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2017 Premier's Awards for Excellence

The Premier’s Awards for Excellence acknowledges the exemplary work by individuals and teams across the Queensland public sector, and recognises the outstanding initiatives being developed and delivered for the benefit of all Queenslanders.

The finalists for the 2017 Awards are:

Customer focus proudly supported by QSuper

Logan Transition 2 Success Reference Group
Logan T2S Internal Reference Group
Department of Justice and Attorney-General

Transition 2 Success (T2S) is a program delivered to address a gap in education, inter-generational unemployment and also focusses largely on the intrinsic value-add programs which aims to build individuals from the inside out and foster and maintain pro-social lifestyles for youth in the community. Logan T2S aims to assist youth in being actively involved within the community and also establish self-worth, value and a positive mindset about their community.

The T2S Reference Group engaged in the development and facilitation of a certificate based program which is the first of its kind in the Logan community, and due to its success has expanded to eight sites. While T2S is currently being formally evaluated, to date 115 young people have graduated with a total of 159 certificates. An impressive 76 per cent of those young people have transitioned back to school, into employment or further training.

Navigating the patient health journey in remote Queensland
A new and collaborative approach

Nurse Navigator Service, Community and Primary Healthcare
North West Hospital and Health Service

The Nurse Navigator Service (NNS) is a new and innovative nurse-led model of care that was incepted as part of the Queensland Government’s 2015 Nursing Guarantee. The NNS consists of advanced clinicians located within Mt Isa, Doomadgee and Normanton who advocate, empower, support and coordinate intensive patient centred care. Working in partnership with patients, families, carers and other health providers, the NNS aims to improve the patient experience and health outcomes.

The NNS is purposeful in focusing on people living with complex chronic disease in a health care system that is often fragmented, difficult to navigate and not patient centred.

PCYC Bowen WORKfit Program
Queensland Police Citizens Youth Club—PCYC Bowen
Queensland Police Service

The PCYC Bowen WORKfit Program is a life skills and work readiness program tailored to meet the needs of young people aged 15–24 years, who require support to re-engage in school, enrol in further study or to gain employment.

Bowen is classified as a low socio-economic area with high unemployment rates. Through extensive consultation, it was identified that complex barriers existed for young people to gain worthwhile employment in Bowen. As a result, the WORKfit program was developed and ultimately delivered through funding support from the Department of Education and Training. In 2016/17 a total of 34 young people participated in the program; almost 40 per cent identified as Indigenous, 95 per cent either gained employment, engaged in further study or volunteered for a not-for-profit organisation. All participants disengaged with school returned to the classroom following this program.

Queensland Housing Strategy Project
Housing and Homelessness Services, Communication and Engagement
Department of Housing and Public Works

The Queensland Housing Strategy (QHS) 2017–2027 provides a framework to deliver better long-term housing outcomes for Queenslanders. Developed through extensive and inclusive consultation, the QHS demonstrates a fundamental shift in housing policy and service delivery, recognising housing as an essential human service and acknowledging the role safe, secure and affordable housing has in helping to build connected and resilient communities.

The QHS funding package comprises $1.8 billion, delivering over 2972 new social homes, 1034 new affordable homes and around 600 jobs per year in the first five years.

The Strategy includes a specific focus on housing outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, young people and women and children escaping domestic and family violence. It provides a holistic, whole-of-government framework that places Queenslanders at the heart of service delivery and provides a safety net of targeted early interventions, supportive social housing and genuine wraparound services. Through a suite of actions to be delivered over the next 10 years, the QHS will transform housing in Queensland, from homelessness services, to social housing, affordable rental, home ownership and retirement living.

Innovation proudly supported by Life Sciences Queensland Limited

Brisbane River Catchment Flood Study
Department of Natural Resources and Mines
Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning
Queensland Reconstruction Authority

The Brisbane River Catchment Flood Study (Flood Study) is an Australian first and has been endorsed by industry as a new global benchmark. It is the most comprehensive and innovative flood study ever undertaken in Australia. As Queensland’s first regional-scale study, it paves the way for an integrated catchment approach to floodplain management. It will inspire better planning and decision-making and lead to improved community safety and flood resilience.

Completed in May 2017, the Flood Study incorporates 170 years of historical rainfall data. It provides state of the art models and up-to-date flood risk information allowing communities to better plan for and mitigate the impacts of future floods.

The Flood Study is a critical first step toward developing the Strategic Floodplain Management Plan, which will enable the state and local governments to coordinate planning and better prepare and respond to future flood events.

