Why Indigenous values matter for all public servants and all communities

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples occupy a unique position as the first sovereign peoples of Australia. And while governments have been striving to improve their relationships with as well as their abilities to represent and provide services to Indigenous Australians, there is still a long way to go.

In this post, the Australia and New Zealand School of Government’s (ANZSOG) Aurora Milroy discusses why Indigenous values and culture should be embedded in the Australian Public Service (APS), and outlines practical solutions for helping the Commonwealth begin to reset its relationship with Indigenous peoples.

Read More

Report finds every $1 Australia spends on preschool will return $2, but this won’t just magically happen

Is Australia getting good return on investment in early childhood education? A report conducted by PwC for the Front Project finds that Australia is getting $2 back for every $1 spent on preschool.

While this statistic is important, Jen Jackson of Victorian University’s Mitchell Institute argues that we need to examine and invest in the complex chain of events that in order for the country to reap the two-for-one return.

This article was originally published in The Conversation.

Read More

Looking after loved ones with mental illness puts carers at risk themselves. They need more support

The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System - the first of its kind in Australia - is looking into ‘[accelerating] improvements in access to mental health services, service navigation and models of care.’ One element of the mental health care system, which is often overlooked, is help for informal carers that support those who have mental illness.

In this article originally published in The Conversation, the University of Newcastle’s Jaelea Skehan and Sally Fitzpatrick explain the emotional labour involved in caring, the case for preventing their psychological distress, and the policy setting that government needs to enhance carers’ wellbeing and prevent the onset of mental health issues of their own.

Read More

Putting value creation back into public value

While value creation has long been discussed in the private sector, the concept of value creation by the public sector is largely absent. Until recently there has been no clear role for the public sector to create value itself – the term ‘public value’ does not even exist in economics. However a new paper by Mariana Mazzucato and Josh Ryan-Collins at the UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose proposes ways that public value can be created using a theory of collective public value creation. This article orginally appeared in The Mandarin and is authored by Maria Katsonis.

Read More

Feminist theory and Australia’s care and support sector

Australian policymakers will need to take critical action in response to the care crisis revealed by coverage of the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and the lead up to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. Laura Davy (@LauraKDavy) from the Public Service Research Group, UNSW Canberra, discusses how feminist ethics and feminist economics can inform workforce investment strategies into the future.

Read More

New wave conditionality and social supervision

In today's post, Dr Simone Casey (@simonecasey) discusses the ethics and efficacy of recent developments in welfare conditionality in Australia. This continues her series of posts examining topical issues in Australia's employment services system - ParentsNext; mutual obligation; 'work first' activation of jobseekers; and the growing presence of automation in Australia's welfare system. Dr Casey is an Associate of the RMIT Future Social Services Institute.

Read More

Private prisons: Are they really cheaper, better and more accountable?

Victoria has recently committed to spending a whole lot more on prisons and corrections to accommodate its growing prison population. As Deirdre O’Neill, Valarie Sands and Graeme Hodge of Monash University report, Victoria relies more heavily on privatised prisons than anywhere else in the country, but lack of transparency makes it frustratingly difficult to tell whether privatisation has delivered on its promises of cheaper, better and more accountable. This post is based on their recent article in the Australian Journal of Public Administration.

Read More

The academic-practitioner divide in public management: and how to bridge it

In this post, Professor Jenny Stewart and Dr Fiona Buick from the Public Service Research Group reflect on the ever-present divide between academics and practitioners in public policy. They present a number of strategies to bridge the gap and provide the foundation for academics to undertake research that generates outcomes for both researchers and policymakers.

Read More