Spirit of Service Awards

The newly designed Spirit of Service Awards recognise public sector initiatives that drive positive change for the Australian community. Drawing on the learnings from our historically popular and successful Award programs – the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence and the Public Sector Innovation Awards – we have created a new contemporary offering that reflects the leadership and excellence practices in the contemporary public sector.

Nominations and Assessment

Nominations opened at 9:00am on Monday 18 October 2021 and close at 5:00pm on Friday 14 January 2022. Nominations will be assessed and shortlisted by a group of volunteers from across the public sector profession. The shortlisted Finalists will then be invited to present a 10-minute pitch presentation to the Judges Panel. The winners for each category will be announced at the inaugural Award ceremony in May 2022.

Nominations must be completed and submitted online via the Award Force platform using the link below. Nominees will be directed to the platform and requested to register for an Award Force account before being able to start an entry. An editable Microsoft Word version of the nomination template is provided here for workflow and approval processes.

If you are interested in volunteering as an Award assessor, please contact the IPAA team at awards@act.ipaa.org.au.

Award Categories

The four categories that feature for this year’s Awards are:


Recognising cross-agency and/or cross-jurisdiction initiatives where organisations have worked in a collaborative manner to deliver superior results and outcomes.


Recognising initiatives where communities have played a key role in the design of superior services and supports that impact positively on the quality of community life.


Recognising initiatives that develop and apply novel products, processes, services, technologies and/or management practices to create better experiences for the beneficiaries of the breakthrough.


Recognising initiatives that build the knowledge, skills and capabilities to address complex problems over time.

Nominations can be submitted against more than one category. These will be considered and assessed as seperate nominations.


The Awards are open to all IPAA ACT members from Commonwealth and ACT Public Sector agencies. Cross-jurisdictional initiatives are encouraged, provided the lead organisation is an IPAA ACT member and is from the Commonwealth or ACT Public Service. 

The Award also explicitly recognises the work of teams and therefore nominations that focus solely on the work of an individual will not be accepted. 

Important Dates

NOMINATIONS OPEN 18 October 2021
ASSESSMENT PERIOD January - February 2022

Entry Fee

Each nomination will be charged an entry fee based on the IPAA ACT membership tier of the nominating organisation. The nomination fee assists IPAA ACT to deliver a high quality awards program, including opportunities to share and embed the learnings across the public sector.

Small Member - $950 inc GST
Medium Member - $1200 inc GST
Large Member - $1500 inc GST

Click here to find out what your organisation's entry fee will be. 

Nominations for multiple categories will be charged an entry fee for each separate nomination.


IPAA ACT is pleased to welcome the following organisations as official partners of the 2021 Spirit of Service Awards:

  • Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources
  • EY
  • Australian Taxation Office
  • Services Australia

Further Information

For further information on the Awards and the criteria, please refer to the IPAA ACT Public Sector Achievement Model document. For further queries or support on Award Force, please contact IPAA ACT by email at awards@act.ipaa.org.au or call 02 5112 1980.


Nominations must be submitted using the Award Force platform at the link below. Nominees will be directed to the platform and asked to register for an Award Force account before being able to start an entry.

An editable word template is provided for interal workflow uses, the content must then be transferred to Award Force for final submission.

Nominations have been extended to Friday 14 January 2022 at 5:00pm AEST.


We’re honoured to have been given permission by the Winanggaay Ngunnawal Language Group to align the word 'Gurumbal' with our Spirit of Service Awards. Gurumbal is a Ngunnawal word meaning ‘valiant’. It encapsulates the courage and determination recognised by the Spirit of Service Awards – outstanding public sector initiatives that have a lasting, positive impact on the Australian community. In the video below, Aunty Jude Barlow talks about the true meaning of 'Gurumbal' and how it relates to the Spirit of Service.


Contact IPAA

ABN: 24 656 727 375
Phone: (02) 6154 9800
Unit 4A, 16 National Circuit,
Barton ACT 2600

Postal Address

PO Box 4349
Kingston ACT 2604

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