Service Design Melbourne

SDM contribution to the public sector

Event Details

DateWednesday, 15 March 2017
LocationRoyal College of Surgeons Conference Centre
RegistrationRegister for tickets

Submission Details

DateSubmissions close:

Hosted by Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), the peak body for local government in Victoria that assists local councils in providing best practice services to local communities, the SDM team had the opportunity to facilitate a ‘taster to human-centred design’ workshop as part of Hacktivation: Transforming in the Local Government Conference held on the 15th and 16th of March 2017.

Being characterised as inefficient, providing unsustainable services, having a reputational decline and being financially constrained, local governments recognise that the transformation of the sector needs to happen, but how can change be cultivated?

Understanding that all problems have a unique context, which are then further linked to the discovery of larger, more complex issues, SDM aimed to shift the focus from solving a multifaceted issue in 1.5 hours, to reframing the way local councils approach and think about their problems. In order to introduce participants to the application of design to wicked problems, ‘Public Space Utilisation’ was identified as a common problem and selected as a focus point for the purpose of this workshop. Using design methods such as empathy building exercises (e.g. personas) and rapid ideation techniques, participants were able to begin seeing problems from a different perspective. As a result, the workshop equipped local councils with a selection of relevant design methods to employ in their respective work environments.

“They [the attendees] found the Service Design workshop extremely beneficial, especially for learning and understanding various methodologies to integrate service design and make it more user oriented. The hands-on approach of your team made the session very rewarding for all involved.… many thanks for your support.”

John Hennessy, MAV


“I really enjoyed the activity and I think personas are a great tool for us to use in local government – I am recommending it to our Customer Experience Coordinator. I have been in orgs that use design thinking before and this session was a good reintroduction to some of the tools and thinking. I appreciated the enthusiasm and help of the facilitators.”

Lisa Olszewski, Bayside City Council


Thank you SDM Team:
Rachelle Dunstan, Celeste Galtry, Jonathan Yeates, Hayley Carra,Jamie Millier, Alison Livingston, Tina Dinh, Juan Sanin, Ryley Lawson, Julia Birks and Yoko Akama. Thanks also to Isobar Melbourne, Medibank Australia, IAG, RMIT and Monash University.

Text credit: Tina Dinh
Photo credit: Ryley Lawson


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