: Almost 12% of students rated their health as ‘fair’ or ‘poor’. Nearly 1 in 2 female high school students do not always feel safe at home. Aboriginal students reported higher self-esteem and sense of belonging than non-Aboriginal students.

City of South Perth Health and Wellbeing Program

Lotterywest Best Practice in LGBTI Inclusion

WINNER: Department of Communities
Proud Communities

The Department of Communities launched an agency-wide LGBTI+ staff and ally network in 2019, named Proud Communities. The Proud Communities group provides ongoing support for LGBTI+ staff, as well as training for frontline workers servicing vulnerable community members, such as children in care and people with disability who identify as LGBTI+. Proud Communities has driven initiatives such as marching in the 2019 Perth Pride Parade under the Department of Communities banner, launching an in-agency Rainbow Hub with LGBTI+ information, and promoting stories of diversity and inclusion on the agency’s intranet.

Best Practice in Innovation
(Dual winners)

WINNER: Main Roads Western Australia
The Kwinana Freeway Northbound Widening project

The Kwinana Freeway Northbound Widening project involves construction of an additional lane between Russell Road and Berrigan Drive and two additional lanes from Berrigan Drive to Farrington Road. The project team have demonstrated multiple innovations to implement sustainability initiatives, including a strong focus on Aboriginal Engagement. These initiatives support Main Roads’ philosophy on materials use to minimise lifecycle impacts while following the international sustainability hierarchy of reduce, re-use and recycle materials to their highest end-use possible.

WINNER: WA Country Health Service
The Pitch Your Pilot Program

The WA Country Health Service ‘Pitch Your Pilot’ program was designed to give staff at all levels and locations an avenue to submit innovative project ideas directly to a panel of Executives. The intent was to spark curiosity among employees, inspire and capture new ideas, and bring our people together. The program was a resounding success with 74 applications received from employees across WA, 100+ sites dialling in to watch the Pitch Event and over 600 people’s choice votes, setting an organisational record for staff engagement in a single event. Ten pilot projects were awarded funding to implement their ideas.

SPECIAL COMMENDATION: Department of Communities
Stitching Our Futures Together Program (SOFT)

Participatory Budgeting

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