Inaugural awards commend Public Sector excellence in NT

By Adam Coleman

ALICE SPRINGS, NT: The winners have been announced from the inaugural Chief Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management, which were held in Alice Springs last night. According to the host of the event, Chief Minister Clare Martin, the awards are designed to recognise, honour and celebrate excellence in public sector administration and delivery of services to the community.

“These awards are long overdue – our public sector delivers vital services throughout the Northern Territory, including some of the most remote communities in Australia,” Ms Martin said.

The Awards and commendations were presented within the categories of Cross-Government Collaboration; Engagement with the Community; Regional and Remote Development and Indigenous Community Development.

The winner of the Cross-Government Collaboration category was Court Referral and Evaluation for Drug Intervention Treatment (CREDIT NT) undertaken by the Department of Justice: Court Support Services.

In May 2003, CREDIT NT first began diverting illicit substance users arrested for drug-related offences into treatment programs. Since then, 286 clients have been referred to CREDIT NT from the Court, with a 78.5% program completion rate.

The success of CREDIT NT in reducing illicit substance use harm has surpassed expectations. The winner of the Engagement with the Community category was the Libraries and Knowledge Centres Program undertaken by the Department of Local Government, Housing and Sport: Northern Territory Library.

This program, which provides library services in remote communities, was developed in response to requests from Indigenous communities, who wanted appropriate access to their cultural heritage.

The award for the Regional and Remote Development category was taken out by Parks and Wildlife Service of the Northern Territory (PWSNT) and its Progressive Joint Management in partnership with Indigenous people of the Katherine region.

The Nitmiluk, Flora River and Gregory National Parks represent three different levels of progress in joint management between the PWSNT and Traditional Owners under the NT Government’s Framework for the Future Act. According to the PWSNT, they reflect the inroads forged so far in the often-delicate journey towards sound and harmonious park management outcomes.

The winner of the Indigenous Community Development category was the Parks and Wildlife Service of the Northern Territory’s Dhimurru Indigenous Protective Area – ‘Both ways’ management.

“Their ‘both ways’ project took out the Indigenous Community Development category for the innovative way staff from the two organisations share and practice both traditional and contemporary land management methods,” says Ms Martin.

The new awards will be held every two years and presented to work groups rather than individuals. “We are the Territory’s largest employer, and these awards are a way of recognising and rewarding hard work, commitment, innovation and outstanding performance.”

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