Benchmarking Partnerships

BIIG Study Tour

You will tour and meet with senior leaders/CEO’s/ process owners across very good practice and award winning organisations. For the total customer experience, ‘all inclusive’ participants will be travelling by coach and staying in our recommended Hotels

Briefing – Sunday 6th March. Cooma

For those participants arriving for the optional briefing on Sunday afternoon, participants will be picked up by coach at Canberra airport around 5PM from incoming flights(arriving at this time or earlier- will be coordinated upon your registration) to depart for a 1.5hrs coach drive to Cooma and we will meet at our hotel(TBA) in Cooma at 6.45PM for a getting to know each other restaurant meal and participant briefing. The briefing will include: program structure, logistics, event management, relief activities and focused facilitation and discussion of expectations and learning needs from participants, if not already submitted. Manuals and name badges will be handed out.

DAY 1 – Monday 7th March. Cooma/Canberra
7.15am Breakfast

Coach transport from Kinross Inn, 15 Sharp Street, Cooma to Snowy Hydro, Yulin Avenue in Cooma.

Snowy Hydro:  a good practice organisation

Snowy Hydro Limited is a business providing a complex array of financial hedge and insurance products to participants in the National Electricity Market (NEM). We are the leading provider of peak, renewable electricity to the National Electricity Market and a fully integrated Australian energy business with an excellent track record in financial performance,  engineering innovation, workplace culture and business practices.  We currently employ over 650 personnel in Cooma, Jindabyne, Talbingo, Khancoban, Cabramurra, La Trobe Valley, Sydney and Melbourne. The National Electricity Market, as it grows each year, depends on Snowy Hydro to also grow and keep pace with the market.

We own and operate the 3800 megawatt (MW) Snowy Mountains Scheme, an integrated water and hydro-electric power project located in Australia's Southern Alps, the 300MW Valley Power gas-fired power station and the 320MW Laverton North gas-fired power station both located in Victoria. We will continue to expand our gas-fired generation capability in both New South Wales and Victoria.
In addition, we are the parent company of Red Energy, a retailer selling electricity and gas to consumers in the Victorian, South Australian and New South Wales markets.
The Snowy Mountains Scheme is undoubtedly one of the civil engineering wonders of the modern world.  Built over a 25 year period from 1949 to 1974, it diverts water for irrigation west to the Murray and Murrumbidgee river systems and produces clean, renewable, hydro electricity through a complex integrated infrastructure which includes sixteen major dams, seven major power stations, 145km of interconnected tunnels and 80km of aqueducts.
The Snowy Scheme's rapid response generators and our fast start gas generation portfolio provide essential services to the National Electricity Market, including the supply of peak electricity to New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia as well as frequency control, voltage control, emergency support and black start capability in the event of a complete system failure.
Each year the Snowy Scheme produces on average 4500 gigawatt hours of clean, renewable, hydro electricity, or around 50% of all renewable energy on the mainland National Electricity Market.  In addition, through the use of a clean, renewable resource, generation of electricity from the Snowy Mountains Scheme displaces approximately 4,500,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions every year, that could otherwise be produced by coal-burning power stations.
Snowy Hydro recognises the potential impact of climate change and believes it should continue its evidently successful cloud seeding program for increased snow pack and continue to expand its gas-fired generation capability to enable conservation of scarce water resources, and to provide flexibility of generation fuel such that water releases can be better timed to meet irrigation and town water supply needs.

8.15am Arrival at Snowy Hydro. Thankyou to Snowy Hydro, identification of Day 1 learning needs, facilitated by Benchmarking Partnerships.

Welcome and Visitors Centre Encounter. Visitor Centre Manager  Heath Redstone
Explore the interactive displays and theatrette which describe the history of the Snowy Scheme and the National Electricity market.


Creating Engagement in Continuous Improvement (CI)Manager CI & Quality: Scott Ferguson
The methodology used to drive an improvement culture within Snowy.  Tools & strategies used will be presented. Achieving innovation through CI to meet the changing market needs.


Community Relations.  Manager Community relations: David Hogan
Community activity and education programs.  Sponsorship and communication methods used for monitoring & maintaining community engagement.


Water OperationsManager Water: David Nolan 
How water is managed across the catchment area in times of high and low inflows and how stakeholders are managed as part of this process.

10.00am Morning tea.

