Established in December 2017, the Home Affairs Portfolio is one of the largest portfolios in government. It brings together functions relating to multicultural affairs, emergency management, transport security, transnational serious and organised crime, criminal justice policy, national security and counter-terrorism coordination, cyber policy and countering foreign interference.
The Portfolio’s purpose is to ensure a prosperous, secure and united Australia.
The Home Affairs Portfolio – and the Australian Public Service (APS) more broadly – face a number of existing and emerging challenges. Rapid change, the shifting technological landscape and accelerated demand for skills and talent all impact the APS workforce. Further, the pandemic has tested the entire APS’ ability to respond collaboratively to deliver services to Australians in time of national crisis.
The Portfolio Change Stewardship Office in Home Affairs, operates as a Centre of Excellence for Change Management in the Australian Government. The Centre aims to promote best practice principles, change management methodologies and approaches; create better outcomes through improved reporting and informed decision making; and build change management capability within the APS.
To achieve this, the Centre has a range of resources available such as an easy to use change management framework, guides and templates. The Centre also delivers practical initiatives such as their Change Management Capability Building program which includes a comprehensive seven month Change Management Internship (one day a week) and a six week (two half days a week) Change Management Intensive course. These initiatives are open to staff from across the APS, with support from their agencies.
Through an innovative approach the Centre is working towards embedding the principles of change stewardship in agencies, and is helping position the APS for future challenges. This allows the APS the flexibility it needs to adapt to constantly changing environments by embedding change management into the fabric of its operating environment.
The need to continue building change management capability was never more relevant than in 2021 due to the pace of change as the APS adapted its service delivery to the pandemic, supporting Australia’s pandemic response and the post-pandemic economic and societal reconstruction.