Anthea Kerr Award

Tyler Haigh headshot

Tyler Haigh

NSW Health Pathology, HEALTH

Tyler is an ICT ‘dynamo’, creating NSW’s first online state-wide pathology test catalogue to provide fast, reliable access for clinicians. He was instrumental in developing our Australian-first COVID-19 SMS results solution and his efforts have allowed NSW Health Pathology to share innovative and life-changing ICT solutions in the most challenging times, without compromising safety or quality. Many of Tyler’s solutions have been adopted by Local Health District and Ministry of Health colleagues, helping them adapt and manage their own responses to the pandemic. He has been praised by every third-party partner, including industry giants Microsoft and Deloitte. A humble hero, his work has helped millions of people who will never know.

Blake Hughes headshot - Transport

Blake Hughes


Blake commenced his career at Transport straight out of high school in 2012, and has transformed from high achieving, technically gifted, planner to well-respected leader. Blake authored Transport’s Medium Term Strategic Fleet Plan and provided valuable contribution to the development of the More Trains More Services program. In his current role of Director Service Planning, Blake took on the challenge of establishing the new Service Planning directorate, growing the team from scratch whilst delivering exceptional customer outcomes across all public transport modes for the people of regional NSW. Blake has dedicated his career to the people of NSW and is an inspirational public servant and leader.

Bradley McEntee headshot

Bradley McEntee

Sydney Local Health District, HEALTH

Bradley McEntee is Infection Prevention and Control Nurse Manager at Special Health Accommodation quarantine facilities for returned international travellers, and community members who have tested positive to COVID-19.
Bradley commenced at a time of high community uncertainty, fear and rapidly changing advice in how to manage COVID-19 and its impact. Bradley was charged with developing and implementing stringent infection control practice and training across Special Health Accommodation sites. Bradley demonstrates inspiring leadership and passion for his work and has empowered and encouraged staff to operate safely and collaboratively with each other and external stakeholders. Bradley is highly regarded amongst his Local Health District colleagues and the broader health system for his professional and diligent work ethic.

Bec Mouy headshot

Bec Mouy

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, PLANNING, INDUSTRY AND ENVIRONMENT

Bec Mouy is an outstanding emerging leader who leads a key Premer’s Priority program stream for Greener Public Spaces. To date Bec has created and delivered three high profile and highly responsive COVID funding programs in record time. Across the programs, Bec identified key partners and built strong professional collaborations, ensuring program resilience and the greatest benefit to the community. Bec exemplifies great leadership when managing complex issues and interrogates all the information available, while considering the wider social, political and economic context, to quickly determine a well-rounded solution that supports all key stakeholders. Bec works at the highest calibre of professionalism, delivering exceptional work and encourages those around her to do the same.

Dr Joe Murphy headshot

Dr Joe Murphy

Murrumbidgee Local Health District, HEALTH

Raised on a farm near Bribaree in rural southern New South Wales, Dr Joe Murphy is committed to staying in the bush to provide healthcare as a rural generalist general practitioner with advanced training in obstetrics. Dr Murphy understands the complex issues faced by rural and remote regions and aims to improve access to holistic health care for physical and psychological wellbeing. As the first trainee on the Murrumbidgee Rural Generalist Training Pathway, Dr Murphy consistently shows compassion and integrity in his approach to his professional practice and leads by example. He inspires others to follow their dreams and not be hindered by their rurality. As a future Rural Generalist, Dr Murphy is passionate about ensuring rural areas are equipped with the health services they require to provide quality, holistic care close to homes.

Kaitlyn Vette headshot

Kaitlyn Vette

Sydney Children's Hospitals Network, HEALTH

Kaitlyn is a dedicated, passionate and highly collaborative emerging leader in public health who has provided outstanding leadership of critical research projects during the COVID-19 pandemic. As an epidemiologist at the National Centre for Immunisation Research and Surveillance (NCIRS), she has collaboratively delivered on several multi-organisational projects investigating the true rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection in NSW and nationally. Kaitlyn is dedicated in her pursuit of public service, with broad experience in managing infectious disease threats in the public sector at state, national and international levels. She is well renowned for her authenticity, diligence and ability to bring people together to excel in achieving outcomes.


