Upsides Training

do good, do well

Public servants, you help Australia thrive. We help you thrive too.

or Call: 1300 877 433

Nestled in the Great Otway National Park, Triplet Falls embodies centuries of natural history, flowing untouched over a lush, fern-laden rainforest setting. Triplet Falls is part of a Parks Victoria protected area that conserves a variety of ecosystems and species.

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Book a zero obligation,
30 minute
Clarity Call.

OR CALL: 1300 UPSIDES

give your people what they need

Make a Dent in the Universe

Imagine if your people had everything they needed to make the impact that called them to public service in the first place.

Well… we can’t double your budget, but we can help your people double their resourcefulness.

That multiplication in resourcefulness will come from training that understands the realities your people work within, where their heads (and hearts) are at and what they need to achieve.

You may not believe that training can motivate and illuminate, but that’s exactly what our training does. And motivated staff grab our tools with both hands and start making a dent in the universe.

So why not book an exploratory call now and let’s start mapping the path. You’ll get a rapt audience (we love nothing more than hearing about each new pocket of the public sector!) and a frank and fearless consideration of how to meet your team’s needs. No upsell, no spin. If, after talking, we don’t think Upsides has what you need, we’ll tell you (and possibly refer you to one of our loose network of fellow public sector supporting good-eggs).

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The Great Barrier Reef managed by the GBR Marine Park Authority is the world’s largest coral reef system and was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1981.

give your people what they need

Make a Dent in the Universe

!

The Great Barrier Reef managed by the GBR Marine Park Authority is the world’s largest coral reef system and was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1981.

Imagine if your people had everything they needed to make the impact that called them to public service in the first place. Well… we can’t double your budget, but we can help your people double their resourcefulness.

That multiplication in resourcefulness will come from training that understands the realities your people work within, where their heads (and hearts) are at and what they need to achieve. You may not believe that training can motivate and illuminate, but that’s exactly what our training does. And motivated staff grab our tools with both hands and start making a dent in the universe.

So why not book an exploratory call now and let’s start mapping the path. You’ll get a rapt audience (we love nothing more than hearing about each new pocket of the public sector!) and a frank and fearless consideration of how to meet your team’s needs. No upsell, no spin. If, after talking, we don’t think Upsides has what you need, we’ll tell you (and possibly refer you to one of our loose network of fellow public sector supporting good-eggs).

Book an exploratory call now and let’s start mapping your path.

"Georgie Smith is a rare gem in the world of public administration.

She has a depth of knowledge that has been developed over many years and tested in some of the most robust public entities in Australia.”

– Scott Patterson,
Chief of Staff, Queensland Government Minister’s Office.

We train public servants for the mission of public service

Do well while doing good

If you’re here, you already know that public service is vital. You know the public sector does things the private sector could never do. And you know public servants have to do those things differently.

That’s why public servants deserve more than find-and-replace versions of training designed to hold Big 4 consultants to profitability targets.

Upsides Training provides training for public servants by former public servants who are as committed to your mission as you are.

We Inspire

Connecting staff to the value and impact of their work.

We’re Practical

delivering “get the job done” skills that complement your people’s expertise.

We’re for Life

What we teach stays with staff for the rest of their careers.

We Equip Public Servants with the Drive and the Tools to Succeed

Your people don’t need more technical knowledge.

They need to know how to make sense of the tsunami of demands coming at them each day, then work out how to get from A to B.

We teach what gets missed – the strategic delivery skills that transform individuals and teams into goal-hitting juggernauts!

60 years combined experience as public servants

We’ve stood in front of the same obstacles as you. We’ve felt the same frustrations and, yes, we’ve also ground our teeth to nubs, the way you are right now.

Our Guarantee

We want you to be 100% confident that you’re on the right path when you work with us. That’s why we offer you a Money Back Guarantee.

Our Promise

As a manager entrusting yourself and your staff to us, we promise you will feel seen, supported, and structured for success at all times.

Little Beach, located in the Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve in the Albany region, is the oldest settlement in Western Australia. Two Peoples Bay Nature Reserve is protected by Explore Parks WA known for its efforts to maintain the natural environment and protect native flora and fauna.

Why our public service training works

We’ve Been There. We Succeeded.
Now, It’s Your Turn

We're on the same page as you. We love the public sector, even when it drives us nuts. And we're here to assure you that the parts that chafe can be improved.We know because we've done it.

Why not book a call to talk to a public sector specialist who’ll understand the situation you’re describing? You’re not limited to our menu of popular courses. You tell us where it hurts, and we’ll work together to find a way to make your mission more manageable.

Our most popular courses for public servants addresses the perils we saw in our public service careers:

  • Talented, driven people leaving the service because what they thought were the success skills, weren’t.
  • People in decay, bitter because they were defeated years ago but they never left.
  • Good people caught up in daily demands and losing sight of their mission.

Training so effective it's a no-brainer.

Manage for Impact

Manage for Impact training delivers actionable insights about mindset, values and methods that will rapidly increase your team’s capability and reduce your management effort, no matter what your technical area.

Learn more 

Training so effective it’s a no-brainer.

Tame Toxicity

After decades of studying public sector team dynamics, we know how Decay happens, how to head it off early, and what to do when it’s settled in.

Learn more

Good to Great

For strong teams ready to see what they’re truly capable of, Good to Great training brings your dreams to life.

Learn more

Book an exploratory call now and let’s start mapping your path.

meet our founders

You will feel seen, supported, and structured for success

Georgie Smith has government in her veins. As well as serving in local and state government in Victoria, NSW and Queensland, she also grew up in a family of public servants. She’s been surrounded by service since before she knew what it meant.

