Management of human resources

The Department of Human Services is the largest public sector service delivery organisation in the country serving the largest customer group, the Australian public.

Our people are critical to our delivery of services across the country whether online, on the phone or face-to-face. We continue to invest in our future workforce, empower our leaders and managers and build strong capability to deliver services and outcomes for government.

Our people

The department invests in workforce planning and strategy to meet business requirements now and into the future. The department uses people reporting and data to understand the profile of its workforce, trends and future requirements. Working with business areas, the department identifies and acts on workforce priorities and strategies to ensure people are in the right job at the right time.

At 30 June 2015 the department employed 34,890 people, of whom 31,094 (89.1%) were ongoing and 3,796 (10.9%) were non-ongoing. Of the non-ongoing employees 2,672 (7.7%) were intermittent/irregular staff. This compares to 30 June 2014 when the department employed 34,773 people, of whom 32,403 (93.2%) were ongoing and 2,370 (6.8%) were non-ongoing. Of the non-ongoing employees 1,833 (77.3%) were intermittent/irregular staff.

At 30 June 2015 the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff was 29,589.31 compared to 30,179.48 in 2013-14 at 30 June 2014. The FTE—the average number of staff—is fewer than the total number of people employed, as the total headcount includes full-time, part-time and intermittent/irregular staff.

Access to flexible working hours is an important mechanism for staff to balance their work and personal commitments. At 30 June 2015, 12,091 (34.7%) of staff worked part-time—that is, they worked less than 37.5 hours a week. This compares to 11,546 (33.2%) of staff at 30 June 2014.

Appendix F on page 268 presents statistics on staff by classification, location, employment status, employment type, gender, disability, diverse background and Indigenous. It also sets out staff salary ranges and employment arrangements.

Job Placement Services Scheme

The Department of Human Services Agreement 2011-14 formalises our commitment through the Job Placement Services Scheme to retain and redeploy staff whose roles may be affected by organisational change. The scheme aims to ensure that valuable skills and capabilities are retained. Information about job placement services is available for staff on our intranet. In 2014-15, 95 people on the Job Placement Services Scheme were found a permanent placement or left the department.

Commitment to consultation

The department consults with employees and, where they choose, their representatives in accordance with the Department of Human Services Agreement 2011-2014 and the Department of Human Services Medical Officers Agreement 2013-2014. The department is continuing formal negotiations for new enterprise agreements—see Enterprise bargaining agreements below.

Enterprise bargaining agreements

The Department of Human Services Agreement 2011-2014 covers all non-Senior Executive Service (SES) staff except Medical Officers. Medical Officers are covered by the Department of Human Services Medical Officers Agreement 2013-2014.

The department is continuing formal negotiations for new enterprise agreements. We are committed to meeting the requirements of the Australian Government Public Sector Workplace Bargaining Policy. In the meantime the existing agreements still apply.

The department held 39 enterprise bargaining meetings with union and employee bargaining representatives between June 2014 and July 2015. We are committed to keeping all staff fully informed about the next enterprise agreement through a range of channels, including face-to-face information sessions with staff nationwide. Following a request from the representative of Medical Officer Employees, they will continue to be covered by a separate enterprise agreement. The department has held a number of meetings with their representatives. During this period, the department also managed 7 rounds of protected industrial action that have had minimal impact on service delivery.

Workforce arrangements

Individual flexibility arrangements

Individual flexibility arrangements are used to supplement the conditions of staff in exceptional circumstances. As an example, the department has used individual flexibility arrangements to assist with recruitment to remote and isolated localities. In 2014-15 the department had 64 individual flexibility arrangements.

Workforce transformation

To support the shift towards more flexible and agile business approaches, workforce transformation has continued through job design, people change, and learning and development initiatives. Workforce transformation has also been a key focus across service delivery and business areas.

Regional Based Change Managers support customers and staff through change. Learning initiatives including a Talent Hub were trialled to develop staff skills—see also Middle management development on page 133.

