Has Australia lost its success mojo?: A Public Sector Week panel discussion

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  • Published Date: 05 August 2019

ANZSOG-affiliated faculty and academics will come together for a panel discussion at IPAA Victoria’s Public Sector Week, to highlight Australian policy successes and uncover why society seems fixated on public policy failures, instead of celebrating and learning from success.

Gill Callister (ANZSOG Associate Dean) will facilitate the panel discussion, featuring Dr Stephen Duckett (Health Program Director, Grattan Institute), Professor Michael Mintrom (Professor of Public Sector Management, Monash University) and Professor Clare Wright (Associate Professor in History, La Trobe University).

The panel will discuss learnings from a new ANU Press book ‘Successful Public Policy: Lessons from Australia and New Zealand’, edited by ANZSOG-affiliated academics Joannah Luetyens, Paul ‘t Hart and Prof Mintrom.

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“In the lead up to the recent federal election, there was plenty of negative rhetoric about current policy settings,” Professor Mintrom said.

“Piecing together the various messages, it seems we have entered an armageddon of poor fiscal management, intolerable social inequality, and environmental degradation. If we took the rhetoric seriously, who in their right minds would want to take charge of the mess that is government?

“These assessments are symptomatic of a longstanding, worldwide tendency of politicians, commentators, and citizens to fixate on the limitations of government.

“We know the lexicon. Terms such as “blunder”, “blowout”, “crisis”, “failure”, “fiasco”, “incompetence”, “red tape” and “scandal” are well-used in public and academic discourse about government, politics and public policy. But this kind of rhetoric risks creating self-fulfilling prophecies in the way we look at, talk about, think of, evaluate, and emotionally relate to public institutions.

“By contrast, successful policy accomplishments are seldom deemed newsworthy. Neither are the thousands of everyday forms of effective public value created by and through governments.”

Professor Mintrom (Monash University) will present key take-aways from the project at the panel discussion.

Meanwhile, facilitator Gill Callister (ANZSOG Associate Dean), Dr Stephen Duckett (Grattan Institute) and Associate Professor Clare Wright (La Trobe University) will engage the audience in a vigorous and interactive discussion on whether Australia’s best successes are behind us or we still have plenty of courage and the capacity to dream large.

Gill Callister PSM

Associate Dean, ANZSOG

Gill Callister, Professor (Practice), is currently the Associate Dean at ANZSOG. She has served as Secretary of the Victorian Department of Education and Training (DET), Secretary of the Victorian Department of Human Services, and is the most recent past President of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) (Victoria).
Gill was named in the 2013 Australian Financial Review’s 100 Women of Influence, and holds Bachelor degrees in Social Work (with Honours) and Arts.

Dr Stephen Duckett

Health Program Director, Grattan Institute

Dr. Duckett is the Health Program Director at Grattan Institute and has held top operational and policy leadership positions in health care in both Australia and Canada.
He has experience in reform in areas such as hospital funding and the safety of hospital care, and is a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, as well as the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Science.

Prof. Michael Mintrom

Professor of Public Sector Management, Monash University

Michael Mintrom is a professor of Public Sector Management at Monash University. He holds a joint appointment as the Monash Chair at ANZSOG, and serves as Academic Director of the Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA) degree.

Michael began his career in the New Zealand Treasury, and has previously taught and researched at Michigan State University and the University of Auckland. He holds a PhD in Political Science, and an MA in Economics.

Prof. Clare Wright

Associate Professor in History, La Trobe University

Associate Professor Clare Wright is an award-winning historian, author and television writer/presenter who has worked in politics, academia, and the media. She is currently the writer/presenter of Radio National’s history series/podcast, Shooting the Past.

Clare has been involved in significant doctoral research, and was awarded the 2014 Stella Prize and 2014 NIB Waverly Prize for Literature for her authorship.

Why Should I Attend?

  • Understand the impact public policy will have on Australians in the future.
  • Understand the current issues facing public policy makers in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Discuss society’s current expectations of the public sector when making public policies.

Who Should Attend?

  • Public sector professionals working, or with an interest, in public policy
  • Academics
  • People from the private and not-for-profit sectors wanting to better understand the challenges of public policy, its failures and its successes

Tickets (incl. afternoon tea)

  • Non Members - $350.00
  • Personal Members - $280.00
  • Staff of Organisation Members - $280.00

All prices are GST inclusive

Buy tickets at the IPAA Victoria website