What’s going to change for government workers who deliver a service?
Ajay works in a shopfront for the Department of Human Services. He helps people every day to engage with programs delivered through Medicare, Centrelink and the Child Support Agency.
Ajay is proud of the work he does, helping people to improve their health and wellbeing through programs he helps deliver.
While rewarding, it can be confronting at times. People who come into the shopfront can feel frustrated by the experience of waiting in lines, or of having to tell Ajay the same information over and over again. Many people would prefer to use a digital service instead—from the comfort of their own home, when it suits them—but have to present to a shopfront to prove their identity, or overcome system limitations.
His goal is to deliver the best possible service experience for his customers and focus his efforts on those who need his help the most.
Working for government in 2018
Ajay arrives at work each day, with a queue of people already waiting at the door for help.
Some of his customers are regulars. They know the process, and move through the queue, at times frustrated and at others resigned to it. Ajay wonders if there are ways he can do his job faster and more effectively so his customers can spend more time studying, working, or with their families and friends.
Ajay’s customers are at times distressed. Their circumstances change, sometimes suddenly, and they are worried about whether their government support will continue.
Ajay has a good knowledge of the policies and programs he helps deliver but not of the other types of government support that might be available for his customers. Even for those he does know, he can’t always provide enough information to give his customers much comfort.
His customers sometimes leave with more questions than answers, confused and frustrated. Ajay wishes he could give his customers more personalised services that will help them through these difficult times.
Working for government in 2025
People engaging with Medicare, Centrelink and Child Support services choose online options first – because they are more convenient, faster, easy to use, accessible and trusted. People who prefer face-to-face discussions can choose to attend a shopfront.
Ben needs support and wants to meet someone at the shopfront. He registers his presence using his app and a few simple pieces of information. This helps the office to prioritise his visit.
Ben’s profile comes up on Ajay’s screen before he arrives at his desk. Ajay reads Ben’s history and recent interactions with government.
Ben explains to Ajay, “I started applying for rent assistance but my connection dropped out. I am concerned I might not get paid”. Ajay can see Ben’s incomplete application. Ajay finalises Ben’s application and it is approved on the spot.
The system prompts Ajay to offer other supports that might help Ben. Talking through these options, Ajay discovers Ben has recently been evicted from his low-cost rental. He is homeless and embarrassed to keep asking family and friends for shelter. Ajay helps Ben with information on community support groups.
Ben follows up on Ajay’s advice. He engages with community support groups and finds a suitable share house. Ajay’s system sends him a message that Ben has found a home. He feels extremely proud to have been able to help Ben through this.