Best in Category - Service Design 2023

The One Stop One Story (OSOS) Hub

Thriving Communities Partnership / Infoxchange / Community Partners / Essential Services / Regulators / Ombudsman

The One Stop One Story (OSOS) Hub – multi-sector collaboration providing holistic, wrap around support for people experiencing vulnerability

The One Stop One Story (OSOS) Hub is a world-first, cross-sector digital platform, making it easier for people experiencing vulnerability to connect to multiple support programs they’re entitled to across the community sector and essential services ecosystem including water, energy, banking, transport and telecommunications. The leading-edge initiative allows organisations to create multi-sectoral referrals through a single entry point in a safe and secure way.

People only have to tell their story once to access holistic, wrap-around support. The OSOS Hub removes barriers to access and allows people to avoid the stress, shame and re-traumatisation often involved with repeating their story.

Design Brief:

Though concurrent events such as COVID, natural disasters and rising cost of living have meant nearly 40% of people in Australia are experiencing significant vulnerability, our essential service ecosystem can still create barriers to accessing services, preventing people from receiving the support they need and are entitled to. Having to repeat their stories through multiple, complex channels causes shame, stress, and re-traumatisation and many people don’t know what help is available.

This is also a challenge for businesses. Despite corporate support being available and publicised through multi-channel communications, and investment evident in training programs to ensure high quality customer experience, when people are doing it tough, they often don’t engage.

The OSOS Hub simplifies these processes, allowing people to receive holistic, wrap-around support from multiple providers without having to contact each of them individually, while providing financial and reputational benefits to businesses and positive outcomes for frontline staff too.


This project was developed by:

  • Thriving Communities Partnership
  • Infoxchange
  • Community Partners
  • Essential Services
  • Regulators
  • Ombudsman

Design Process

The co-design process for the OSOS Hub was extensive, beginning with research and concept design in 2019. Thriving Communities Partnership (TCP) facilitated more than 28 co-design workshops, bringing together more than 30 corporate, government and community organisations, alongside people with lived experience, to design OSOS.

The initial pilot, launched in October 2021, supported people experiencing family violence and financial stress. TCP’s Collaborative Social Innovation design process combines human-centred design thinking with collaborative practices. People impacted by family violence worked alongside Project Partners to build understanding and define the design problem, ideate the concept and vision, and co-design and prototype the OSOS Hub. Collaborative practices reconciled organisation’s needs, while placing the human at the centre of every decision.

The co-design workshops not only allowed the design of the online portal, but also collaboratively defined the Ways of Working Agreement and Theory of Change to ensure each organisation was held to the same expectations and standards. Safety was a key design principle given the real-life implications for beneficiaries. Ethical data guidelines ensured OSOS only captures necessary information, while prototype testing identified concerns prior to ‘go-live’ to ensure professional execution.

Maintaining a human-centred design approach whilst navigating the unique regulatory and legal obligations of each industry and organisation was complex, but the team was able to successfully execute this and continues to balance the needs of each new businesses and community organisation that joins the program.

Well-executed design and implementation has exceeded initial design briefs, with OSOS reaching referral milestones and expanding its scope to support people experiencing hardship and vulnerability (e.g. cost of living pressures, unemployment, health & disability) earlier than expected. The use and positive impact of the OSOS Hub has increased steadily over time, with over 2100 referrals created as of June 2023.

Design Excellence

Awarded Gold Winner for Social Impact at the 2022 Good Design Australia Awards and Project of the Year at the 2022 Shared Value Awards, the OSOS Hub has experienced high praise for its design and functionality.

Safety and security have been fundamental to the system design and operation of OSOS. Full cyber security and privacy assessments were undertaken and were reviewed and approved by all participating organisations as part of the co-design process. The ethical guidelines also reduce handling time for organisations and reduces stress for humans when asking for help. This results in a streamlined, fit for purpose user experience for both beneficiaries and frontline workers.

