About Us


Power to Persuade is a platform for discussion about social policy in Australia in a global context.

The Power to Persuade blog complements the Power to Persuade symposium. Both aim to improve understanding and communication between three key groups involved in the process of designing, implementing and studying social policy: government, academics and the community sector. These three groups have different perspectives of the policy process and at times - even within their own ranks - contrasting ideas about how policies should be designed, put into practice and evaluated. Some citizens fall through cracks in that process. To build effective and equitable social services, we need to share knowledge and build stronger and more constructive connections between those designing policy, those putting it into practice, and those examining its impact.

Power to Persuade is a fresh voice in a world of elite academic journals and stuffy policy forums - a place where anyone can contribute to knowledge and debate around social policy. It’s a conversation open to all – policymakers, public servants, community sector workers, advocates, researchers and anyone else with a stake in public policy.

We encourage you to share your experiences here of navigating the policy process and of social policy initiatives, programs and projects. We want to hear what works well in Australia and internationally; stories of unintended consequences; challenges you have faced or are facing in social policy; and things you’d like to see done differently. In capturing your voices and providing a platform for constructive and respectful debate, we hope Power to Persuade will influence social policy in future.

Who We Are

Power to Persuade is jointly directed by Dr Sue Olney and Professor Helen Dickinson from the Public Service Research Group at UNSW Canberra, and The Women's Research, Advocacy and Policy (WRAP) Centre.

It was founded in 2011 by Associate Professor Gemma Carey in partnership with Dr Kathy Landvogt (The Women's Research, Advocacy and Policy (WRAP) Centre at Good Shepherd). Gemma was co-director of Power to Persuade from its creation until January 2019 and maintains an advisory role.

The Power to Persuade blog and Twitter account @PowertoPersuade are managed on a rotating weekly roster by a volunteer team of highly skilled and well-informed moderators drawn from Australian and international universities and the community sector, backed by a specialist team of experts.

Our work is supported by the Public Service Research Group and The WRAP Centre, and by our symposium sponsors UNSW Canberra, Good Shepherd, Swinburne University, Brotherhood of St Laurence, the St Vincent de Paul Society, and Infrastructure Partners Australia.