NSW Public Servant of the Year

Professor Dominic Dwyer headshot

Professor Dominic Dwyer

NSW Health Pathology, HEALTH

Professor Dominic Dwyer’s clinical and scientific expertise and unwavering dedication has placed him at the heart of the State’s efforts to protect our community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. He is NSW Health Pathology’s Director of Public Health Pathology and medical virologist and infectious diseases physician at NSW Health Pathology's Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research (ICPMR) at Westmead Hospital, as well as a globally renowned researcher and media thought leader. Prof Dwyer’s ground-breaking research and work has enhanced the laboratory investigative capacity in NSW for infectious disease outbreaks and he recently led an expert team developing scientific breakthroughs in the health response to the pandemic. Working around the clock, he has helped establish and deliver a COVID-19 testing rate among the highest in the world per capita.

Suellen Fitzgerald headshot

Suellen Fitzgerald

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, PLANNING, INDUSTRY AND ENVIRONMENT

Suellen Fitzgerald has tirelessly advocated for the creation of a sustainable and unified urban parks agency for Sydney since 2006. She courageously led the vision for and establishment of Western Sydney Parklands, which she then realised through a 10-year program to create a sustainable financial base for the parklands through to the next century. Extending this administrative model over a unified urban parks agency for Sydney, she led a DPIE team to prepare a 50-year vision for Sydney parks and led her team to establish a Greater Sydney Parklands Trust to implement that vision. Suellen is Chief Executive of Greater Sydney Parklands, the innovative new city-wide voice for public green space and parks, bringing together some of Sydney’s most iconic places.

Kristine Macartney headshot

Professor Kristine Macartney

Sydney Children's Hospitals Network, HEALTH

Professor Kristine Macartney has provided outstanding expert leadership throughout the COVID-19 pandemic with innovative actions at state, national and global levels in public health and vaccine response. Kristine’s initiative, leadership and agility has driven expansion of existing and spearheaded new programs to enhance understanding of SARS-CoV-2 transmission, guide introduction of novel COVID-19 vaccines, actively monitor vaccine safety and assist COVID-19 vaccine roll out in Asia-Pacific countries. A highly engaging passionate leader, Kristine’s technical skill and innate ability to motivate, support and inspire collaboration have contributed to the success of NSW and Australia’s COVID-19 response. She has tirelessly supported multiple state, national and global health leaders and advised governments, health professionals and the public through the ever-changing and complex COVID-19 vaccine program introduction.

Liam Ryan headshot

Liam Ryan

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, PLANNING, INDUSTRY AND ENVIRONMENT

In May 2020, Liam Ryan set up a project to tackle the significant challenges now facing NSW with four of our five remaining coal power stations set to retire in the next 15 years. Liam led a cross-functional project team to prepare a once-in-a-generation reform package that became the Electricity Infrastructure Roadmap and Electricity Infrastructure Investment Act 2020. The Roadmap will deliver up to $32 billion of investment over the next 10 years and transition NSW to a more secure, affordable and clean energy future. This project would not have succeeded without Liam’s leadership. His dedication, expertise and public service professionalism were exemplary. His tireless and collaborative work will deliver public value for the people of NSW, both now and in the future.

June Song

Dr June Song

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, PLANNING, INDUSTRY AND ENVIRONMENT

In an area of the public service that was recently described by the NSW Ombudsman as a "shell game", quiet achiever June Song has elevated the Natural Resources Access Regulator from a reactive, complaint-response water management agency, to a proactive, intelligence led regulator capable of tackling the State's largest water compliance issues. Through her efforts in automating linkages between the NSW Water Accounting, Water Licensing and Geographic Information Systems with cutting-edge satellite data feeds, the people of NSW and the Murray-Darling Basin can have confidence that breaches of water law can and will be detected, and acted on, to restore public confidence, transparency and equity in the State's management of its most precious resource – water.

Belgin Tran headshot

Belgin Tran

Department of Customer Service, CUSTOMER SERVICE

Belgin Tran is a Service NSW Project Director who has overseen major NSW Government initiatives often requiring urgent rollout to customers in heightened times of need. Belgin has successfully led her fast paced team and many stakeholders across DCS to deliver programs such as COVID Safe Check In, Dine & Discover, Vaccine Expression of Interest webform, Small Business Hardship Grants, Flood Grants and Registrations, COVID School Check In and NSW Mouse Control Rebate. One of the most important roles Service NSW played last year was to support customers and communities through their recovery from COVID-19 and NSW flood disaster. As the front door for recovery for people impacted by recent events, Belgin directed these projects in their initial design phases through to the program delivery.