Asset Management: Identifying new initiatives and adopting new approaches for managing the assets for the Snowy Scheme.

10.40am People and Culture: Establishing the right culture for improvement and initiative.
11.00am Reflections and discussion.

Thankyou Snowy Hydro by Benchmarking Partnerships, and depart via coach to the Child Support Agency, 40 Cameron Avenue, Belconnen in Canberra.

The Child Support Agency (CSA):  a good practice organisation

The Child Support Agency (CSA) is a program within the Commonwealth Human Services Portfolio and was established in 1988. Operating in two decades of significant social, economic and policy changes, the organisation has engaged in a journey of continuous improvement. A significant challenge faced is that of continuous, significant change, within an operational context infused with emotive issues.

In 2008 the CSA became a program (CSP) within the Department of Human Services (DHS). It is responsible for administering Australia’s Child Support Scheme on behalf of the Australian Government. CSP’s mission is to support separated parents to transfer payments for the benefit of their children. Child Support Program services are provided by just over 4,000 staff, located all around Australia. In the 2009 – 10 year, liabilities on child support collect cases were $1.2755 billion, of which CSP collected $1.1944 billion, or 93.64 per cent.
The Human Services portfolio is about people and the services that Australians may need at different stages of our lives. DHS is committed to producing a world-class service delivery system that will meet the needs of the Australian community. Within this portfolio, the CSP’s vision is that children can rely on their parents for the financial and emotional support necessary for their wellbeing, following family separation.


Arrival at the Child Support Agency, 40 Cameron Avenue, Belconnen.

Lunch and networking upon arrival.


Child Support Program (CSP): Positioning ourselves for future service delivery reform.

In 2009, an independent review of the decision and quality assurance processes of CSP was conducted. The report of the Delivering Quality Outcomes Review made 115 recommendations for changes and improvements. CSP is well advanced in implementing these recommendations. In doing so, CSP is positioned well for future service delivery reform.

This sharing session will include:

  • An introduction, including the context and environment in which CSP operates
  • Business improvement – an overview of delivering outcomes from the Quality Outcomes Review, CSP’s business improvement agenda
  • Case study – Quality Assurance Framework - developing and implementing a key recommendation from the Delivering Quality Outcomes review
  • Leading change – CSP’s Change management Framework and Business Change Assessment Process

3.50pm Thankyou to our host and presenters by Benchmarking Partnerships, and depart via coach to Canberra airport. Reflection and learning will continue on the coach. Depart Canberra on flight DJ278 at 5.00PM for Melbourne. Arrive Melbourne at 6.05PM. Coach pickup to take us to our hotel, The Hotel Windsor, 111 Spring Street, Melbourne, CBD for checking in.
7.15pm Meet in the hotel foyer for a restaurant meal nearby, informal networking, getting to know each other.
DAY 2 – Tuesday 8th March. Melbourne
7.30am Breakfast by participants. Check out accounts with the hotel for all participants and coach transport to LeasePlan Australia.

Coach transport from our hotel to LeasePlan Australia, Level 7, South Wharf Tower, 30 Convention Centre Place, SOUTH WHARF Melbourne.

LeasePlan Australia:  a good practice & previous business excellence winning organisation.

LeasePlan is a Dutch financial services company focused on fleet management. Established more than 45 years ago, the company has grown to become the world leading provider of fleet management services and is now active in 30 countries. LeasePlan employs more than 6,000 people and is owned by the Volkswagen Bank GmbH (50%) and Fleet Investments B.V. (50%), an investment company owned by German banker Friedrich von Metzler.

LeasePlan consists of a growing international network of car leasing companies engaged in fleet and vehicle management, mainly through operational leasing. We give you the option to outsource your fleet and the day-to-day management of vehicles and we take care of maintenance, vehicle replacement, insurance and reporting. Our innovative approach enables you to optimise your fleet to the benefit of your business.

The shareholders clearly recognise LeasePlan’s value as a global industry leader with a clear vision, strong international customer and supplier relationships, experienced and committed local management teams, strong branding and clear neutral multi-brand positioning.                

They are committed to the future profitable growth of LeasePlan Corporation as an independent, multi-brand fleet management company.

Arrival at LeasePLan Australia.

