Acknowledgement of dignitaries and acknowledgement of Country.

A special thanks to UTS for hosting – the Data Arena is an incredible facility which I will talk more about later.

As you are all aware, I’m here tonight to make an announcement about the direction of NSW in relation to innovation, and data analytics.

But before I do so, I want to tell you about who I am, and why I’m passionate about innovation and data, and how we got to this point tonight.

I’m not a scientist, technician, engineer or mathematician; I’m a 48 year old former lawyer and now politician.

In 2002, before I entered the world of politics, I was at a personal crossroad. My father had passed away and I wanted to find out the meaning of life.

I thought of no better place than India – where life and death collide in a chaotic yet beautiful way.

When I was in India 13 Years ago, I saw and did some amazing things

I saw the Taj Mahal, I stood on a cliff overlooking the blue city of Jaipur,
I played cricket with kids in Orchha, I tried to buy a camel in the Pushka markets

…and I saw kids get excited simply because I had an old SLR camera and I was able to take photos of them (even though they couldn’t see the photos I was taking at the time).

I also saw things that troubled me deeply and challenged my view of the world and how unfair it is.

[image of Minister speaking with farmers in rural India]

I had the opportunity to go back to India in 2013. I went back to visit the slums in Dharavi and I got to listen to the concerns of poor farmers in remote communities. Needless to say, some of the conditions that these people were living in were still very confronting.

However on this trip back to India, I did notice a change. I want you to have a look at one of the farmers sitting down opposite me crossed legged.

That poor farmer had a mobile phone, in fact most people had a mobile phone… even the kids in the Dharavi slums.

The great thing about this, is that through advancements in technology, even the poorest of the poor have access to a world of opportunities and information in a way never before possible.

These people are now connected to the Information age. And information is power.

As Francis Maude said – “Open data can be a raw material for economic growth – just like iron and coal were to the industrial revolution”

We have left the industrial age.

We are now in the information age and data is the fuel.

On the 2nd of April this year I got a call from Mike Baird asking me to be the first Minister for Innovation in NSW.

My job – to digitise the NSW government and encourage collaboration with the private sector to drive better outcomes for the people of NSW.

Innovation in government? Sounded like mission impossible to me.

The first thing I did in my new role was survey the landscape. It’s clear that NSW is the number one state in Australia.

We have robust performances in all our “major” sectors including construction, mining, education, tourism, agriculture and of course banking and finance.

Underneath the headline stories of our economic success, also sits our thriving digital economy – which I know is something that you are all acutely aware of.

In order for the digital economy to flourish, we need meaningful collaboration between government and industry.

I commend my Cabinet colleagues, for work already underway to boost the technology sector, including the work of my colleague Anthony Roberts with Knowledge Hubs, and initiatives to work with industry to improve productivity.

The Premier has also made a personal commitment to engaging with the digital ecosystem through the Premier’s Innovation Initiative and of course the creation of a dedicated Innovation portfolio that he has charged me with.

And we’ve got Digital Plus, the most recent iteration of the ICT Strategy.

That reform program kicked off in 2012 and has delivered significant achievements in the last 3 years including:

Supporting better customer services through ServiceNSW, being strongly led by my colleague Dominic Perrottet;

We’ve got a world leading data centre in GovDC;

A dedicated focus on Open Data and the principles of Open Government;

And reforms to procurement processes to make it easier to do business with government.

And while we’re on this topic, as we have in previous years, we’ll be seeking your input to the next phase of the ICT strategy to be announced later this year…

…An open call for your ideas on key themes for the next iteration, will go live tonight on the government’s Have Your Say website, which I encourage you to participate in.

We also have a Digital Council established under the leadership of Mike Pratt, the Customer Service Commissioner, to bring business leaders from across government together to reimagine the delivery of public services.

…And over the next few months the Digital Council will be looking to work with industry to achieve this goal.

There is valuable data analytics work being undertaken by individual agencies.
In Health we have Centre for Health Record Linkage (CHeReL)

In Education we have the Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation (CESE)

In Crime, we have the Bureau of Crime, Statistics and Research. (BOCSAR)

… to name just a few.