A Strong Economy

Skilling for Recovery team photo

Development of Skilling for Recovery for A Strong Economy

Department of Education, EDUCATION

The development of Skilling for Recovery (SfR) aimed to address impacts of COVID-19 on NSW workers and industries. With minimal resources, the team designed and secured $318.6m for initiatives to upskill, retrain, redeploy and employ displaced workers. They identified and targeted key pain points in real displaced worker persona ‘journeys’ and established customer-centred navigation and advice. They traced ‘job corridors’ to ‘job opportunity’ occupations then unlocked connections between workers, skilling and employers needing skilled workers. 

NSW Government Graduate Program team

NSW Government Graduate Program

Public Service Commission, PREMIER AND CABINET

In five years, the NSW Government Graduate Program has become the premier graduate program in Australia and has seen over 800 graduates participate. The retention of graduates in the sector is around 80% and many graduates are well on their way to becoming leaders, moving quickly through the non-executive grades. The unified program creates meaningful jobs in regional and metropolitan NSW and provides a pathway for graduates from all backgrounds to grow and realise their potential as future leaders. Those who complete the program are well rounded individuals who model the public service values in serving the citizens of NSW.

NSW Health Solar Program team

NSW Health Solar Program

Ministry of Health, HEALTH

NSW is leading the world in solar energy for public health. This year the largest solar-panel system on a hospital in the world was completed (John Hunter Hospital); ten major hospitals now have solar roofs, with the whole health system following. Health’s electricity bills have been reduced by $8 million, and approximately 33,000 tonnes of carbon emissions—the equivalent emission from 7,000 cars—were stopped. This project is building a stronger future for health care in NSW. Through a better energy supply more money can go into our state’s health during crises, making the health system more resilient for decades—no matter what crises we face.

NSW Personal Injury Commission team

NSW Personal Injury Commission Team

Department of Customer Service, CUSTOMER SERVICE

The establishment of the NSW Personal Injury Commission (PIC) in 2021 was a significant milestone in the NSW Government’s commitment to reform the workers compensation by creating a single dispute resolution body for both compulsory third party insurance motor accidents and workers compensation cases. The PIC is an independent, modern, future-proofed tribunal focused on customer service delivery with respect to personal injury dispute resolutions in New South Wales. It is designed to improve the experience for all customers while reducing any process trauma for injured people navigating disputes in both the workers compensation and motor vehicle accidents schemes.

Revenue NSW taxes and analytics taking a customer-centred approach to reduce the tax gap

Department of Customer Service, CUSTOMER SERVICE

Over the last 3 years Revenue NSW collected $370m in additional revenue and is continuing to make it easier for customers to comply. Future forecasts to close the gap between what is paid and what should be paid are predicting an additional $1bn. The teams are using innovative service design and applying unique combinations of customer design thinking, behavioural science, compliance by design and analytics, to innovate the online experience for customers and create greater payment flexibility. Collaborating with colleagues around the Department of Customer Service and in NSW Treasury, a series of different initiatives delivered significant improvements the overall customer experience.

NSW Treasury

Aboriginal Career Development and Mentoring Program team at Transport for NSW

Transport's Aboriginal Career Development and Mentoring Program


Our Aboriginal workforce brings much valued skills and knowledge not just to Transport but to the NSW community. The Aboriginal Career Development and Mentoring Program (ACDMP) provides aspiring Aboriginal leaders from across Transport with an opportunity to develop their careers through structured mentoring. A reverse mentoring component builds cultural capability amongst senior leaders when supporting these career development outcomes. The ACDMP has been successful in developing relationships, respect and opportunities for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people across Transport.


Excellence in Digital Innovation

Zero Childhood Cancers team

A Childhood Cancer National Precision Medicine Program

Sydney Children's Hospitals Network, HEALTH

Zero Childhood Cancer is transforming the management of high-risk cancer in children. Each tumour undergoes rapid, comprehensive genome sequencing and drug testing which is then analysed by a national tumour board. The trial identified reportable molecular aberrations in more than 90% of patients, and to date 25% of patients have received a new treatment with the majority showing clinical benefit – 40% have had a cessation of tumour growth and 30% have had their tumours shrink. This comprehensive, national precision medicine program, spearheaded by our team has led to profound changes in management and outcomes for children with high-risk cancers from around Australia.