People change management

The Transformer Network is an informal network for building a positive attitude towards change in the workplace. Through the network, all departmental staff have access to a range of change resources and other change-related support materials.

There are 2 kinds of change support—online self-help which supports staff access to tools that will assist them in managing people change, and direct service support to business teams which provides tailored solutions for specific needs.

Workforce availability

The unscheduled absence result for 2014-15 was 16.47 days per FTE. This is an increase on the result of 16.26 days per FTE in 2013-14. This result includes 14.2 days per FTE in sick and carers’ leave, comprising 12.53 days per FTE paid sick and carers’ leave and 1.68 days per FTE unpaid sick and carers’ leave.

The department is committed to achieving higher levels of workforce availability through effective people management, health and safety, and high levels of staff engagement. Under our Attendance Strategy 2013-17: supporting a healthy and engaged workforce:

  • 3,826 managers had completed positive attendance training
  • business areas across the department had implemented the strategy in business plans or attendance plans and achieved positive results
  • emerging attendance cases were escalated to people teams and long-term absence cases closely monitored
  • attendance performance management expectations were included in individual performance agreements for supervisors

Some positive trends and results in workforce availability are apparent in several of the department’s larger divisions. These results were mostly achieved through improving manager capability and staff engagement, and ensuring that absences are effectively monitored and managed.

Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 established a legislative scheme for investigating allegations of serious wrongdoing in the Australian Public Service (APS). Information about the scheme is available to:

  • staff on the department’s intranet
  • the public on our website

Responsibilities and functions under the Act are delegated to a core group of SES and Executive Level (EL) staff to ensure appropriate control and oversight in managing disclosures. The findings of an internal audit conducted between November 2014 and February 2015 will be used to further improve the management of disclosures. In 2014-15 the department received 16 public interest disclosures.

People survey

Seventy-six % of the department’s employees completed the APS Employee 2015 Census this year, an increase of 5% from the 2014 participation rate.

Levels of employee engagement exceeded the agreed 2015 departmental KPIs (improvement in 3 of the 4 indexes from 2014). The table below indicates a continued level of improvement in employee engagement since 2013.

Table 65: Comparison of employee engagement index scores—APS Employee Census
Engagement element index scores1 DHS - 2013 DHS - 2014 DHS - 2015
Job engagement index scores 6.3 6.4 6.5
Team engagement index scores 6.1 6.3 6.4
Supervisor engagement index scores 7.0 7.0 7.2
Agency engagement index scores 5.3 5.5 5.7
  1. Note—the engagement index uses a 0 to 10 point scale with 10 being the highest level of engagement

Performance management

Our performance management process is designed to foster a culture of high performance by providing all staff with a clear link between their work effort and departmental priorities.

All eligible staff develop and negotiate an individual performance agreement with their manager. The agreements:

  • give staff a clear understanding of their role and the performance and behavioural standards expected of them
  • align individual and team work effort to departmental priorities
  • help staff identify their learning and career development needs

In 2014-15, 96.1% of staff (96.4% in 2013-14) had individual performance agreements negotiated, with 3.17% of staff not requiring 1 due to long-term leave.

Job family model

The department uses the APS Job Family Model to underpin strategic workforce planning and job design activities. The model has helped the department to shape its workforce, including alignment of job roles. This has enhanced the department’s understanding of its workforce, and assists in identifying demand for critical roles and addressing risks associated with labour market shortages. During the year key occupations the department identified as workforce priorities included jobs in the areas of ICT, strategic policy, research, programme and project management, and compliance and regulation.

Job design

The department’s Job Design programme ended in June 2015 with around 95% of all roles in the department having an agreed job statement. The job statements have helped us to provide consistent roles that support movement of employees to similar roles as business needs emerge, and provide employees with clarity in various areas of skill development to support their own learning and development.