LeasePlan Presenters

8.30 am

Di Dale,
Spiro Haralambopoulos
Greg Maimur

  • Arrival at LeasePlan
  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Coffee/Tea and Amenities
  • Agenda for the morning

8.50 – 9.30 am

9.30 – 9.50 am

Spiro Haralambopoulos


  • Overview of LeasePlan, the company and brand 
  • Our strategy of Transformational Change to achieve Service Leadership
  • Questions and Discussion

9.50 – 10.20 am

10.20 – 10.30 am

Di Dale


  • Leading through Uncertainty
  • Running the Business + Running the Project
  • Shifting the Mindset to be ready for the ‘new world’
  • Questions and discussion
10:30 – 10:50 am Pit Stop.  Morning Tea with Directors and Dep’t Managers
10.50 – 11.45 am Visitors form three groups and visit two areas.

Dep’t Managers Host

Team Managers and Superusers show what they do and enable visitors to listen to customer and supplier calls
  • Experience LeasePlan’s work environment
  • Meet our people at work
  • Hear them interact with customers and suppliers in real time
  • Ask them what has changed for them

#1 group

10.50 am - Quotes

11.15 am – Maintenance Control

#2 group

10.50 am - Customer Service

11.15 am – Quotes

#3 group

10.50 am - Maintenance Control

11.15 am – Customer Service
11.45 – 12 noon Participants
  • Observations and Questions
12 – 12.30 pm Greg Maimur
  • Engagement Strategy with our largest customer – the Federal Government
  • Questions and Discussion
12.45 – 1.00 pm Anton Benc Reflections/ Closing remarks

LeasePlan People:

Spiro Haralambopoulos  — Managing Director
Greg Maimur — Commercial Director
Di Dale — Director, People & Business Excellence
Anthony Rossi — Operations Director
Rod Croes — Finance Director
Bob Geddes — National Customer Service Manager
Jeremy Wheelahan — National Procurement & Remarketing Manager
Steve Green — National Fleet Services Manager


Networking lunch at LeasePlan Australia.

Farm Services Victoria (a division of the Department of Primary Industries Victoria): a good practice organisation

Farm Services Victoria (FSV) is Victoria’s largest rural service provider, with 400 staff located across the State, dedicated to growing sustainable agricultural businesses and local communities.

As a Division of the Department of Primary Industries, we play a critical role in helping farmers implement new approaches to boost profitability, while preserving and protecting our natural resources and environment.

Partnerships are critical to the work of FSV, and we collaborate with all tiers of government, farmers and other land managers, along with industries, Catchment Management Authorities and Landcare groups on a wide variety of rural programs and projects.

Our experience and expertise in developing rural-based projects across a broad range of issues makes FSV Victoria’s leading rural partner.


Traci Griffin, Manager Divisional Continuous Improvement Unit, Farm Services Strategy and Investment Branch, Farm Services Victoria.

Traci Griffin, manages the Innovation Fund at Farm Service Victoria(FSV).  Project FSV has taken a structured approach to establishing a simplified alternative pathway for innovators to take their bold and innovative new ideas to proof of concept or a beneficial outcome.  Now in its second year the outcomes have been exceptional and there are some excellent projects which demonstrate what staff can achieve when their creative minds are put together and supported to achieve outcomes.          

2.45pm Afternoon tea.

Workshopping Handy Hints – facilitated by Benchmarking Partnerships.

Workshop Groups of participants & speakers address:

  • what are the key messages and ideas from the visits and the presentations?
  • what ideas are coming from the other workshop participants?
  • what are the opportunities for you to take action?
3.15pm Thankyou LeasePLan Australia by Benchmarking Partnerships, and depart via coach to Melbourne airport for our flight to Mildura. Flight details Virgin blue 4.35PM departure, arriving in Mildura at 5.40PM. Coach pickup to hotel(TBA). R&R until meeting in the hotel foyer for dinner at a local restaurant.
7.15pm Meet in the hotel foyer for dinner at a local restaurant.
DAY 3 – Wednesday 9th March, Mildura

Breakfast, then 8.15am Coach departure transport from our hotel to Mildura Rural City Council at 76 – 84 Deakin Avenue (corner of Deakin Avenue & Ninth Street), Mildura.