Prof Michelle Haber, Children’s Cancer Institute

NSW Health Pathology Internet of Things team photo

Connecting patients and clinicians with results in real time to save lives

NSW Health Pathology, HEALTH

A unique collaboration has delivered an innovative, integrated diagnostic pipeline, resulting in a world-first in open diagnostic equipment connectivity. Point of care diagnostic technology across NSW Health’s public hospital system is connecting patients and clinicians with results in real time, enabling results that took hours to only take minutes. Clinical teams can quickly determine the risk of transferring acutely ill patients to larger hospitals, and pathology results and vital signs data can be sent directly to clinical staff via electronic medical records or myHealthRecord in near real-time to save more lives.

eHealth, Siemens, Microsoft, NewieVentures and Dius

COVID Safe Check In app team

COVID Safe Check-In App

Department of Customer Service, CUSTOMER SERVICE

With COVID-19 reaching Australia, the importance of contact tracing required a tool to allow businesses and customers to record their contact information. Service NSW in partnership with NSW Health and the broader Department of Customer Service (DCS) rapidly developed a check-in solution, using QR Codes, offered via the MyServiceNSW App. Through this digital solution, NSW has managed to track and contain COVID-19 in our community, ensuring the health, safety and wellbeing of NSW. The effectiveness of this solution has led other state governments to develop similar solutions, a demonstration of how NSW Government is leading the way.

NSW Health

COVID-19 vaccination management systems team

NSW Health’s COVID-19 vaccination management systems


Since the inception of NSW Health’s COVID-19 vaccination program, eHealth NSW rapidly developed a digital system to fast-track the vaccination of frontline workers. This solution continued to be enhanced and was ultimately made available for bookings by general public. In parallel, to ensure scalability and ease of use, work commenced with industry to design a platform for managing the entire vaccination administration process: from booking an appointment, to tracking vaccination doses, recording clinical information and interfacing with the Australian Immunisation Register.

NSW Ministry of Health, Local Health Districts, ICT industry partners (Microsoft, ServiceNow, Dialogue, Whispir)

Telestroke team photo

NSW Telestroke Service


The NSW Telestroke Service saves lives and reduces disability for stroke patients in rural and regional NSW. Telestroke is a virtual care initiative providing access to ground-breaking time-critical treatments previously limited or unavailable due to geographical barriers. Telestroke connects local Emergency Department doctors to stroke specialists, available 24/7 via video consultation. Patients receive treatment closer to home and are only transferred if they need more complex treatment.

South Eastern Sydney Local Health District, Agency for Clinical Innovation, eHealth NSW, Hunter New England Local Health District, Mid North Coast Local Health District, Central Coast Local Health District, Illawarra Shoalhaven Local Health District, Murrumbidgee Local Health District, Northern NSW Local Health District, Western NSW Local Health District, Southern NSW Local Health District, Far West Local Health District, Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District, Stroke Foundation

COVID-19 Quarantine saliva testing team

Turning the other cheek on COVID-19 quarantine testing

Sydney Local Health District, HEALTH

Within days after the NSW Premier asked all 3,500+ Sydney airport, quarantine and border workers to have a COVID-19 test at the start of every shift, a collaboration led by Sydney Local Health District and NSW Health Pathology created a COVID-19 saliva self-testing solution — making it easier to get test samples at scale and faster to get results. A mobile app was developed and approximately 50 kiosks were installed at all quarantine facilities and at Sydney Airport. This solution has enabled ongoing surveillance of quarantine and border workers and early detection of COVID transmission.

Sydney Local Health District, NSW Health Pathology, State Health Emergency Operations Centre, eHealth NSW, Ms Nicole Nixon & Mr Yazz Krishna Alphalitica Pty Ltd (trading as Five Faces), St Johns Ambulance


Highest Quality Education

Aboriginal Learning and Engagement Centres team

Aboriginal Learning and Engagement Centres

Department of Education, EDUCATION

Supported by NSW Premier's Implementation Unit, Aboriginal Learning and Engagement Centres were identified to deliver personalised learning support to increase numbers of students supported across critical learning points in later secondary schooling to achieve the HSC. This aligns with Premier's Priority to increase HSC attainment for Aboriginal students by 50% by 2023 while maintaining their cultural identity.

Centres have operated for over 1 year in 17 secondary public schools reaching 1300 students in Years 10-12, and feedback from Year 10 Aboriginal students indicates a 20% uplift in students reporting that they feel their culture is valued and that their teachers value their culture.

NSW Coalition of Aboriginal Peak Organisations, NSW Aboriginal Education Consultative Group

The Game Changer Challenge team

The Game Changer Challenge

Department of Education, EDUCATION

The Game Changer Challenge is the NSW Department of Education’s annual design thinking initiative that promotes future-focused skills among students and teachers. Open to all 2,200+ NSW public schools, the challenge provides primary and secondary students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills to solving a real-world ‘wicked’ problem, translating learning from the classroom into a real-life context. The challenge ensures our young people are equipped with the skills they need for future jobs.

