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Dr Lena Belin’s work has been recognised with several high-profile awards for customer research and engagement.

Good Design Awards 2019

Best in Class – Public Sector Services

Premier's Achievement Awards 2019


The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Career Pathways Service


First Nations people are under-represented in senior leadership positions across all governments – this is a significant, long-term and systemic problem which leads to less informed policy decisions about First Nations communities. 


The Queensland Government asked Lena and the program team to design an effective solution that would address the culture, politics, practices and siloes in government workplaces. 


Using human-centred design, the team created a framework to design a service that HR, line managers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants could draw on throughout their career. The service provides access to courses, mentoring, coaching, networking and career mobility through employment opportunities. 


The service involves high potential, established and eminent Indigenous leaders, managers and the broader public sector. It raises the profile of Indigenous leaders in the sector and establishes networks outside the field of Indigenous affairs. A cornerstone of the service is the focus on enabling a safe space for participants.  


Impact and outcomes

Meaningful participation is critical for the design of services for First Nations people. This is the first time a service has been designed truly bottom-up, involving 300+ people over two years. 


The service advances First Nations people by incubating existing talent and accelerating progression, supporting up to 6,300 people across the sector. It also drives efficiencies by operating through a pooled-funding model, breaking down siloes and creating alignment in procurement.


Learn more

Visit the Good Design Awards website to read more and watch the video featuring Dr Lena Belin. 



Victorian Premier’s Design Awards 2016

Special Commendation

Strategic Research to inform the design of the AITSL website


AITSL is a global leader promoting excellence in teaching and school leadership, with an audience of over 300,000 teachers and principals. Working with Meld Studios, Lena was tasked with developing a new understanding of AITSL’s value to users and stakeholders. This would inform and underpin the design of the new website. In fact, the research they conducted ended up transforming the way the AITSL thought about and interacted with its customers.   


Lena and the team led an intense research and stakeholder engagement process, including interviews, workshops and many iterations – resulting in the first coherent, cross-channel view of the organisation, and a clear current state visual map. This led to further qualitative research and co-design work with stakeholders. Ultimately, the project team produced a strategy to guide AITSL forward, captured in a future state map and report. 


Impact and outcomes

AITSL had never used design as a strategic tool before, and this project established design-thinking principles such as iteration, inclusiveness, human-centredness, co-design and research within the business. The value of this new way of collaborating went far beyond informing the current website redesign. Design methodology has enhanced AITSL’s understanding of customer types and ways of engaging with them. New customer types were validated by external research and are now used as the baseline to inform strategic projects across the entire business.


Learn more

Read about the full project on the Victorian Premiers Design Awards website. 

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