Icon Agency Canberra caters for the rapid increase in demand for highly usable, transformational digital services arising from whole-of-government initiatives.

We’re driven by the pursuit of possibility and ask ‘what if’ at every opportunity, and understand the challenges and opportunities that digital transformation offers. 

By placing human need at the centre of our approach we tailor user journeys, technical solutions, and design outcomes to ensure the best possible experience for your audience.

See our recent GovCMS and Drupal projects.

“It’s been an honour working with the Department of Finance and being part of the driving team behind the GovCMS platform.”

Jason Guo
Solution Architect and Technical Lead
Icon Agency Canberra

Introducing GovCMS – A New Standard For Digital Government

Managed by the Department of Finance, the innovative and award-winning govCMS platform is created for government by government.

govCMS was developed to reduce website deployment time and cost, and provide government agencies with a fully managed service that meets various Australian Government standards. Services included in every deployment include hosting, CDN and DDoS protection, management of software and services, site management training, and ongoing technical support.

Icon offers a fully managed govCMS service. Your website is monitored for software patches, security updates, maintenance and bug fixes, allowing your team to focus on the customer experience and content management.

  • Cost effective deployment, customisation, hosting and support
  • Effective and state-of-the-art CDN and DDoS protection technology
  • Reduced production times and standardised processes
  • Adherence to Australian Government security policies and accessibility standards
  • Enterprise-grade maintenance and support
  • User-friendly experience across all device types and screen sizes

Helping Government Put People At The Heart Of Every Decision

Human-centred design emerges from the intersection of technology, creativity, and communications. At Icon, it defines the way we work, interact and influence behaviours.

Icon Agency Canberra’s digital team includes award winning usability and user experience designers, communications strategists and content editors. By placing the user at the centre of all decisions we ensure your website is as usable as it is technically sophisticated.

The Smart Approach For Government


We facilitate tailored workshops with key stakeholders to understand intent, user types and cultural requirements. We research the people and communities you want to connect your service with and define project goals to suit their needs.


Through a human-centred approach we create road-maps, outline technical requirements, define channels, content and launch strategy.


We team with clients to create the best outcome for your customers. Following a smart Agile process – Discovery; Alpha; Beta; Live – to ensure project outcomes are both innovative and efficient.


With the benefits of prototyping you'll be able to quickly test, validate and iterate ideas with real people to minimise risk and enhance usability.


By using govCMS we ensure your project is based on approved standards and is hosted and supported via a fully managed service such as Acquia, or stand-alone AWS instance.


We advocate and comply with the Digital Transformation Agency’s Digital Service Standard as well as accessibility requirements documented under the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines at a minimum of Level AA.


We can seamlessly integrate content between websites and 3rd party data sources to provide a unified experience for your users.


Our in-house editors create voice and tone guidelines and customise content to suit specific audiences. A clear communications strategy, custom content creation, use of search and taxonomies, and clever storytelling ensure your messaging is concise and useful.


Launching a digital project is only the beginning. We help measure and iterate to meet your communications goals, plan next stages and manage technical upgrades.

Leadership team

Chris Dodds

Founder and Managing Director, Digital

Chris is a designer and digital strategist with more than 20 years' industry experience. He is a passionate technologist who has been at the forefront of numerous digital upheavals, including the desktop publishing revolution, birth of the web, online advertising, ecommerce, mobile platforms, apps, and the social media boom. Chris has been a key driver of Icon’s integrated model, using our extensive digital knowledge-base to inform and drive campaign strategy and implementation. He is a keen believer in allowing all divisions (PR/comms, creative, and digital) a 'seat at the table' when formulating our approach and deliverables, and believes in-house digital capabilities are needed for agencies to remain relevant and sought after by clients. Chris leads our talented web team as they build next-generation solutions, and is a member of RMIT University's Digital Media Program Advisory Commitee. 

Joanne Painter

Founder and Managing Director, PR

Joanne brings more than 25 years’ experience in journalism, public relations and digital communications. Prior to founding Icon with partner Chris Dodds, Joanne was an award-winning journalist and media commentator. After starting her career with News Limited, Joanne spent eight years with Fairfax’s The Age, first as education reporter then as national industrial correspondent and senior business writer. As a pioneer of digital PR in Australia Joanne leads a team of digital and social media experts skilled in designing and executing integrated PR and activation campaigns. Joanne is the Victorian Chairperson of the PRIA Registered Consultancies Group, a member of the Public Relations Institute of Australia and a member of the Australian Marketing Institute. In November 2016, Joanne was appointed a Fellow of the Public Relations Institute of Australia, and recently secured Icon Agency’s membership with the prestigious Public Relations Organisation International, an international partnership of independent PR agencies.

Dr Jason Guo

Solution Architect and Technical Lead, Canberra

Jason is a highly motivated and committed solution architect and open-source developer who has been designing, developing and supporting open-source solutions since 2004. He has extensive experience working in public and private sector organisations as a senior manager, solution architect, technical analyst, developer and electrical engineer. Jason has managed web operations for both government and private organisations, and managed development teams using agile methodologies. He has been actively involved in Drupal development for government, including web accessibility reviews and solution design.