Mobile Services Program
Community Contact Command, Mobile Capability Centre
Queensland Police Service

The Mobile Services Program (MSP) has positioned the Queensland Police Service (QPS) to be at the forefront of digital transformation by enabling more effective and efficient policing services to the people of Queensland through the delivery of innovative mobile capabilities. The MSP was the first to implement far reaching improvements to frontline policing services in Australia through the use of leading edge mobile technologies well ahead of many other international and national policing organisations.

The MSP provided frontline Queensland Police Officers with QLiTE devices (iPads) loaded with tools and applications that they can use in the field. The provision of 5400 QLiTE devices was ground breaking, allowing officers to search Queensland and national databases for quick and accurate identification of persons, vehicles and potential threats, submit street checks to push intelligence information from the field, complete move on directions, perform roadside drug testing and submit missing person reports. Officers can also access corporate email, intranet, internet, navigation tools and commercial applications on their QLiTE.

Through their QLiTE, officers receive the right information at the right time. This allows them to make informed and lawful decisions while reducing their reliance on police radio or returning to a station. The MSP was a three year (2014–2017), $55.3 million QPS initiative.

Queensland Pathways College
Doing school differently

Metropolitan Region
Department of Education and Training

Queensland Pathways College (QPC) is a senior transitions program, developed for students disengaging from the senior years of learning. It is a well researched approach to doing school differently. QPC opened in 2016 and currently operates five campuses with 10 Transition Pathway Officers to support approximately 200 students. QPC offer meaningful pathways for students, often with complex barriers, that were not only disengaging from school, but disengaging from society.

The common complexities of students engaged at QPC include anxiety, depression, homelessness, youth justice orders, domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse, poverty and loss of identity.

The curriculum at QPC is delivered through a positive teaching approach, which reflects a philosophy that is respectful, trusting and calm. QPC students study literacy and numeracy at the appropriate level, and engage in a vocational trade to support their future pathways.

Transforming a Health Service
Using intelligent analytics as a driver for change

Princess Alexandra Hospital
Metro South Hospital and Health Service

Hospitals across the globe are looking for ways to enhance quality, safety and efficiency of care delivery. The future is clinical transformation based on digital platforms, underpinned by data and analytics. Between November 2015 and March 2017 the Princess Alexandra Hospital (PAH) underwent significant transformational change in the delivery of health to its patients by implementing a fully digital integrated Electronic Medical Record (iEMR). The fully integrated nature of this highly successful implementation has led to the hospital being recognised as the ‘First Fully Digital Large Scale Tertiary Hospital in Australia’.

The implementation of the iEMR opened up a new realm of possibilities, one to leverage the newly digitised clinical data with business intelligence and analytics to ultimately inform and optimise clinical care and organisational performance. To ensure that this opportunity was leveraged appropriately, the hospital established a program of work with a core focus on clinical data analytics.

A core project philosophy was to empower a dynamic environment combining clinical, technical and analyst skills; looking beyond pure outcome data, and instead utilising data to review and improve clinical workflows, processes, patient flow and outcomes.

Leadership proudly supported by Griffith Business School

Queensland Fire and Emergency Services Transforms Through Leadership Initiative
Strategy and Corporate Services Division
Queensland Fire and Emergency Services

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) Transforms Through Leadership Initiative has equipped hundreds of QFES leaders with skills to empower the workforce into a modern and inclusive organisation, in order to better protect Queenslanders. Inspired by the view that leaders are not born but developed, the four year strategy builds an enduring leadership capability and drives change in line with the Queensland Government and QFES vision.

Two years into the four year program, the Initiative has involved hundreds of leaders, from the frontline to the executive, in a series of activities including forums, workshops and other learning opportunities. Working with all services, all regions and all levels of leadership, the initiative has built the levels of influence required to achieve change and develop strong relationships across government and within the department.

Respectfully Journey Together
Building cultural capability

Cultural Capability Coordination
Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services

The Respectfully Journey Together action plan initially launched in May 2015 from recognising that as the government lead agency for social services, cultural capability must be built to improve service, partner with and support the aspirations of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in Queensland. It is a comprehensive ongoing initiative that has significantly influenced the organisational culture, developed key resources, overhauled workforce development components, challenged conventional thinking and shared practical learnings with other agencies.

The plan identified 15 actions that drive toward the vision of being the most culturally capable government agency in the nation, it is leading the way for Queenslanders to have the best and most culturally ‘smart’ social and human services system in the country; to provide quality services, positive cultural leadership, and participative decision making. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families are significant client cohorts of the department’s direct and indirect services. It is imperative that services are shaped and delivered in ways that give them every chance to reach their full potential, maximise their social and economic participation. Growing cultural capability within the department is fundamental to improving external client interface and integral to strategic direction.