The biggest challenge is that governments have a 20th century approach to the use and sharing of data.

Data is held in agency silos and there are over 140 agencies in the NSW Government alone.

The slow and heavy handbrake of bureaucracy means that whole of government data sharing and analytics is stifled.

We all know about Henry Ford and his famous quote last century regarding mass production and a one size fits all approach.

[slide: "Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black" – Henry Ford]

But government can’t afford to think this way. As a Government we need to become more customer-centric in the 21st century. And this means we must be agile, faster, smarter in the way we operate.

We need to harness our data assets to deliver better tailored services. In doing so, we need to collaborate with the private sector to bring new thinking and new ideas to government.

Through my initial discussions with both the public and private sector – including many of you here tonight, key themes became apparent in terms of what needed to be done.

I realized that in order to harness our data assets, we needed a centralised agency, with the capacity to aggregate and analyze whole of government data (including from SOCs and local councils).

The goal? To gain greater insights and tackle the complex challenges our society faces.

Tonight, for the first time, I’m proud to publicly announce that the NSW Government will establish a whole of government data analytics centre, the first of its kind in Australia.

Affectionately known as the “DAC” (at least for now), the data analytics centre will be tasked with the following responsibilities:

collecting and analyzing of whole of government data in relation to approved projects;

Coordinating consistency of definitions and data standards across NSW Government agencies;

It will establish and maintain a register of data assets in government; and provide advice to government on the greater publication of open data;

It will also provide advice on how data can inform the digitisation of the NSW Government and how the NSW Government can support the digital ecosystem;

Importantly, it will investigate and establish processes and methodologies to enable the protection of personal information; and

advise the NSW Government on best practice analytic processes and data/information security.

Not only will this significantly facilitate and expedite data linkages within government, it will also, in time, provide a central point – a one stop shop – for those seeking access to data and analytics in NSW.

With all of these functions centralised in one place, not only will it be the first of its kind in Australia, to the best of our knowledge, it will also be the first of its kind in the world.

It will be an environment where researchers, start ups, companies and the NGO sector can work directly with experts from government.

The DAC will be able to interface with the NSW digital ecosystem in a significant way to gain insights and reduce some of the great public challenges that we have such as, in the areas of crime prevention, childhood obesity, pollution, sustainable urban planning etc.

Governments right around the world spend enormous resources in trying to solve these challenges in a piece meal way. What the DAC will provide is an ability for industry and researchers to interface with Government in a one stop shop environment to solve some of these complex issues.

The possibilities are endless.

The DAC will be located initially within Department of Finance, Services and Innovation.

And I’d just like to take a moment to thank the Department team led by William Murphy for their herculean efforts in bringing this project together with the priority it deserves.

To ensure that the DAC fulfils on its promise, we recognised that it was important to get critical stakeholders involved in the design phase.

For this purpose, we have assembled a Steering Committee which includes:

Mike Pratt, the NSW Customer Service Commissioner – at the end of the day this is all about improving the services we provide to the citizens of NSW

Professor Mary O’Kane – NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, and a passionate advocate of the power of data to do things differently

Liz Tydd, the NSW Information Commissioner – who’s brief already extends to making NSW data open and available for use by the community, and

Dr Elizabeth Coombs, the NSW Privacy Commissioner.

Dr Coombs’ role here is, of course, essential.

Dr Coombs involvement will ensure that the development of the DAC has privacy as one of its core design principles.

While we all recognise the value in joining-up data, and bringing people together to develop new insights…

The need to protect the privacy of individuals and the security of their information is absolutely non-negotiable.

In fact, the DAC will strengthen privacy in NSW by making it a key element of this initiative.

We are blessed in Sydney to be the beating heart of Australia’s digital ecosystem.

This incredible facility here at UTS (Data Arena) is just a part of the world-class education and research infrastructure that is located in NSW.

Those who have seen it will know what I’m talking about – and for those who haven’t, I encourage you to have a look later tonight.

Bringing data sets together in 3D, in real time taps into that basic human skill, developed over millennia, to make visual sense of the world and see things we didn’t expect to see. In fact, if you want to see, tomorrow today – step inside the data arena now.

