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When I agreed to temporarily step into the shoes of the Head of the State Service in November 2017, I understood that the office was not only a leadership role, but one with the responsibility for championing the work performed by Tasmanian State Service employees and officers.
My intention was to take on the office long enough to steer the Service through the transition period while a longer-term appointment was made. When the opportunity to continue was presented, I reflected on the level of dedication and professionalism I had seen displayed by the Service over the preceding months and felt a genuine excitement at taking on the challenges that we face as we work to improve the lives of all Tasmanians.
I would like to acknowledge my predecessor in the office of the Head of the State Service, Greg Johannes. His commitment to the State Service, and his contribution to shaping and setting its priorities are deserving of recognition and our thanks.
In delivering my first Tasmanian State Service Annual Report I am pleased to be able to tell you that we are making great strides in delivering on our priority areas. It was a big year for diversity and inclusion as we launched a pilot program in partnership with The Beacon Foundation that gave year 11 and 12 students in disadvantaged regional areas access to traineeships within the State Service.
We continued to develop the Aboriginal Employment Strategy and outlined priority initiatives through to 2021 that support an increase in the workforce participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Our commitment to learning and development saw the piloting of the Senior Executive Leadership Program in partnership with the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG), and the rollout of the highly successful Manager Essentials Program. In February we also welcomed another 24 graduates into the Whole-of-Service Graduate Development Program, building on the success of the inaugural Program in 2017.
Our commitment to gender diversity continued, with our target of 40 per cent of senior executive offices being filled by women (by 2020) well within reach at 39.04 per cent as at 30 June 2018.
We continued to make the State Service a safe and healthy place to work by joining with the University of Tasmania’s Menzies Institute for Medical Research in providing a mindfulness program, and promoting the use of the Ritualize Tasmania app to support healthy habits. To build on the work commenced last year in making sure all employees are safe from occupational violence we continued working with unions on the trial of strategies to reduce the risk from aggressive and violent clients, and with Tasmania Police to implement de-escalation training to at risk service areas.
All of these activity areas will continue to be priorities through the 2018-19 year as we work to maintain our momentum and continue to deliver in these areas.
As the 2017-18 financial year drew to a close we were responding to advice from one of our eRecruitment providers, PageUp, that it had experienced a security incident and potential data breach. Our immediate response to this incident required a coordinated effort across the State Service and liaising with independent security organisations, and relevant Australian and international security agencies. Throughout this process I have again had cause to note the level of professionalism shown by employees and officers involved in the coordinated response across all agencies, and the effort that went into minimising the impact on recruitment and allowing us to return to the PageUp system once a thorough risk assessment had been completed.
Head of the State Service