Winner: John Dinan, Roads and Maritime Services, Transport
As Director of Regional Maintenance, John has revolutionised female recruitment for road maintenance and trade roles, improving employment opportunities for women in regional NSW. A champion of diversity and inclusion, John analysed and dismantled barriers to female participation in non-traditional roles. He implemented a recruitment program that increased the number of females in the 2018 recruitment intake to 50 per cent. Increasing female representation in non-traditional roles is a longstanding goal of the agency. John’s initiative accelerated its performance on gender balance and women’s career development. The results speak for themselves: 15 of the 30 road worker recruits in 2019 are female, along with 23 of 55 new apprentices and trainees. Thanks to John’s vision, the agency has 50/50 recruitment targets. It also aims to recruit more women in supervisory positions, where they can act as role models for the new generation of women entering the industry.
Joint Winner: Aboriginal Employment Strategy, Public Service Commission, Premier and Cabinet
Increasing Aboriginal employment rates is a challenge facing all sectors. An even bigger challenge is increasing the number of Aboriginal leaders in the NSW public sector, where the majority of Aboriginal employees occupy roles at lower levels. Recognising this, the Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES) set ambitious goals to increase the percentage of Aboriginal employees at all levels of the NSW public sector to 1.8 per cent. This increase would drive a more equal distribution of Aboriginal employees across organisations and create talent pipelines for senior executive roles. Under the AES, total NSW public sector Aboriginal employment grew from 2.8 per cent in 2014 to 3.3 per cent in 2018. This result was achieved three years ahead of schedule and exceeding the 2014 COAG national agreed target of 2.6per cent. The AES is on track to achieve 1.8 per cent Aboriginal representation at each level ahead of the 2021 target. This will support the Premier’s Priority of doubling the number of Aboriginal Senior Leaders by 2025.
Joint Winner: Revitalising Newcastle, Transport for NSW, Transport
Revitalising Newcastle is a A$650 million multi-agency government program focused on activating the city to attract people, jobs and tourists to Newcastle. The program was coordinated by Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation, in partnership with Transport for NSW, Roads and Maritime Service and the City of Newcastle. The program set out to deliver on six objectives; bring people back to the city centre; connect the city to its waterfront; help grow new jobs in the city centre; create great places linked to new transport; create economically sustainable public domain and community assets; preserve and enhance heritage and culture. Revitalising Newcastle delivered a new interchange, Australia’s first wire free light rail system. It also created new public spaces and revitalised land to provide education, mixed use development and affordable housing opportunities. Around A$3 billion of private investment has flowed into Newcastle since the NSW Government announced the program.
Winner: Mark Trebley, NSW Ambulance, Health
Significant disparities still exist in health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples compared to the rest of the population. One result of these disparities is poorer heart health. It is well established that delays between experiencing symptoms of a heart problem and calling for help have a negative effect on cardiovascular health. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities face several barriers that contribute to the alarming rates of cardiovascular incidents. In response, the Aboriginal Cardiac Education Program was established to reduce the substantial burden of cardiovascular disease through targeted, culturally sensitive, health promotion. It aims to improve health through empowerment, health literacy, development of strong trusting relationships and breaking down barriers. The innovative program includes six key areas of health that affect cardiovascular health including heart attack, stroke, diabetes, ICE, asthma and rheumatic heart disease. It has significantly increased community engagement with Aboriginal medical services across the state and will continue to be a driving force in closing the gap.
Winner: School Improvement though HSC performance. West Wallsend High School, Education.
Since 2014, West Wallsend High School’s executive team has collaborated to lead significant pedagogical change through purposeful, targeted, research-based teaching and leadership practice. This has been activated through the consistent design and delivery of contextualised quality professional learning in a capacity building model. Through a lens of strategic planning, students, staff and the community have been shifted students’ mindsets, particularly around HSC achievement. This has improved academic results and boosted rigour in relation to senior pathways. The desire to support core values drove this initiative. Teachers explored all options so that all students felt known, valued and cared for. Structures and programs were established so that students could access differentiated support. This meant that all students were given tools to achieve excellence, leading to successful personalised HSC pathways.
Joint Winner: Bella Vista Public School Shared Sporting Facilities, School Infrastructure NSW, Education
The Department of Education’s, School Infrastructure NSW (SINSW) delivered a new primary school for the growing community of Bella Vista in 2019. Representing a contemporary approach to school design and planning, it is an innovative social hub for the school and community. It also provides a benchmark for working with local council to deliver shared social infrastructure. This project shows what can be achieved through strong planning, collaboration and partnership between state and local governments, school operations and the community, particularly to fund and operate facilities. SINSW collaborated with The Hills Shire Council to deliver significantly enhanced facilities that benefit the school and local community. The project also gives the community high quality social infrastructure that aligns to local population growth. Well beyond the scope of a traditional school, joint-use facilities include a two-court indoor multi-purpose centre and a full-size synthetic football field with floodlights.
