Fellowship Program

Pairing talented technologists with government change-makers to tackle complex social issues

How It Works

Embedding technologists into government teams for 6 – 12 month projects, the Fellowship program creates a two-way transfer of knowledge and understanding, while building human-centered technology.

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1. Identifying a Challenge

Government departments or agencies work with the Code for Australia team to identify a challenge and environment that is suitable for a Fellowship.

2. Recruiting + Onboarding

We find talented developers, designers and technologists and take them through a intensive onboarding process – covering everything from bureaucracy tactics to collaboration and team-building.

3. Designing + Making

The Fellows work alongside government hosts to examine the challenge in a new light, build capability, and create open source and human-centered technology.

The fellows combined their skills with the experience of end-users rather than simply telling us how we should do things. We now have a better appreciation and understanding of design, technology and rapid improvement techniques.

Khoi Cao-Lam, Victoria Legal Aid

Common Questions

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What are the goals of Fellowships?

We create hands-on opportunities for public sector changemakers to learn new ways of working. We do this by working with you to build beautiful digital services, with support from talent from the private sector. 

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Who will I be working with?

You’ll be teamed up with talented technologists and surrounded by likeminded changemakers from the public sector. Everyone who participates in the Fellowship is passionate about finding new ways to solve government challenges.

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When and where do Fellowships happen?

When you’re ready and where you are! Fellows are co-located with their government partners Monday to Thursday, and then come back to the Code for Australia HQ on Fridays (or to a co-working space if they’re outside Victoria).

We run Fellowship programs when all the stars align for our government partners – we just need six weeks from signing the paperwork to kicking off, to find you the perfect team. 

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How much does it cost?

This entirely depends on the length of the Fellowship, where the Fellows will be based and how big the team is. We’ll need to chat through these questions with you before we can give you a number. 

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How can I benefit from participating?

If you’ve ever had an idea to make something in the public sector more affordable, scalable, easy or efficient, this is the place to get the help you need to bring it to life.

By hosting a Fellowship your team can expect to learn new ways of working (think human-centred design and agile web development) while building beautiful, replicable digital services.

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How do I know when the time is right?

After many iterations of Fellowships, we’ve developed a few key criteria that help us understand when a Fellowship is a good fit, and when it’s not. You can find them here and chat them over with us anytime. 

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How much tech do I need to know?

None! All we need to know is that you’re interested in learning. Our Fellows will work alongside you to demistify the world of human centred-design, prototyping, user testing, agile and the strings behind the buttons you push.

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I love this and I need to convince my boss. Can you help?

We’ve prepared a pitch deck to help passionate people pitch the idea of a Fellowship to their colleagues and bosses. Shoot us a message and we’d be happy to send through a copy, otherwise check out all the good stuff on our case studies and blog.

Take The Next Step

Become a Government Host

Government Hosts are the point of contact for embedded Fellows. They identify challenges in their department or agency that technology could solve, and support Fellows during the project with time, resources and connections.

Become a Fellow

Fellows serve as agents for change, helping shape our state. Fellows are mission-driven digital professionals with multi-disciplinary experience in software engineering, design, user experience or product management. 

What Makes Fellowships Unique

Being government organisations we get stuck in the way that we’re doing things and innovation is hard to grasp. This was the perfect opportunity to try something different.

Mel Hardie

Senior Biodiversity Curator, Dept. of Environment, Land, Water and Planning

Learning from, and working with, the Fellows has brought a dynamic perspective to Victoria Legal Aid, building our capacity to use design thinking, rapid prototyping and co-design.

Bevan Warner

Managing Director, Victoria Legal Aid

The Code for Australia Fellowship introduced Council to a new approach to engagement and collaboration between departments – helping break down cultural barriers.

James Peet

Chief Digital Officer, Moreton Bay Regional Council

Our Code for Australia Fellow made a significant contribution to digital innovation at the centre. He helped us make abstract ideals real with rapid prototyping, so that we advanced new ideas, captured people’s interest and built momentum more quickly.

Louise Bassett

Manager - Strategy & Innovation, Neighbourhood Justice Centre

Fellowship Partners

We’re proud to have run over twenty Fellowship programs with these innovative agencies and departments across Australia.

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