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Thank you to everyone who has made a submission to this review of Australia’s public service. Your analysis, experiences and ideas are invaluable.

About submissions

At the close of our call for public submissions on 31 July 2018, the review had received 668 contributions over 8 weeks.

We value all input and continued to accept submissions — bringing us to well over 700.

We stopped accepting submissions on 31 May 2019. And encourage you to read more of the ideas received during this review.

Of all the submissions to this review:

  • 80% came from individuals, with the largest group being employees of the Australian Public Service, as well as people using government services and others with public sector expertise
  • 18% came from organisations including small and large business, government and industry or interest groups
  • contributions came from every Australian state and territory, as well as some international jurisdictions
  • and some entities sent in more than 1 submission

What we heard

It’s clear public servants are passionate about their work but there is a sense the service is not always reaching its potential, meeting expectations or being as proactive as it would like.

Public servants and their organisations are grappling with:

  • a lack of confidence
  • divergent priorities
  • working relationships which can be fragile and distrusting
  • structures and processes that can get in the way of doing a good job
  • getting and keeping the people they need

People told us they want:

  • a clear purpose and culture shared across the public service
  • a valued and respected institution
  • skills and capabilities that are developed, maintained and renewed among employees
  • better understanding of the changing nature of leadership and expertise
  • new ways of working embedded in the system
  • an inventive and nimble public service focused on outcomes modern structures, processes and organisations
  • a focus on the needs of the people of Australia

Publishing submissions

Authors chose if they wanted their submission to be published, and were also able to be anonymous if they wished.

Of the total submissions:

  • 77% were published
  • 23% remain private

Of the published submissions:

  • 57% were named
  • 43% were anonymous

Submissions were checked carefully against legal and privacy requirements in our terms and conditions. Some were published with personal information or third party references redacted.

The views in these submissions belong to their authors. They also provided us with insights to different experiences with the public service and help to inform a public discussion.


Title Submission Transcript Attachment
Nadia gabellone The public service does many things well but there are areas for real improvement, such as: susta
Helen Smith Staff numbers and a sense of serving the public.
Jason Howden While I can see the benefits of having a more flexible workforce by using contractors and non-ong
Simon Gallant This submission relates to the scope of the review, points 2 (delivery high quality advice) and 6
mel phillips Hi there,
Stewart Unwin
Mardi Derrett I work for DHS Centrelink, have done so for the last 11 years.
michelle carter The issue of long term back filling is having several long term impacts on employees and departme
Kurt Idea:
Mrs Margaret Anne Ryan As an age pensioner who has to deal with Centrelink I find the attitude a lot of the time from pe
Andrew Rutherford The APS is subject to political direction but needs to sit above politics.
Lee Webber I moved to Australia from the UK and thought I would be able to work for Government/Defence as I
Saradhi Motamarri
Trudi Thomson I think the APS needs to ensure that it remains as a public service, an entity that looks after i
draga I currently work for the Australian Government in Canberra.
John Ernst Generally speaking the PS provides a service to the people of Australia and elected officials.
AusTTA Dear APS Review Panel Members 1) Transformational Leadership - Ver 5.0 PDF icon Download (512.9 KB)
Guy Hutchison I am proud to work for the APS and have done so for over 25 years.
Trevor Mobbs Submission is in attached document. APS Review Submission File Download (20.16 KB)
Tom Easton Review team,
Vicki Newman My experience with Centrelink has been very bad. This department does not anwer phone calls.
Leigh Cowan It all starts with a unifying Mission, Vision, Purpose & Values.
Phillip Petersen It is sad to see how many positions in the APS are being changed from full time to contractor or