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A Friday Note - 4 December 2015

Dear all,

As I, like many, go on annual leave, I would like to share my reflections on 2015 and our reform journey across DPTI.

As well as the much sharper focus on all that we now do within DPTI, one of the very positive aspects of our reform process is about collaboration and how so many are genuinely trying to work together across the disciplines and across the state to the benefit of the citizens. The enthusiasm of some people is contagious.

There is no doubt that change is hard and challenging to us all but, for South Australia, it is essential. Across the organisation, I do see people stepping up and having a go; I see people challenging and suggesting better ways of doing business; I see people really committed to providing the best possible service whether it be on the trams and trains or in our facilities management area or in developing solutions to our transport problems.

I see people dealing with difficult tasks such as property acquisition with sensitivity; I see people facilitating development with a ‘bias for yes’; I see good questions and discussions about ‘value for money’ and spending $ in the right places; I see fantastic action on our major projects (whether it be T2T or building works or rail projects), I see genuine efforts to create jobs for SA, to create sustainable jobs for aboriginal people.

I have seen people becoming more skilled in undertaking investigation leading to a safer work environment; I have been amazed by the innovation in pockets across DPTI and want to expand further. I see people step up in times of crisis and including the recent bushfire disasters. I see people working really hard to respond to social media questions and challenges. I see real attempts at working with communities and less ‘announce and defend’.

But what could we do better?

I think we could do more towards really changing our safety culture I would still like to see more hazard identification and reporting. I don’t do this enough yet but am working on it.

We could all do more about challenging the status quo and the way we do business. I am sure that we have not got this right yet.

I think we need to do more ‘listening’ and perhaps less defending of our own view or position. I really value the information and different perspective that others can offer me and I think our organisation could continue to grow if we ‘listened’ more.

I would like us to be increasingly more respectful of each other, of difference and of levels of understanding.  I want us to value the roles played by others, as I believe that most people do focus on doing the very best that they can.

I would like to see an increased openness to information sharing. I experience some magnificent section cultures because I know that the manager has paid real attention to information sharing and to treating staff members with respect as individuals. We can learn so much from each other.

So please keep safe, enjoy being with those who love and don’t waste a minute.

See you in 2016.

Paul Gelston

Chief Operating Officer