My name is Cameron and I’m currently undertaking a Bachelor of Behavioural Science/Bachelor of Business (International Business) at QUT. I’m interested in transitioning into a Policy Officer position within the government after I graduate. This conference was an opportunity for me to meet people in civil service, understand its processes and evaluate my ideas for its innovation.
This year’s event focused on the theme of the changing work behind innovation. We focused on topics such as;
- The future work of the public service
- How public servants can bring innovation to their work environment
- How to facilitate digital transformation in the civil service
The best experience I had during the conference was a keynote from Prof. Glyn Davis on the Future of the Australian Public Service (APS). Hearing about the current mantra of the APS and how it should be in the future provided clarity about working within the APS. Glyn Davis has chaired the APS review panel for several years, and hearing from him about their future direction ensures that my skills will match up for future work. This understanding of the future direction of the APS will help me gain employment, as I can now focus on skill development in the areas that will add value in the workplace. One of my key takeaways was the need for deeper collaboration throughout the APS. This is one area where QUT and my volunteer experience has helped. Within QUT I have been part of clubs, including the QUTUNSA where I need to work with a diverse group to evaluate and solve problems. If I can implement these strategies into my future work, I can add value and enhance my employability.
Another key experience was hearing from Kit Collingwood about One Team Gov. They are an organisation made up of civil servants from across the globe, with the aim of bringing innovation to the public sector. They provide a group of like-minded public servants the opportunity to discuss and develop innovative ideas. The key aspect that I took away from this was similar to Prof. Glyn Davis’ keynote – that innovation requires a problem, which can be best solved by working together and enhancing collaboration between different parts of the public sector. For example, having a direct interaction between digital and frontline staff for the creation and changes to digital infrastructure, to identify and solve the problems and provide better services. One idea I put forward was the introduction of shared government centres. Both front and back staff working in the same building and therefore with direct interactions, bring these problems to the forefront, and as I learnt, the key to innovation is the problem identification.
My final key takeaway from BiiG 2019 was the networking opportunities. Throughout the conference I met many public servants from a wide range of departments and levels of government. Having a chance to speak to them all and discuss their roles, not only is helpful to understand how different government departments work, but also the number of graduate opportunities available. I managed to meet someone from a department that I have a key interest in and after speaking with her I have a greater understanding of the requirements and the culture of that office, which I can include in my job interview.
I would highly recommend other students attend this conference if they have an interest in innovation and the public sector. There were many other workshops and speakers that I could not touch on here. If you’re keen to learn about my other experiences you can check out my LinkedIn articles from the event: https://www.linkedin.com/today/author/cameron-gemmell.