The Best of Public Sector Innovation is Recognised in Canberra

by Aug 4, 2020News

David Fredericks PSM

David Fredericks PSM, Secretary of the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, presented the 2020 Public Sector Innovation Awards.

The 2020 Public Sector Innovation Awards were announced last week in Canberra by David Fredericks PSM, Secretary of the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources at an awards ceremony which was live streamed from Questacon by IPAA ACT.


The 2020 Public Sector Innovation Awards were delivered by IPAA ACT with the Public Sector Innovation Network. They were supported by EY with contributions from the Australian Government Digital Transformation Agency, Questacon, Australian Government Services Australia and the Canberra Innovation Network.


Elizabeth Kelly AM, Deputy Secretary of the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources hosted the ceremony and delivered an Acknowledgement of Country. Professor Graham Durant AM, Director of Questacon, delivered some opening remarks and Mark Nixon, Partner at EY, spoke on behalf of the Judging Panel.

Reflecting on the award presentations David Fredericks PSM said:

‘Well… there are just days and events where you are really, really proud to be a public servant, and today’s one on them.’

He commended the wonderful contribution that all the finalists and their teams and our departments ‘make on the altar of innovation, and of reform, and of servicing the public, and they really are the hallmarks of the Public Service and everything that we do’.

David added that there are two other qualities of public service that came out during the ceremony that should be cherished, and people should be incredibly proud of:

‘One is the incredible generosity of spirit of Australian public servants and of the Australian Public Service, and a recognition, and accepting, and understanding of the great work that we all do.

And the second thing is the wonderful humility of Australian public servants.’

Before he concluded with the following observation:

‘And I have to say — I’ll be really honest with you — I was struck standing on that stage just now, that these are a magnificent thing for us, because the Australian Public Service and public servants deserve an opportunity to have public credit extended to them for the work that we do.’

Award trophies for 2020

The 2020 Public Sector Innovation Award trophies handcrafted by Questacon.

The Citizen-Centred Innovation Category was won by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, for the ‘Regional Universities Centres Program’.

Regional University Centres expand access and opportunities for regional and remote tertiary students, offering customised facilities and student services, driven by local communities. Centres provide students with the option to remain in their regional or remote community while undertaking their study online in a fully supported ‘campus-like’ environment.

Kieran Pender

Citizen-Centred Innovation Award winner
Department of Education, Skills and Employment

The Culture and Capability Category was won by the Australian Taxation Office, for ‘Single Touch Payroll’.

Single Touch Payroll harnesess business payroll systems to create an enduring, realtime flow of pay and super information and realise new levels of transparency, compliance and social benefit for the Australian community.

2020 Culture and Capability Award winners

Culture and Capability Award winners
Australian Taxation Office

The Digital and Data Category was won by the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment for ‘Innovations with 3-D X-Ray Technology’.

3D X-ray technology and auto-detection algorithms are being used to identify biosecurity risk at the Australian border. The increase of global trade and tourism means the increase of biosecurity threats, and leveraging innovative technologies and processes ensures the efficient and effective protection of Australia from exotic pests and diseases.

2020 Digital and Data Award winners

Digital and Data Award winners
Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment

The first Judges’ Award was won by the Department of Department of Parliamentary Services for ‘Classified: Innovative Cyber Security Awareness Program’ (Culture and Capability Category).

The program leveraged public-private partnerships and storytelling methods to develop an innovative and engaging approach to promoting cyber security awareness amongst users.

2020 Judges' Award winners, Department of Parliamentary Services

Judges’ Award winners
Department of Parliamentary Services

The second Judges’ Award was won by Services Australia for ‘Jobkeeper Streamlined Claim’ (Citizen-Centred Category).

Services Australia delivered a streamlined digital JobSeeker claim experience to ensure rapid connection to payment for people; reduce the need for staff intervention and remove steps where people need to call or visit the agency.

2020 Judges' Award winners, Services Australia

Judges’ Award winners
Services Australia

For more information on the 2020 Public Sector Innovation Awards visit the IPAA ACT website.

2020 Public Sector Innovation Awards Ceremony
VIDEO