Outside School Hours Care Hubs – Innovative solution for before and after school care

Department of Education, EDUCATION

In 2019, the NSW Government allocated $120 million to improve access to before and after school care (BASC) at public schools across the state, to fill gaps in access to care and clear waiting lists in areas of high demand. The Out of School Hours Care (OSHC) Hub Program is one strategy developed by the BASC Program Team which delivers custom-made modular buildings that offer onsite care in schools who lack appropriate existing facilities, and have suitable, available space for a modular building. Each hub includes equipment tailored to the needs of each school including additional educational resources, play equipment, toilets and storage.

Camp Australia

Three Time for Nature Time for Nurture Executives

Time for Nature, Time for Nurture

Department of Education, EDUCATION

Time for Nature, Time for Nurture is a whole school initiative centred around creating meaningful, unique and interactive learning experiences for students with complex mental health needs, autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disabilities. With the help of various grants, the team created programs and learning spaces that allow students to engage with nature and sustainability in a real and practical way. Since the introduction of this initiative, there has been an increase in student attendance and staff satisfaction, and a decrease in significant incidents and student suspension numbers.

Cherub Landscaping


Putting the Customer at the Centre

COVID 19 Communications Campaign team photo

COVID-19 Communications Campaign – Outbreak Response

Department of Customer Service, CUSTOMER SERVICE

The Brand, Digital and Communications team at the Department of Customer Service has supported the NSW Government’s successful response to the COVID-19 pandemic by delivering a large scale and highly targeted public health advertising campaign. Working collaboratively with other agencies across government, the team has delivered critical, relevant and engaging information to citizens and businesses when and where they needed it, particularly during outbreaks. This work has helped establish NSW Government’s reputation as the trusted source of information during the pandemic and empowered the community and businesses to play their part in keeping NSW COVID safe.

NSW Health, Multicultural NSW

Flood and bushfire response team

Flood and Bushfire response teams

Department of Customer Service, CUSTOMER SERVICE

In response to the 2019-20 bushfires, Service NSW quickly established a team to help communities facing the devastation left behind. Teams were on the ground in disaster assistance hubs connecting communities with essential supports and resources such as access to accommodation and food, financial relief payments and legal assistance. This support was instrumental in helping people get back on their feet and starting the road to recovery. In March 2021, communities across the state were again left devastated by catastrophic storms and floods, and Service NSW response teams were again quickly deployed to provide essential support and assistance to those affected.

Beau in front of school bus

Getting Beau to school!


Punchbowl Bus Company approached Transport to see how they could support Year 3 student (Beau) from Bradfordville Public School, Goulburn, to travel to school with his friends and siblings. Beau has a physical disability that has made it difficult for him to catch his school bus, having to slide on his bottom to get up and down stairs, a degrading situation, before being confined to a wheelchair that the bus didn’t cater for. Helping Beau required some out of the box thinking that challenged Transport’s way of working. The Southern Contracts team worked with the school, the bus operator and Beau’s family to think outside the box and put arrangements in place to get Beau to school for 2020!

Primary Care Flying Squad team

Primary Care Flying Squad

Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network, HEALTH

The Primary Care Flying Squad (PCFS) consists of multidisciplinary team Primary Care clinicians to create a flexible service model that improves specialty healthcare services to patients. The project provides targeted, timely state-wide patient care that maximises clinicians’ ability to deliver care, particularly in rural locations, and increases Health Centre staff's clinical capabilities in clinical decisions, triage and referral. Patients have improved access to care based on their clinical need and informed throughout the process through timely and effective communication notifications.

NESA team

Stay Healthy HSC Campaign

NSW Education Standards Authority, EDUCATION

What started out as a low-key wellbeing initiative between the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and mental health service provider ReachOut, was set to become the largest cross-sector HSC campaign ever rolled out in NSW. The #StayHealthyHSC communications campaign encouraged Year 12 students to maintain their mental and physical health leading up to and during their HSC exams. Targeting NSW Year 12 students and their parents, the campaign used organic social media, paid social media and content creator components to amplify campaign messaging and drive customers to wellbeing resources on the Stay Healthy HSC Hub. It generated over 10.8 million impressions across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and Tiktok.