Apprentices, cadets and graduates

The Apprenticeship Programme is made up of certificate or diploma level study and formal workplace components to provide on-the-job training to supplement formal study. Both components need to be successfully completed to graduate from the programme.

In 2014, 100 apprentices commenced with the department’s Indigenous Apprenticeship Programme. In 2015, 10 apprentices started on the ICT Apprenticeship Programme, managed by the Department of Finance.

The Cadetship Programme is made up of approved university study and workplace components, both of which need to be successfully completed to graduate.

In 2015, 9 cadets began working in the department under the ICT Cadetship Programme managed by the Department of Finance. Five cadets are currently on the Indigenous Cadetship Programme, managed by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The National Graduate Programme offers university graduates professional development opportunities, accredited learning and specialised events and activities. The programme offers 2 pathways—generalist and professional. The professional pathway attracts people with allied health, communications, finance, human resources, ICT and legal qualifications. The 2015 intake of the National Graduate Programme included 66 generalist pathway and 36 professional pathway participants.

All programmes and pathways have a strong focus on diversity, especially in attracting and retaining Indigenous people and people with disability.

As part of the entry level framework, the department also continued the allied health university student placement programme and work experience placements for high school students.

Capability review

The department continued to participate in the Australian Public Service Commission’s (APSC) 2012 Capability Review, which looked at ways to improve the capability of both individual agencies and the APS as a whole.

A follow-up Capability Review Health Check was completed in October 2014 with the department being 1 of the first in the Australian Government to take part in this process. The APSC used the input provided by the department to formulate its Capability Review Health Check report.

The health check shows an overall improvement in the 3 leadership, strategy and delivery capabilities. It commented on our progress in developing a uniform organisational culture, and evidence of strong cooperation and appreciation between ICT and our business. It also noted the increased rigour around the change process to support the considerable volume of projects, Budget initiatives and organisational changes.

Project Focus

The Project Focus pilot was implemented on 29 September 2014 to focus on the active management and resolution of long-term Comcare cases opened or reopened between 2002 and 2012. The broad strategic aim is to reduce the department’s future liability associated with these cases. With the closure of CRS Australia, 70 staff were redeployed across the network into state-based teams to assist with the pilot.

The pilot was set up to:

  • achieve a reduction of future Comcare liabilities for cases under the project’s management
  • be recognised as an innovative programme demonstrating best practice in the area of long-term injury management—under its Managing Workers’ Compensation in the Commonwealth initiative. The Department of Employment is monitoring the pilot project
  • look at the potential to provide shared service arrangements for other government departments to address long-term compensation claims

Accessible and inclusive workplaces

The department is committed to creating workplaces that are accessible and inclusive for all staff. It is guided by the Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Strategy 2011-15 and Workplace Accessibility Plan 2011-15. We will consult staff about a refreshed strategy, expected for release by the end of 2015.

ICT support for greater accessibility

During the year we continued to provide support and training to around 500 staff who use assistive technology software. The APS Diversity Council agreed to pilot a shared service arrangement with the department providing cross-agency assistive technology services for participating agencies. The department is also leading an inter-agency Community of Practice including representatives of agencies involved in the pilot, which will focus on the challenges and opportunities that ICT offers to people with disability, and to help promote best practice.

Agencies participating in the inter-agency accessibility support unit are:

  • Attorney-General’s Department
  • Australian Public Service Commission
  • Australian Taxation Office
  • Department of Communications
  • Department of Education and Training
  • Department of Employment
  • Department of Health
  • Department of Social Services

Assistive technology training and support is also provided to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs on a shared services arrangement.

Employment of people with disability

The department’s Workplace Accessibility Plan 2011-15 and Disability Recruitment Strategy contain recruitment and retention strategies for attracting and retaining people with disability. At 30 June 2015, 4.7% of staff in the department identified as having disability.

During the year we developed a disability awareness and confidence training package, consisting of both face-to-face and eLearning components. This is for all staff to help them build knowledge, awareness and capability in managing staff with disability.

