Ideas in Action

December 18, 2015 | Posted by: Deb (Symons) Martindale

2015, that’s a wrap!

As 2015 comes to a close, we’ve been reflecting at Cube on all the interesting projects we’ve completed this year – there was almost 100! As always, our projects have been diverse, spanning many sectors and services. Using the Cube Public Value Compass to help, here are some of our highlights for the year.

Public Value Compass Feature


Public Value Marker: Confidence

When it comes to equality, fairness, safety and protection, we’ve had a great year contributing to some really important initiatives and issues. We’ve provided assistance on matters of family violence, including support to coordinate responses to Victoria’s Royal Commission into Family Violence. We’ve also completed service reviews, developed practice manuals and undertaken financial analysis for a number of justice teams including Victoria’s victims of crime assistance program.

We’ve evaluated the effectiveness of a multi-agency law enforcement taskforce, and developed business cases to continue innovative and important crime-fighting. We’ve improved processes for statutory authorities – reducing red tape, and building automated processes to minimise ‘manual handling’ of report development.

In 2015 we also completed a year-long project with the National Fire Danger Ratings Working Group, building functional requirements, a multi-year roadmap and a high level economic benefits evaluation for a next-generation fire danger rating system for Australia. At a local level, Partner, Nick Field facilitated a reflection on achievements in a long-running local government collaboration on emergency management. This was particularly rewarding for Nick as he has been involved in the work of this collaborative effort for many years, and it has become a benchmark model in Victoria.

In Tasmania we reviewed multi-agency governance of a major investment in emergency management infrastructure, and in Victoria we’ve been behind the scenes preparing for the introduction of new child protection legislation.

Public Value Marker: Liveability

Work in the liveability space can be very rewarding as it’s often easy to see the inherent public value. This year we’ve continued to provide a range of support to ground-breaking work rolling out the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), we’ve prepared a detailed business case for a major regional hospital to address a genuine shortage of acute health services, and we’ve facilitated discussions about children, young people and their mental health.

We’ve also supported organisations to promote and develop volunteering. We’re proud to have supported the Country Fire Authority (CFA) to develop and release their Volunteerism Strategy.

We’ve been working with communities too. In Gippsland, we’ve been engaging with communities affected by the Morwell minefire to build neighbourhood resilience plans, and this year we’ve also been working with Victoria’s largest provider and developer of affordable housing to engage with their members on long term housing strategies. As Rob Camm has said:

“It is about more than just a house. It is about having safety and security to be able to get on with life – get educated, get a job, raise a family, contribute to the community”


Image courtesy of Common Equity Housing Limited

We’ve enjoyed working with a greater number of community services organisations and not for profits this year too, such as Kildonan UnitingCare and Life Without Barriers. We’ve learned lots (always important to us!) and applied our services in strategy, organisational design and evaluation across a number of different projects.

Public Value Marker: Productivity

Earlier this year, Scott Ko wrote a great blog on the importance of growth and prosperity to public value outcomes. This year, we’ve worked with regulators to optimise their oversight of various services, and we’ve worked behind the scenes for government departments and teams responsible for managing economic policy and strategy and delivering a broad range of services.

Of course, optimising the way that government departments think and work is an important contributor to broader productivity. Christina Arnold recognised this challenge during a project earlier in the year, saying:

“It really highlights the huge impact that machinery of government changes can have on Departments and the difficulty in re-establishing and achieving strategic aims while trying to absorb change. It’s like living in the middle of a renovation!”

It has been exciting to play a role supporting the establishment of Visit Victoria – Victoria’s new organisation driving tourism, attracting major events and helping to building our economy.

And this year our commercial team has played a key role in the first stage of Victoria’s Lotteries Licencing process, which is a major area of revenue for Government. As so often happens on these projects, the complexities of policy, legislation and project demands were all intertwined with commercial opportunity and requirements. Luckily we love a challenge.

Public Value Marker: Sustainability

Last but not in any way the least is our marker focused on sustainability. Earlier this year I enjoyed facilitating a multi-agency forum on the impacts of climate change. The forum stimulated ongoing discussion and action about the practical attack that agencies and departments can make to prepare for and respond to change. Liza Gelt also facilitated multi-agency discussions on water supply for this summer, with attention on ensuring that all voices were heard.

In a very different project, we’ve also been supporting an organisation to plan a project and to consult with its members about how to appropriately remember loved ones in a new memorial. This is sensitive work, but very rewarding.

Once again, we’ve also worked with land and water agencies behind the scenes as well.

And more!

In addition to all of this great work, we’ve also enjoyed seeing our PACE model for strategic planning being put to work, assisted organisations and teams to produce public value outcomes frameworks, and heard great feedback on our governance reviews for a variety of different boards.

We’ve also delivered training sessions, including a highlight for Ben Schramm, who supported Local Government Victoria’s work with public sector leaders from Timor Leste (a part of the Timor Leste Fellowship program).

Each of our many projects, big and small, have all had one thing in common. Public Value. We love it. And without wanting to gush, I need to note the number of comments our team has made in preparing this article about how much they have loved working with their clients. Themes of commitment, passion, fun, drive and intellect have rippled through their discussions, and we think that makes us pretty lucky to do the work that we do.

So that’s it for now. We hope you also have a chance to reflect on your own achievements, challenges and highlights for 2015, and look forward to the opportunity to work with you to make public value happen in 2016.

Cube 2015

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