Alf Rattigan Lecture 2019: Data Customers and the Limits of Universal Public Services

Big data and investment frameworks can change the way governments use welfare to address inequality and deprivation. Despite significant expansions of public services inequality and disadvantage remain stubborn problems with no obvious solutions. Technology offers a new path but challenges the institutional design of the welfare state. Lessons from Australia and New Zealand show that progress is slow but possible.

This year's Alf Rattigan Lecture will be presented by Sir Bill English, former Prime Minister of New Zealand. 

Registrations are required for those wishing to attend the Alf Rattigan Lecture.

Date: Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Time: 5.30pm – 6.30pm, followed by refreshments

Location: The Shine Dome, Australian Academy of Science, 15 Gordon Street, Acton ACT


Sir Bill English retired from politics in 2018 after 27 years in politics. He was Minister of Finance in New Zealand in 1999 and 2008-2016 and Prime Minister 2016-2017. Sir Bill has a long-term interest in effective public services and sound public policy. He led the development and implementation of Social Investment in New Zealand. Sir Bill is currently a director of Wesfarmers, participated in the 2018 review of the APS and is a member of the NSW Government panel on Federal Financial Relations. He is a director of several private export and technology companies.


alf rattiganThe 2018 Alf Rattigan Lecture is the third in an annual series in honour of G.A. Rattigan, the renowned Chairman of the Tariff Board and Industries Assistance Commission (predecessors of today’s Productivity Commission).

The purpose of the Lecture is to elevate the importance of good process, sound governmental institutions and effective leadership to achieving nationally beneficial public policy and reform.

It is delivered each year by an Australian or New Zealander who has played a significant role in promoting or implementing these ideals.

The Lecture is held by ANZSOG, with the benefit of an initial endowment by the Trans-Tasman Transparency Group and contributions from The Treasury, Productivity Commission, Infrastructure Partnerships Australia and the Minerals Council of Australia.

Previous Alf Rattigan lectures:

2018: Whatever Happened to Evidence Based Policy Making? with Professor Gary Banks AO, former ANZSOG Dean and CEO, and former Chair, Productivity Commission

2017: Restarting micro economic reform with Fred Hilmer

2016: Economic reform: a lost cause or merely in eclipse? with Dr Paul Kelly, Distinguished Fellow of ANZSOG and Editor-at-Large of The Australian

Register your attendance at the 2019 Alf Rattigan Lecture

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Venue information

  • Venue: The Shine Dome
  • Address: Australian Academy of Science,
    15 Gordon Street, Acton ACT