The RecruitAbility scheme was developed under the APS Disability Employment Strategy, where job applicants with disability who meet the minimum requirements of an advertised vacancy are advanced to a further stage in the selection process. The department is now applying RecruitAbility to all advertised vacancies including graduate recruitment. The scheme helps to build the confidence and capability of applicants with disability and supports their employment and career development. Staff involved in selections also have an increased awareness of the issues facing people with disability.

The department’s scanning operations centre provides substantial and fulfilling employment opportunities for people with disability which involves mail sorting, digitising customer correspondence and data entry. The centre has 49 staff with around 22% who identify as having disability.

In an Australian first, in 2014-15 the department and HP Australia started the Dandelion Programme. This involves working with Danish company Specialist People Foundation to recruit, train and employ people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The agreement between the 3 organisations provides 11 people with ASD with employment for a 3-year traineeship in our ICT testing area.

Other diversity initiatives

During the year the department released the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (Multicultural) Employee Plan, which includes practical strategies to ensure active inclusion of staff from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds. The department also widely promoted and celebrated Harmony Day in March 2015.

The department provides multicultural awareness training to staff as both an eLearning and face-to-face training package, which included a facilitated cultural immersion session delivered by the United Muslim Women Association to 12 of the department’s SES officers during 2014-15.

The department is currently developing an SES multicultural awareness training package, including Islamic cultural awareness, for delivery in 2015-16.

To enhance inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) staff the department has developed a comprehensive eLearning package which is available to all staff.

We also hosted 5 staff diversity networks to provide information and support to Indigenous staff, staff with disability, mature age staff, staff from CALD backgrounds, and LGBTI staff.

Reconciliation Action Plan

On 1 June 2015 we launched the 2015-17 Reconciliation Action Plan, renewing our commitment to advancing reconciliation over the next 3 years. The plan was granted ‘elevate’ status by Reconciliation Australia—the highest possible rating available, which establishes the department as a national leader in taking action towards reconciliation.

Over the next 3 years the department will continue to share what we learnt with other government departments, for example, by providing information sessions on Indigenous recruitment and retention; making our Indigenous Cultural Awareness training available; and trialling our Indigenous Mentoring Programme in other departments—see Indigenous Mentoring Programme on page 131.

Employment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

The department has set a target of increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ employment to 5% by the end of 2017.

In 2014-15 the department maintained 4% representation of Indigenous staff, which is above the APS target of 2.7%. The department supported its Indigenous staff by continuing to implement actions under the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employees Plan 2011-2015.

Indigenous Mentoring Programme

The Indigenous Mentoring Programme was developed to support new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff ‘navigate’ their way around the department and the APS. The programme also helps Indigenous staff deal with what can be a delicate balance between their responsibilities and obligations to their community and their new workplace.

A new Indigenous staff member usually has an Indigenous mentor after their first 3 months with the department. The department has 204 Indigenous staff trained as mentors, including 60 new Indigenous mentors who were trained in May and June 2015 to support the department’s largest ever intake of Indigenous apprentices as part of our Indigenous Apprenticeships Programme. The Indigenous Mentoring Programme is also supported by an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Buddy Programme. The Buddy Programme supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees to adjust to the new workplace.

Indigenous Scholarship Programme

To retain and develop its Indigenous workforce, the department manages an Indigenous Scholarship Programme. The scholarships are for Indigenous staff who have completed the first year of their first undergraduate degree in a field of study relevant to the department’s business, with a particular focus on identified future skills gaps. The successful scholars are paid their salary and their university fees for the rest of their studies.

In 2014-15 the department had 8 Indigenous staff on scholarships.

