Man in high vis and helmet standing on dock

Dept. of Agriculture & Water Resources


Training, Government

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[lead]How to unify and provide identity for a government department that had experienced significant reform and restructure, including the addition of various functions from other departments, plus having three different names in a 3-year period?[/lead]

The brief recognised the department needed to engage its people in an internal culture building exercise to overcome an identity crisis and lack of clarity about the scope and scale of the portfolio, including the geography it covered locally and even internationally.

Aside from a detailed brief, it was conveyed that the Minister was eager the content should pass the ‘BBQ test’, tooling up staff so when they were asked at a BBQ what it was they did, they could speak with glowing pride about the breadth of the Department of Agriculture & Water Resources’ role.

Video is a fabulous communication tool for providing a succinct snapshot of the organisation and engendering a sense of pride amongst staff and stakeholders. It could create unity and understanding, whilst highlight the interesting aspects the portfolio covered. Burninghouse were confident in their vision, to deliver a celebration of the Department’s people and the contributions made everyday.

We needed to conceptualise a statement to unify such a diverse portfolio. That’s My Story.

In addition to providing the flagship video, Burninghouse proposed capturing and editing the stories of each staff member we interviewed, into micro segments presenting more detail about each’s individual role.

To tie the eco-system of videos together during development, we proposed the tag ‘That’s My Story’ as a unifying statement that all interviewees could participate in. This simple tag spoke to the story of the department, as well as the stories of the individuals within the department. It also referenced back to the ‘BBQ Story’ literally delivering a pride piece for the internal audience to refer back to.

That’s My Story was then adopted as a hashtag by the Department and rolled out across the entire culture campaign, including digital, online and print collateral.

The breadth of the Department’s role meant staff and stakeholders were geographically dispersed across this wide brown land.

The geographic diversity that needed to be portrayed was a challenging task within the time frame available. A solution was required by selecting locations that could represent multiple environments, without having to send a crew to every nook and cranny of the country.

Filming commenced in late June of a 1 week period and was conducted on location across three states and territories, including Victoria, ACT and Queensland to represent as wide an array of locations as possible, cleverly delivering the requisite coverage within the limited time and budget.

Burninghouse has shaped the way the Department now understand their organisation by engendering understanding and pride of the scope, scale, diversity and complexity of the roles within the portfolio.

The video content and the broader campaign that cascaded out of it, won a 2017 Secretary’s Australia Day Award for amongst other things, “making an outstanding contribution to the achievement of the Australian Government’s objectives on Department of Agriculture & Water Resources issues or projects”.

As of late December 2016 the #ThatsMyStory intranet site had a little over 4000 hits, representing a reach of more than 80% of the total 4500 staff of the Department.

Further it has now shifted beyond its exclusively internal usage, being used as an external promotion piece, being played at a variety of recruitment events including to university graduates.


A key culture video was produced along with 12 stand-alone micro stories.

Key Culture Promo

Bruce Lansdown
Donna Oliver
Emma Okines
John Field
Sash Petrevski
Tanya Davidson
Adrian Dinsdale
Ante Starcevic
Clare Berry
David Evans
Jane Stewart
Matt Flood