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Births Deaths and Marriages takes the leap as the first agency to join

The NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages is the first agency to transition onto 

The NSW Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages (BDM) was formed in 1856 to register life events in NSW. Its role is to keep accurate and secure records, ensuring their integrity and confidentiality.  

Whether celebrating a new life, partnership, farewelling a loved one or researching a family’s history, almost all citizens will have an interaction with the registry at some stage in their lives. With the birth of, it seemed fitting the first website consolidation would be BDM. 

Our brief was to breathe new life into the Registry’s digital channel and, most importantly, make it simpler, quicker and easier for customers to use. 

Following the Agile method of project delivery, the team worked through the discovery phase and mapped key customer journeys.  

A content audit helped to determine: 

  • what content could be archived 
  • what needed refreshing into plain English 
  • what could simply be replicated.  

With customer testing, we gave considerable thought to where the information sat on the website, and the page layouts.  

Then, through a series of sprints, the team delivered the content on births, marriages, relationships and deaths on  

The Births, Deaths and Marriages website was decommissioned on 6 May 2020. 

A collaborative project team 

The NSW Government Digital Channels team worked with subject matter experts (SME) from BDM. The SME’s role was to: 

  • ensure the content was accurate 
  • quickly identify potential customer or business issues 
  • help pave the way for fast approvals. 

One key success factor of the project was the commitment and full-time co-location of a SME from BDM within the project team. The opportunity to collaborate and quickly access business knowledge and processes helped the project to be delivered on time. Although bumpy at first, we established an effective process to streamline approvals with senior stakeholders. The benefits of co-location should not be underestimated and will be encouraged for future consolidation projects.  

Engagement with stakeholders and BDM staff 

Our Engagement team worked closely with BDM to ensure the transition was as smooth as possible. As part of the change process, we: 

  • updated key stakeholders in a format and cadence matching their existing processes 
  • developed an agency-specific communications plan with internal messaging to help with the change 
  • co-ordinated a series of short showcases to BDM staff. The showcases were a great engagement tool and provided a forum for staff and to ask any questions 
  • conducted a basic survey to get first thoughts from staff members on the new website. 


We held small group training sessions to upskill staff on our Drupal content management system. Ongoing training opportunities will continue to teach new skills in current technologies and ways of working.  

A great team makes for a successful transition 

Being the first agency to transition will always present challenges. We had all the ingredients to make this as successful as possible: open and committed stakeholders throughout the process; having a SME co-locating with the sprint team to provide insight into the customer and agency; and, most importantly, the motivation to improve the experience for BDM customers. 

Have you used the new BDM content on Check it out here and leave a comment below with your thoughts. 

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