Diving Into the Unknown: Giselle Sperber and Her Story With www.vic.gov.au

People who want to join the fellowship program with us here at Code for Australia all have one thing in common; they think about the future, and make government work for you in the 21st century. A fellow is someone who wants to dive into the unknown, and address an issue no matter what size. That is exactly what Giselle Sperber did, as she briefly shifted her focus from working with Code for America to Code for Australia. Giselle moved to Melbourne for six weeks, where she spent time with the Digital Engagement team in the Department of the Premier and Cabinet. Here, Giselle was asked to use her tech skills to imagine what the future of the vic.gov.au website looks like.

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UX Design workshop at The Henley Club

Giselle “was extremely excited, as (she) had never worked at a state level before”. By taking advantage of an opportunity and venturing outside of ones comfort zone, invaluable lessons can be learnt that may prove to be useful in the future. You never know how much of an impact you can have until you try, and the learning process never seems to stop, as we can see from Giselle’s experience.

“But wait! Did you say government? Doesn’t that mean boring seminars, boring people, and boring work?” Not at all! A 21st century government requires 21st century thinkers, those who can provide us with modern technological innovations, creative problem solving, and those who can talk to people as well as computers.

Here at Code for Australia, we believe that effective teamwork and communication are essential for success and helping to find different ways to tackle various issues. That is exactly what Giselle and her team did, and utilised various techniques and UX exercises to analyse and compare the current vic.gov.au website to other examples in order to identify potential improvements and suggestions that could be made.

After speaking with Giselle, she told us that “it was a really great experience”, and already misses the city of Melbourne. As can be seen with Giselle’s story, by connecting with others, collaborating ideas together, and completely immersing oneself into a project, the fellowship program can open doors to a vast amount of new and exciting opportunities. The fellowship program helps us to help you, and together we can make a substantial improvement to city life using the innovations of civic-tech.