Melbourne School of Government International Launch
On 23 September 2013, Melbourne School of Government Director Helen Sullivan and Melbourne University Vice Chancellor Professor Glyn Davies together launched the School internationally at a special event in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The event took the form of a roundtable discussion with Indonesian government, business and community leaders about opportunities to partner with the School on collaborative policy work targeting issues relevant to our region.
The roundtable discussion explored the theme of capability building, specifically the question: how can we support capability building in government and public services in Indonesia, Australia and beyond? Key issues involved how the Melbourne School of Government can assist actors in the Indonesian government and private sector to develop stronger public institutions, and how the School can learn about the key policy challenges Indonesia faces so that the School may conduct its own research and teaching more effectively.
That Australia and Indonesia face common problems and interests was also emphasised. In order to successfully tackle global and regional challenges, such as financial regulation, food security and climate change to name just a few, Australia must also engage with and listen to its regional partners, and encourage countries like Indonesia to develop their own perspectives. Participants agreed that Australia and Indonesia have much to learn from each other.
Also participating in the interactive discussion were Dean of Melbourne University’s Faculty of Arts, Professor Mark Considine; Dean of Melbourne Law School, Professor Carolyn Evans; and Dean of the Business and Economic Faculty, Professor Paul Kofman. As a joint venture of the three faculties, the Melbourne School of Government is able to bring together the expertise of the disciplines of arts, law, and business and economics around the question of government, in order to effectively explore the complex and multi-dimensional policy issues that concern not only Australia, but also our region as a whole.
Speaking at the School’s international launch, its Director, Professor Helen Sullivan said the School “brings together three faculties that have distinction and excellence in their own right. But by bringing that excellence together we can create something that is extra special, create something that is relevant to policymakers, to practitioners, to community organisations who are struggling with particular issues and questions.”
Before the event drew to a close, it was suggested that further roundtables take place again in future, so that collaborative discussions and exchanges between the School and Indonesian governmental organisations and other institutions become part of a more regular process.
Conversation and the sharing of knowledge is, after all, key to the School’s approach. Helen Sullivan said at the launch: “The way in which we work, the method that we would like to be known for, is for a School that is always in conversation, a school that is constantly looking for new ideas, that is constantly looking to be challenged.”