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NSW Premier's Awards

2021 Winners

Anthea Kerr Award

Winner: 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.


NSW Public Servant of the Year

Winner: 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.

Honourable Mention: 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.


A Strong Economy

Winner: 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. 

Honourable Mention: 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.


Excellence in Digital Innovation

Winner: 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

Honourable Mention: 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)


Highest Quality Education

Winner: 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.


Putting the Customer at the Centre

Winner: 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


Honourable Mention: 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!


Recovery and Resilience

Winner: 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


Honourable Mention: 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).


Tackling Longstanding Social Challenges

Winner: 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.


Well Connected Communities with Quality Local Environments

Winner: 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