Go to top of page

Governance, performance and risk management


In the 2018/19 financial year, AIFS operated with $4,412,000 of government appropriation and $9,684,672 of other revenue (primarily from contracted research), as detailed in the ‘Financial statements’. The Institute incurred a budget deficit for the financial year 2018/19 of $405,387. This deficit is primarily due to the depreciation expense for 2018/19 of $448,535. After adjusting for this item, AIFS reported a surplus of $43,148.

Organisational culture and staff engagement

Significantly, in 2018/19, AIFS was shortlisted as a finalist in the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) ‘Public Sector Innovation’ Awards 2019 in the category of Culture and Capability, in recognition of our internal culture transformation. The concerted effort behind this transformation has seen AIFS ranked in the top 10 agencies in the Australian Public Service in 2018 in the categories of staff wellbeing, engagement and innovation (Source: APS Employee Census). These results are evidence of the large amount of work undertaken to respond to staff concerns. Successful initiatives include:

  • building management capability
  • improved internal communication
  • a more coordinated approach to change management
  • a focus on wellbeing initiatives.

Highlights of this transformation were staff co-designing the AIFS Values and Behaviours and the highly consultative process underpinning our relocation to smaller and more cost-effective premises. At the heart of these two pieces of work were the principles of design thinking. Through a series of creative exercises, we tapped into right-brain thinking to draw on our imagination, creativity and powers of visualisation. The products were the values and behaviours that would create a culture we needed to achieve our goals, and an office space that actively shapes the way we work and collaborate.

There is no doubt that AIFS is now a better place to work, with 81% of staff reporting they would recommend AIFS as a good place to work (up from 36% in 2016). But this is also a story of unlocking our capability so that we can make progress on tackling some of Australia’s biggest challenges, such as family violence, child abuse and neglect, and mental ill-health. We are much more creative, collaborative and agile. By bringing this new mindset into our work, we’re better placed to tackle the complex social issues we address in our work every day.