Our community told us recently that they appreciate our role in raising awareness of the great work being done across government, here in Australia and beyond. With that in mind, here’s a selection of resources and frameworks we regularly reference in our work.

Open Government matters

Something you’ll notice about these resources is how they’re licensed for reuse—giving other teams a proven starting point.

So many challenges with digital work in the public sector are common ones between jurisdictions and nations, and taking an Open Source mindset to strategy as well as code has significant benefits for society through efficiency and standardisation.

Delivery Guides

How and why to design with your users, and agile methodology to support iterative delivery.

It’s been 9 years since the UK’s Government Design Principles were first published and they soon became a foundation of modern digital government. …


We know from our community survey that you’re interested in what’s happening behind the scenes at Code for Australia. This year we’ll be sharing a series of deeper updates on specific topics, replacing our previous “Open Nous” blog posts.

A little more than a year ago, Code for Australia’s Base Team began working from home instead of our co-working space while we all dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic. It was an easy move at the time, and one we initially considered to be temporary. But as the world begins to embrace their new normal and Australians have returned to the office we’ve opted to maintain our new “remote by default” culture. Here are some of the reasons why, and the new systems we’ve embraced along the way.

How remote working is helping us

Our February Open House feat. our team, community & some friends from government

Most excitingly, the move from a physical to a virtual workspace has…


We’ve heard from our audience that you’d like to hear more from experts in the civic tech field. With that in mind, I’m sharing my personal reflections from a career spent bringing government, people and technology closer together.

For an introduction and broader, community sourced overview of the opportunities and challenges in civic tech, I recommend reading “WTF is civic tech and why are we here?” from my former colleague Grace, and “A beginner’s guide to civic tech” from Lorin and the Code for All team.

Over the last 20 or so years, I’ve worked in online community, supporting delivery teams and designing digital government services. My journey with civic tech organisations began as a volunteer (and giver of much feedback) and now I’m proud to be the Managing Director at Code for Australia.

Here are six themes…


We know from our community survey that you’re interested in what’s happening behind the scenes at Code for Australia. This year we’ll be sharing a series of deeper updates on specific topics, replacing our previous “Open Nous” blog posts.

For the first incarnation of this new updates series, I’m going to share our plans for developing our products and services, including some new programs we’ll be launching this year.

Where we’re at

To read a full update on what 2020 was like for us, check out our Impact Report.

2020 was a challenging year to navigate for any organisation, and our focus was on transforming every aspect of our operations and programs to support remote delivery. Supported by a culture based around reflection, we’re proud of how we iterated our way through the chaos.

While 2021 has brought a continuum of challenges on a global scale, we’re also thankful to be in a part of the world that has…


Open Nouse is a monthly update from the Code for Australia Base Team, and is one of the ways we put our core value of working in the open into practice.

The last month has been a memorable one for all of us in Base Team. With Melbourne coming out of lockdown we’ve appreciated the chance to enjoy the weather with friends and family, and to get reacquainted with our hairdressers. We’ve been keeping an eye on elections both close to home and further abroad, and staying in touch with our colleagues in civic tech around the world.

So with that, we’re sharing what’s been challenging (📌) emerging (🌱), and good (🌹), in the past month.

📌 Thorn — Our busier times aren’t always in sync

Photo by Robert Bye on Unsplash

Something we’ve always been aware of as a small team is the cyclical nature of…


Open Nouse is a monthly update from the Code for Australia Base Team, and is one of the ways we put our core value of working in the open into practice.

July was a busy month for us in Base Team! We launched several events and programs that had been developing in the lab for months, while also supporting our Fellowship teams through key delivery milestones and maintaining momentum on initiatives like our future strategy and new advisory board.

All of this work has been happening during a difficult time for us as well as our friends in civic tech, partners in government and everyone around the world. We’re reflecting on the challenges of being present and positive in the face of the global pandemic, disasters and ongoing injustice and making…


Open Nouse is a monthly update from the Code for Australia Base Team, and is one of the ways we put our core value of working in the open into practice.

So here we are with our regular monthly update, but for Base Team and the rest of the planet, March 2020 was far from a regular month. I’m going to share some of the ups and downs of our pandemic experience in the usual format, but first I wanted to acknowledge the context of the times we’re now operating in.

A global crisis like this affects everyone in our society, amplifies inequalities that already exist, and puts strains on the systems that support the most vulnerable. It’s a time when the importance of the work we do in Civic Tech…


A three dimensional data visualisation
A three dimensional data visualisation
Photo by Pietro Jeng on Unsplash

Having our say on the future of Open Data

At Code for Australia, our vision for the future of the Australian public service includes all government data, code and platforms being open by default. We were delighted to see the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet’s recent consultation around their new Open Data Policy. The draft policy they’ve shared with the public is a great starting point, and we made a formal written submission with feedback informed by the work of the Civic Tech community. This post contains a summary of our submission for transparency and to prompt further discussion.

Our team reviewed the draft policy and the review…


A prioritisation workshop for recommendations from the Digital Maturity Indicator

Open Nouse is a monthly update from the Code for Australia Base Team, and is one of the ways we put our core value of working in the open into practice.

November was a time of consolidation for Base Team. Our energy has been spent evaluating recently completed programs, building on those learnings for success in the next round and applying the finishing touches to communications for some exciting things we have to share with you.

Here’s what’s been good (🌹), bad (📌) and what’s emerging for us (🌱) over the month.

📌 Thorn — another change in the team

After three years of amazing community building, storytelling and impact measurement for civic tech, both here and internationally, Grace has announced she’ll be stepping down from Base Team to focus on her own publishing and new opportunities. Grace has…


An update from, and about, the Code for Australia Base Team

One of the more challenging things about working in an organisation committed to working in the open, is reflecting and sharing publicly when things don’t work out as planned.

This post is one of those updates.

We recently said goodbye to Soreti, who joined us earlier this year in a newly created Head of Delivery role. We wanted to share some of our own thoughts about this time, along with a reflection from Soreti herself below.

Grace and I couldn’t have been more excited to welcome Soreti to the Base Team. During the recruitment process, we left every interview feeling…

Matt Sawkill

Making a more digital government.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store