When it takes a decade to find your (Think)Place...
Sometimes, when you find yourself in the right place at the right time, the clouds all part and you can finally see things clearly.
That’s an experience that resonates for ThinkPlace’s Cybelle Ledez.
But more on that later.
Early in her career, Cybelle was naturally drawn to using a co-design approach to challenge the status quo. In 2001, her work in Southwest Queensland, delivering projects that achieved better educational and employment outcomes for local communities saw her recognised as a finalist in the Young Australian of the Year and Young Manager of the Year 2001.
By the time she joined ThinkPlace in 2018, Ledez had built an impeccable CV across the Australian Public Service. She arrived more than a decade after first thinking she would like to work for the company started by John Body and Nina Terrey.
“I was running stakeholder relations at Medicare and working on a big project when I first met (ThinkPlace partners) John and Nina,” she says.
“Straight away there was a connection with their values and purpose. After that there was always this idea that one day we might work together.”
A long-term leader when it comes to introducing design thinking, human-centred design and co-design within various government departments she has seen a revolution sweep through government agencies and departments in recent years.
At the Department of Human Services she ran one of the first major co-design projects in the APS.
As one of the key design voices behind the Digital Transformation Office (later the Digital Transformation Agency) she played a key role in establishing that agency’s focus on a user-centred philosophy that remains core to its DNA to this day.
And as organiser and co-facilitator of the first ever Design Jam across APS agencies in 2014 she was instrumental in fanning the flames of design thinking within government.
“I’d describe myself as strong in facilitating change, in empowering people to take a human-centred approach, in leading teams and in influencing leaders to adopt a new way of working,” she says. “And I just love working with amazing, creative, passionate people to achieve something special.”
DHS, like the Australian Tax Office from which ThinkPlace partners John Body, Nina Terrey and Darren Menachemson emerged, was an early adopter of methods such as human-centred design, co-design and design thinking.