Alistair Lloyd



Four and a quarter years ago, I started a “3 month” contract with the Department of Education and Training in Victoria.  During this time I have been privileged to participate and in some cases lead the development of vital strategies which support and enable children and families across the State. As I archived old files in preparation for the move, I came across some highlights.

Contact Management was a short, sharp strategy development piece. Our team of four set out to define the State-wide strategy for inbound contact handling and resolution for Regional Services Group, which manages on-the-ground services for over fifty different program and service streams across the State. As a result of this strategy, there has been wide reaching improvements in the consolidation and consistency of contact channels and methods, the creation of a new dynamic knowledge base, and the modernisation of contact routing technology.

The challenge for “ChildLink” – or, as it was known then, the “Early Childhood Management System” – was to define the ways in which the Department would bring together information and ways of working to improve engagement and participation in early childhood services. This continues to be a complex and emotional space, with high profile cases of child mortality and inquiries into vulnerable children and families providing the backdrop. During this phase of the project, a cross-functional team came together to develop the overarching “Target State Operating Model” — a set of documents which defined how legislation, policy, practice and technology would need to be reformed in order to collect, use and share information across multiple government funded services. At the centre of this was identifying: what was the problem? Why wasn’t information being shared between service providers, and how could technology assist this? During the course of analysis it was identified that, yes, while technology could be a vital enabler, the true issues to be addressed were centered around trust, people capability, and the legislative reform needed to bring it all together.  The course of action described in these plans are still active, and ongoing, with recent legislation passing in the Victorian parliament to enable controlled, discrete information sharing between services. This continues to be a piece of work of which I am inordinately proud to have been a part of.

I wish I could tell you about what this is all about… but I can’t, as we’re under probity arrangements. Nevertheless, the information sitting behind these particular artefacts is…big, complex and really, really exciting.


You’ll just have to take my word for it…  🙂


Two years in strategic planning and development, this has been a major undertaking in engagement, change management, negotiation, and sometimes downright standoffs between parties who believed we should have just taken the left turn at Albuquerque and be done with it all.

At the point that I leave this project, it has gone from a ‘good idea’ to reaching the highest levels of the organisation, has produced a level of understanding and buy-in unprecedented in a project of this type and size, and is set to change the way thousands of people do what they do, in a vital part of our public services.

I can’t wait to see how it all plays out.

Untangling families


Did some work today mapping real life scenarios for families engaged in multiple education services. A thought experiment testing the concepts behind a common, unique identifier for adults. 

#emoji #Monopoly© ? ? ?


The Desk


Last year we renovated our home office. This had been a very dark/mission brown environment. A recent trip to Latvia and Denmark inspired us to rebuild it as a white/light timber finish. 

The challenge we had was in find a desk to fit the space we’d designed. With Pinterest as a “I’m-not-sure-what-I-want-but-I’ll-know-when-I-see-it” inspiration, we found a long, trestle-supported table that looked perfect. The challenge was that no local retailers had such a piece. 

Having trawled IKEA several times, I figured that the path to take was to make one from ‘hacked’ pieces. We documented the result through the popular Ikea-Hackers website

The finished desk with equipment wired up

The finished desk and equipment and stationery cabinet (both reused IKEA bedroom furniture)

It fits! About 5mm either side with power outlets and cable conduit hidden underneath.

Trimmed down IKEA drawers repurposed as a combination of desk support and scanner storage

Trimming the sides of the drawers

Three coats of clear acrylic stain to seal and protect

Additional dowel joins were strengthened with hidden steel plays underneath

Cut had to be accurate and straight. Made a template guide to run the saw along.

DTA’s Digital Service Standard


Stumbled across the Australian federal Digital Transformation Agency’sDesign Service Standard” today. 

Some excellent, simple and elegant pointers that apply to more than ‘digital’ alone.  With a look.