Centrelink to open online community forum

Human Services continues Gov 2.0 conquest with new social media ventures

Centrelink is planning to start an online community forum to foster customer engagement and help receive feedback about the department's services.

Dubbed "MyCommunity", the forum will allow users to submit feedback anonymously, as well as share experiences and offer ideas about improving engagement with Centrelink staff.

A spokesperson for Centrelink told Computerworld Australia that the department was looking to launch a pilot of the online community in the foreseeable future, but could not provide a concrete date.

Centrelink's move to open its own forum will complement its existing practice of participating in online communication through external sites, such as other forums, blogs as well as social networks.

"Centrelink monitors traffic in relevant online communities, blogs and forums – listening to customer feedback and contributing where appropriate to answer questions or clear up confusion about Centrelink services, for example student forums, parenting forums and seniors forums," the spokesperson said.

According to the spokesperson, these communities are monitored in-house by Centrelink's media team, though the spokesperson didn't say which forums in particular were monitored. However, it is believed the core motivation behind the monitoring of external community sites is to clear up any misinformation about Centrelink services.

In the proposed MyCommunity site, staff from the department's Communication Division will moderate and administer the forums and topics, and ensure continued communication when clearing up a particular issue.

The spokesperson said the pilot community would only exist for Centrelink initially due to the relative traffic of complaints and concerns, but that the model could expand in the future to other agencies under the Department of Human Services portfolio, as well as other government departments.

The Department of Human Services has traditionally been ahead of other government agencies in implementing web-based services, with the lead on federated access for its portfolio of agencies through the australia.gov.au sites. It has also begun filming and broadcasting live webcasts of certain events, such as the announcement of changes to Youth Allowance.

While some Government 2.0 initiatives like the AGIMO blog from the Department of Finance and Deregulation have been somewhat successful in engaging readers, others - like the Department of Broadband's NBN Implementation Study Wiki - have been largely criticised by the public.

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I received an online letter from Centrelink today telling me about it's new online community forum and inviting me to join at "mycommunity.centrelink.gov.au", the only problem being that the website does not seem to exist! When i googled mycommunity.centrelink.gov.au, the only relevant listing that appeared was your page here!

The letter is in an Adobe format and there is no link in the letter to lead one directly to the site. Also, you can't copy and paste the website address from the letter due to it's format. I could find no mention or link on the Centrelink homepage of the new mycommunity forum.

Therefore, I think that my first feedback to Centrelink will be that I can't access it's new community forum, which they say they have set up as "they are keen to hear about my experiences in dealing with them and get my feedback on the way they communicate with me" etc!

My intial reason for joining today was to provide feedback that I had been disconnected by Centrelink after waiting on hold for 20 minutes to speak to an operator about a payment that they had incorrectly suspended! It appears I will have to visit my local Centrelink office in person this afternoon to sort out the suspended payment matter, which I was advised of by a letter recieved by mail, which begs the questions "Of what value are telephone services where you have to wait for a long time, after you have been able to get through initially of course, and are then disconnected before you can speak to a person to resolve your matter"? and secondly "How valuable are online resources when you are unable to access a website that they have invited you to join"?

Speaking to people in person at my local Centrelink office seems so much more efficient, enjoyable, less time consuming and less frustrating!

Amanda from Centrelink


Thanks for your comment here Dianna, I know you also wrote a letter about this complaint which we've received. I'm one of the MyCommunity administrators, so I can give you a bit of information about the invitation we sent you.

The inconvenience you experienced by not being able to copy and paste the web address from the letter to your internet browser is something we've taken on board. That feature hasn't been available in the past, however we have been working to make the MyCommunity web address a direct link within the Online Letter invitation. From this week invitations will go out with a link, which means no more copying or pasting.

After your feedback we've also put some information about MyCommunity on the Centrelink website, so now some details about it will be available when you search for it in Google. We didn't do this initially because at the moment we're only asking certain families, carer and disability customers to join, not all our customers who use the website. This is the first time Centrelink has run an online community to interact with our customers, so we're still learning along the way.

Thanks again for your feedback on MyCommunity. You'll also receive a personal response to your letter soon.



Hello guys, I urgently for information on MLA format... I can't finish my essay. Does anyone know? Divert help...

rosalie boyd


Hi, i cant get on the my community website to register as I was invited. Has anyone else having trouble.



Lol, still nothing hey.

another joke centrelink had on the people who really need it.

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