about us


Power to Persuade is a discussion blog and annual symposium focused on social policy.

Australian-focused but with a global scope, the blog was set up to complement the successful Power to Persuade symposium. Like its offline equivalent, it aims to improve understanding and communication between the main groups involved in the policy process: government, academics and the community sector.

These three groups have very different perspectives on the policy process, and contrasting ideas about the ways that policies should be designed and implemented. In the past, this has caused tension, mistrust and a lack of productive communication between the sectors.

But to properly address disadvantage, we need good working relationships between the sectors. We have to share our knowledge, build stronger and more constructive connections, and enhance our understanding of each other’s worlds.

This blog aims to do just that. A fresh voice in a world of elite academic journals and stuffy policy forums, Power to Persuade is a place where anyone can contribute to the knowledge and debate around social policy.

It’s a conversation open to all – policymakers, public servants, community sector workers, researchers and anyone else with a stake in public policy. We want to hear about the experiences you’ve had, the problems you face, and the things you’d like to see done differently. We want to encourage discussion and constructive debate about the many challenges involved in creating and implementing social policy.

By doing so, we hope to build a platform for more effective social policy change in future.

who we are

The Power to Persuade is jointly directed by Associate Professor Gemma Carey at Centre for Social Impact (UNSW) and The Women's Research, Advocacy and Policy (WRAP) Centre

Gemma is a policy, public administration and public health senior researcher. Much of her academic work focuses on personalisation (the NDIS), joined-up government and the impact of policy on the social determinants of health. She has been working with the community sector for over ten years and is committed to improving relationships between academia, the community sector and policy. Gemma also tries to get away from the university from time to time. Gemma launched Power to Persuade (with Kathy) in 2012 while working at the University of Melbourne. You can find out more about Gemma over at academia.edu. You can contact her at gemma.carey@unsw.edu.au and follow her on twitter - @gemcarey.

The Public Service Research Group (PSRG) performs timely, high-quality and reliable research into public policy implementation. We bring a breadth of knowledge and a depth of experience to our work, taking an inter-disciplinary approach that recognises the complexity of contexts and plurality of interests involved in any policy implementation. Our research projects build local practice while advancing global knowledge. We enable independent practice and collaborative thinking, and provide educational activities that embed new policy and program implementation insights into practice settings. 

The WRAP Centre is a specialised unit within Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand and a leader in Australia’s social research and policy arena. It drives innovation for women’s services and programs within Good Shepherd and advocates for systemic change through the sharing of knowledge externally. The WRAP Centre’s research, policy analysis, public advocacy and evaluations are used to design policies and practice models that promote participation for all in the fullness of life.  The WRAP Centre makes policy submissions in the areas of human rights, women’s equality, financial security, educational and vocational access, and other issues that impact significantly on people's lives. Its policy analysis is informed by direct service experience and contact with those with lived experience of the issues.