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Awards – 3 Dec 2021

Winners of the 2021 Institute of Public Administration Australia WA (IPAA WA) Achievement Awards were announced at an Awards luncheon held on Friday 3rd December 2021 at the Hyatt Regency Perth.

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

2021 Award Winners and Nominees

Click here to view the 2021 Achievement Awards Media Release

Start preparing your 2022 Achievement Awards nomination today – Browse Award Categories and criteria here.

IPAA WA 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: Sue Ash AO FIPAA

Sue Ash AO has contributed to public administration and public policy throughout her broad ranging career, which has spanned service delivery and development of communities, education and government administration, including emergency management recovery activities.

She has held roles teaching social policy and human service administration in university courses; worked in Commonwealth and State Government agencies in WA, NSW, and ACT; advocated for and negotiated the development and delivery of services within and outside of Government agencies; and has established and progressed organisations to influence public policy relating to children; housing, families; homeless, ageing, disabilities and women.

As a leader in the community sector in Western Australia, Sue is recognized for her distinguished service to the community, particularly in the area of social policy development, reform and implementation, and to the provision of services to people in need.

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

Winner: Gail McGowan PSM Department of Planning, Lands and Heritage 

Gail McGowan has more than 20 years’ experience in senior positions across State Government. She is a leader who is passionate about creating a values and culture driven workplace and championing inclusion and diversity. Gail has extensive experience and leadership in initiatives including major public sector reform and the review and implementation of legislation across multiple portfolios including Planning, Lands, Heritage and Aboriginal Heritage. Gail has recently played a key role in WA’s planning reform agenda to support the State’s economic recovery from COVID-19. Gail’s commitment to the public sector is recognised by her Public Service Medal in 2019.

Leader of the Year Working within a Division, Team or Organisation

Winner: Liz MacLeod East Metropolitan Health Service

Liz’s leadership has been marked by her compassion, dedication and professionalism – traits ideally suited to an organisation that promotes kindness, respect, collaboration, excellence, integrity and accountability as its core values. As someone who leads by example, Liz encourages individuals within EMHS to uphold these values so that together they can enhance the lives of people living within our community. In addition to leading EMHS, Liz became the Lead Chief Executive of COVID-19 Health Operations to work collaboratively with other Health Services to coordinate decisions to ensure the State’s health services were prepared as possible for any COVID-19 outbreaks.

Special Commendations:

  • John Tillman, Department of Fire and Emergency Services
  • Wendy Casey, WA Department of Health

Leader of the Year in the Not for Profit Sector

Winner: Robby Chibawe Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service

Proactive leader Robby Chibawe, CEO of the highly regarded Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Service, rose rapidly through the ranks beginning as a frontline nurse in remote clinics in the East Pilbara where he built trust with Martu people. This experience influenced his vision to better meet the local health needs resulting in more than doubling the number of PAMS staff within the space of a year. Robby orchestrated the building of two new replacement remote clinics and an award-winning clinic in Newman but support is also growing for his goal to reduce the need for healthcare in the first place.

Special Commendation:

  • Kendall Galbraith, The Rural Regional Remote Women’s Network of WA

Public Sector Commission Award for Young Leader of the Year

Winner: Kaia Gooding Legal Aid WA

Kaia Gooding is an outstanding young leader who uses her passion for social justice to lead and unite her duty lawyer team. She has led her team through the challenges posed by COVID19 including a rapid transition to a new model for remote service delivery to clients thereby ensuring continuity of services; successfully piloted, reported on and then continued a program of providing trial representation in the Magistrates Court; created a Centralised Duty Lawyer Scheme, whereby services are delivered remotely; and built a positive work culture within her team where staff wellbeing and safety is central.

Human Resource Management Practitioner of the Year

Winner: Dean Ladiges Department of Health

Dean’s nomination stems from the significant amount of time, energy and expertise he has put into establishing a contemporary, capable and trusted People and Culture function. The initiatives and programs Dean has lead have fundamentally transformed the way the Department of Health approaches people management and development matters. Dean’s contributions over a relatively short period have added substantial value and have made the Department a better place to work for all.