With the number of world class research and educational facilities here in NSW looking at data analytics, I believe we owe it to the people of NSW to bring this vibrancy and innovation into the delivery of public services.

And in turn, I hope that working with government can be a catalyst for new and exciting developments to take the technological capability of NSW to the world.

With the DAC, we now have an even stronger vision for NSW.

Over two-thirds of Australia’s start up community makes its home right here in Sydney, including:

Incubators and accelerators like Fishburners, Blue Chilli, Stone&Chalk, Pollenizer, ATP Innovations, and Lakeba, to name just a few.

We also have some of the most well known digital businesses around including GoCatch, Freelancer, Shoes of Prey, and GoGet.

Sydney-based Atlassian and SocietyOne were once start ups here but are now mature successful international tech companies.

An increasing number of multinational technology giants are establishing a substantial presence here including:

Amazon, Google, Apple, and Uber… in addition to Microsoft, Fujitsu, IBM, SAP and Oracle who have long seen Sydney and NSW as the core of technology and innovation in Australia.

I recently learnt that Google, Microsoft, Apple and SAP alone employ nearly 6000 people in NSW already.

I want New South Wales to be known as the tech-hub of the Asia-Pacific.

And my intention is the DAC will be a cornerstone in achieving this vision.

The DAC will be an enabler for NSW to become a globally competitive digital ecosystem.

It will provide a mature approach to problem solving. It will extend beyond the siloed mentality of government and will invite industry to collaborate with government experts to achieve meaningful outcomes.

Innovation is not a product, it’s a state of mind.

The DAC is not about spending a whole lot of money, it’s about using our assets collaboratively to ensure a more targeted use of our finite resources.

This is an ambitious reform agenda, designed to deliver… we must be bold. Big data and analytics has been around for decades in the corporate sector. Governments around the world are starting to wake up to the benefits.

If we do nothing , then that will be an enormous cost to our state. We can’t afford to be left behind.

If in NSW, we harness data for the greater public good, the DAC will result in a genuinely tech-tonic shift. The DAC will enable us to see tomorrow today, but in greater focus.

Thank you.

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Nominations for the 2015 NSW Seniors Local Achievement Awards


NSW Innovation Minister to discuss govt big data in Korea

By Dylan Bushell-Embling 
Wednesday, 23 September, 2015

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NSW Minister for Innovation Victor Dominello will discuss the role of data analytics in government during a keynote address at next month’s IFIP World Computer Congress (WCC 2015) in South Korea.

Dominello last month announced plans for the state government to establish a whole-of-government data analytics centre in Sydney.

During his keynote, Dominello will detail the government’s progress with integrating its data repositories in a single platform and why analytics is the next logical step to take advantage of that data.

He will detail the potential for analytics to unlock the value of whole-of-government data and transform the way governments operate, as well as the steps the government is taking to enshrine data security as part of its big data initiatives.

“Data is one of the greatest assets held by government, but when it’s buried away in bureaucracy, it is of little value,” Dominello commented.

“Data analytics will help us build a culture of innovation across government and demonstrate to industry that we take innovation and creative solutions seriously.”

As well as delivering a speech at the conference, Dominello will use his South Korea visit to inspect strategic big data facilities in the nation and explore data analytics strategies with fellow conference attendees.

WCC 2015 will take place in Daejeon, South Korea, from 4–7 October. Over 2000 ICT professionals, computer scientists, researchers and academics are expected to attend.

Pictured: NSW Minister for Innovation Victor Dominello


Whole-Of-Government Data Analytics Centre A Step Closer

18 November 2015
NSW Parliament today approved the Data Sharing (Government Sector) Bill 2015 to enable data sharing across government agencies and support the functioning of the NSW Data Analytics Centre (DAC).
Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation Victor Dominello said the DAC is the first of its kind in Australia and will use whole-of-government data for strategic decision making.
“The bill gives the DAC greater teeth by enabling the Minister to, in certain circumstances, require NSW Government agencies and local councils to provide data to the DAC within 14 days,” he said.
The DAC is being developed within the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation. Work is already underway on the first of nine priority projects, to improve vocational education training courses in NSW by using data to better target the needs of business and to improve employment outcomes for job seekers.
Dr Ian Oppermann, former CSIRO Director of Digital Productivity Division, has been appointed as expert adviser to lead the development phase of the DAC.
“Dr Oppermann has over 20 years’ experience in the ICT sector holding senior management roles in Europe and Australia, and has a reputation for delivering outcomes,” Mr Dominello said.
The ongoing protection of privacy and safety of an individual’s personal information is of utmost importance to the government. The bill works within the existing privacy landscape in NSW, including the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act for NSW agencies that collect, publish and provide access to data.
Find out more about the DAC at
2015 Open Data ThinkTank Report Released

