The Australian Government coat of Arms

Communities of practice

Communities of practice

'Australian Government official website' universal header



A number of people in the community are digging the ‘Australian Government official website’ accordion band on It provides a good counter-argument to some internal stakeholders who wish to secure and similar TLDs (don’t ask - eyes rolling).

Any news on rollout as a standardised design system component? Can we use it on our sites


This is something we have started doing on our websites as a way of educating users. It was greatly inspired by the work of 18F which can be seen on their website and on their new design system.

It’s currently set up as a component in the design system website. If you wish to have a dig around and re use it on your own website. Sass file and react component

For us to officially launch a “whole of government” header it would require approval from PMC.


Thanks I’m aware that PMC approvals tend not to be forthcoming so will dig into the component and see if we can replicate to help create a ‘de facto’ standard pattern. Cheers.


I’d also consider directing internal stakeholders towards the official policy on Australian Government domain names.


Thanks @gordon.grace. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve reiterated government policy with this link just to find that alternatives domains have been purchased anyway. I appreciate the share though.


While working on myGov I designed a system with a persistent universal header for all sites while logged in to any member service. I cannot share the actual designs publicly, and I’m not even sure how much of it I’m allowed to talk about, but I wanted to put the general suggestion out for discussion.

The benefit is that you have a standardised top level navigation across all government sites, giving users a consistent IA and making other departments more discoverable. It could include a whole of government search function, life event based menu system, and a universal logon component.

This universal header could also include both content from the accordion band and from the global header

When logged in to a whole of government authenticated system, the same universal header could then show links to linked authenticated sites from each department, a universal inbox and so on.

This idea has been kicking about for a number of years, but it needs some whole of government user experience design impetus to come to fruition. If we don’t do this, then we will all be reimplementing the same design elements over and over in different ways. It makes sense for this design to come from the organisation that owns the design of and, since it is basically unifying those two entities into a singular whole of government design component.


Yes, yes, yes @podgkin

Gary Broadbent spoke some time ago about an all-of-govt header along the lines of “this is a official government site as it’s a…” He also proposed a smart digital responsive government crest actually built for browsers!


I have moved the conversations into this one relevant post.

In terms of news unfortunately this is not something the DTA is pursuing currently. I can see great benefits for something like this but ultimately PM&C make the decision.


Thanks for fighting the fight We may lose the battle but win the war!


Check out this:

The BRS team adopted this header to reduce call centre volumes when people were checking out on the credit card (business name purchase) @guiseppe

We are still unclear how appropriate this is and there is internal debate on the topic. Notice that the main domain does not use the header. Thoughts?


I think this is excellent and actually pointed this out in a meeting last week. As you’ve experienced internally, without a mandate for sites it will be added sporadically. Also, unless added to the Design System it will have variable implementations, which will be a retrograde step.

Longer term it could be used for all-of-govt purposes, such as a global MyGov login position.

Congrats for implementing.