2018 Awards for Excellence

The Awards for Excellence in Risk Management (the Awards) are an important way to raise the profile and significance of risk management across the Commonwealth, by supporting and sharing the promotion of best practice risk management. Award recipients and initiatives are promoted through Comcover’s risk and education services including training, case studies, guidance, and seminars.


Risk Initiative

Comcover would like to make special mention of, and congratulate the Department of Veterans’ Affairs on winning the 2018 Risk Initiative category for the delivery of the Sir John Monash Centre (the Centre) Project.

The Centre, adjacent to the Australian National Memorial at Villers-Bretonneux, on the site of the Western Front in France, commemorates Australian service personnel who served in the First World War and opened just before Anzac Day 2018. The Centre is designed to engage and educate current and future generations about the Australian experience on the Western Front and is our most significant cultural institution outside Australia.

Department of Finance Secretary, Ms Rosemary Huxtable with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs award winners.

Enterprise Wide Category

The nominations received in 2018 were all of high calibre and the judges agreed on four awards in this category. However, there was no overall Winner for the Enterprise-wide Category in 2018.

Awards - Enterprise Wide

Highly Commended

The Department of Environment and Energy

The Department of Environment and Energy (Environment) was highly commended for the progress it has made in managing risk.

Environment has undergone a transformation from an immature risk culture to a culture of robust risk management and governance oversight.

Highly Commended

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

By launching its new DFAT Security Framework (DSF), the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) shifted the organisation away from a compliance-heavy approach regarding security to one that explicitly integrated risk management.

DFAT’s new framework has assisted the department and its staff in responding to changes in the threat environment by taking a more agile approach to security. This approach to implementing the framework was considered a key driver to effect the cultural change required in the Department and has had an immediate impact on how DFAT officers operate both within Australia and overseas.

DFAT has received both national and international recognition for its approach to the development of its enterprise risk and security framework and willing shares its experience with others.

Highly Commended 

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources has continued to improve its risk management maturity through the implementation of enterprise-wide risk management activities. Through their responsibility and accountability matrix, each of the department’s Deputy Secretaries’ own and are accountable for strategic risks.

Agriculture’s management of these key risks cascades through to internal documents. The approach embeds risk management into other internal frameworks, including business planning, project boards and performance reporting.

Honourable Mention 

The Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority

 Awards - Risk Initiative


Department of Veterans’ Affairs
The Sir John Monash Centre project

The Centre described above was built as a legacy of the Australian Government’s ANZAC Centenary program.

The Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) demonstrated that risk management was a fundamental element of the governance framework required to underpin the successful completion of the Centre. DVA’s approach to identifying and quantifying the potential for threats to impact delivery of the project allowed the project team to effectively mitigate the impacts.

By identifying its objectives early on, and incorporating the management of risk into every aspect of the project, the project came in under budget while meeting a critical deadline. The approach adopted by the project team is now used as a template for cultural change within DVA.

Highly Commended

Australian Maritime Safety Authority
Dynamic Separation

Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) identified and successfully managed an emerging problem of liquefaction of bulk ore cargoes which had resulted in vessel losses. The project required extensive stakeholder engagement, to identify the risk to shipping bulk cargoes and develop a response that was both internationally recognised, saved lives and the industry potentially millions of dollars.

Following the sinking of MV Bulk Jupiter the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) requested that the global bauxite industry undertake research into the behaviour of bauxite during ocean transportation and that AMSA should lead this research. This was as a result of AMSA’s previous work in leading a team to reform the IMO standards for the safe transport of iron ore fines. The work undertaken by AMSA in leading this global research is directly linked to its strategic priorities. 

Highly Commended 

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
Risk Return Resource Allocation

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources implemented the Risk Return Resource Allocation (RRRA) model, a quantitative approach to evaluate the biosecurity risks to Australia. The model uses a risk-based approach to guide biosecurity investment and supports Agriculture in managing Australia’s biosecurity system, protecting industry and the environment from pests, diseases and weeds.

Honourable Mention

Administrative Appeals Tribunal
Amalgamation of the Commonwealth Merits Review Bodies

Honourable Mention

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
Automatic Entry Processing for Commodities

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