17 June 2015
On 30 April representatives from across Government and Industry attended the 2015 NSW Government Open Data ThinkTank. The final report is being released today which captures discussions and highlights from the event. 
The ThinkTank was opened by the Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation, the Hon. Victor Dominello MP. Speakers at the event included:
William Murphy, Deputy Secretary, Service Innovation and Strategy, Office of Finance & Services, who provided a perspective on new opportunities, approaches and priorities
Des Mooney and Dr. Steve Woodhouse, Land and Property Information spoke about Foundation Spatial Data
Dr. Kerry Taylor, CSIRO presented an overview of the opportunity presented by Linked Open Data for public policy
Matt Berger, Australian Bureau of Statistics presented work on the Australian Census Longitudinal Dataset (ACLD) as an example of confidentialisation preserving utility
A highlight from the day was a Government + Industry panel which provided a reality check on open data and judged an open data ‘myth busting’ activity.  Panelists included Fransisco Urbina, Chair, Spatial Industries Business Association NSW, John Hudson, Director ePlanning, NSW Department of Planning, Dr Jenny Donovan, General Manager, Strategic Information and Reporting, NSW Department of Education and Dr Alana Maurushat, Academic Co-director of UNSW Cyberspace Law and Policy Centre and Key Researcher, CRC Data to Decision. Teams were given one of nine commonly-held myths around open data, and were challenged to come up with evidence-based responses to effectively “bust” the myth. It was great to see all 191 participants from both Government and industry interact and ‘myth bust’ commonly held beliefs on this topic. Out of nine myths, six were ‘busted’, identifying three myths where more work was needed.
An international guest, Giulio Quaggiotto, Senior Program Manager for Innovation Skills from NESTA, joined the session from London to talk about big data for public policy.
An afternoon panel session on big data in NSW featured Prof. Mary O’Kane, NSW Chief Scientist and Engineer, and Jeremy Moon, Director Analytics, NSW Procurement, Office of Finance and Services.
Dr. Kate Harrington, Director, Information, Strategic Policy at the Office of Finance and Services closed the day highlighting the priorities for participants. The top three priorities were:
1.       value proposition for release of data
2.       partnerships between government and non-government
3.       priority release schedule for government data
Thank you to all who particpated in making this event a success.
Click here to read the report
NSW Government innovation leaders to host roundtable at CeBIT

23 April 2015
In 2014 the NSW Government established the Service Innovation and Strategy (SIS) division within the Office of Finance and Services.
In early 2015 two new Executive Directors commenced to oversee the two main areas of SIS.
Dawn Routledge was appointed Executive Director of the Strategic Policy team which supports NSW Government reforms in ICT, procurement and construction.  Dawn was previously leading the information and open data initiatives of the NSW Government ICT Strategy. Dawn has held strategic and leadership roles in NSW Government, the private sector and overseas with particular experience in developing strategies and managing change.
Penny Webb-Smart was appointed as Executive Director of Service Reform. This new unit has been established to support the public sector to design and deliver services that provide better customer, policy and financial outcomes based on customer-centricity, digital-first and innovative service delivery models. Penny brings extensive experience in product and service development, and digital transformation, in banking, telecommunications and consulting.
Dawn and Penny will together host a roundtable at the Social Business Conference at CeBIT on Tuesday 5 May 2015. Attendees at the Conference will include CIOs, CEOs, Digital Marketing Managers, Brand Managers, Social Media Managers and others who will hear from a range of speakers about the importance of social business in shaping opinions, growing sales, recruiting talent, managing issues and reinforcing your brand. The roundtable sessions will provide an opportunity to engage with other attendees on related topics.
More information about the Social Business Conference can be found at
Read more about CeBIT at
NSW Government leaders meet for ICT Strategic Planning workshop

