As Victoria’s First Minister’s department, the Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC) provides strategic leadership across the Victorian public service through its guidance and coordination of whole of government policy and performance.
Since 2020, there have been changes in how we live and work that have impacted us all — as individuals, as a community and as a public service.
In this context, DPC continues to demonstrate excellence through its delivery of strong policy outcomes. During 2021–22 this has been evident in our response to the persistent challenges of COVID-19 and the ongoing work to support the recovery and revitalisation of Victoria’s economy, industry, and communities.
In close partnership with the Department of Health, DPC has advised on significant investment in Victoria’s health system, to ensure it remains strong even in the face of the sustained peaks caused by COVID-19.
Supporting Victoria’s economic revitalisation has also seen DPC providing advice and coordination on the delivery of major infrastructure projects, new planning processes for state projects and a suite of other economic recovery initiatives.
DPC has also achieved major milestones for a number of key government policy commitments and reforms such as the establishment on 1 July 2021 of Wage Inspectorate Victoria as a statutory authority. Since then, Wage Inspectorate Victoria has worked to protect the safety and welfare of children working in Victoria, and a range of fundamental employment rights of workers and employees in Victoria.
Looking more broadly, following its establishment within DPC in April 2021, the First Peoples–State Relations group has been foundational to DPC’s support for First Peoples in Victoria to be strong and self-determining. This includes through participation in negotiations with the democratically elected First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria, and leading whole of government reforms to progress the government’s commitment to treaty. First Peoples–State Relations has also provided leadership and coordination on the whole of government response to the historic Yoorrook Justice Commission since the Commission’s establishment in May 2021.
Another key pillar of our work is to uphold and improve the standards of professional public administration.
Changes in previous years to the way the public service works have now become enduring features, reflecting our capacity to adapt to a rapidly evolving environment. I am proud to see the public service embedding practices that ensure modern, responsive, innovative and collaborative delivery, reflecting the experiences of all Victorians.
DPC’s whole of government leadership has also been evident in the digital transition of services and supports to enable evidence-based policy making and the provision of safer, more efficient and accessible government services. Digital Victoria’s leadership of this transition in 2021–22 culminated with the release of the Victorian Government Digital Strategy 2021–2026. This strategy outlines whole of government objectives to create better, fairer and more accessible services, a digital-ready public sector and a thriving digital economy.
The Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel has continued to excel in its provision of legislative services, critical to progress government reforms, while also working with Digital Victoria to improve its project management practices and systems.
These improvements across the breadth of public administration have been achieved with a view to efficiency and effectiveness. Together with the Department of Treasury and Finance, DPC has provided advice to the government on the implementation of a range of budget efficiency initiatives to ensure the provision of government services to Victorians remains economical and delivers strong public value.
I look forward to the privilege of continuing to work alongside my colleagues at DPC and the Victorian Secretaries’ Board, to lead a department and a public service always committed to improving outcomes for all Victorians.