Indigenous Cultural Capability Framework

One of the major strategies to improve workplace culture is the requirement for all staff to participate in the department’s Indigenous Cultural Capability Framework. This framework takes a 3-tiered approach to increase and build staff knowledge and awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

In 2014-15, 5,703 staff accessed the department’s online Indigenous Cultural Awareness eLearning training which was refreshed in June 2015. During the year 2,710 staff participated in face-to-face training. A mandatory training product for SES officers, Exploring Our Culture: Senior Executives, was rolled out in 2014, with Part II of this product starting in March 2015. To date, 195 employees have completed Part I of the product, with 104 completing Part II between March and June 2015.

Secondment programmes were strengthened in 2014-15 with 6 staff completing secondments to Indigenous communities as part of the Jawun Indigenous Community Secondment Programme. Additionally, 1 SES officer participated in an Empowered Communities secondment. Two staff took part in a pilot secondment programme with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies and 1 employee commenced a secondment with Reconciliation Australia.

National Indigenous Employee Network

The National Indigenous Employee Network of 895 Indigenous members provides a national voice for Indigenous staff. The network is consulted regularly on employment and other Indigenous issues.

Learning and Development

Technical training

In 2014-15 significant changes were made to the approach used to build the technical skills of all staff. These changes were centred on simplifying, consolidating and better organising learning products to support a capable and engaged workforce. Specifically, the following activities were completed:

  • establishing a clearly defined organising model for all service delivery technical learning, including implementation of a new learning management system catalogue (including learning pathways)
  • integrating existing technical learning, providing a suite of foundation learning for all service delivery job roles
  • developing and trialling new tools to support this simplified approach, including modifying the existing training development model

The development and rollout of our Mandatory Refresher Program, a department-wide initiative to refresh our workforce’s knowledge in critical legislation-based skills and behaviour, resulted in 27,555 staff completing the learning. This represented 88% of the department’s entire workforce. Courses included in the Mandatory Refresher Program were Workplace Health and Safety, APS Values and Ethics, and Fraud Awareness.

Leadership development and engagement

The department continued to invest in a talent development programme for selected Executive Level 2 (EL2) leaders from across business areas. This programme involved 22 EL2 staff in group and individual learning activities to develop self-awareness and development pathways. Seventeen SES leaders also participated in programmes offered by the APSC to enhance their skills and build networks across agencies.

Departmental culture

The department strengthened its ‘We’ culture with business areas progressing strategies to embed employee engagement and diagnostics to identify ways to build team culture. Given the critical role played in engaging and leading teams, 132 of the SES managers were trained in improving their communication skills.

Middle management development

The department’s approach to middle management development is undergoing a significant change through a project called Future Leaders Today. As part of the project a Human Services Capability Framework will be the foundation of a new development pathway for all staff. This will also align with a new online database called Talent Hub which maps capabilities and competencies for every role in the department. Using the hub staff can track the skills pathways for their role and identify what development and training they need to align with the department’s learning strategy. A pilot of the first stage of this initiative began in July 2014.

Ethics and values

The department remains committed to ensuring all staff understand and comply with the APS Values and Code of Conduct, and maintain the highest ethical standards.

To underline our commitment the department released a suite of products that promote a culture of respect and integrity, including a new Preventing and Resolving Workplace Bullying Policy and a Guidelines and Workplace Bullying Prevention Kit. The prevention kit provides staff and managers with a range of resources to help identify and eliminate unacceptable workplace behaviour.

During 2015 the department also focused on fraud prevention and fraud risk awareness to remind all staff of their obligations, including the responsibility to report fraud and unauthorised access to information.

Possible breaches of the APS Code of Conduct are taken seriously and appropriate action is taken when required. Investigations are conducted according to departmental procedures, which ensure staff are treated fairly. If a breach of the APS Code of Conduct is found, sanctions are imposed. In 2014-15 there were 279 matters involving a suspected breach of the code compared to 472 in 2013-14.

Work health and safety and injury management

The department’s work health and safety policy, guidelines and procedures aim to identify, adopt and develop best practice in health and safety management to reduce the social and financial cost of occupational injury and illness and improve business performance.

