2016 Vote - Will Spensley Memorial Award for Innovation - PUBLIC SECTOR


We invite all AAGE Full Members (i.e. employer members) to vote for their favourite innovation entry from the selection below, representing the public sector.

Each Full Member organisation can only cast one vote and cannot vote for their own organisations. The Finalists for this Award are the employers who received the most votes for their submission.

(Please note that the AAGE has not authored any of the following content, and as such will accept no responsibility for any inaccuracies. Entries have been publicised below using the exact wording provided by each entrant. Please also note that the entries for this award are displayed in order of submission.)








Australian Government Department of Human Services

"Outbound Journey"

The Department of Human Services’ National Graduate Program has a range of development opportunities to inspire, motivate and expand the minds of our leaders of the future. One opportunity in the program is the Outbound Journey.

This year, the Outbound Journey was redesigned to provide a new and innovative approach which provides graduates the opportunity to directly contribute to providing services that assist in the lives of all Australians including multicultural and Indigenous customers. Graduates experience firsthand the Customer Service Centre environment assisting our frontline staff during one of the peak processing periods for the Department. The five-day Outbound Journey has graduates undertaking front of house duties such as assisting customers with self-service options and performing a Customer Liaison Officer role. The journey also gives graduates experience in a call centre environment, dual-head setting with staff in a Smart Centre to listen to enquires from the public.

This year 75 graduates assisted in 37 Customer Service Centres from Ipswich to Dandenong. To equip graduates in delivering high quality services to customers, a range of specialised training was provided prior to commencing placements. Additionally, relationships with local staff and graduates were formed prior to their placements to build relationships and provide local knowledge and insight.

The Outbound Journey benefits the Department’s customers through the provision of dedicated team members assisting, supporting and empowering customers to become more familiar with the self-service products and transition to online services. Most importantly this journey assists in building capacity for experienced and specialised staff to process payments and provide services. The benefits to graduates includes the unique experience gained in having exposure to the significant work that the Department accomplishes during peak periods, and highlights how their role in the corporate environment works to support the Department in providing services to all Australians.


 VOTE for Australian Government Department of Human Services 


Australian Taxation Office 

"Milestone Training - Applying an innovative approach to training"


Our graduate program offers participants a unique experience that is tailored to their professional work stream and area of study. A structured milestone training program has been developed that recognises the specialised capabilities required for the different professions that exist in the ATO. This innovative training approach enables our graduates to contextualise their tertiary knowledge and develop their professional and leadership skills . Graduates also gain on-the-job experience in challenging work rotations  which complements their training and ensures they are fully equipped for a successful career in the ATO. 

Milestone 1: Introductory training provides our graduates with basic tax knowledge and a fundamental understanding of the work undertaken in the ATO. 

Milestones 2 & 3: Stream specific technical training is designed to build on the skills and capabilities required for the graduates profession, and is selected for its relevance to work placements likely to be undertaken during and upon completion of the program.

Milestone 4:This is a key component of the program and involves a project management task nominated by business areas from within the ATO. Graduates work in small multi-discipline teams to apply a professional methodology to structuring work for their project, and are given a set time period to develop and deliver a solution.

Professional Development: Throughout the program, graduates are also provided with opportunities to develop  various workplace skills required to perform effectively in the ATO and APS. A range of topics are covered including communication and presentation skills, self-awareness and relationship management. 

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VOTE for Australian Taxation Office


Australia Post

 "Victorian students step out of classroom into the real world" 

  • 2nd year Graduate Development Program 

  • Corporate Immersion experience run by Australia Post graduates, for high school students 

  • In partnership with ABCN and Elisabeth Murdoch College and Maffra Secondary College

Maffra and Langwarrin high school students have stepped out of the classroom and into the practical world of big business as part of a unique workforce partnership program between Australia Post, Maffra Secondary College and Elisabeth Murdoch College.

This unique partnership pairs Year 9 to 12 students from both schools with Australia Post graduates, over a six month period, to share the development of their own professional capabilities and encourage students to expand their career aspirations through being involved in a real business project.

The second year graduate project has been designed to mimic the wider Innovation/Hack day process at Australia Post, with the graduates forming project teams and the students acting as junior team members whilst being mentored by the graduates. The teams participate in a 24 hour hack day with the top ideas moving onto a Shark Tank style pitch to senior leaders, with the winning team of grads joining our intrapreneurship program (an innovative product accelerator process).  

The project involves graduates travelling out to the schools to meet the students and start working on project plans, and then the students travel into the Australia Post CBD headquarters for two days of ‘hacking’ which will help to build their organisation, time management, creative thinking and interpersonal skills.

The students are exposed to a variety of people across the business, from marketers to tech developers, opening their eyes to future job prospects. The project is also a great opportunity for graduates to develop their leadership skills and improve their community engagement experience.

The graduates driving the program are really effective mentors, as they are not much older than the students participating.  These graduates are developing personal and professional competencies which are similar to the employability skills students will require when job seeking, so it’s a unique learning opportunity for all parties involved.

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VOTE for Australia Post


Queensland Government Chief Information Office

We are living in the digital age, a fast paced world of change. Our Queensland Government IT graduate program was living in the past—caught up in the paper world of fuss and time. Our IT graduates were using text books, paper surveys and delivered talk fest workshops that bored them to death. 

To inject innovation into our program, we have fully digitised the program. We have swapped text books for tablets with interactive electronic workbooks that can be taken anywhere. We have swapped tiresome paper surveys for interactive voting surveys that can give us pre and post workshop readings of a graduate’s built knowledge.  We have swapped boring talk fest workshops for interactive, fast paced training days that really deliver innovation, hands on learning and guest speakers.

The introduction of ‘slack’, an interactive social networking tool continues the training experience, post workshop and brings the social element to the interaction.  Our IT graduates now have more opportunities to interact and improve their profile via targeted events including; speed networking, government conferences and lunch box sessions as part of their graduate experience. 

The innovative changes extend to the stakeholders too, with the program model having a revamp to change program delivery. The training schedule is now delivered 80% in the first year and 20% in the second year.  This improvement means that graduates get the majority of their training in their first year leaving the second year open for specific role training and or rotations. Our innovative changes have improved our overall satisfaction from 80% in 2015 to 97% satisfaction in 2016. 

We believe the changes we have made to the program brings our program into the digital age and supports our IT graduates to learn, interact and profile themselves better, positioning themselves as leading graduates in the Queensland Government. 


VOTE for Queensland Government Chief Information Office