Mildura Rural City Council:  a previous business excellence award winner

Mildura Rural City is situated in Victoria's north-west. Covering around 10 percent of the state's area, its landscape ranges from precious Mallee vegetation to grain farms, intensive horticulture, vibrant towns and the beautiful banks of the Murray River. The municipality's population of around 60,000 is culturally diverse, giving the region a cosmopolitan flavour.
The Mildura Rural City Council consists of nine elected Councillors that each represent the whole of the municipality.

Regular meetings are held on the fourth Thursday of every month, with agenda and minutes available under the Documents and Publications section of this website.

Council Service Centres are located in Mildura and Ouyen. The organisation also operates a number of works depots, maternal and child health centres and other facilities throughout the municipality.


Arrival at Mildura Rural City Council – Deakin Avenue Office.

Thankyou to Mildura Rural City Council, identification of Day 3 learning needs, facilitated by Benchmarking Partnerships.

Mildura Rural City Council Program

Agenda Item/Presentation Topic
9.15am Overview of the Organisation

Mark Henderson
Chief Executive Officer


Community Engagement Framework

  • Addressing community issues through an integrated approach

Martin Hawson
General Manager Community

10.15am Morning Tea  

Mildura Development Corporation: a good practice organisation

Mildura Development Corporation is the peak economic development organisation for the Mildura region. It operates at the macro strategic industry level rather than at a micro single business level, creating and developing positive, commercially viable climates for regional business and enterprise to capitalise upon.


Anne Mansell, CEO, Mildura Development Corporation.

Anne will outline the work of the Mildura Development Corporation and business investment initiatives to engage investment and the local community.


Mildura Rural City Council program, continued……..


Council Planning, Deployment and Measuring Results

  • Aligning actions with outcomes

Mandy Whelan
General Manager Corporate

12.00 pm

Partnership in Progress Model

  • Improving our organisation through a systems based approach

Manager Organisational Development

12.30 pm

Travel Time  

1.00 pm

(Location - TBA)

Showcase of local produce

2.00 pm

Site Visits

(Locations - TBA)

3.00 pm

Afternoon Tea  

Workshopping Handy Hints – facilitated by Benchmarking Partnerships.

Workshop Groups of participants & speakers address:

  • what are the key messages and ideas from the visits and the presentations?
  • what ideas are coming from the other workshop participants?
  • what are the opportunities for you to take action?
4.00pm Thankyou to presenters by Benchmarking Partnerships.  At 5.15PM depart via coach to Mildura airport. Depart 6.45PM on Sharp Airlines SH874 to Adelaide arriving in Adelaide at 7.15PM for coach pick up and drop off to our hotel(TBC), Stamford Plaza Hotel – 150, North Terrace for checking in and a pre-arranged restaurant meal.
DAY 4 – Thursday 10th March, Adelaide
7.30am Breakfast by participants. Check out accounts with the hotel for all participants
8.15am We will walk across the road from Stamford Plaza Hotel – 150, North Terrace, Adelaide to the Department for Families and Communities on Level 2, Riverside Centre, North Terrace.

Department for Families and Communities:a 2009 business excellence award winner

The South Australian Department for Families and Communities has a broad mandate to work with those in need, who through circumstance, may be vulnerable. Our vision is to make life better for South Australians. The organisation is made up of over 6,000 people located in 176 worksites across the state. The Department provides a wide range of services. Services include Housing, Disability services, family support, youth justice, care and protection of children, problem gambling, antipoverty, Ageing and Domiciliary Care. The presentations scheduled for this site visit include a brief insight into the strengths identified from the evaluation report that led to the achievement of a bronze Business Excellence award in such a large public sector organisation. Topics to be covered include the various strategies used to encourage continuous improvement and engage people, the Project Management framework and tools, the College for Learning & Development and links to the workforce plan, the innovative ways that staff contribute to the community and environment above core business, and customer focus – particularly for a non-voluntary client base.
8.30am Arrival at the Department for Families and Communities(DFC). Identification of Day 4 learning needs, facilitated by Benchmarking Partnerships.
Agenda Item/Presentation Topic

8.30 am

Arrival – tea & coffee. Kaurna welcome & logistics

Heather Falckh


Welcome & Introduction to DFC

Peter Bull


Improvement and Engaging Methodologies

  • Business Improvement challenge
  • Development sessions
  • Bright Sparks
  • BEF
  • Service Excellence
  • Youth Challenge
  • Blogs & speak-easy
  • E-reference?
  • Project Management

