Queen's Birthday Honours: Finn Pratt rewarded for role in historic NDIS social policy
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Queen's Birthday Honours: Finn Pratt rewarded for role in historic NDIS social policy

Not many public servants get to play a lead role in the birth of historic social policy and Finn Pratt knows he has had a special job for the past four years.

The Department of Social Services boss has been named an Officer in the General Division of the Order of Australia for distinguished service to public administration for his work on the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Fin Pratt has been a public servant for 32 years and his OA will go beside the Public Service Medal he won in 2008 for his work on employment services and policy.

Fin Pratt has been a public servant for 32 years and his OA will go beside the Public Service Medal he won in 2008 for his work on employment services and policy.

But the DSS secretary says credit for the watershed reform belongs to the hundreds of men and women who have worked for the past five years to make the NDIS a reality.

Mr Pratt, 54, has been a public servant for 32 years and his OA will go beside the Public Service Medal he won in 2008 for his work on employment services and policy.

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During the past decade he has never been far from the social policy action, with a stint in charge of Centrelink in 2008-09, followed by two years in the challenging job of secretary of the Department of Human Services.

He took over at the top of the department formerly known as FaHCSIA in 2011, before its transformation to DSS.

Not bad for a bloke who started out as an employment officer in the old Commonwealth Employment Service.

These days, Mr Pratt says, he is still all about making a difference for Australians who need a helping hand.

"My career has been very largely in the social policy world. That's what drives me," he said.

"CEO of Centrelink, secretary of Human Services, secretary of FaHCSIA and now secretary of DSS. All of these are areas that make a big difference in the lives of the most vulnerable and disadvantaged in Australia."

But it has been the NDIS that has been the big thing for Mr Pratt's work in the past few years.

"It has been a really big challenge to get the NDIS kicked off. We're not there yet, but we're on the way," he said.

"Not only is it really needed and it's really important to so many people, it's nice to work on something as significant as this.

"It does inspire quite a bit of passion in people and this isn't happening because of my efforts – this is a team achievement.

"The extent to which I am being given credit for this reflects on the talents on the many colleagues and many others who have worked on the NDIS, bureaucratically, in the sector and politically."

Mr Pratt is married with three adult children.