05 Dec 2023

Chris Fechner – Head of Profession End-of-Year Message

My first year as Head of the Digital Profession has seen a continuation of my passion and lifelong connection to digital. In a highly competitive industry to attract and retain digital professionals, the Digital Profession has been working hard to help uplift capability, build the workforce through entry level programs, and promote diversity for SES promotions.     Building up our entry level digital resources, increasing our diversity and representation at all levels of the APS, and continuing to upskill our digital leadership isn’t a short-term goal, but one that will be essential if we are to have an APS with digital skills fit for our digital future.    As part of the digital profession, we recognise your potential and the need to invest in you. But we’d also like to see more APS digital professionals, particularly those in leadership roles, be part of the solution in developing professional capability. To our members and hosting agencies of new talent, please continue to engage with us. We won’t be able to do this without you. By collaborating, we will build a culture of trust, embed working in the open, and work faster by leveraging off learnings.     The Digital Profession has achieved some great outcomes in 2023 including: 

  1. The launch of the new Digital Traineeship program to provide alternate career pathways to under-represented groups and build diversity in APS digital roles. 
  2. The opening of two Academy campuses in Newcastle and Townsville 
  3. Hosting 74 digital profession meetups and events with some great Australian and international speakers who are experts in their field. 
  4. Strong community growth with 16 communities of interest and/or practice 
  5. Piloting several learning and development opportunities in collaboration with industry partners 
  6. Increasing to over 4,000 applications for our digital entry level programs 
  7. Rolling out enhancements to the Members’ Community Platform (MCP) for a better member experience with over 10,500 digital profession members 
  8. Further development of the APS Career Pathfinder tool to make it easy for people to understand digital roles and map a potential career path. 
  9. An even split between male and female SES promotions.

Digital continues to evolve at pace, new capabilities like GenAI are upon us, and the Government continues to invest in Digital to better deliver for people, business, and the APS. Our digital transformation needs more skilled people to succeed, so I encourage you to grow your career through the digital profession, support the newest digital talent coming into the APS, and urge your managers to invest in APS digital roles. I’m looking forward to growing the digital profession with you all in 2024.

Written by Chris Fechner,

Chief Executive Officer, Digital Transformation Agency.