ReachOut Australia, The Association of Independent Schools of NSW, Catholic Schools NSW, Design and Opinion

Mass Vaccination Centre team photo

Welcome to the NSW Health Mass Vaccination Centre

Sydney Local Health District, HEALTH

As part of the roll-out of NSW’s Vaccination Program, NSW Health under the leadership of State Health Emergency Operations Centre (SHEOC) set about establishing a mass vaccination centre to significantly increase the capacity of NSW to vaccinate its citizens. SLHD and SHEOC operationalised the first mass vaccination centre for NSW and vaccinated more than 300,000 people in its first two months. From its inception, they have put the customer at the centre to ensure that the experience of every person vaccinated is a positive one to increase the confidence of the community in being vaccinated.

Sydney Local Health District, SHEOC, Western Sydney Local Health District, South Western Sydney Local Health District, NSW Department of Customer Service, Department of Communities and Justice, Sydney Olympic Park Authority, Transport NSW, NSW Police, NSW Ambulance, HealthShare NSW, St Johns Ambulance, HealthDirect, eHealth, Ramsay Healthcare, University of Sydney, Western Sydney University, Five Faces, Patti’s Hire, Exponet, KADOR, DJ WEAR managing agents, GJS Property


Recovery and Resilience

Agency of Clinical Innovation team photo

The COVID-19 Critical Intelligence Unit

Agency for Clinical Innovation, HEALTH

The COVID-19 Critical Intelligence Unit (CIU) was formed by the Secretary of NSW Health in March 2020 and swiftly established itself as a valuable source of integrated evidence, and support for decision-makers across the NSW health system and beyond. The unit developed innovative approaches to evidence and data collation and established a flexible, agile and low-cost operating model able to respond to changes in circumstances and urgency. It brings together clinical, analytic, research and policy experts from across NSW Health and has paved the way for the adoption of new evidence-generation and dissemination approaches post-pandemic.

eHealth, Ministry of Health, NSW Ambulance, Bureau of Health Information, Cancer Institute NSW

Disaster response legal service team photo

Disaster Response Legal Service


Demand for legal help soared following the devastating 2019–20 bushfires, as individuals faced urgent legal problems about their housing, insurance, workplace rights and debts. Legal Aid NSW rapidly established the Disaster Response Legal Service (DRLS), offering trauma-informed legal help where it was needed most. A multi-channel approach included a dedicated helpline and solicitors on the ground in communities. The DRLS has provided over 2150 legal services in its first 18 months and helped shape a resilient NSW through proactive community legal education, reaching over 3000 people.

Emergency Services Project Team - Service NSW Dine and Discover team

Emergency Services Project Team – Service NSW

Department of Customer Service, CUSTOMER SERVICE

The Emergency Services Portfolio project team has supported numerous major NSW Government initiatives including support measures for COVID-19, Bushfires and Flood grant relief. Project teams are stood up quickly with involvement of teams across Department of Customer Service and Service NSW (Service Delivery, Partnerships, Projects and Insights, Digital, Risk, Strategy and Performance), as well as partner agencies (Resilience NSW, NSW Health, Treasury, Regional NSW, Destination NSW).

Nimmie-Caira team

Gayini Nimmie-Caira wetlands

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, PLANNING, INDUSTRY AND ENVIRONMENT

The restoration of the Gayini Nimmie-Caira has delivered the ecological restoration of a wetland complex at a scale unmatched since federation, returned the land to Indigenous ownership and management, and created a sustainable commercial enterprise to drive the local economy and fund ongoing investment into the environment for the future. The Gayini Nimmie-Caira project area covers nearly 85,000 hectares in the lower reaches of the Murrumbidgee River floodplain. Its restoration is one of the most ambitious projects under the Murray Darling Basin Plan and nationally it is the most successful example of public funds being used to further inspire investment for the benefit of the environment, business and regional communities.

Hotel Quarantine Program team

Hotel Quarantine Program

Department of Regional NSW, REGIONAL NSW

The NSW Hotel Quarantine Program exemplifies the successful collaboration between cross-NSW government agencies to achieve a common objective – responding to the Public Health (COVID-19 Air Transportation Quarantine) Order. The program is arguably the largest security operation of a continuous nature run in Australia’s history, requiring unprecedented outstanding performance from the NSW security industry - a process managed by the Public Works Advisory (PWA) within Regional NSW. By June 2021 over 200,000 people were processed across 22 quarantine hotel sites. The PWA conducted 4,913 audits of key risk areas and vulnerabilities, and up to 2,748 authorised guards provided almost 3.9 million hours of security work.

