GovCamp Canberra 2012 was a one day event to bring together leaders and experts across the public sector, academia, industry and society to talk about innovation in government. GovCamp was part of APS Innovation Week.

GovCamp 2012 was held in Canberra on Tuesday the 5th of June 2012.

About GovCamp Canberra

The broad theme of the day was innovation, open government and Gov 2.0. This is all about next generation approaches to service design and delivery, public engagement and policy co-design.

At GovCamp 2012 we collaborated, discovered and designed the future as we heard and contributed to the narrative of innovation in government. The day included presentations, discussions, panels and workshops.

How did it work?

GovCamp 2012 started with an introduction by Professor John McMillan, the Australian Information Commissioner. This was  followed by a panel of Departmental Secretaries to share their vision and then an Academic panel on public service innovation. We will then have a number of guest speakers presenting key case studies and relevant policy from their department or industry.

Following a break for lunch, the real fun began as we spent the afternoon talking about what participants wanted to talk about. That’s right – it was up to you! If you haven’t heard of or been to an ‘unconference’ before, this is how it worked…

Quite simply, we set up a white board, markers, and post-it notes, and a schedule evolved as participants added topics to the board for a number of 20 minute discussions. All attendees were encouraged to contribute and participate. You don’t necessarily need to be an expert or authority on a subject – anyone can lead a discussion on any topic. Some participants brought a presentation/slides with them, and others just decided on the day to lead a discussion or workshop an idea.

In addition to these talks, there was two streams of one hour workshops  including “How to Stop Innovation”, “Public Engagement & Social Media”, “Building a Business Case for Innovation”, and “Citizen-centric Design Skills”. There was also  an Academic workshop stream to bring together government and academics to share and find new ways to collaborate on public service innovation.

The day was then wrapped up with a closing talk by Andrea Di Maio, a global expert on public sector innovation to paint a global picture of public service innovation.


This was the schedule for the 2012 GovCamp.

Please note, the Academics’ Panel in the morning and the Academics’ Workshop in the afternoon were both part of the Academics’ Forum, run by the Department of Innovation.

Speaker biographies are available on the Speakers page.

0830 – 0900 Welcome followed by an Introduction by Professor John McMillan – Australian Information Commissioner
0900 – 1030 Panel One – Leading Case Studies on Public Sector Innovation and Gov 2.0. Presenters include:

  • Carolyn Canham – Department of Human Services
  • Julie Harris – Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Helen Owens – Office of Spatial Policy
  • Tim Little – Air Services Australia
  • Monique Potts – ABC Innovation
  • Adam Carlon – Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
  • Matthew Purcell (teacher) & Lochie Ferrier (student) from team CodeCadets – competed in GovHack event – project “100 Years
1030 – 1100 Morning tea
1100 – 1200 Panel Two – Academic Panel on Public Service Innovation.
A panel of Australian academics will present on public sector innovation. The benefits of doing things differently in government might be easy to see, but what are the challenges of adopting an innovative approach and culture in the public sector? Can we learn how to do things in more innovative ways from our research colleagues? Each academic on the panel will give a short presentation, followed by audience questions and/or panel discussion. More details to follow as they come to hand.Panelists include:

  • Professor Rob Fitzgerald Director of the INSPIRE Centre for ICT in Education, Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education) (UC)
  • Dr Sarah Pearson, DPhil, MAIP CEO of ANU Enterprise, Visiting Fellow College of Business and Economics (ANU)
  • Dr Mark Matthews Crawford School of Public Policy (ANU)
  • Dr Sam Bucolo PhD, MAppsc, GDID, BAppSc, FDIA, Chair and Professor in Design and Innovation (QUT)
  • Professor Deborah Blackman Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Business & Government, Associate Dean (Research), Faculty of Business & Government, Professor of Human Resource Management (UC)
  • University Distinguished Professor Ken Friedman D.Sc., honoris causa, 2007. Loughborough University. For outstanding contributions to design research. FDRS, 2006. Fellow of Design Research Society. PhD., 1976. Graduate School of Human Behaviour, United States International University. B.A., MA 1971, San Francisco State University
1200 – 1245 Lunch – The Lunch Address is a video presentation by Mike Bracken, Digital Director, Government Digital Service, UK Government. Mike will speak about the Government Digital Service (GDS) including information about their programs and the progress of open government and innovation in the UK Government.
1245 – 1345 Option 1 (Studio Room 1) – 60 minute workshop “How to Block Innovation” – HartKnowledge Consulting
Option 2 (Studio Room 2) – Academic Forum – We will have a discussion between academics and people from government departments. Discussion will focus on developing understanding and improving collaboration between the academic and government bodies, knowledge sharing about what each is doing, and the generation of ideas to enhance innovation in the public sector. Together, we will find common ground to co-create a model for future collaboration. More details to follow as they come to hand.
Option 3 (Main Stage) – 20 minute barcamp/unconference discussions
Option 4 (Teal Room) – 20 minute barcamp/unconference discussions
1345 – 1445 Option 1 (Studio 1) – 60 minute workshop – Bang the Table
Option 2 (Studio 2) – The Academic Forum – Cont’d
Option 3 (Main Stage) – 20 minute barcamp/unconference discussions
Option 4 (Teal Room) – 20 minute barcamp/unconference discussions
1445 – 1515 Afternoon Tea
1515 – 1615 Leadership Panel- Leaders throughout the APS sharing their vision on innovation and Gov 2.0. Panelists include:

  • Ann Steward – Australian Government Chief Information Officer
  • Michael Chisnall– Executive Director, ACT Government Information Office
  • Anne-Marie Schwirtlich – Director-General of the National Library of Australia
  • Ken Pettifer – Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research
  • Drew Clarke – Secretary of the Department of Resources, Energy & Tourism
  • David Fricker – Director General of the National Archive of Australia
1615 – 1645 Painting a Global Picture of Public Service Innovation – Andrea Di Maio
Video unavailable due to Gartner IP policy.
1645 – 1700 Closing