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A Friday Note - 29 May 2015

Dear All,

The chill of autumn is in the air. Great time to go and see a movie. For those who haven’t seen Donnie Darko, a cult film, it is worth a look. Not for the faint hearted.

SAFETY

The Institute of Public Works Engineering Australasia Excellence Awards recognised some of the department’s work last Friday night. A commendation was awarded for the wire rope safety barrier in the median of Main North Road, a first in the state for this type of roadway. The project was led  by Amit Dua and is the result of a collaboration between staff from road safety, project delivery, planning and design, field services and the environment team - well done all. Another example of working together for safety outcomes. This continues to be an area of considerable focus.

REJUVENATION

Meetings held this week were well attended - a positive sign. The more clear the communication and dialogue the better. If something sounds unbelievable it probably is. For example there is no need for compulsory CVs - this is an opportunity for those who are affected (not everyone)  to make sure they can place their best foot forward.

The Guiding  principles for transition is the best single source of information about questions of detail – ‘fenced’ processes etc. I have encouraged managers to have regular discussions at least weekly with their staff either collectively, in small groups or one on one. I am happy  to also attend wherever possible. I have been delighted to receive direct questions and comments from staff across the organisation, from our regional offices and from people at all levels. These direct communications with me are treated confidentially unless I have your approval to get advice.

Management appointments
The following managers have been appointed to DPTI’s leadership team:

  • Manager Registration and Licensing Policy, Jane Fitzgerald 

TVSPs

I continue to get sensible proposals from staff wanting to take the opportunity for early retirement, provide opportunities for younger staff and even to take a break and consider career alternatives. Of course we seek to balance this against the business needs of the organisation.

DEVELOPING  YOUNG STAFF

We have excellent younger staff across the department - more than 700 - who deliver our services now, and will into the future. From my involvement it seems some of them don’t feel empowered by managers to take responsibility, to make decisions and provide new thinking.

On Wednesday a step was taken towards rectifying this. A group of more than 60 young staff, including many from our regional offices, came together to discuss career paths, skills development and other ideas. The event was very well organised by the Youth Communication Platform Team, including Daniel  Cappello and Robert Kane.

However, we need to do more. Rejuvenation calls for engagement and encouragement at all levels, including the younger people in the organisation. If you manage younger staff, encourage them to ask questions or share their ideas so we can all benefit from their perspective and develop their talent.

RECONCILIATION  BREAKFAST

On Wednesday twenty of our staff attended the Reconciliation SA breakfast themed ‘I’m Not Racist But...!’. Mick Gooda, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner with the Australian Human Rights Commission, spoke about the RACISM  IT STOPS WITH ME campaign, to which this department is a signatory. Reconciliation involves justice, recognition and healing. 

WELL DONES

The efforts of a DPTI and Service SA project, with teams led by Stuart Gilbert (Registration and Licensing Reform) and Peter Hibberd (IT), have made it possible for Service SA staff to process transactions a lot faster and cut down waiting time for customers. A transaction process involving two computer  systems has been reduced to one, which means less steps and an estimated average time saving of 32 seconds per transaction. Given there are over 1.5 million transactions per year, this will make a significant difference.

Correspondence from the Chair of Pork SA confirms the benefits of building reforms for farmers introduced earlier in the year by the Building Policy team, led by Jodie Evans and Noel Mensforth. Matthew Starick wrote “These outputs provide greater certainty with regard to piggery developments”.

SA Health’s Women’s and Children’s Health Network wrote to thank Facilities Services staff for their advice. As a direct result of the team’s good work, led by Cathy Johnson and Peter Koszegi, the Women’s and Children’s Hospital will be replacing fluorescent tubes  in some parts of its buildings with LED lighting. The new lights use less energy, are brighter and cost less to maintain.

Have a good weekend.

Michael Deegan