Public Servants celebrate Canberra's centenary – In work and In play

Media release: Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Public servants past and present are being asked to share their memories in celebration of the Australian Public Service (APS), its people and their contribution to the development of Canberra.

In Canberra's centenary year, the APS Centenary of Canberra Committee today launched In work and In play – building the Canberra community, an online crowd-sourcing website, as part of a wider initiative to highlight the 'unsung' work of the public service and to celebrate its role in the evolution of the city.

The APS Centenary of Canberra Initiative is a result of a wide-reaching survey across the public service community asking the best way to acknowledge the 'APS's contribution to the Canberra community'.

Respondents overwhelmingly chose an 'open online archive' as a lasting creation that encouraged community participation. This was in tandem with interest in an exhibition and an 'event or gathering', to give a focal point for the celebrations.

APS Centenary of Canberra member and Secretary of the Department of Health and Ageing, Professor Jane Halton, said the In work and In play website will reflect the changing nature of the public service and its staff.

'Canberra was established as a government town and its transient workforce reflected this,' Professor Halton said. 'Time has shown more and more people have moved to and stayed in Canberra to work in the public service.

'These people have brought with them a wealth of life experiences that have shaped the nature of Canberra.'

Committee member David Fricker, Director-General of the National Archives of Australia, said the APS Centenary of Canberra isn't just about hearing from those who have moved to Canberra to work in the public service.

'Today we are inviting the Canberra community and all APS staff past and present to visit the In work and In play website, post a picture and add their story to the history of the nation's capital,' he said.

Contributions to the In work and In play – building the Canberra community website will be used in an exhibition to be displayed at the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) conference in November.

APS Centenary of Canberra activities will include a charity walk around Lake Burley Griffin on 30 August to raise money for Boundless Canberra, the National Children's Playground Project.

For more information or to participate in APS Centenary of Canberra activities go to

The APS Centenary of Canberra Committee Members are:

  • Mr Andrew Metcalfe AO, Secretary, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
  • Ms Lisa Paul AO PSM, Secretary, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
  • Prof Jane Halton PSM, Secretary, Department of Health and Ageing
  • Ms Glenys Beauchamp PSM, Secretary, Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport
  • Mr Steve Sedgwick AO, Public Service Commissioner, Australian Public Service Commission
  • Mr Gary Rake, Chief Executive, National Capital Authority
  • Mr Dennis Richardson AO, Secretary, Department of Defence
  • Mr David  Fricker, Director General, National Archives of Australia

Contact information

  • Elizabeth Masters (Media Officer)
    t (02) 6212 3957 m 0417 247 157 e

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram: naagovau

Copyright National Archives of Australia 2019