30 March 2015
On Monday 23 March NSW Government leaders came together for an ICT Leadership Group Strategic Planning Workshop at the Justice and Police Museum. Over 50 CIOs and senior business leaders from across government were in attendance.
The workshop used the recently developed NSW Government enterprise architecture to support discussion of whole of government ICT solutions, agency initiatives and future focus areas. The NSW Government Enterprise Architecture Framework and Strategy aims to enable a common approach to the design of digital government and is a significant piece of work arising from the inaugural 2014 Planning Workshop.
Michael Pratt, Customer Service Commissioner, also provided a highly engaging presentation about the NSW Government customer service transformation to a customer-first model.
Image of workshop    Mike Pratt   
In addition, a panel session provided updates on key initiatives from the Office of Finance and Services, Service NSW and the Treasury.
Keys topic areas in the group discussions that followed included:
Consideration of planned agency initiatives for the 2016-17 budget
Potential whole-of-government opportunities
Identifying enablers of ICT investment in line with the NSW Government ICT Strategy
The workshop was the culmination of Phase 1 of the ICT Investment Process, as outlined in the NSW Government ICT Investment Policy and Guidelines released in 2014.
The three phases are:
Phase 1: ICT Leadership Group strategic planning discussion
Phase 2: Development of investment proposals
Phase 3: Business case review process
Read more about the NSW Government ICT Investment Process and download the guidelines at
.sydney goes live

24 February 2015
Registrations for .sydney domain names are now available to New South Wales residents and businesses. Over 2,000 names have been registered since the domain launched on 17 February 2015.
The opportunity to have a .sydney domain has introduced a fresh way for NSW Government departments to extend their online presence beyond the traditional extensions.
NSW Government registrations include: (Destination NSW) and (Transport for NSW) (Department of Trade & Investment, Regional Infrastructure & Services) (Department of Justice) (NSW Health) (Royal Botanical Gardens) (The Centennial Park and Moore Park Trust - Office of Environment & Heritage) (Destination NSW)
      There has also been Local Government interest.
Warringah Council has reserved and and the Council of the City of Sydney has claimed and
“Registering a .sydney domain name offers individuals and brands a new and innovative way of doing business online in New South Wales”, said NSW Finance and Services Minister, Dominic Perrottet MP. 
View the media release.
For more information about .sydney domain names visit
Digital Government Survey Report released

15 January 2015
In September last year the Accelerating Digital Government Taskforce (the Taskforce) conducted a public survey to seek input from the community about preferences and priorities for digital government in NSW.
1,853 responses were received from across NSW.  Thanks to all those who participated.
A report was presented to the Taskforce which summarised the findings and is now available to download.
Additional consultations took place through stakeholder workshops with representatives from the public sector, industry, NGOs and research sectors.
The findings will inform the development of a digital government roadmap which will outline the vision and plan for a digital government that is agile and innovative, optimising the value of information assets and digital technologies to anticipate needs and deliver better public services.
Download the Digital Government Survey Report
Download the Stakeholder Workshop report and Nous Fusion Room community consultation report
Service NSW Digital Stores to assist with online transactions

26 November 2014
On Wednesday 19 November, the Minister for Finance and Services announced the opening of the first Service NSW Digital Store in North Sydney.
The new cashless digital store gives customers greater choice in how they transact with the NSW Government by providing access to all transactions that can be completed online, supported by expert advice.
Staff at North Sydney Digital Store
A team is on hand to answer questions and assist customers with enquiries. Online transactions from NSW Government agencies that are available within the store include, but are not limited to the following:
vehicle and boat registration renewals
making changes to your personal information
applying for birth certificates
applying for a NSW Seniors Card
purchasing national park annual passes
obtaining fishing licenses
finding a school
enrolling to vote
The Minister noted that Service NSW has taken a fresh approach to delivering services to the public by providing services in ways that have not been done before by government departments. "The pilot shows how Service NSW is leading the way in bringing services to people rather than expecting customers to go out of their way to do business with Government" he said.
The North Sydney Digital store compliments other Service NSW initiatives such as LiveChat, the new Service NSW app and more self-serve kiosks in motor registries.
Service NSW is seeking feedback from customers about the North Sydney Digital Store which can be provided by email, telephone or at the store itself.  Key learnings from the pilot will be used to determine the best locations for future digital stores in the Sydney metropolitan area which are planned for the coming year.
The North Sydney Service NSW Digital Store is located at Greenwood Plaza, Metro Level, 36 Blue St, North Sydney.
Email: and phone: 13 77 88
Hours: Mon to Fri 7.30am - 6pm, Sat 9am - 1pm
Congratulations to winners of the 2014 NSW Tech Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

