Tanya Lindsey marks 20 years with the Department of Human Services

When Tanya Lindsey started work on the front counter at the Department of Social Security in the city of Karratha in the Pilbara region of Western Australia in 1993, many people were receiving their payments by cheque.

Canberra Smart Centre service manager Tanya Lindsey has recently received recognition for 20 years with Human Services. Photo supplied

Canberra Smart Centre service manager Tanya Lindsey has recently received recognition for 20 years with Human Services. Photo supplied

Now the Canberra Smart Centre service manager, she oversees 250 service officers in Canberra and Queanbeyan, and cheques are a thing of the past.

Smart centres deliver Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support program services to customers as part of a virtual network.

Ms Lindsey has just been recognised for 20 years of service with the Department of Human Services (including time away).

During that time she's provided support to people from all walks of life, including working with prisoners and visiting remote Indigenous communities.

"Some of my favourite times in the Northern Territory involved just sitting under a tree and talking to people about their payments," Ms Lindsey said.

"It was important to take the time to get to know people, build trust and ensure they were getting all the support they needed."

While much has changed over her two decades, her focus has always been on providing great customer service.

"We must have a strong customer focus in everything we do," she said. "We have to ask ourselves how we can make a difference in people's lives, even if we've just got them for a moment."

Ms Lindsey finds her current job at the Canberra Smart Centre rewarding.

Managing staff who take customer phone calls is a long way from her days under the trees, but she's loving it.

She said she always encourages her staff to push themselves to make sure they're doing the best job they can.

"Do something that drives you and gives you the passion to come to work every day," she said.