Media releases

Media releases and statements by Rachel Stephen-Smith

Health culture change pushes ahead with new ANU partnership

September 26, 2019

The ACT Government is partnering with The Australian National University (ANU) to develop an innovative and leading framework for workplace culture change across the ACT's public health system.

The Framework will be developed by organisational behaviour specialists at the ANU Research School of Management.

It will include culture change initiatives and importantly, will focus on measuring the effectiveness of these initiatives over time. This work is critical for the implementation of the recommendations of the Independent Review into the Workplace Culture within ACT Public Health Services, released earlier this year.

Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said the partnership with the ANU was an exciting step forward in the work underway to improve workplace culture across our hospitals and health facilities.

"To drive the cultural change a range of initiatives are being implemented across the entire public health system over the next three years. These initiatives will be tailored to the needs of staff across the individual health organisations.

"To guide this work at a system level, and to help our health organisations measure their success, we have engaged the ANU to develop a Culture Change Framework.

"The Framework will be informed by staff input and people external to the system, workforce data and the latest academic literature on organisational behaviour, with a focus on the health sector.

"As a smaller jurisdiction, we are uniquely placed to drive a positive shift in workplace culture across our whole system. Our collaboration with the ANU is a leading example of how to apply an evidenced-based approach to better understand the challenges within our health-related work environments and to identify solutions that are more likely to address problems.

"This Framework will ensure we are well placed to identify how all three of our public health services – the Health Directorate, Canberra Health Services and Calvary ACT can embed and sustain improvements to their workplace cultures," said Minister Stephen-Smith.

Work on the Framework has commenced and will be further developed over the coming months, with oversight provided by the Culture Review Oversight Group. For the first quarter of 2020, this work is expected to inform specific initiatives to be implemented by individual organisations across our public health services.

The ACT Government is committed to the implementation of all recommendations of the Review, with the 2019-20 ACT Budget providing $10.5 million for the implementation.