The approach is founded on the Work Health and Safety Policy and the Work Health and Safety Strategy 2013-22—supporting healthy, safe and productive workplaces. The strategy is closely aligned with the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-22 and includes targets for reducing injuries by 30% and action areas for improvement. The policy and strategy are supported by the department’s new health and safety consultation arrangements which include health and safety committees and health and safety representatives.

The department’s work health and safety priority areas continue to be:

  • body stressing injury prevention, including sedentary work
  • customer aggression
  • psychological health, including bullying and harassment
  • offsite safety, including remote travel

The targets for the strategy are to achieve:

  • zero workplace fatalities
  • effective compliance with the Work Health and Safety Act 2011
  • a consistent ‘effective’ rating on Safety Assurance Programme (SAP) assessments, which involves reviewing safety management at a sample of workplaces annually
  • a reduction in the incidence rate of workers’ compensation claims resulting in one or more weeks off work and claims for musculoskeletal disorders of at least 15% by 2016 (against 2012 levels) and at least 30% by 2022 (against 2012 levels)

The department’s work health and safety outcomes in 2014-15 show good progress against the targets, especially in reducing workers compensation claims, increasing work health and safety awareness and improving SAP results. These include:

  • a 19% reduction in the number of workers compensation claims submitted to Comcare in 2014-15
  • a 5.1% reduction in the number of customer aggression reports submitted by staff delivering face-to-face customer services
  • implementing the new health and safety consultation arrangements, which replace the health and safety management arrangements with a manual to provide practical information
  • including work health and safety in individual performance agreements and work health and safety eLearning in the mandatory staff training programme requirements for 2014, with 99% of staff completing this training
  • participating in the Global Corporate Challenge in 2015 to support staff to improve their health and fitness
  • continuing to promote body stress injury prevention using ‘Take a stand for better health’ promotional material, training, information and resources, to enable staff to set up their workstations and promoting movement and standing at work to reduce the health impacts of sedentary work
  • training customer-facing staff to reduce and manage customer aggression, with more than 71% of staff delivering face-to-face customer services being retrained since August 2012
  • addressing psychological injury risks through the development of a pilot mental fitness project and commencing consultation on a psychological health strategy for the department
  • providing training for supervisors implementing early intervention support for staff at risk of injury

The department has introduced a number of initiatives and structural changes to support injury prevention, early intervention and rehabilitation, to ensure early return to work and, in turn, reduce the likelihood of matters progressing to workers’ compensation claims, including:

  • establishing a team of allied health staff to focus on long-term workers’ compensation cases—see Project Focus on page 126
  • implementing a maturity model for rehabilitation case management, which places greater emphasis and resources on early intervention
  • developing and implementing a new performance and quality framework for rehabilitation case management
  • working with rehabilitation providers to improve performance, including using Abilita, a psychometric tool to assist with priority claims
  • delivering an Early Intervention for Managers training programme

Workers compensation claims by mechanism of injury

Figure 7: Accepted claims for 2014-15 by mechanism of injury (% of total claim numbers)

Figure 7: Accepted claims for 2014–15 by mechanism of injury (% of total claim numbers)

See Appendix G on page 274 for information required under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Recognising excellence

The department’s Awards and Honours Programme recognises and rewards performance excellence. The main national award programme focuses on exceptional customer service, successful innovation, inspirational leadership, and business excellence of both individuals and teams. The department also participates in external awards programmes.

Internal award programmes

The Pinnacle Achievement Awards are the department’s primary national annual award programme. They include categories and criteria aligned to the department’s strategic direction, culture and leadership priorities. For the 2014 awards programme, 156 nominations representing the achievements of individuals and teams across the department were submitted. Category winners and highly commended recipients were announced by the Secretary at the awards ceremony held in Canberra on 28 August 2014. Overall 21 individuals and 24 teams were acknowledged for their exceptional contribution and performance.

