Case studies

DSS National Centre Business Case

Department of Social Services

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Delivering a business case and implementation plan for a $45 million National Centre for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse.


This project was significant and politically and socially sensitive as it was a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The Australian Government formally committed funding to the project in the 2019-20 Budget and states and territories have committed to match the Australian Government funding. DSS will use the Business Case to support discussions with state and territory governments about funding and in kind contributions.


The Department of Social Services (DSS) was establishing a National Centre for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse (National Centre). This $45 million project was politically and socially sensitive as it responds to a recommendation of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.  

A key challenge in the project was the need to develop an organisational model and governance structure that would allow the National Centre to operate independently from government and meet the needs of diverse stakeholders who have wide-ranging opinions.  

DSS engaged Proximity to provide a business case for the organisational design of the National Centre and a delivery strategy, including an implementation plan founded on negotiations with state and territory governments. We were also engaged to deliver the procurement process.  

Value delivered

The business case and operating model for a new National Centre was accepted by the Australian Government and presented by the Minister to state and territory leaders. Proximity is currently supporting DSS to select the best service delivery provider to operate the National Centre.  

We leveraged our team’s significant experience in business process management, project and program management, business cases, organisational design, governance and procurement to help DSS determine the most fit-for-purpose solution to deliver the policy outcomes. Critically, the Government is now confident that the National Centre’s operating model will deliver the services needed to better protect the Australian community.  


Proximity assembled a strong team comprising broad experience and diverse skills, including business process management; business case development; project and program management; probity; governance; legal and subject matter expertise. Many of the team had also previously been Australian Government employees, and have experience working on Royal Commissions and negotiating with states and territories.


Proximity worked closely with stakeholders to develop a function-based model to support the delivery of core services and activities that improve outcomes for victims and survivors, and help prevent child sexual abuse.  

Proximity’s project plan and methodology were approved by the Branch Manager, Family Policy.

The methodology featured our strategic analysis and organisational design capabilities and centred on:  

  • Conducting a desktop review of similar national and international centres to draw a baseline for the organisational design and resourcing and delivery model for the National Centre, incorporating stakeholder feedback into the business case 
  • Analysing and identifying the potential National Centre functions and activities that aligned with the Royal Commission’s recommendation
  • Conducting robust cost modelling on a shortlist of organisational models to ensure the National Centre will be financially sustainable when the initial funding term ends. 

Our approach involved facilitating DSS’s consultation with states and territories on both the design and objectives of the National Centre and the recommended key performance indicators and best practice governance standards. To ensure emerging risks were mitigated and the project progressed satisfactorily, we provided weekly reports to the Department, including succinct, timely advice on the design, business case and performance measures, which ensured timelines were met.   

Proximity’s innovative and helpful approach saw the contract expanded to also deliver the procurement phase of the project.

The outcome

Lessons and achievements

Proximity’s involvement resulted in an extensive consideration of different options and a robust assessment of which solutions would best meet the needs of victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, and the key funding partners-the states and territories. Proximity were able to inform the client’s thinking and work with them to ensure the National Centre will deliver against the Royal Commission recommendations and aligns with government objectives.

Proximity’s work resulted in the delivery of a draft
business case on 17 April 2020, with the final version postponed due to Coronavirus impacting state and territory organisations ability to engage in further consultation.

Proximity’s innovative and helpful approach saw the contract expanded to also deliver the procurement phase of the project. Proximity will assist DSS through to December 2020 to conduct a two-phase procurement to select the supplier to deliver the National Centre.

Types of work used for the project

Business case development

Organisational planning and transformation





Stakeholder engagement and facilitation

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