Plain Language Awards

Celebrate the stories of our clearest business communicators

Highly Commended: Best Plain Language Legal Document

Grampians Health

Grampians Health take out a Highly Commended award

Document name

Freedom of Information Decision Letter

Judges’ comments

Firstly, congratulations to the writers for putting together a document that aims for clarity in the often complex realm of legal writing and information design.

Your work certainly stands out as a commendable effort to make legal information more accessible to the general public. The document effectively conveys its purpose with clear structure and plain language. It also reassures the target audience. Putting the final version alongside the original shows how far this has come in terms of effective plain legal writing and information design.

We are proud to give it a high recommendation. A very commendable effort that leaves legal communications in a better place.


Media statement

We are excited to be recognised as a shortlisted entry in the category of Best Plain Language Legal Document for our project Gladys. Like many other health services, we have experienced a surge in Freedom of Information (FOI) applications in recent years. FOI is a public right of access to documents held by government agencies, and the main way that people seek to access medical records in public health services. We identified a need for the FOI process to be more efficient and sustainable, while ensuring that every consumer experience aligns with Grampians Health’s values.

Through our project Gladys, we strived to facilitate consumer access to their medical records in a way which aligns with our values and treats people with compassion and respect. The FOI service is for ‘the public’, and it is important that we use plain language to make information accessible and easily understandable for all.

The Gladys project will allow us to manage the increased level of FOI requests while providing the community with information that is accessible and easy to grasp. We are one of the first government agencies to invest in low-code process automation for FOI, and the first health service in Victoria to undertake extensive information design in FOI. Going forward, we are committed to keep plain language at the heart of our processes.


Laura Hartmann  
General Counsel
Grampians Health