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A Friday Note - 6 November 2015

CONNECT - Message from the Chief Executive

Dear all,

Our State was hit by severe storms this week causing extensive flooding on many of our regional roads. I want to acknowledge the outstanding work of our various crews who worked in hazardous conditions in close collaboration with emergency services to make our roads safe.

Terrific to see how my Australiana quiz has captured your imagination and even prompted some of you to share your stories with me, along with your answers. As well as the answer, I also found out that Phil Agnew and Matthew Reedman from our rail engineering area both have wives working in the area of Native Title law.  Small world!

Now, besides Kaurna and Arabana, can you name five South Australian Aboriginal languages?


Do you want to develop your presentation and public speaking skills in a friendly and supportive environment? Go to for more information.


I’m pleased to announce that my Executive Group has agreed to move to a new more centralised approach to workplace health, safety and wellbeing in the Department.  This follows overwhelming feedback from staff that we need a better integrated safety approach with everyone working together as one team with one clear set of reporting lines and aligned objectives. Our new Safety section will be headed by Chris Jaensch who will bring together a number of currently separate groups under one umbrella to reduce duplication, leverage best practice and achieve consistency.


A key component of operating a safe and reliable railway is the ability for essential maintenance works to be undertaken. Access arrangements to the rail corridor were identified as a key issue during a reform workshop held with Rail Operations, Maintenance and Engineering in June 2015, and since this time work has been underway to reduce the red tape associated with undertaking work within the rail corridor as well as providing more certainty around access arrangements and time frames. Congratulations to those involved, this work exemplifies how living the values and behaviours together we can continually improve our approach to wider reform across the Department.


Belinda Halling from our Community Programs area told me a great story about how the Adelaide Day Centre for the Homeless made use of a community grant from our Department. The grant was to help the Centre deliver a project that assisted their clients to develop skills and confidence to use public transport and cycling rather than using their own car for transport. Finishing in June this year, the project resulted in around 9,500 km of car travel saved by clients using public transport. Great work.


Richard Sheridan

This picture really speaks for itself, but a huge well done to Richard Sheridan (pictured second from right) and his team who took on two employees with intellectual disabilities. Richard told me that David Mitchell and Dylan Stephens (pictured left and right) take great pride in a job well done, and Richard was pleased to accept a Barkuma employer award on behalf of our Department from His Excellency The Governor of South Australia recently for his work with David and Dylan. Our HR area also took on two employees from Barkuma who are currently learning the ropes.


I joined some 300 delegates at the Driverless Cars Conference yesterday. This historic event was made possible by the hard work and dedication of a team from our Safety and Policy Programs area. This Conference, along with tomorrow’s road trials is putting South Australia on the map as a serious player in the exciting development of driverless vehicle technology. Everyone involved should feel very proud.

Have a good weekend

Michael Deegan