Announcing ‘The Project’ Finalists

Congratulations to our finalists of Chief Data & Analytics Officer Public Sector’s ‘The Project’ – Desiree Dvaz – City of Perth, Simon Massey - School Infrastructure NSW, Betty Machalias – Department of Families and Community Service, and Raj Walton – AUSTRAC!

Thank you to all who entered the competition, picking a top three proved to be so difficult we have four finalists!

Each of these finalists will be presenting at the upcoming Chief Data & Analytics Officer Public Sector, where they will not only be sharing their ideas and case studies, but will also be vying for the title and to win the Data Champions Trophy.

The audience will vote on their favourite project presented, no standard metrics just based on audience chills and thrills. Awarding the winner the all important bragging rights, and our ‘Data Champions’ trophy.

About the Finalists

Raj Walton

Raj Walton, Director - Innovation, Information & Transformation, AUSTRAC

Raj leads the work surrounding AUSTRAC's Innovation Hub. Raj recently coordinated an international Financial Intelligence Unit Codeathon that brought together over 80 participants from 10 countries to collaboratively jam and develop potential solutions to money laundering, cyber and terrorism risks over 32 hours.

Raj’s Presentation: Zerophase - Nudging Better Leadership Behaviour

The Australian Transaction Reports & Analysis Centre's (AUSTRAC's) Innovation, Information & Analytics (IIA) Branch recently conducted a project to more effectively obtain feedback about AUSTRAC's culture and Integrated Leadership System (ILS) leadership behaviours . Data was collected from IIA staff about their Executive Level (EL) cohort in a continuous manner, using social data to trigger contextually relevant feedback.The success of this project has meant that a second phase. using an enhanced data analysis tool will be run through AUSTRAC's Innovation Hub

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Desiree Dvaz, Business Analyst, City of Perth

Desiree is lead BA for the Sustainability Performance Platform. Desiree’s role entails working closely with the Sustainability team to understand the business problem and opportunity, elicitate business requirements and provide technical solutions. With over 8 years’ experience in local and state government and certifications in business systems analysis, Desiree is skilled in designing and implementing software solutions and products that support operational outcomes and drive business efficiency.

Desiree’s Presentation: City of Perth Sustainability Performance Platform

The City of Perth knows that to meet our sustainability targets, we need to leverage and realise tangible, achievable and lasting actions to reduce resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Our new Sustainability Performance Platform aims to meet this challenge by giving the City’s stakeholders the information they need to improve their sustainability performance. Phase 1 of the pilot project uses Microsoft Power BI to analyse, measure and report on the City’s energy, water and emissions reduction targets across the City’s $8 billion assets and infrastructure portfolio – and replacing up to 10 hours per week of manual sustainability data and account management.The clarity and simplicity of the Sustainability Performance Platform has led to an uptake in sustainability reporting and engagement across the City.

A Phase 2 of the Platform is now in flight after the award of a $250,000 Commonwealth Government Smart Cities & Suburbs Grant. This second phase expands beyond the corporate environmental sustainability focus of Phase 1 to align with the City’s new Strategic Community Plan, including key performance indicators on community health and wellbeing, biodiversity and green infrastructure, transport and social entrepreneurship.

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Betty Machalias, Manager, Online Reporting and Dashboards, Department of Family and Community Services

A strategic and an innovative manager, with extensive experience across the public sector and in data visualisation and communication for diverse audiences.

Betty has led the development of interactive reports and changed the face of public statistical reporting for FACS (see By transforming siloed and laborious paper-based reporting processes into an automated and integrated reporting process, efficiency gains have included reducing timeframes by up to three months. Overall, Betty has been instrumental in ensuring FACS compliance and commitment to open and digital government.

Betty’s Presentation: Developing the FACS Domestic and Family Violence Dashboard to Provide More Open Data and Insights

Our interactive Domestic and Family Violence Dashboard has delivered transparency and accountability relating to how FACS supports victims of domestic and family violence. Users no longer have to visit multiple sources from FACS and other government agencies to access information about demand for FACS services, service responses, client demographics, referral pathways and client outcomes. Additionally, client outcomes (rather than agency outputs) – which are most meaningful for policy-makers and the public – are at the heart of the dashboard. Of note, the dashboard also helps to track performance around whole-of-government strategies to reduce domestic and family violence.

Also important is the dashboard’s user-centric design. As individuals navigate through customisable presentations of data, each view is contextualised and explained via key messages, visualisation and tooltips. Furthermore, efficiency gains are being realised through the use of more streamlined and automated processes and as ad hoc enquiries can quickly be directed to a comprehensive and public source of truth.


Simon Massey, Strategic Analyst, School Infrastructure NSW

Simon is a proficient policy and data analyst with experience across various State Government departments. He has a proven track record of introducing fundamental changes to analysing government data with an ability to communicate complex concepts in clear and understandable language. Passionate about big-picture thinking and scenario planning the long-term implications of policy and programmatic changes.

Simon’s Presentation: The School Planning Assistance [SPA] Tool

School Infrastructure NSW [SINSW] has implemented an innovative data analysis tool with machine learning capabilities, the School Planning Assistance [SPA] tool. The SPA tool equips school asset planners to scenario plan future school infrastructure needs across each of our 2,200+ schools through the use of interactive maps, data visualisations and the consistent application of evaluation criteria. The tool has helped to shift SINSW from one-to-one school planning to one-to-many strategic planning, which has enabled us to deliver a long-term plan while still considering more data than we ever have before.

The SPA Tool has been operational since October 2017 and is currently used by up to 30 school planners at SINSW to help prepare plans for all 2,200 schools across NSW and for 15 years of population growth. The SPA is also used by SINSW to prepare annual budget submissions to NSW Treasury and inform strategic land use plans developed by the NSW Department of Planning and Environment and the Greater Sydney Commission.