NSW Police, NSW Health, Treasury

Courier delivers samples of COVID tests

Keeping NSW COVID safe during testing times throughout 2020/21

NSW Health Pathology, HEALTH

NSW Health Pathology’s 15 dedicated COVID labs have performed millions of COVID-19 tests. Highly respected experts have carried out robust scientific evaluations of emerging technologies to support a fast, comprehensive state-wide response. Key scientific innovations and the creation of an automated SMS solution to deliver faster results direct to patients for the first time have been game changing. Trusted globally, NSWHP’s Professor Dominic Dwyer was one of 17 experts invited by the World Health Organisation to visit Wuhan to trace the origins of the virus. Importantly, NSWHP’s 5,000+ workforce works tirelessly behind the scenes to keep our community safe.


Tackling Longstanding Social Challenges

A fairer fines system and support for the vulnerable team

A fairer fines system and support for the vulnerable

Department of Customer Service, CUSTOMER SERVICE

A fairer fines system for all has been developed to help break cycles of disadvantage for vulnerable people including First Nations people and vulnerable youth. Experience and customer feedback indicated the system was burdened with complicated processes and was ineffective for vulnerable customers who experience difficulty paying their fines. A fairer fines system was created by amending legislation and introducing the Fines Amendment Act 2019 (the Act), implementing innovative technology, providing a wider range of options, being proactive in approach to customers and through collaboration with vulnerable customers, government and non-government organisations.

Department of Communities and Justice

Electronic Monitoring Team

Department of Communities and Justice, STRONGER COMMUNITIES

To monitor Domestic and Family Violence perpetrators and protect victims, Electronic Monitoring staff developed and operationalised front-end procedures to provide sound and effective monitoring to a group of high-risk Domestic Violence offenders who had an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order with a defined geographical exclusion. This was overlayed with a group of victims who are provided with a device that allows them to be co-monitored against the location of specific offenders. The program was the first of its kind in Australia and has run continually since. Over 400 offenders having been monitored on the program which is delivered by Electronic Monitoring staff 24/7.

Sydney Local Health District Pregnancy Family Conferencing team headshots

Innovations in Sydney District Pregnancy Family Conferencing

Sydney Local Health District, HEALTH

Sydney Local Health District has produced a trauma-informed program offered to women and their families where significant child protection concerns have been identified for their unborn or newborn baby. Approximately half the families referred are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and experience a range of vulnerabilities including substance use, mental illness, homelessness and domestic and family violence. The program aims to give families a voice in the process and participation is voluntary with meetings facilitated by an independent person. Families can meet with a Parent Supporter who has lived experience of the program and who provide a source of support, improving families’ experience of participating and therefore their ability to create meaningful and sustained change to break the cycle of disadvantage.

Department of Communities and Justice Sydney District

Forensic Hospital team

Reducing Restrictive Practices in the Forensic Hospital

Justice Health and Forensic Mental Health Network, HEALTH

The Forensic Hospital (FH) is the only high secure mental health facility in NSW. Patients have been transitioned from the criminal justice system due to mental illness or are high-risk civil mental health patients that can't be safely cared for in community inpatient units. Traditionally within mental health security facilities, seclusion and restraint have been used for patients with aggressive behavioural disturbances. In 2016, the Hospital pursued a more recovery oriented and trauma informed approach to care and reduce restrictive practices. The Hospital is seeing significant reduction of restrictive practices, reduced staff injuries due to patient aggression and increased health outcomes for patients in our care.

Suicide Monitoring System team photo

Suicide Monitoring System

Department of Communities and Justice, STRONGER COMMUNITIES

Reducing suicide deaths is a critical priority, but efforts have been hampered by a lack of detailed, up-to-date data. To address this, NSW Health, Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ), the State Coroner and NSW Police collaborated to establish NSW’s first Suicide Monitoring System (SuMS). The system provides information to communities and government agencies to respond to suicide in a timely and coordinated way and helps to guide local planning and responses, supporting local Suicide Prevention Collaboratives. Initial data shows that suicide deaths in NSW reduced by nearly 5% in 2020.

NSW Health, NSW Police

Team Photo - Wirrimbirra Aboriginal Family Preservation Service

Wirrimbirra Aboriginal Family Preservation Service

Department of Communities and Justice, STRONGER COMMUNITIES

Wirrimbirra, a Wiradjuri word meaning “to keep or preserve”, is supporting Aboriginal families to stay together safely and children to grow up with kin and on country. Launched in early 2020, Wirrimbirra is designed by Aboriginal practitioners, employs 90% Aboriginal workers and walks alongside families to achieve positive change in their lives. The service is having successes in working with families whose children are at high-risk of entering care. It has earned a high degree of community trust in supporting families to shape their own future, through case management, access to therapeutic services and practical in-home assistance for up to two years.

