Go to top of page


Innovation is an integral long-term driver to achieve economic and jobs growth for Australia, and essential to the continued success of the Australian Public Service (APS). The department demonstrates commitment to innovation by implementing the Innovation and Science Australia 2030 Plan and the objectives of the APS Review and APS Reform Agenda.

The department defines innovation as putting ideas into practice to add value for its people, stakeholders and the community. In 2018–19, the department continued to focus on the four priorities of the Innovation Framework 2016–2018:

1. Evolving our organisation’s capability and unlocking our people’s expertise

2. Designing policies and services by applying user-centred design to meet the diverse needs of our stakeholders

3. Exploring a variety of policy levers and non-legislative approaches

4. Demonstrating the value we create for our people, stakeholders and clients.

The department encourages innovation through different team structures and more flexible work arrangements, applying methodologies such as design thinking, user research, crowdsourcing and behavioural economics, and undertaking pilots and trials before scaling up projects.

Growth of the department’s innovation culture and capability continued through initiatives such as mentoring the graduate cohort to learn the practical application of design thinking as part of the department’s Shark Tank program; progressing ideas through the ideas management system Spark; and showcasing innovation activities during Innovation Month in July.

These approaches contribute to preparing the department for the future and for times of change, enhancing policy design and service delivery and better meeting the needs of our people, stakeholders and community.

Key achievements in 2018–19 include:

  • embedding more efficient work approaches through the implementation of outcomes from a review of corporate services
  • undertaking user research with job seekers and providers to inform the future of employment services
  • collaborating with a range of stakeholders to establish a data engine on skills, jobs and education as part of the Jobs and Education Data Infrastructure project.