Information Technology Practitioner of the Year

Winner: Arun Thavasi Pilbara Ports Authority

Arun Thavasi is the Director Technology and Information at Pilbara Ports Authority, which is responsible for approximately 75% of the State’s and more than 42% of the world’s seaborne iron ore exports, making them critically important to the State and national economies. In the past 12 years Arun has successfully led the delivery of significant technology initiatives which have been key enablers for increasing trade volumes through the ports, and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of port operations.

Special Commendation:

  • Lance Martin, WA Police Force

Policy Practitioner of the Year

Winner: Melissa Hartmann Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development

Melissa Hartmann has over 15 years’ experience developing Indigenous businesses, providing governance, strategic direction and policy implementation. Her skills lay in determining organisational strategy, driving operational efficiency, negotiation and management of complex projects and stakeholder relationships across diverse Indigenous and government groups. Currently the manager for Aboriginal Economic Development at DPIRD, leading a team of 14 FTE across WA. She took the team from inception as a business unit in 2018 to being recognised as the State’s lead agency for implementation of Aboriginal economic development and delivery of Closing the Gap targets for Aboriginal employment and business creation.

Department of Finance Award for Finance Practitioner of the Year

Winner: Fiona Barclay DevelopmentWA

A passionate, positive and inclusive leader, DevelopmentWA’s Chief Financial Officer Fiona Barclay is an exceptional executive and outstanding finance practitioner. At the height of COVID-19, Fiona was handed a seemingly impossible task – to oversee the restructure and rebuild of DevelopmentWA’s corporate services, bring together two teams, eliminate duplication, achieve efficiencies, improve reporting timeframes and create one unified system – all within a tight timeframe.  Fiona relished the challenge. As the driving force in the process, she demonstrated her empathetic and empowering leadership style, which not only delivered results but provided clarity and certainty for all those she led.

Special Commendation:

  • Ravi Proheea, WA Museum

Australian Evaluation Society Award for Best Practice in Public Sector Evaluation

Winner: Evaluation of St. Emilie’s Facility and the Esther Program
Department of Communities 

The award-winning Esther Foundation Program empowers young women and girls to overcome a range of social and health issues, including substance abuse, depression, and self-harm through an extensive health, development and leadership program. The Department of Communities (Communities) enabled the Foundation to move from several rental properties in South Perth to the St. Emilie’s Facility in Kalamunda.  In 2020, Communities completed an evaluation to understand the outcomes achieved for Program participants and the benefits of the Facility. The evaluation also identified factors that contributed to the Program’s success and lessons learned to improve other programs in Communities.

Special Commendation:

  • Social Investment Data Resource (SIDR), Department of Treasury

Office of Digital Government Award for Best Practice in Digital Transformation

Winner: VaccinateWA – Vaccine Management System Health Support Services 

In January 2021, WA Health were required to urgently deliver a Vaccine Management System in time for the commencement of the State’s COVID-19 immunisation program. The requirement involved the management of scarce COVID-19 vaccine inventory, engaging the public to access vaccination services at scale, and operating a growing network of temporary vaccine clinics. The Department delivered an operational solution within weeks of commencement, making WA Health the only State health jurisdiction to start its vaccination program with a complete system in place.

Special Commendation:

  • Evolution and maturation of data analytics and business intelligence capabilities, Department of Finance

Business News Award for Excellence in the Not-for-Profit Sector

Winner: The Independent Living Program
Uniting WA 

The Uniting Independent Living Program (ILP) was established in 1995 and is funded to provide support linked housing for people who experience long-term, persistent mental illness, and whose mental health compromises the stability of their housing. The program provides safe and stable housing to 221 people in the North Metro area of Perth, and focuses on the provision of person-centred and recovery-focused practice. The goal of the ILP is that people experiencing vulnerability due to mental health challenges are able to sustain a housing tenancy, reduce social isolation and gain independence and community connection.

Special Commendation:

  •  Advanced Dementia Specialist Service, Silver Chain Group

Moore Australia (WA) Award for Best Practice in Collaboration Between Government and any other Organisation (Gold, Silver and Bronze Winners)

Gold Winner: Fair Food
Western Australian Council of Social Service (WACOSS)

WACOSS was nominated to oversee the co-design of a strategic Food Relief Framework (FRF) for the WA charitable food sector in 2017, after it was it was recognised that improvements can be made to better respond to growing demand and need. Fair Food WA At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FRF Working Group was urgently re-configured towards planning the sector’s strategic and collaborative responses. The group’s coordination and collaboration in responding to rising food insecurity and emergency relief during and beyond the pandemic are regarded as ground-breaking.

