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Learning Policy, Doing Policy


Catherine Althaus is Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) Chair of Public Service Leadership and Reform, Public Service Research Group, University of New South Wales, Canberra, and ANZSOG Deputy Dean (Teaching and Learning). Catherine held a number of policy posts with the Queensland Treasury and Office of the Cabinet.

Russell Ayres is a policy consultant and Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Canberra’s Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis. His career spanned 30 years in and outside the public sector, including senior policy roles in early childhood education and care, mental health, disability, Indigenous affairs, higher education and research, and research and evaluation.

Val Barrett was recently awarded her doctorate at The Australian National University for her qualitative and interpretive study of the United Kingdom and Australian parliaments from 2015 to 2019. Val held executive and senior management roles in the Parliament of Australia and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) legislative assembly.

Sarah Hendrica Bickerton was a doctoral candidate with the School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington, her PhD research being political participation construction among Twitter users in New Zealand, which she completed in 2020. She also undertook graduate study in sociology at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at the Public Policy Institute, University of Auckland.

Paul Cairney is Professor of Politics and Public Policy at the University of Stirling, UK. He specialises in British politics and public policy, often focusing on the ways in which policy studies can explain the use of evidence in politics and policy.

Meredith Edwards is Emeritus Professor at the University of Canberra’s Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis. From 1983 to 1997, she advised on some major social policy, education and labour market issues in the Australian Public Service (APS), including as deputy secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Louise Gilding is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Housing and Homelessness in the ACT Community Services Directorate, leading the delivery of public housing and homelessness services to 23,000 tenants in 11,700 properties. She has a masters degree in public administration from ANZSOG.

Brian Head is Professor of Public Policy in the School of Political Science, University of Queensland. He previously held senior roles in government, universities and the non-government sector. His major interests are evidence-based policy, complex or ‘wicked’ problems, program evaluation, early intervention and prevention, collaboration and consultation, public accountability and leadership.

Karl Löfgren is Associate Professor, School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington. His research interests include government and service delivery, democratic auditing of new forms of local democracy, policy implementation, organisational changes and reforms in public sector organisations.

Kathleen Mackie’s most recent position was CEO of Karnyininpa Jukurrpa, a non-government organisation working in the Western Desert of Australia with Martu Indigenous people. Kathleen’s doctoral study at the University of New South Wales was on environment policy success and failure, drawing on her 25 years experience in environment, energy, employment and Indigenous policy in the APS.

Andrew Maurer had a diverse career in administrative and policy roles in the APS, and led a six-month mission in India for a United Nations agency. He retired in 2017 as a senior executive in the Department of Communications and the Arts, where he worked on policy areas involving the intersection of technology, law and economics.

Allan McConnell is a political scientist at the University of Sydney whose work examines how political factors (large ‘P’ and small ‘p’) shape public policy. His research addresses responses to crises and disasters, policy success/failure, policy evaluation, wicked policy problems, placebo policies, hidden policy agendas and the politics of policy inaction.

Trish Mercer is an ANZSOG visiting fellow at The Australian National University. Her 30-year career in the APS encompassed policy, program and service delivery roles in education, employment, social welfare and immigration. Her research interests span early childhood, education and employment, and how to take academic policy theory into practice.

Craig Ritchie, a Dhunghutti man, is the CEO of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. He has extensive public sector experience in the APS and the ACT Government, as well as in the community sector as CEO of the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation. He is an adjunct professor at the Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research, University of Technology Sydney and an ANZSOG Distinguished Fellow. Craig is completing his doctorate on the interaction between Aboriginal culture and policymaking systems.

David Threlfall is completing a PhD on British political rhetoric at the London School of Economics and Political Science. This doctoral project builds on research David commenced as part of an MPhil at the University of Cambridge. Before returning to study, David was chief of staff at ANZSOG, and worked in research and communications in the Vice-Chancellor’s Office at the University of Melbourne.

John Wanna is Emeritus Professor in both the School of Politics and International Relations, College of Arts and Social Sciences, The Australian National University, and the School of Politics and International Relations, Griffith University. He was the Sir John Bunting chair in public administration with ANZSOG until 2019.

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