The OSOS Hub is continuously iterated to adapt to emerging best practice, ensuring functionality and safety are consistently upheld. Participating Organisations must be trained in family violence practices and portal functionality, resulting in close to 100% opt-in rate and no ombudsman complaints. Frontline staff referring through OSOS believe it is easy to use and are committed to increasing usage.

96% of referrals have involved the human self-advocating and anecdotal feedback indicates that many of these customers may not have otherwise accessed or known about the support available.

More than 20 organisations currently participate in the OSOS Hub, including Commonwealth Bank, Telstra, Energy Australia and Transurban/Linkt, alongside multiple Victorian organisations South East Water, Yarra Valley Water, Coliban Water, Greater Western Water, WEstjustice, Mortgage Stress Victoria, Anglicare Victoria and Anika Legal, setting a new benchmark for excellence in design and collaboration both in Victoria and across the country.

Other benefits of investing in the professional design of OSOS are evident in participating organisations, including lessons in better practice whereby organisations are adapting processes internally to further streamline the beneficiary experience due to the lessons they learn from participating.

Design Innovation

Despite 38.8% of Australians constantly or sometimes struggling to meet bills and payments, many people aren’t accessing support they need, and essential service providers have historically had challenges engaging with customers entitled to support. Partnerships and cross-referrals between corporate, government and community organisations have existed previously, but corporate to corporate referrals and the extent of organisations present in this single program is unmatched in its innovation.

While the OSOS Hub is a digital platform; it is TCP's unique Collaborative Social Innovation (CSI) design process that produced this world-first offering and enabled a completely new way of working. This process brought together actors across sectors and disciplines to work collaboratively on this societal challenge, leaving competition at the door to engage in deep cross-sector collaboration guided by principles of good partnering as defined by Partnership Brokering Association. We placed interactions between organisations, individuals, and community within an integrated, networked ecosystem, aligning under a common vision and shared understanding.

This provided a safe space to co-design, create, and adapt the ‘what we do’ and ‘how we do it’ through a cycle of adaptive learning and practice. Influenced by the fields of design innovation and partnership, the process recognised that these fields are interconnected, needing one another to successfully address the complex problem. Design innovation offers new ways of thinking and learning, while far-reaching partnerships offer unique ways of acting collaboratively.

OSOS was designed and operates with the human at the centre, ensuring individual needs of each person referred is met with tailored approaches. For people experiencing family violence referred through OSOS, important safety checks can be administered including safe call times and preferred contact methods determined by the human. There have also been examples of external referrals made to relevant community organisations that fit the individual’s need, such as Fitted for Work.

Design Impact

Social impact is tracked through the Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning Framework, which includes a co-designed Theory of Change and cross-sector social impact indicators.

Evidence indicates that, through OSOS, humans are receiving support in critical moments, including early intervention. Humans felt “respected and heard” and “grateful” to not have to retell their story. It’s “one less call to make.” One human commented that even a small, one-off amount credited to their account meant groceries or medicines could be afforded that month.

Staff benefit from their organisation's commitment to the OSOS Hub. They report feeling inspired by learning and connecting with other organisations, pride in their organisation’s commitment to supporting customers experiencing vulnerability and reassured that the receiving organisation will continue to provide support with the respect and empathy required.

"If I refer through (OSOS), I can confidently say to the client, you're going to get a call in the next couple of days and someone will want to talk to you and guide you through." - Community Sector Partner.

One organisation reported that 87% of the referrals they receive are from customers who haven’t reached out for help before. Referrals can also make organisations aware of someone's experience with family violence and can set up their account with relevant safety flags.

Involvement in the OSOS Hub also builds trust. Organisations involved are seen to be genuinely acting on their commitments to their customers experiencing vulnerability.

Organisations and their staff are building a more holistic understanding of their customers. As a result, they can adapt their products, services, and processes to ensure they are better meeting their needs.

The OSOS Hub is inspiring positive social change, with more organisations wanting to join and be a part of systems change. OSOS is driving demand for cross-sector co-design, continuous learning loops and human-centred support.

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