Supporting Innovation Month 2014

Last week I was delighted to launch Innovation Month 2014 in my official capacity as Secretary of the Department of Industry. This is a subject that matters to me personally as well as professionally, and I am very happy to be in a position where I can champion and support it.

As well as launching the Month, in my role as President of the ACT Division of the Institute of Public Administration Australia I was also very pleased to Chair the event “Is Australia Ready for the Public Service to be truly innovative?”. This featured an excellent range of speakers and a great discussion.

I mention both of these simply to emphasise that Innovation Month is something that matters to me – and hopefully it does to many of you too.

The Month, which this year runs from 7 July to 1 August, is a great opportunity to showcase the creativity and forward thinking taking place in the Australian public sector. The Month puts the spotlight on some of the innovations that are already happening in the public service; including the SME Business Planning ‘apps’ developed by my department, and the GovShare platform produced by the Department of Finance. We have put together a video (below) highlighting some of the novel initiatives that have been introduced by agencies, which I think provides a nice overview of the diversity of the APS and its work. I recommend watching it and, if you know of any other recent innovations, letting psi [at] (subject: Innovation%20examples) (my team) know about them.

For me this year’s theme of Empower, Collaborate, Transform resonates very well as it acknowledges and engages with how the public service is changing.

  • Empower As public servants it is our responsibility to be as effective as we can. We need to empower each other to think differently; to measure and be willing to take risks to try new things, and question how and why things are done the way they are. Innovation is an integral part of this responsibility.

  • Collaborate We also need to collaborate as we try new things – to learn from each other, to work together and to build on what has been done by others.

  • Transform Innovation Month can help us think about the role that we as public servants can play in the transformation to a more dynamic public service which can better adapt to a changing world and respond to service and financial pressures.

I’m proud to say the Department of Industry is taking a lead role in Innovation Month 2014 and the APS innovation initiative.

You can find out more about the Innovation Month 2014 programme of events here.

I look forward to seeing what comes from the diverse range of events and activities. Happy Innovation Month!