Department of Human Services staff member Lisa Hoskin is not one to back down from a challenge. Lisa was recently awarded a Public Service Medal for her work as manager of one of the department’s busiest service centres in Woodridge Queensland.
She saw an opportunity to work with other local organisations to better support vulnerable people and culturally and linguistically diverse communities accessing the department’s payments and services.
Lisa said at first she was in shock about receiving the accolade, but feels “humbled and grateful” for the recognition.
“Working together with staff, other government agencies and community organisations was key to identifying and trialling new ideas at our service centre,” Lisa said.
Lisa set up a regular community meeting at the service centre with multicultural and refugee service providers, to collaborate on emerging issues in the community.
“These strong relationships with other agencies helped the service centre staff improve the way they helped vulnerable people,” Lisa said.
“People were able to be linked with other support services, and didn’t have to attend the service centre as frequently or provide information more than once.”
Members of the community also learned how to use the department’s digital options at information sessions local staff ran in community languages including Vietnamese, Arabic and Farsi.
Lisa says the staff were able to get through challenging periods by remaining focused on their purpose.
“We want to be known for being committed to providing quality services to a thriving local community,” Lisa said.
“The Woodridge Service Centre is busy and diverse. Having over 220 different cultures in the Logan region is what makes it special.
“Along with the specialist skills and diversity of staff including our Multicultural Service Officers, interpreters and social workers, the changes we made mean we are now better able to better serve a local community with unique and complex needs.”
Lisa is now working in the department’s Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation programme, and says she is thrilled to be involved with a project that will continue to improve the department’s services for vulnerable people.
“I believe public service is a calling,” Lisa said, “I tend to walk towards tasks that are difficult, and like to make life easier for everyone.”