NSW Health, NSW Police


Well Connected Communities with Quality Local Environments

Wyong Hospital Health Infrastructure team

Creating a lasting legacy – the Wyong Hospital Redevelopment

Health Infrastructure, HEALTH

The Wyong Hospital Redevelopment is revolutionising healthcare with infrastructure that embraces a bespoke arts and culture program and created a wealth of local employment opportunities. The redevelopment has provided sustainable infrastructure to support the community's health needs. It is more than a hospital – it’s a safe space for the Central Coast community that connects people to vital services, provides employment opportunities and supports people to live healthier lifestyles. The project improved opportunities in the construction sector for marginalised and local populations during the COVID pandemic. A bespoke art and culture strategy created a culturally safe and welcoming facility for all.

Central Coast Local Health District, Richard Crookes Constructions, Novaskill, The Creative Ingredient, The Makers Studio Central Coast Inc., Colliers International Project Management, Wesley Wyong OOSH, GNL/Gudjagang Ngara Li-dhi Aboriginal Corporation, Nunyara Aboriginal Health Unit, Darkinyung Language Group Inc, Central Coast Local Health District Aboriginal Health Advisory Council

Free Tree Giveaway team

Free Tree Giveaway

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, PLANNING, INDUSTRY AND ENVIRONMENT

To create a sustainable and liveable Greater Sydney, we need more green cover. In August 2020, the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment launched a pilot Free Tree Giveaway across Greater Sydney and more than 20,700 trees were planted in yards across every LGA. Community feedback revealed 49% of participants planted more trees in their backyard as a result, 81% encouraged others to plant trees, and 79% would recommend the program. In 2021, the Free Tree Giveaway was scaled with two partnerships, Bunnings and IndigiGrow, an aboriginal enterprise nursery. The program has delivered over 55,000 trees to date. Every tree contributes to the Greening our City Premier’s Priority of one million trees across Greater Sydney by 2022.

IndigiGrow Nursery, Bunnings Group Limited

Leagues Club Park team

Leagues Club Park, Gosford

Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, PLANNING, INDUSTRY AND ENVIRONMENT

Leagues Club Park has been transformed from an under-utilised field into an innovative, versatile and culturally significant space for the entire community to enjoy. The Park facilitates play, community events, sport and exercise, and environmental stewardship within its 2.4 hectares. The project was led by Hunter and Central Coast Development Corporation which worked collaboratively across government and with local stakeholders to deliver community benefits for Gosford and the wider region. Leagues Club Park is a new drawcard for the Gosford CBD, supporting the local economy while improving community wellbeing in a city experiencing unprecedented growth.

Darkinjung Local Aboriginal Land Council (major partner), Central Coast Council, Turf Design Studio

Newtown Station Garden team - Transport for NSW

Newtown Station Garden


Newtown Garden is located beside Newtown Train Station and revitalises underutilised land owned by Sydney Trains to provide an urban farming precinct to support the local community. This upcycled green space is an innovation which scales an affordable kit-of-parts to grow high-yield, high-turnaround crops to support the local not-for-profit business, Lentil As Anything. Newtown Garden provides a triple bottom line solution with social, environment and economic benefits for customers, the community and Transport and hopes to expand along the transport network connecting the people of NSW with more sustainable places to live healthier lifestyles.

Lentil As Anything

Bike riding infrastructure team at Transport for NSW

Rapid roll-out of new bike riding infrastructure in response to COVID-19


During the COVID-19 pandemic, with physical distancing restrictions on public transport and surging bike sales, Transport for NSW delivered new bike riding infrastructure and encouraged more people to ride a bike instead of driving or catching public transport. This included more than 28km of additional cycleways rolled out, or in delivery, across Sydney and regional NSW; reduced speed limits across ten areas; an advertising behaviour change campaign; creating a Bike Riding TripPlanner giving customers a choice of bike routes by confidence level; funding tech start-ups to tackle barriers for new bike riders; and making the one-stop shop for walking and bike riding customer information.

Share our Space

Department of Education, EDUCATION

Share our Space (SoS) offers communities access to green spaces and play equipment at participating schools by opening school grounds during holiday breaks. SoS now runs activations across NSW delivered in partnership with the Office of Sport and Sporting Codes to give the community a reason to come into the green space and participate in sporting activities. Partnering with the PCYC, Headspace and Regional NSW, quality programs are offered in regional and metro schools to engage youth and community. Activations run in vulnerable communities affected by drought to provide vocation education and wellbeing activities for communities in times of need.