Co-designing Victoria’s Biosecurity Approach

  • 2023

  • Design Strategy

Designed By:

Commissioned By:

Agriculture Victoria

Designed In:


Victoria’s Biosecurity Statement is a compelling, narrative-driven document that unifies complex and varying stakeholder perspectives into a single, cohesive statement. Created by using co-design methodologies, the statement is now setting a new standard for how government agencies should create other directional statements.

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  • Biosecurity is an effort to minimise the harms caused by pests and diseases, and the impacts they have on our way of life. Biosecurity is a key priority for the Victorian Government, and success requires collaboration amongst all Victorians, including farmers, Traditional Owners, industry, everyday citizens and more. However, understandings of biosecurity are not always accurate or comprehensive. As the Government began work on a new biosecurity strategy, it became clear that Victoria’s biosecurity system needed a unifying narrative. Agriculture Victoria engaged Paper Giant to bring clarity to the roles of biosecurity stakeholders through the development of a shared story.

  • To maximise engagement within tight timelines, we designed a series of activities to enable participation from a broad cross-section of stakeholders in a short time. Our approach focussed on embracing a diversity of perspectives, and fostering conditions for respectful listening, thoughtful reflection, and productive engagement. Our result is a compelling Biosecurity Statement that commences the process of shifting Victorians’ understanding of biosecurity and whom it involves. The statement speaks to a range of stakeholders, in terms relevant to them, about what they can do in their everyday lives and work to promote the health of flora, fauna and waterways.

  • Biosecurity is critical to Victoria’s health, yet evidence suggests many Victorians have little understanding of how biosecurity relates to them. The Statement, which utilises plain language, compelling imagery and scenarios, communicates with a wide range of stakeholders. For Agriculture Victoria, this statement represents a first step in shifting the biosecurity ‘narrative’: translating it from a nebulous concept into something that feels simple, achievable, and ‘close to home’ for Victorians. The co-design process also represents an increased commitment to engagement and design in Victoria’s biosecurity approach. Our design process informs not only the Statement, but the Biosecurity Strategy currently under development.

  • We carried out a series of carefully-designed sprints to enable meaningful participation from a broad cross-section of stakeholders in a short time. We also conducted seven leadership interviews, ten workshops with a wide array of stakeholders, and a survey of over 300 people across the biosecurity system. Our skilled information and communication designers made use of powerful local photography to maximise the impact of the Statement and to help convey what is at stake when we talk about protecting Victorian ecosystems and agriculture. Our resulting outputs were: - A Biosecurity Statement endorsed by the Victorian Government in September 2022 and launched at Victoria’s Biosecurity Roundtable 2022. - A ‘next steps’ resource, designed to support Agriculture Victoria to build upon the work of the Statement and increase its impact - A suite of accessible and impactful assets for promoting the Statement and its principles among stakeholders - A shared narrative for Victoria’s biosecurity system and a clear message on shared responsibilities that includes stakeholders, experts and all Victorians. The project team consisted of the following people. Agriculture Victoria: Michael Reid, Lauren Hull, Natalie O’Donnell, Bridie Walsh, Katherine Clift. Paper Giant: Hannah Stocks, Ian Pollock, Lottie Greally, Charlotte McCombe, Duc Ho, Louise Berger.