Significant Achievement Awards are sponsored by the SES and recognise achievements by individuals and teams within their business lines.

The ‘In the Moment’ programme encourages immediate and informal recognition at a local level.

The department’s Australia Day Achievement Awards, as part of the National Australia Day Council programme, recognise staff who have made a significant contribution to helping customers in the local community.

As part of the department’s NAIDOC Week celebrations, each year the department hosts and presents awards for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Achievement, Individual Achievement in Indigenous Servicing, and Team Achievement in Indigenous Servicing.

For the 2014 NAIDOC award programme, 35 nominations representing individual and team achievement were submitted. Category winners and highly commended recipients were announced by the Secretary at the awards ceremony held in Canberra on 8 July 2014. Overall 7 individuals and 4 teams were acknowledged for their exceptional achievements.

External award programmes

In 2014-15 the department participated in a number of public sector endorsed programmes as well as private sector industry association award programmes. The following recognition was achieved:

  • 2015 National Archives of Australia inaugural Digital Excellence Awards—joint winner with the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in the large agency category for the department’s digital services including mobile apps, online and myGov
  • Australasian Reporting Awards—a silver award for the department’s 2013-14 annual report
  • Institute of Public Administration Australia—a bronze award for the department’s 2013-14 online annual report
  • the 2015 Supply Nation Government Supplier of the Year award
  • 2014 EXPAND Executive Assistant/Personal Assistant of the Year Awards—Winner of the APS2-5 Executive Assistant of the Year
  • 2014 Australian Human Resources Institute Awards—Winner of the Wayne Cascio Award for Organisational Change and Development
  • 2014 APS Diversity Awards—Highly Commended for a Disability Employment Award
  • 2014 Australian Software Testing Awards—Winner of the Best Project Award
  • 2014 Australian Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management—Winner of the Collaboration category and Silver Excellence Award for myGov Digital Services
  • Australia Day 2015 Honours List—Mandy Ritchie, General Manager CRS Australia Division, was awarded a Public Service Medal for outstanding public service leading to increased employment participation of job seekers with disabilities, injuries and health conditions
  • Queen’s Birthday Honours List—Roxanne Ramsey, former General Manager, Indigenous, Regional and Intensive Services Division, was awarded a Public Service Medal for outstanding public service in social services, particularly for Indigenous communities
  • 2015 Government CIO of the Year—Gary Sterrenberg, Chief Information Officer, was recognised for his leadership in the development and implementation of myGov

Service Recognition Programme

In 2014-15 the Service Recognition Programme acknowledged 3,445 staff for their increased level of experience, capability and insight developed through continuous employment in the APS. The programme is an important part of the staff engagement strategy to build a culture that values staff service contributions. Service recognition certificates and service pins are given to staff who reach 10, 20, 25, 30, 40 and 50 years of continuous service in the APS.

Workplace giving

The department has a workplace giving programme that allows staff to make regular donations to charities under pre-tax arrangements directly from their pay.

This year donations increased by 12.39% over the previous year with more than $65,299 donated to 33 charities. The main beneficiaries were the Australian Red Cross, Cancer Council, Care Australia, Medecins Sans Frontiers, RSPCA and Salvation Army.

Charity fundraising

As part of its commitment to supporting charities, the department’s national charity calendar involves selecting organisations which align with our business, and are based on suggestions from staff. Each month we help a charity and promote awareness of its work and in some cases staff undertake fundraising activities. Charities supported during the year included The Smith Family, beyondblue and the Cancer Council.

The department is also involved in charity fundraising at the local level. For the fifth time the Secretary participated in the St Vincent de Paul Society’s annual Vinnies CEO Sleepout, raising more than $43,000 for the homeless.

Additionally, this year’s annual Department of Human Services Games (held at the Gold Coast) raised nearly $40,000 for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, the Cancer Council Queensland and the Gold Coast Youth Service.

Page last updated: 5 February 2016

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