The Queensland Disaster Management Officer's Network
Community and Stakeholder Engagement Unit
Inspector-General Emergency Management

Disaster Management Officers (DMO) play a pivotal role protecting Queenslanders during natural disasters. To empower these officers to deliver world class disaster management services, the Office of the Inspector-General Emergency Management has established a peer driven network to effectively cost and resource share knowledge, jointly develop innovative ideas, learn from each other’s experience and identify and implement best practice.

The Network effectively operates through six weekly video and teleconference meetings; a secure online discussion and repository platform; and an annual three day face-to-face forum. In only 18 months key achievements include: growth of the Network leading major tangible disaster management benefits for all Queenslanders; reinvigoration of Disaster Management sub-groups across Queensland; resource and cost savings to council DMO programs; development of best practice policy outcomes across councils and a formal mentoring program to assist less experienced and resourced DMO’s across Queensland.

Youth Engagement Project
Everybody’s business

Youth Transitions Team
Department of Education and Training

Every child and young person deserves the chance to succeed. Education and training is the best opportunity to ensure that success. In 2015 the Department of Education and Training (DET) significantly increased efforts to re-engage young Queenslanders who were disconnected from education. A Youth Engagement Plan was purposefully designed with Youth Engagement Hubs established in every DET region to respond to specific challenges.

In addition to Youth Engagement Hubs, DET established a continuum of alternative learning, supporting inclusive mainstream options in all schools and recognising the need for a range of innovative learning environments to better meet the needs of young people who cannot thrive in mainstream schools. This included the establishment of the Queensland Pathways College, open learning hubs, pop-up classrooms for young people in the youth justice system and Get Set for Work.

Performance proudly supported by Queensland Treasury Corporation

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Venues Program
Project Delivery, Major Projects and Property
Department of State Development

The Department of State Development (DSD) is responsible for managing the planning, design, procurement and construction of three new venues and major upgrades to a further seven venues required for hosting the Gold Coast 2018 (GC2018) Commonwealth Games. The Gold Coast is the first regional city to host a Commonwealth Games and has been marked with high local job participation and an actively engaged local community throughout the delivery program.

The $320 million investment in sport and community infrastructure has supported approximately 1000 jobs during the design and construction stages. The competition venues were completed within budget, well ahead of the Games and will provide long lasting benefits to Queensland’s economy and residents, with all venues designed to provide the best possible infrastructure, economic, sporting and community legacy.

The delivered venues have all met or exceeded benchmarks stipulated by the Commonwealth Games Federation and are flexible and sustainable facilities. The venues satisfy International Sports Federation competition standards, and have been welcomed by the community, as demonstrated by demand for bookings and usage.

Operation Avow
1974 McCulkin murder convictions

Queensland Police Service
Crime and Corruption Commission

Barbara McCulkin and her daughters vanished from their home in January 1974 with their bodies never located. Investigations throughout the 1970’s compiled a compelling circumstantial brief against Vincent O’Dempsey and Garry Reginald Dubois who were the last persons seen at the McCulkin’s and were criminal associates of Barbara’s estranged husband. The matter was subject to a Coronial Inquest in 1980 resulting in O’Dempsey and Dubois being committed for trial for the abduction and murders of the McCulkin’s. Shortly after the Director of Prosecutions discontinued proceedings due to a lack of direct evidence.

January 2014 marked the 40th anniversary of the McCulkins’ disappearance and a media appeal for information was conducted with Barbara’s family. Police received information that indicated Dubois and O’Dempsey confessed their involvement to criminal associates and the appeal was to bring those people forward. Detective Sergeant Virginia Gray was appointed as the principal investigator with Detective Senior Constables Catherine Swan and Nicholas Finn. These officers progressed the cold case homicide investigation (Avow) through to the resulting convictions in May 2017.

Tropical Cyclone Debbie recovery
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing

Category 4 Tropical Cyclone (TC) Debbie crossed the coast near Airlie Beach on 28 March 2017, wreaking havoc over 1200 kilometres of Queensland from Bowen in the North to the New South Wales border. The impact of the cyclone affected 223 parks and forests, nearly a quarter of the State’s protected areas. The expansive areas of impact and scale of devastation included landslides, beach erosion, smashed buildings, severe track damage and catastrophic levels of forest destruction.

The most significant impacts were felt in the Whitsundays and challenged the resilience of the iconic tourist destination. Incident Management Teams were immediately established and coordinated the considerable cleanup and response effort. Tasks included damage and hazard assessment, beach reprofiling, search and rescue, reef health assessments and track clearing. Logistics were challenging given there was no power or water, limited fuel and communication and the worst hit areas were inaccessible. Field teams worked tirelessly at times, day and night to reopen and make safe the region’s premier visitor destinations.