Silver Winner: Home Stretch WA Trial
Anglicare WA, Department Of Communities, Yorganop

Working in genuine collaboration with young people, the Department of Communities, Fremantle District Office of Child Protection and Family Support, Yorganop and CREATE WA Foundation. The Home Stretch WA Trial has co-designed and implemented a prototype model for extended care in Western Australia.

Bronze Winner: Naala Djookan Healing Centre
Naala Djookan Healing Centre Partnership Group

Naala Djookan Healing Centre members: Australian Childhood Foundation, Ebenezer Aboriginal Corporation, Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Services, Karla Kuliny Aboriginal Corporation, Legal Aid Commission of WA, MercyCare, Metropolitan Migrant Resource Centre, Northern Suburbs Community Legal Centre, Sudbury Community House Association and Wadjak Northside Aboriginal Community Corporation.

Naala Djookan Healing Centre, located in Mirrabooka, seeks to simplify access to family and domestic violence (FDV) services through the provision of a range of integrated and evidence-based services in one safe, inclusive, culturally responsive and welcoming location.  The City of Stirling along with ten specialist organisations formed the robust partnership that established and now operates Naala Djookan Healing Centre, supported with funding from the Department of Communities The partnership is a remarkable example of government and non-government organisations working together, whilst all contributing their individual expertise, to improve outcomes for women at risk or experiencing FDV.

Special Commendation:

  • Perth Festival – Highway to Hell, Main Roads WA

Best Practice in Collaboration Across Government Agencies (Gold, Silver and Bronze Winners)

Gold Winner: Response to COVID-19 Pandemic
WA Police Force; Department of Health; State Solicitor’s Office; Department of the Premier and Cabinet, and the Public Sector Commission

The emergency arising from the human epidemic caused by COVID-19 was unprecedented in terms of its scale, complexity and duration. The response needed to combat this threat and abate the spread of the virus, necessitated ongoing cooperation and collaboration between The Department of Health, The State Solicitor’s Office, and the West Australian Police Force. Each agency committed significant resources towards to response to COVID-19. Collectively, they used their specialised knowledge, expertise and resources to work together and successfully halt the spread of the virus within the Western Australian community.

Silver Winner: DFES Public Information – Emergency WA
Department of Fire and Emergency Services

In an emergency, the provision of timely and accurate information to impacted communities is critical to ensuring public safety. Government agencies must work together to ensure those impacted receive clear and consistent information about how to stay safe. Through Emergency WA, DFES provides a warnings capability to multiple government departments and actively seeks opportunities to collaborate with other government agencies to ensure the system meets the State’s needs now and into the future. The team’s commitment to evidence-based improvement provides a solid foundation for inter-agency collaboration, helping further the improvement of emergency public information state-wide.

Bronze Winner: Smart Sun
Horizon Power and DevelopmentWA

Horizon Power and DevelopmentWA joined forces to deliver Smart Sun – a heavily-discounted solar-powered microgrid package providing renewable energy to eligible homes in DevelopmentWA’s Waranyjarri Estate in Broome North. The innovative pilot program empowered participating households to significantly reduce their energy use, their reliance on the power grid and ultimately save money on their energy bills all through the uptake of renewable energy sources.  This pilot allowed Horizon Power and DevelopmentWA to investigate and test an integrated energy solution and work towards solving key grid and land development challenges for projects of the future.

Best Practice in Corporate Social Values

Winner: Aboriginal languages teacher training program
Department of Education

Coleen Sherratt, Lola Jones and Lois Spehn-Jackson have developed and championed a program for teaching local Aboriginal languages to children in schools across WA; a program that is recognised nationally and internationally as a model of best practice. The Aboriginal Languages Teacher Training program was developed in response to increased community interest to see local language, culture and history passed on to children. It is unique as the team goes into communities to foster relationships between the Aboriginal community and the school, and makes the community (and ultimately the trainee) feel safe to share their history, culture and language.

