The Department’s Communication Branch provides a broad range of communication services to support the Minister and our business areas in communicating government’s employment and workplace relations programs and policies to the Australian public. Among the communication strategies underpinning those services are communication campaigns, use of social media, media releases and media liaison, speech writing and event management.
Staff communication and corporate events are delivered to keep staff informed and to continue to build the Department’s productive and inclusive workplace culture.
The Department uses paid advertising to inform the community about the programs and initiatives it administers, consistent with the requirements of the Australian Government guidelines on information and advertising campaigns. Appendix 3 provides more information about the Department’s advertising initiatives.
The jobactive campaign
The second phase of the successful campaign to promote jobactive employment services ran from February to June 2017. Advertisements were placed on television and radio and online to encourage employers to use jobactive for their recruitment needs. Advertisements also promoted the Restart mature-age wage subsidy.
Raising awareness of ParentsNext
An advertising campaign to promote ParentsNext and attract volunteers to the program ran from April to June 2017 in the 10 local government areas in which ParentsNext currently operates. Advertising appeared on digital and social channels along with ‘out-of-home’ advertisements appearing in and near shopping centres.
The advertising was supported by a series of pop-up shopping centre booths where ParentsNext providers could engage with parents outside their offices and raise community awareness of the program.
Communicating with staff
The Communication Branch works closely with the Secretary, the Executive and the wider Department to communicate with staff in an engaging and effective manner. Various platforms are used, including the Secretary’s weekly Snapshot, the monthly newsletter Employment WRap, and regular news stories on the intranet, on blogs and in foyer displays.
The new intranet was launched on Monday 26 June 2017, following an extensive co-design process involving staff from throughout the Department during the preceding 18 months.
In 2016–17, there were a number of internal corporate events and external forums that engaged staff and stakeholders in the work of the Department. The Communication Branch also continued to support the social club, Morty’s, which does fundraising for community organisations and facilitates social events. In 2016, $15,500 was raised for the ACT Domestic Violence Crisis Service.
In 2017–18, the Department will move on to new phases of the jobactive and ParentsNext campaigns and begin work on other campaigns to promote new government programs. All campaigns are supported by communication activities other than paid advertising and include possible expansion of our social media channels to effectively engage with job seekers.
NAIDOC Week 2016
On 5 July 2016, it was standing room only in the Department’s national office during a mesmerising NAIDOC Week celebration by Torres Strait Islander musician and storyteller Chris Tamwoy. Chris performed songs he had written in the past several years, including a moving tribute to his grandmother. He also spoke of his family and emphasised the important connection he feels to the Torres Strait Islands, especially Badu Island.
Deputy Secretary Employment, Martin Hehir, addressed the audience, encouraging employees to look for opportunities to continuously improve their knowledge and understanding of Indigenous culture and history. He spoke about his own participation in the Jawun Executive Leadership Program, when he visited the West Kimberley region of Western Australia.
The NAIDOC Week event also featured a flag-bearing segment in which staff paraded the Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Australian flags in ceremonial style.
Spotlight on a successful small business
Staff from the Communication Branch, supported by staff from Audiovisual and Theatre Services, filmed a number of video case studies to highlight some of the great outcomes for people who have been supported under programs implemented by the Department. One of these entailed a February 2017 visit to Other Avenues Collectables, a small business in Perth, to make a video to promote the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme. (The filming coincided with a visit to the business by the Minister, who was there to congratulate the owners on their successful enterprise.) The New Enterprise Incentive Scheme provides training and financial support for eligible people who wish to become entrepreneurs and turn their business idea into a reality.