Whole-of-government response to Aurukun crisis
Queensland Police Service
Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships

In November 2015 a homicide occurred in the community of Aurukun as a result of two opposing clan groups involved in a disturbance. The community situation in Aurukun at that time was fractured and unstable, leading to a number of serious crimes being committed, heightened tensions and large scale unrest. This culminated in the evacuation of Aurukun school teachers for their safety in May 2016.

The community reached crisis point that required a major response. A foundation plan was implemented to provide clear direction, identify key strategies and accountability by all stakeholders. As milestones were reached, further goals were sought, culminating in a community meeting in July 2017 where members of the community embraced each other in a spirt of togetherness. This could not have been achieved without the whole-of-government response.

While Queensland Police Service led the response in collaboration with the Department of Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, there were additional agencies involved including the Department of the Premier and Cabinet, Queensland Treasury, Queensland Health, Department of State Development, Department of Transport and Main Roads, Department of Housing and Public Works, Department of Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, Department of Education and Training, and Department of National Parks, Sport and Racing.

Sustainability proudly supported by RemServ

Construction goes green
Fostering a culture of sustainability and environmental awareness

Department of Transport and Main Roads

RoadTek has successfully gone green by embedding a Resource Efficiency Strategy and Action Plan (RESAP). Through the implementation of statewide environmental sustainability initiatives RoadTek have significantly improved resource efficiency and waste diversion, onsite rainwater capture and use, and increased generation and use of renewable energy. Most importantly, environmental sustainability is now cemented into RoadTek culture as a fundamental business tool.

The RESAP will continue to reduce environmental impacts and save money that the Department of Transport and Main Roads can reinvest in construction and maintenance of infrastructure for the benefit of Queenslanders.

Queensland Police Service Electricity Optimisation Project
Portfolio Engagement, Organisational Capability Command
Queensland Police Service

The Queensland Police Service (QPS) has a significant carbon footprint, primarily from electricity usage and vehicle fleet fuel consumption. The Electricity Optimisation Project was developed to reduce QPS’s carbon footprint and electricity costs and increase use of electricity from renewable sources.

The project delivered a range of initiatives which have significantly reduced electricity consumption and cost and increased renewable energy to three per cent of total QPS consumption. Key achievements include changing air conditioning schedules to coincide with operational schedules, automating doors to reduce loss of air from buildings, upgrading lighting from fluorescent to LED and installing power factor correction equipment.

Sustainable Fisheries Strategy
Fisheries Queensland
Department of Agriculture and Fisheries

The Sustainable Fisheries Strategy (Strategy) was released in June 2017, outlining the government's reform agenda for the next 10 years to deliver a world class fisheries management system. The Strategy builds upon a comprehensive consultation process in 2016 and is the most significant reform to fisheries management in Queensland's history. Additional funding is delivering a boost to compliance, better data, improved engagement and more responsive decision making.

Some of the actions in the Strategy include initiatives like harvest strategies for each fishery, satellite tracking on all commercial fishing boats, regionally specific fishing rules and using new technologies more effectively. To support the reforms, the government is investing more than $20 million over three years. These reforms will ensure healthy fish stocks that will support thousands of Queensland jobs and help protect the Great Barrier Reef.

An overall Premier’s Award for Excellence will also be presented to one of the 2017 finalists at the awards ceremony, held on Tuesday 21 November 2017.

See how the 2016 award recipients were celebrated:

View previous award recipients.

2017 awards sponsors

The 2017 awards are proudly supported by:


With QSuper, you can feel better about your super today, knowing we've delivered low fees and consistently strong returns.


Life Sciences Queensland Limited (LSQ)

LSQ is a Queensland-based organisation bringing together industry stakeholders to cooperate and innovate to grow their businesses and help create a dynamic, internationally competitive and sustainable Australian life sciences industry.

Life Sciences Queensland (LSQ)

Griffith Business School

Griffith Business School delivers outstanding education and research which prepares tomorrow’s globally responsible leaders for success.

Griffith Business School

Queensland Treasury Corporation

As the government’s central financing authority, Queensland Treasury Corporation plays a pivotal role in securing Queensland’s financial success, by providing financial services that deliver outcomes for the whole state.

Queensland Treasury Corporation


RemServ, celebrating 17 years of servicing Queenslanders, manages salary packaging arrangements for over 140,000 employees. With RemServ you could stretch your salary further.


For more information contact Events Coordination, Department of the Premier and Cabinet, by email or phone 07 3003 9200.

Contact details

Last updated
26 October, 2017
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