Customer Story: Australian Department of Trade, AU

'screenshot of 'Australian Department of Trade, AU
'screenshot of 'Australian Department of Trade, AU

Export support scheme

The Australian Department of Trade (or Austrade, for short) ran a review into an existing scheme that offers financial assistance to small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) who export goods and/or services out of Australia. It’s generally agreed by the recipients that the scheme is very helpful, but a review was conducted to see if it could be improved in any way.

Stakeholders had the opportunity to share their views either online or in a series of face-to-face consultations that were conducted around Australia.


A trusted platform

For the online consultation, Austrade’s platform of choice was Citizen Space. They certainly weren’t the first to do so; Citizen Space is trusted by federal government and was already being used by several federal departments. That precedent, along with the fact that it’s also been used specifically to consult stakeholders for reviews before, meant that Austrade could feel reassured that the platform was suited to their particular needs.


Reach and versatility

Because of the endlessly varied nature of the SMEs that used the export financial assistance scheme, the consultation needed to be tailored for as broad a reach as possible. That meant keeping the language concise and not too technical and getting the questions right. The review was being led by Anna Fisher, a small business owner in her own right, so Austrade added a personal touch to the consultation by embedding her photograph on the overview page and featuring a foreword that she wrote.


Valuable results

The consultation had a good response rate and the insights that SME owners shared provided a wealth of data that informed next steps. The consultation responses highlighted that the scheme was valuable to those who used it, so the decision was made that it would continue, with some small changes moving forward.


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