Joint Winner: North West Metro, Sydney Metro, Transport
Australia’s first fully automated railway, Metro Northwest, opened to customers on 26 May 2019. For the first time, commuters have a reliable turn-up-and-go rail service to a region of Sydney that has traditionally had fewer public transport options. It also has the highest car ownership levels per household in Australia. By creating Well Connected communities, Metro Northwest has fundamentally changed how customers get around Sydney – leaving a legacy for generations to come. More than 22,000 people have worked on the project, each with the shared objective of providing a rail line to connect to the region like never before. From planning to delivery, the team has been committed to the public sector values, focussing on providing excellent customer outcomes and innovative solutions in collaboration with stakeholders. As a result, this new world class railway was delivered on time and A$1 billion under budget.
Winner: Professor Kate Curtis, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, Health
Major injury is the biggest cause of death or disability among Australian’s aged 1-45, with NSW emergency departments treating almost 3million patients a year. Kate’s research, commitment, collaboration, customer focus and leadership directly achieved big improvements relating to major injuries. These include a 2019/2019 Federal Budget commitment for a National Injury Prevention Strategy; Adopting case management by trauma nurses, resulting in the greatest improvements in caring for severely injured patients in Australia and New Zealand over the past 10 years. Improving NSW Ambulance’s airway policy and equipment. Implementing a trauma admissions service in hospitals, reducing the number of deaths by 8 per cent and bed days by 700 per year for severely injured patients. Her research also led to introducing a dedicated trauma support role for severely injured children and their parents and adopting a model to improve emergency nurse assessments, which is being considered by the World Health Organisation. Finally, her work means the Independent Hospital Pricing Authority has applied an Urgency Weighted Groups classification weight for major trauma.
Honourable Mention: Jiandong Jiang, Transport for NSW
‘Wheel squeal’ is the high-pitched, very high-volume noise generated by trains as they travel on a curved track. It is the biggest source of noise complaints relating to the NSW rail network. For two decades, wheel squeal defied understanding and a workable economic solution. Jiandong undertook ground-breaking research, using extensive measurements and big data to identify the root cause of wheel. His research established that poor steering was the main cause. Fixing wagon steering stops wheel squeal. Eliminating this noise improves the quality of life for people living near rail lines. It also provides significant cost savings to government and the rail freight industry, Jiandong’s research has led to the introduction of a world-first standard for wagon steering and has identified cost-effective solutions to fix the problem. Industry has adopted this standard and is rolling out these solutions, benefiting the residents of NSW.
Winner: Improving the Emergency Department Patient Experience, Ministry of Health, Health
NSW Health provides world-class clinical care. The pilot project is seeking to improve each person’s experience of an emergency department by creating an environment that helps patients, carers and their families feel welcome, safe, cared-for and empowered. Four emergency departments, Blacktown, Lismore, Liverpool and Nepean - are participating in the six-month program. It is piloting four key strategies; introducing patient experience managers; enhancing waiting room facilities; multilingual digital patient information; and training staff to understand patient experiences. NSW Health has collaborated with Service NSW throughout the project to support the ‘patient experience manager’ role. The mid-point evaluation showed a significant improvement in the experiences of patients awaiting care in emergency departments. Real-time feedback kiosks have been an important tool in the ongoing evaluation. Patient satisfaction has improved by an average of 30 per cent across the four domains as well as overall patient satisfaction.
Winner: Jane Turner, Sydney Local Health District, Health
Jane Turner is an exercise physiologist who began work at the Sydney Cancer Survivorship gym in 2010, running the exercise component of its studies. She has been an integral member of the Sydney Survivorship Clinic team since it started in 2013, seeing every new cancer survivor and recommending an exercise program for them. Jane establishes regular exercise classes for cancer patients, instilling enthusiasm in people who often had been sedentary for years or had never been in a gym and were hesitant. Jane manages the gym, conducts physical assessments, devises individualised exercise programs for patients and provides behavioural counselling. She also runs exercise classes for patients at all stages of the cancer journey, tailoring the classes to their disease, ability, symptoms, comorbidities and interest. She is a dedicated, conscientious, caring and friendly health professional who has a passion and incredible ability to motivate cancer patients.