Georgie’s official public sector career started in a truly depressing outer suburban Housing Department office, then upgraded to the insanity of a Minister’s office, followed by the relative calm of the Queensland Ambulance Service, Marrickville Council, and then eventually her personal nirvana, the Victorian Environment Protection Authority.

Over a 20-year career in public service, Georgie saw great teams waste time and money on lousy training. More often than not, the training was lousy because it failed to understand, let alone have respect for, what makes the public sector unique. (And why it’s a GREAT thing that the public sector doesn’t work the same way as the private sector.)

So Georgie co-founded (with Travis) her own business, Upsides Training, to provide the government-specific training that public servants deserve. All delivered in Georgie’s no-bullshit style.

Georgie knows the struggle to keep your head up under the daily drip of criticism from people who don’t understand your realities. It’s why she’s committed herself to transforming how public servants see themselves and their role in society.

Her long term goals include thumping the table on The Project (at least Waleed should understand why gov matters, right?) and inspiring a generation to consider a career in government to be A Very Good Thing.

In her spare time Georgie enjoys starting gardening projects (that Trav finishes) and learning how not to suck at watercolour painting.

  • 20 years in public service
  • The one out front
  • Expect inspiration

Travis Bates started in public service in the mines and ports of WA, before he came home to inspect the abattoirs and landfills of Victoria as an Environment Protection Officer. After questioning the finer details (and odours) of his life choices, Travis moved from the field into operational policy. The shift enabled Travis to do what he really loves – working out how to do stuff smarter, safer, fairer, better.

That’s also where Travis’ love for training took hold — guiding new staff to transform abstract concepts into real-world wins.

After a sojourn as a member director on some of Australia’s largest superannuation funds, Travis decided that arguing with suits over basics wasn’t for him, and he joined Georgie in helping the public sector thrive through Upsides.

In his spare time, Travis is lead parent, head chef and a better-than-average DIY guy. He dreams one day of building a canoe.

  • 15 years experience
  • The one behind the scenes
  • Expect insight

Travis and I met in 2013, working at the Victorian Environment Protection Authority (one of those special places you never forget). We actually met while both Travis and I were advocating for our colleagues as union delegates.

I was actually the president of the union chapter, but needed to step down, because I’d taken on the responsibility of leading a big organisational restructure.

Travis took over the presidency, then gave me hell every inch of that restructure! But that process helped us really see each other’s character. The photos on this page probably give you a hint as to how that worked out – we got married in 2015, and our “Squisho” was born 3 years later.

When the world stopped in early 2020, we started asking ourselves what we wanted our legacy to be. Over hikes through our local forest, we gradually realised we had something important to say.

Our years of unique insights made their way to the surface. The result was our book, The Formula for Impact, and now, Upsides Training, where together Travis and I head a small team of passionate people with a huge goal – to reach all 2 million Aussie public sector workers and help them be their most awesome!

Upsides Training is our contribution to making our wonderful country the best it can be, by helping the people who help us all.

If you’re a dedicated public servant intent on being your best, we’d love to work with you!

-Georgie

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The Twelve Apostles, protected by the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority, are a striking series of limestone stacks along Australia’s Great Ocean Road. This natural wonder, sculpted over millennia from marine skeletons, is a testament to the beauty of nature’s craftsmanship.

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The Twelve Apostles, protected by the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority, are a striking series of limestone stacks along Australia’s Great Ocean Road. This natural wonder, sculpted over millennia from marine skeletons, is a testament to the beauty of nature’s craftsmanship.

Workshops Completed

Happy clients

Public Servants Empowered

Years experience

Managers, are you investing wisely in your staff?

Double your team’s impact;
halve your management effort

Staff deliver strategy

But what support are they getting?

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The average Aussie public sector workforce is over 72% non-management staff.

Yet staff training accounts for less than 38% of total training spend!

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Every staff training dollar must deliver twice the impact of leadership training.

It’s time to ask; is your staff training delivering double?

%

  • 72% 72%

of the average Aussie public sector workforce are non-management staff.

%

  • 38% 38%

of total training spend allocated to non-management staff.

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Stronger public servants,
stronger Australia

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Georgie is awesome, very engaging and great to listen to. I would recommend this course to all new staff, not just planners.

Anonymous attendee feedback

PIA Power Planner Starter Pack Course

I loved the training because it was so insightful and relevant to my role in local government. Your course helped me improve my relationships and be more effective in my work.

Sarah, Strategic Planner

Cumberland Council (NSW)

I just wanted to say a big thank you for running Manage for Impact. ...I also recommended to (my) management that they take the course as it provides great techniques on management.

Connor, Acting Team Leader

Inner West Council (NSW)

What I learned exceeded the expectations I had going into the course. The material is relevant and useful now, and will also be useful in the future.

Anonymous attendee feedback

PIA Reinvention with Intention course

Hi Georgie. Thanks so much for today. Really enjoyed the day - well run and really useful for me.

William, Manager

Department of Planning & Environment (NSW)

Really enjoyed the course and got a lot out of it. Also really enjoyed you as a facilitator, a full day on zoom is a challenge for everyone but you made the training very engaging even through the screen, which was great.

Andrew

Inner West Council (NSW)

Georgie Smith is a rare gem in the world of public administration. She has a depth of knowledge that has been developed over many years and tested in some of the most robust public entities in Australia.

Scott, Chief of Staff

Queensland Government Minister’s office

I've done a lot of management training over the years. This is really good and the training for me in the last hurrah of my career couldn't be better. Never too old to learn! Thanks!

Richard, Senior Manager

Victorian Regional Council, attending PIA Manage for Impact