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Medicare Australia’s EMU Awareness Package

Andrea McDougall


Medicare Australia is an Australian government agency and plays an integral role in the Australian health sector. Medicare Australia has around 6 000 staff nation-wide and operates a distributed network of 238 Medicare branch offices across the country with the head office in Canberra.

The Australian Government requires that all Federal Government agencies have an Environmental Management System in place. A key requirement of an Environmental Management System (EMS) framework is raising environmental awareness among all staff as well as individuals and companies that directly or indirectly contracts to the organisation. Having in excess of 2 000 employees located in regional or remote areas and only two resources to deliver an ongoing nation-wide environmental message makes the task complex and difficult.

To address these issues and raise national awareness of a green office environment, Medicare Australia’s Environmental Management Unit (EMU) developed five interactive e-learning lessons, known as Green Office Awareness Lessons (GOALs), on energy, paper, water, waste recycling and transport, and deployed these on the corporate intranet site. The content design of the GOALs incorporates simple Facts, Did you Know’s and Hint’n’tips in appreciation of the fact that not all staff are on the same ‘green’ wave length and each one has a different set of environmental values. It also takes into consideration that not all staff had a basic understanding of environmental issues. These GOALs are now included in the human resource capability framework and all induction training programs across the Medicare Australia network. As a consequence of delivery of the GOALs, environmental work practices have improved and Medicare Australia has provided a national consistent approach over a nation-wide network.

Staff immediately embraced the GOALs with 90% being trained within the first three months of publication, guaranteeing consistent and standardised environmental work practices over the property network. Results, such as a 10% reduction in energy consumption, transpired through our monthly energy accounts. To further compliment and enhance the GOALs, an awareness DVD was developed. The DVD has been modelled on the GOALs and also provides relevant information.

Key Words

Awareness; environmental; national; consistent

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