2021-22 Spirit of Service Awards Finalists

Congratulations to the Finalists of the 2021-22 Spirit of Service Awards!

The 16 finalists were selected from a strong field of 46 nominations from across the Australian and ACT public sector, demonstrative of initiatives that are bringing positive change to the Australian community. There are four finalists in each category: Breakthrough, Collaboration, Community Engagement and Learning.
The Finalists will go on to deliver a 3-minute video ‘pitch’ presentation of their initiative to our esteemed Judging Panel. The Judges will decide on a winner and runner-up for each category, to be announced at the inaugural Awards Ceremony on 12 May 2022 in Canberra.


Australian Digital Health Agency
COVID-19 Vaccination Dashboard

The COVID-19 vaccination dashboard was launched on 25 November 2021 in My Health Record (MHR) to provide consumers easy access to information that is relevant to the COVID-19 vaccination journey in one place. This includes proof of vaccination, COVID-19 test results and related health information.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Australian Passport Office: Visible Digital Seal (VDS) Solution for the Australian International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC)

To enable international travel, the Australian Passport Office (APO) designed and delivered the back-end solution for Australia’s International COVID-19 Vaccination Certificate (ICVC). The ICVC is secure, interoperable, and trusted by border authorities around the world. It is world-leading in its use of Visible Digital Seals (VDS) technology for digital authentication.

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Gender Equality through the Women in Leadership Initiative

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (DFAT) Women in Leadership (WIL) initiative has driven cultural change leading to more women in senior leadership, and establishing flexible work as the norm, and an ‘everyday sexism’ call-out culture. Gender disaggregated data is routinely published. Internal credibility assists our global advocacy.

National Indigenous Australians Agency
The Indigenous Voice co-design process: Empowerment through genuine co-design in practice

In July 2021, the National Indigenous Australians Agency concluded an innovative process to co-design proposals for an Indigenous Voice in partnership with 52 Australians from across the country. The Agency stood back and gave people with lived experience the time and space to develop, test and refine meaningful, practical proposals.


Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Australian Signals Directorate
2021 Census: building trust and partnerships to achieve excellence in cyber security

The 2021 Census Digital Service (CDS) was arguably not just Australian Government, but Australian society’s largest online event. The CDS provided a smooth, easy digital experience that counted over 20 million people, while repelling close to 1 billion cyber-attack attempts. The CDS exemplified public-private partnerships and government collaboration.

Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade) and the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications
International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM) – Reconnecting Australia’s international airfreight supply chains and supporting regional economies during the COVID-19 pandemic

As a trading nation, Australia must maintain air connectivity to global markets. The COVID-19 International Freight Assistance Mechanism was established with high levels of collaboration to re-establish international air links for exporters, support critical imports and buy Australian businesses time to align their operations to ‘new-look’ supply chains.

Services Australia and the Australian Taxation Office
myGov Linking: ATO and Services Australia Collaboration

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and Services Australia collaborated to achieve positive outcomes for customers experiencing problems linking their myGov accounts to the appropriate member services. This work commenced at a time of significant customer need for government services, including demand drivers: COVID-19 Disaster Payment, Tax Timepeak, and the COVID Vaccination Certificate.

The Treasury, Department of Health and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
COVID-19 Doherty Modelling & Economic Analysis - a collaboration between Departments of the Treasury, Health, Prime Minister and Cabinet and academic experts.

The modelling informed Australia’s reopening strategy, resulting in better health and economic outcomes for Australians. The work identified that the best health and economic strategy was to relax domestic restrictions when vaccination rates reached 70 and 80 per cent and suppress the virus until that point.


Australian Radioactive Waste Agency 
Australia’s 40-year challenge to achieve community support for Australia’s first radioactive waste management facility.

Establishing and maintaining social licence in a small rural community, while continuing to build broader awareness and support, was central to solving Australia’s 40-year challenge of acquiring a site for the first ever National Radioactive Waste Management Facility (NRWMF).

Australian Taxation Office
Tax and Super Basics campaign 2020-21

Tax and Super Basics is a campaign to help culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) audiences feel confident with tax, super and the ATO. The award-winning multicultural marketing campaign (2020-21) successfully reached CALD audiences with important in-language information and increased audience understanding of their tax and super rights and responsibilities.

Department of Social Services
Development of Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021-2031

The Department of Social Services (DSS) led the development of Australia’s Disability Strategy (the Strategy) collaboratively across all governments and disability community. The Strategy launched with significant funding and new features that people with disability said were lacking in the previous Strategy. The disability sector released public statements praising the Strategy and its genuine engagement with people with disability.

Royal Australian Mint
Donation Dollar - a world-first initiative to inspire and cultivate the collective spirit of generosity in all Australians

The Donation Dollar is a circulating coin displaying the words ‘Give to help others’, providing daily reminders to Australians to donate to those in need. The initiative encourages Australians to find a Donation Dollar in their change and donate it to a charity or those in need.


Australian Public Service Commission
APS Centre of Excellence for Workforce Planning

The Australian Public Service (APS) Centre of Excellence for Workforce Planning (WFP CoE) assists agencies to manage their future workforce through contemporary, evidence-informed, business-focused workforce planning processes. Implementing a core deliverable under Delivering for Tomorrow: APS Workforce Strategy 2025, the CoE offers practical support to develop workforce planning capability within Commonwealth government departments.

Australian Taxation Office
Tax Super & You and Paying It Forward schools’ learning products

Understanding taxation and superannuation concepts, their value and how to participate in the systems is a core life skill that every child deserves to leave school with. The Australian Taxation Office developed simple, accessible (online) and attractive learning products to help primary and secondary teachers deliver these core skills.

Department of Home Affairs
Department of Home Affairs Dandelion Program

The Home Affairs Dandelion Program (the Program) provides a unique and specifically designed program for people with autism/neurodiversity that enables them to gain employment in a suitably supportive environment. Participants who have completed the Program have since gained full time employment with the APS in our ICT Division or externally.

National Indigenous Australians Agency
Footprints – The National Indigenous Australian Agency’s cross-cultural competency learning program

The Footprints Program is the National Indigenous Australian Agency’s (NIAA) flagship cross-cultural learning and professional development initiative. It aims to ensure the NIAA’s staff continually and actively enhance their cross-cultural knowledge and understanding, including of Indigenous Australian peoples, their cultures and histories.

We wish all the Finalists good luck, and we are looking forward to showcasing the excellence in public sector!
Don’t miss the opportunity to celebrate and recognise these outstanding public sector initiatives that are benefiting Australians. Monitor our website regularly for more exciting updates.

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IPAA ACT acknowledges the Traditional Owners and Custodians of country throughout Australia, and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

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