19 June 2020

Winyu House

| My Gungahlin
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I recently sat down with Ms Jill Divorty, Executive Director of Shared Services to talk about the new ACT Government building Winyu House due to for completion very soon.

We have all been watching Winyu House being constructed over the last couple of years and now it is nearing completion which is exciting. What does Winyu mean?

“The name Winyu comes from the Ngunnawal language and translated means Sun. Following consultation with the United Ngunnawal Elders Council the name Winyu was chosen as it reflects the design features of the building and the glass atrium roof that floods the building with natural sunlight. A ‘dawn to dusk’ colour scheme applies throughout the internal areas of Winyu House, from the bright shades of yellow and orange to the earthier ochre colours and tones. The use of natural timbers complement the architectural design and structure of the building.

Continuing this theme, quite a number of our meeting and conference rooms have also been given Ngunnawal names – including Burandu (morning), Dyarra (stars) Kurangkurang (rainbow), Kanbi (fire) and Dyirranggan (Dusk).

It’s also great to see that Winyu House has been nominated for a 2015 Master Builders and Cbus Excellence in Building Award.”

When do you expect personnel to start moving in?

“Shared Services staff will start moving into Winyu House at the beginning of May. At the moment, work is being finalised on technical connectivity for the building and for the Access Canberra shopfront. We’ll start moving staff in floor by floor- so on the 1st weekend in May our staff for the 3rd floor will move in, and on the 2nd weekend in May, our staff for the 2nd floor will move in, and so on. It will take us most of the month of May to finalise the move, but staff will be productive up until the Friday of their move weekend, and then fully functioning again on the Monday morning at their new desk in Gungahlin. I would like to take this opportunity to pass on a big thank you to all of the technical ICT staff and the removalists who are going to be working very hard over many long Fridays and weekends to help us get moved and settled so quickly and efficiently.”

How many people are moving into the building?

“Around 660 public servants will relocate to Winyu House. This is mainly staff from Shared Services, with Access Canberra staff also moving into the shopfront of course. And, the YWCA advise that when operating at full capacity, they will have 25 full time staff employed at the Winyu House childcare centre.”

Which ACT Government Directorates are moving in?

“Shared Services and Access Canberra, we are both part of the Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate. Access Canberra staff will operate the Gungahlin Shopfront whilst Shared Services consolidates the core administrative functions of the ACT Government including Finance and Human Resource services, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Publishing Services, Mailroom and Record Services. At Winyu house we will be able to consolidate most of Shared Services technical specialists as well as our large processing teams under one roof for the first time since we were established 8 years ago. We’re very excited about the opportunity!”

Where in Canberra are they moving from?

“The majority of staff relocating to Winyu House come from Civic and Woden offices.”

Some of these buildings are fairly aged how much excitement is there in moving to such a bright modern building?

“Well, for us its an exciting chance to work in a beautiful, modern building with lots of natural sunlight and, as I said, it’s a great opportunity for many of our teams to come together under one roof for the first time.

Of course moving house or moving office does bring a period of re-adjustment as everyone becomes accustomed to their new surroundings and environment. We have a really good team working through the changes with our staff, helping to prepare them for the different ways of working in this new building, and ensuring that any concerns or issues they have are dealt with promptly.”

How much car parking is provided on site for these staff?

“The Winyu House car park has 245 car parking spaces. This includes short term and long term parking along with our fleet vehicle parking, disabled parking and a large bike enclosure for those staff who want to cycle to work.”

Gungahlin residents are concerned about car parks being taken up in the nearby car parks in the shops. Will the ACT Government staff be directed to use the park and ride car park behind The Marketplace when the on-site parking is full?

“All relocating staff will receive, prior to their move to Gungahlin, written details regarding suggested parking areas for them to utilise if the Winyu House car park is full. This material is currently being collated by the Environment & Planning Directorate’s Parking Working Group. In addition, staff are encouraged to car pool where possible, utilise park and ride facilities and the ACTION bus network, and walk or ride their bike to work if living close by.

A map is also being devised to suggest where staff can park within the Gungahlin town centre, if the on-site parking areas at Winyu House are full. Priority areas suggested for parking include the Gungahlin Oval, and long-stay spaces adjoining (but not part of) the Park and Ride facility behind the Gungahlin Marketplace. This map will also include the location of bus stops, cycle paths and pedestrian crossings, to encourage Winyu House staff to use public and active transport.”

One of the services a lot of Gungahlin residents will welcome is the Canberra Connect shopfront. What can we expect from this new shopfront, such as new technology or processes?

“The new shopfront brings together services that were previously provided at separate locations, increasing the accessibility of government services to the community. The shopfront will feature an open plan layout without barriers between staff and customers. This will allow customers to easily interact with staff over low counters promoting higher quality conversations and improved service delivery for complex needs.

The Gungahlin shopfront supports the government’s digital-first strategy with touch screen terminals provided to enable transactions to be completed online by members of the community. The shopfront will also operate under a new model in which payments are all made electronically, using debit or credit card. As a result, transactions will be processed more quickly and wait times will be reduced.”

One of the main concerns raised by Gungahlin residents with this development is the extra traffic on the already congested Valley Avenue, particularly during school drop off and pick up times. The school drop off time will coincide with typical start times with the employees at Winyu house. Staff travelling from the south will naturally take this route to work. Has this been thought through of how this can be addressed?

“The Winyu House development is consistent with the Gungahlin planning study (2010), which included traffic/ transport assessment. Some of the town centre ring roads recommended in the planning study (such as the Valley Avenue extension) are being designed.”

Thank you for your time to talk about Winyu House. I am looking forward to seeing what this injection of people into the town centre does for the local businesses for their Monday to Friday trade.

“Thank you Mark, it was a pleasure to talk to you about Winyu House and our relocation plans.”

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