11 November 2014
On 6 November 2014, the Minister for Finance and Services, the Hon. Dominic Perrottet MP, presented the 2014 NSW Tech Entrepreneur of the Year Awards at NSW Parliament House on behalf of the Pearcey Foundation.
The winners were Ben Richardson and Dave Greiner, founders of Campaign Monitor and Tim Power, Managing Director for 3P Learning.
Campaign Monitor manages email marketing campaigns with an emphasis on web design. Campaign Monitor was the recipient of the largest ever venture capital investment into an Australian technology startup, when US firm Insight Ventures provided US$250 million to support the initiative.
3P Learning is a global leader in online education that develops e-learning programs in partnership with schools and families. In July 2014, 3P Learning listed on the Australian Stock Exchange successfully raising A$285 million.
Minister Perrottet said "This year's winners represent the fabulous talent that exists in our country. They have been extremely successful, taking different paths to build global businesses, but in the process maintaining their Australian roots and heritage. They prove Australian innovation and entrepreneurship is much very alive and well.”
The 2014 NSW Tech Entrepreneur of the Year Awards is awarded annually to the most outstanding ICT and digital media entrepreneur, through an open peer recognition system.
The Pearcey Foundation is a non-profit organisation founded in 1998 in memory of the Australian ICT pioneer Dr Trevor Pearcey.
The Pearcey Foundation
Dr Trevor Pearcey
Why Digital+ ?

23 October 2014
The Minister for Finance and Services, the Hon. Dominic Perrottet MP has launched Digital+, the 2014-15 update to the NSW Government ICT Strategy.  The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) hosted the launch event on 22 October 2014 with approximately 300 guests.
So why Digital+?
The name was chosen because this next phase is more than an ICT Strategy and not just a digital strategy.  It is a broad program of business transformation through three stakeholder lenses: Community, Industry and Government.
1. Digital + Community – citizen facing initiatives focused on putting the customer at the centre of service design.
2. Digital + Industry – business facing initiatives to make it easier to supply to government and focusing on contemporary ICT sourcing models.
3. Digital + Government – internal facing initiatives transforming our operations through standards and common processes, and building digital capability in the public sector to deliver modern services
“For too long, government technology has been focused inwards,” said Mr Perrottet. “Digital means we look outwards, to how we work with customers, with industry and within government.
“Our plan is to embrace technologies and processes that offer our citizens a seamless experience when dealing with government.”
Actions include the development of a roadmap to accelerate the move to digital government, initiatives for small and medium enterprises, and standards for cloud and telecommunications.  Digital+ also continues the delivery of initiatives for open government, open data and excellence in information management.
Stay up to date with Digital+ by following the ICT Strategy on Twitter and Facebook.
Important links
Digital+, the 2014-15 ICT Strategy Update
Video of Minister’s speech from Digital+ launch
View the Storify article from the Digital+ launch
View the Digital+ media release
Digital+ ICT Strategy Launch

22 October 2014
The Minister for Finance launched Digital +, the 2014-15 update to the NSW Government ICT Strategy.
Digital + outlines a range of actions to build on the Government's program of ICT-led business transformation.
Actions include the development of a roadmap to accelerate the move to digital government, initiatives for small and medium enterprises, and standards for cloud and telecommunications.
View the Minister's Media Release
Download Digital +, the 2014-15 ICT Strategy Update
Download the 2013-14 ICT Strategy Update
Follow the conversation on Twitter #ICT_NSW