Congratulations to the winners and finalists of the 2019 Premier’s Excellence Awards.
The Premier’s Excellence Awards recognise public sector employees and teams who have delivered exceptional outcomes for South Australians, through delivering exemplary services, putting South Australians at the centre of their work, and consistently demonstrating the Public Sector Values.
Premier Steven Marshall presented winners and finalists with their awards at Parliament House on Tuesday 3 December 2019.
Congratulations to this year’s winners and finalists for their outstanding efforts!
Premier Steven Marshall with invited guests at the 2019 Premier’s Excellence Awards presentation.
Individual Award Winner
Ms Sasha Houthuysen, Department for Child Protection
Sasha Houthuysen receiving the individual Premier’s Excellence Award from Premier Steven Marshall.
Sasha leads the program for intervention with Aboriginal children, young people and their families. She also promotes Aboriginal culturally-sensitive policies, programs and social work practices with Department for Child Protection (DCP) staff.
Through training, guiding and advising case workers and other DCP staff, Sasha has influenced the way social work staff engage with Aboriginal children and families.
She also supports staff in understanding Aboriginal families, with professionalism, warmth and creativity by leading the training and cultural awareness activities to more than 100 case workers and Aboriginal parenting practices training.
Sasha has designed her own training programs and culturally-specific tools, and staff have commented that they come away from training sessions with a renewed commitment to Aboriginal practice.
Team Award Winner
Operation Persist (Unsolved Homicide Strategy), South Australia Police
Assistant Commissioner Scott Duval APM and Detective Superintendent Des Bray receiving the team Premier’s Excellence Award from Premier Steven Marshall on behalf of South Australia Police’s Operation Persist.
Operation Persist is a unique and holistic ‘unsolved’ homicide strategy that was implemented by South Australia Police in March 2015 to review and, where appropriate, conduct renewed investigations into unsolved homicides dating back to 1960.
Operation Persist has solved 10 previously unsolved homicides, arrested 17 offenders and recovered the remains of three victims that have been missing for 45 years, 18 years and 7 years respectively. Operation Persist has enhanced the provision of victim services to the families and friends of unsolved homicide victims through contact with Operation Persist Victim Contact Officers, who were previously not afforded the level of victim support that is expected today.
Significantly, the arrest of these dangerous offenders has enhanced public safety and has been achieved within the existing South Australia Police budget.
Detective Superintendent Des Bray, Detective Inspector Billy Thompson, Assistant Commissioner Scott Duval APM, Detective Sergeant Justin Thompson, Chief Inspector Gregory Hutchins APM and Detective Sergeant Cameron Georg receiving their team finalist certificate from Premier Steven Marshall on behalf of Operation Persist.
Individual Award Finalists
Ms Rachel Amos, Department for Education
Department for Education Chief Executive Rick Persse receiving an individual finalist certificate from Premier Steven Marshall on behalf of Rachel Amos (absent).
As an early childhood worker in Port Augusta, Rachel observed that many Aboriginal families were not receiving the same transition programs into preschools that other families received.
She helped design a transition playgroup for two-year-old children from Aboriginal families. The outreach program is run every week and is now being adopted in other centres across Port Augusta.
Rachel supports parents by helping them understand the importance of regular preschool education for their children. She also supports non-Aboriginal staff by providing advice and helping them learn how to form connections with Aboriginal families. Rachel now works with all preschools in Port Augusta and families who travel from more remote settings to support Aboriginal family attendance.
Dr Tristan Hardy, SA Pathology, Central Adelaide Local Health Network, SA Health
Dr Tristan Hardy receiving an individual finalist certificate from Premier Steven Marshall.
Dr Hardy is the first obstetrician in Australia to train in genetic pathology. Inspired by couples who were at risk of having a child with a genetic condition, Dr Hardy developed a new technique for genetic testing.
Couples at risk of having a child with a genetic condition now have access to quick and cost-effective testing. Dr Hardy also sees couples who have experienced pregnancy loss and can follow them through their next pregnancy and provide end-to-end care as they undergo IVF, embryo testing and prenatal diagnosis.
This allows couples who are at risk of having a child with a known genetic disorder to have pre-implantation without needing complicated and expensive services.
Team Award Finalists
Concessions SA Reform, Department of Human Services
Olga Laparidis, Scott McVeay and Katherine Hawkins receiving their team finalist certificate from Premier Steven Marshall on behalf of the Concessions SA Reform team.
Concessions SA provides approximately $160 million to around 200,000 South Australians on low or fix incomes.
This is achieved through providing 14 different concessions and rebates on essential household services such as energy and water, companion cards, Glasses SA and more. The costs and resource efficiencies directly and positively impact on the community by making concessions easier and quicker to access, making government more efficient.
Concessions SA designed its processes around customer-centric principles which enabled a reduced application processing time from 2-3 months to less than one week on average.
Clean Energy Transition Division, Department for Energy and Mining
Natalie Atkinson, Melissa Muller, Simone Mazengarb, Richard Webster and Scott Oster receiving their team finalist certificate from Premier Steven Marshall on behalf of the Clean Energy Transition Division.
The Clean Energy Transition team is successfully supporting major reforms in our energy sector, making energy more reliable, secure and cheaper for South Australians.
The team has delivered multiple transformational projects for the state, including the world’s largest lithium-ion battery in record time, the $150 million Renewable Technology Fund, the $50 million Grid Scale Storage Fund, the $100 million Home Battery Scheme, South Australia’s Virtual Power Plant and the SA Concession Energy Discount Offer. These projects have cumulatively put downward pressure on electricity prices and reduced the likelihood of electricity supply shortfalls.
The team’s projects have significant reach, scale and complexity, including the South Australian Concessions Energy Discount Offer in which more than 50,000 South Australian concession holders are getting the best available energy offer in the market, reducing electricity costs for the most vulnerable in our community.