Special Commendation:

  • COVID-19 Art Relief Grants, City of Vincent

Department of Health Award for Best Practice in Health and Wellbeing (Two Winners)

Winner: COVID Response
City of Bayswater

With dedicated response teams and a core belief that the wellbeing of staff and the community must be central to decision making, the City of Bayswater’s COVID response made a significant impact on those who rely on the organisation. Decisions were made and services adapted to ensure the organisation could move through the crisis with a cohesive workforce, a connected community, and a strong local economy.

Winner: CREW health and wellbeing program
Woodlupine Primary School

Over the last few years Woodlupine Primary School has been on a tremendously successful learning journey. What started as research into improving student behaviour, has transitioned into a change in mindset. From behaviour management, and the negative, reactive connotations of that approach, to a more proactive student success and wellbeing program – a program we call CREW. CREW is a whole-of-school approach to student health and wellbeing. It aims to increase resiliency in children and helps them overcome setbacks. Over the last 3-years, the program has morphed into an embedded program at the school so that all children can benefit.

Lotterywest Award for  Best Practice in LGBTI Inclusion

Winner: LGBTIQA+ and the Law Resource
Legal Aid WA 

Legal Aid WA partnered with the Youth Pride Network to create resources for the LGBTIQA+ community. The resources summarise the law and answer FAQs on various topics relevant to the LGBTIQA+ community, including discrimination, education, health and international human rights. Developed in close consultation with the LGBTIQA+ community, the resources consist of four accessible factsheets and targeted social media posts. They aim to empower LGBTIQA+ young people and educate them about their legal rights under state, federal and international law. They provide up-to-date, specific, practical legal information and fill a gap in community legal education for the LGBTIQA+ community.

Special Commendation:

  • LGBTI+ Workplace Diversity Training, SHQ (Sexual Health Quarters)

Best Practice in Innovation (Gold, Two Silver and Bronze Winners)

Gold Winner: Kimberley TeleENT project
WA Country Health Service 

WACHS is the largest country health system in Australia with services spanning more than 2.5 million square kilometres. A diverse population provides unique challenges in providing comprehensive health services across vast distances, to a population experiencing health inequities with constrained resources and reduced economies of scale. Through the Kimberley TeleENT Proof of Concept people living in some remote Kimberley communities are now able to access specialist ENT care closer to home via telehealth enhancing access and equity to services and compliance to treatment, including through reduced travel time, costs and time away from community.

Silver Winner: Virtual Office project
Legal Aid WA 

Legal Aid WAs’ virtual office project uses video technology to provide a virtual ‘face to face’ legal service and take the law to the people in remote, regional and metropolitan WA who need it the most. In collaboration with partner agencies, screens provided by Legal Aid WA are placed in local community centres connecting clients to a Legal Aid lawyer based in Perth. Focusing on early intervention and diversion, advice appointments are offered in civil, criminal and family law. Since July 2019, 16 virtual offices have delivered over 2000 services, increasing access to justice throughout the state.

Silver Winner: Smart Freeway – Kwinana Northbound
Main Roads WA 

Along with installing new technologies and traffic signals at five northbound on-ramps, Perth’s first Smart Freeway involved converting the emergency lane into an additional traffic lane, from Canning Highway to the Narrows. The successful delivery of the Smart Freeway, Kwinana Northbound demonstrates multiple innovations with a strong focus on intelligent technology and efficient operations, introducing new infrastructure, equipment and processes not only for Perth, but also in a first for Australia.  The result is a seamless and integrated intelligent transport solution reducing traffic congestion and improving the safety of motorists travelling from the southern suburbs to the City.

Bronze Winner: Dynamic Parking Management
Town of Victoria Park 

Parking Management is a complex and contentious practise essential for the effective movement of people and vehicles for both private travel and in support of local businesses.  The Town of Victoria Park worked with Duncan Solutions on an innovative solution to the competing demands for limited parking resources that resulted in a trial and ultimate standardisation of parking management solutions that; Increased parking bay turnover Increased utilisation of limited parking resources Reduced parking costs to off-peak visitors Demonstrated innovative management practises to the Community resulting is a reduction in complaints.

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