Heather Falckh

Fergus Hogarth

Loiza Kallis

10.15 am

Leadership – Society and Environmental Responsibility

  • Environmental initiatives
  • Socially responsible procurement

John McInnes

Andrew Richmond

10:45 am

Morning Tea/Catering/coffee


11.00 am

Customer Focus

  • Housing SA – new service model for Aboriginal clients in remote areas?
  • Coordination of services to clients on APY lands?
  • Service planning based on GIS mapping

Beth Dunning

Sue Wallace

Gary Maguire


Customer Focus - Site Visit by minibus to look at innovative Housing SA developments. May include (to be confirmed):

  • Ifould and Uno apartment buildings – new concepts in housing - mixed tenancy and meeting multiple housing objectives, providing service supports to tenants
  • Common Ground building - provides affordable rental housing in mixed community settings, to low income people and those at risk of homelessness. Housing is provided in parallel with personal support to create pathways to independent and fulfilling lives for tenants.
  • Either Westwood or Woodville suburb – urban renewal projects

Presenter to be confirmed

1.30 pm

Lunch – back at Riverside Centre (or could be provided as a working lunch during bus tour)


The 11.40AM site tour (above) will include a minibus to tour some innovative Housing SA developments in the city and then on to get a feel for the urban redevelopment in the suburb of Westwood (or Woodville). The commentator will provide information about why the ifould and Uno apartments are breaking new ground with mixed tenancy and how these developments are meeting multiple housing objectives. The Common Ground project seeks to replicate a housing concept from overseas with personal support provided to tenants on low income and at risk of homelessness. We will hear the stories about how these developments were conceived, the challenges of implementation, and the results being delivered.

Department of Education & Children’s Services SA (DECS):  a good practice organisation

The Department of Education and Children’s Services (DECS) is responsible for ensuring the provision of children’s services and public education throughout South Australia.

Our key functions are:


To set the directions for education and care in South Australia

The department ensures the state’s education system is well positioned to deliver high quality education and care through strategic and coordinated leadership in implementing the South Australia’s Strategic Plan, integrated policy development in collaboration with key stakeholders and planning for an effective workforce to meet current and future requirements.

Provide and regulate children's services

The role of DECS in relation to children's services involves the provision of preschool services, administration of Family Day Care, sponsorship of Outside School Hours Care programs and the establishment and enforcement of minimum standards for all types of child care.

Manage the state's education system

DECS delivers high quality primary and secondary education to school students across the state. DECS is responsible for the education of children and students across all areas of the curriculum and preparing young people to be active and productive members of a democratic society. DECS involves parents and local communities in the education of children and students.


Peter Chislett, Regional Director , MURRAY AND MALLEE REGION, and Katrina Spencer, Director of the Literacy Secretariat DECS

This presentation will focus on the development and implementation of the Department’s Improvement and Accountability Framework through a consideration of:

  • Pilot work in understanding systems thinking and the use of the quality principles of the Australian Business Excellence Framework
  • Translation of this pilot work into a set of educational principles and operational framework that drive improvement for all schools, preschools and regional offices
  • How this framework has been implemented and generated improvement systems and processes for all schools, preschools and regional offices
  • Its overall impact in a public educational system
3.00pm Afternoon tea.

Department for Families and Communities program, continued……


Category 4 – People initiatives

  • Workforce Plan & Aboriginal Employment Strategy
  • Targeted recruitment & retention strategies
  • Carers strategies
  • Let’s talk framework and Performance Partnership Plan process
  • Respectful treatment at work strategy

College for Learning & Development

  • Learning programs
  • Unique learning programs
  • RTO status
  • Learners from Country areas
  • Learning partnerships

Natalie Hamood/Kaye Butler

Franco Parrella

Rita Bennink


Workshopping Handy Hints – facilitated by Benchmarking Partnerships.

Workshop Groups of participants & speakers address:

  • what are the key messages and ideas from the visits and the presentations?
  • what ideas are coming from the other workshop participants?
  • what are the opportunities for you to take action?
5.00pm Official Study Tour close and thankyou to the Department for Families and Communities, by Benchmarking Partnerships. Free time for drinks/networking/sightseeing up until 6.30PM. We will depart via coach to Adelaide domestic airport.

Topic: Business Improvement Study Tour
Dates: Sunday 6th - Thursday 10th March, 2011

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