Melbourne School of Government at the 2015 public sector week and project appraisal journal for 2014

This year IPAA Victoria ran its first public sector week from 22-26 June, a series of events hosted by a range of public, private and not for profit organisations aimed at raising awareness of the work of the public sector and exploring some of the key issues the sector is facing in Victoria and beyond.

The Melbourne School of Government held several events throughout the week including:

  • 50fa8280d9b911e5af1af5882f5de9c5_inset_imageFinding the Perfect Match: Value From Consultancies: This session, co-sponsored with KPMG, brought together Simon Corden, KPMG Director, Dr. Sara Bice, Melbourne School of Government, Professor Helen Sullivan, Melbourne School of Government, and Marlo Baragwanath, Director – Office of the CEO, Victorian Building Authority for a panel discussion on how to get the most from your consultancies.
  • Utopia: Fact or Fiction: This light-hearted debate sought to answer the question once and for all: Is the television show Utopia fact or fiction? Our six debaters came from academia, NGOs, and civil service backgrounds. When the votes were tallied, it was decided – Utopia is fiction. A video of the debate will be forthcoming and hosted on our new website democracyrenewal.edu.au
  • M4e8d7a20d9b911e59837a3cf43787643_inset_imageelbourne School of Government Masterclass – Leading Across Boundaries: Facing Up to the Challenges of a more Consolidated World. This highly interactive Masterclass featured Melbourne School of Government’s Professor Helen Sullivan and Professor Janine O’Flynn. Participants had plenty of time for group interaction, workshopping their real-life workplace challenges, and asking questions of the expert faculty.

Associate Professor Helen Dickinson awarded fellowship of IPAA victoria

583b0bf0d9b911e5977177527b345482_inset_imageAssociate Professor Helen Dickinson was inducted as a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Victoria) at the annual Fellows Dinner in Melbourne on February 18th, 2015. Though Helen has only been at the University of Melbourne for just over two years, she has had an incredible impact in Victoria, across Australia and in the region. She does this through a range of activities including her prolific publishing efforts, commissioned research, teaching across our Masters programs, executive education, and engagement activities.

Since the start of 2015 she has also been one of the editors of the Australian Journal of Public Administration which is now housed in the Melbourne School of Government. Helen joins several other University of Melbourne faculty who are Fellows of IPAA which is a reflection of our standing in the public administration field, and of our relationship with IPAA.


Dr Sara Bice awarded best paper for impact assessment and project appraisal journal for 2014

24fdfb30d9b911e592b8373d1914f24c_inset_imageDr Sara Bice, MSoG, and Dr Kieren Moffat, CSIRO, have recently been awarded ‘Best Paper’ for Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal journal for 2014. The award was given for their paper, ‘Social licence to Operate and Impact Assessment’ (IAPA, 32:4, December 2014) and in recognition of all of the contributors to their co-edited Special Issue on the same topic.

Dr Bice was pleased to accept the award at the International Association for Impact Assessment annual conference in Florence, Italy, on 24 May, on behalf of her co-editor and journal contributors.


The social innovation capacity of cities: workshop at MSoG on 9 february 2015

7a4c5c30d9b911e5a68e2d59ae2b3a16_inset_imageProf Jenny Lewis (Melbourne School of Government) and Prof Erik-Hans Klijn, visiting from Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands, discussed the findings of a large EU-funded project on social innovation with a group of CEOs from local governments and other enthusiastic attendees. This study looked at how governance structures and the local socioeconomic context, and networks and leadership are related to innovation capacity in Copenhagen, Barcelona and Rotterdam.

Presentation of the findings led to a lively discussion about their relevance for social innovation in Australia, both in municipalities and other levels of government.

Publications from the LIPSE (Learning from Innovation in Public Sector Environments) project can be read online.

Policy brief to the European Commission (560kb pdf). Report to the European Commission (8.24MB pdf).


Official Launch of Doctoral Academy

5ab88f10d9b911e59837a3cf43787643_inset_imageAustralia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Soutphommasane officially launched the new Melbourne School of Government Doctoral Academy at a gala event on Friday 21 November.

Dr Tim Soutphommasane commenced his five-year appointment on 20 August 2013. Prior to joining the Australian Human Rights Commission, he was a political philosopher at the University of Sydney. His thinking on multiculturalism and national identity has been influential in reshaping debates in Australia and Britain. During his term, Dr Soutphommasane will be an advocate for a fairer Australia and drive the Commission’s efforts to combat racism.

Dr Soutphommasane is the author of three books: The Virtuous Citizen (Cambridge University Press, 2012), Don’t Go Back To Where You Came From (New South Books, 2012), and Reclaiming Patriotism (Cambridge University Press, 2009). He has been an opinion columnist with The Age and The Weekend Australian newspapers, and in 2013 presented “Mongrel Nation”, a six-part documentary series about Australian multiculturalism, on ABC Radio National. He is a board member of the National Australia Day Council, a member of the Australian Multicultural Council, and a member of the advisory council of the Global Foundation.

A first-generation Australian of Chinese and Lao extraction, Dr Soutphommasane was raised in southwest Sydney. He completed his Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford, from where he also holds a Master of Philosophy degree (with distinction). He is a first-class honours graduate of the University of Sydney.


Professor Helen Sullivan awarded fellowship of IPAA victoria

5006aca0d9b911e5b84ee1f202308fc6_inset_imageDirector of the Melbourne School of Government, Professor Helen Sullivan, has been made a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA). The fellowship acknowledged Helen’s role in establishing the Melbourne School of Government and her exceptional contribution to building productive partnerships between the School and IPAA Victoria. Helen joined other Victorian fellows to receive her award from IPAA Vic President Gill Callister at IPAA’s annual dinner on 19 November, 2014. Helen has also been re-elected to the IPAA Victoria Board where she serves as chair of the Program Committee.


Honourable Mention Award from the International Political Economy Society Annual Conference

The paper by Jeffrey Chwieroth (LSE), Andrew Walter (Melbourne School of Government), and Cohen Simpson (LSE), How do Networks Matter in Sovereign Default?: Public Debt and Political Survival since the Napoleonic Wars, received an honourable mention by the organising committee of the International Political Economy Society (IPES) annual conference held at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., in November 2014.

Information about IPES can be found on the International Political Economy Society website.



Australian Fulbright association event: a re-imagined future: Indigenous nations within the nation state.

266d1b90d9b911e58abf39cf670c688d_inset_imageProfessorial Fellow at the Melbourne School of Government Miriam Jorgensen took part in an expert panel discussion on 26 November 2014, hosted by the Australian Fulbright Alumni Association and supported by the Office of the Vice Chancellor. The sold out panel event, at University House was introduced by Fulbright alumnus Dr Iain Butterworth and followed by a cocktail reception. The panel comprised members of the Indigenous Nation Building Project research team: Professorial Fellow Miriam Jorgensen, Professor Daryle Rigney, Mr Tim Hartman, Mr Damein Bell and Fulbright alumni Drs Alison Vivian and Mark McMillan.

The salon-style discussion illuminated how certain Indigenous communities are building thriving, self-sufficient, and economically sound Indigenous Nations, capable of ensuring the wellbeing of their lands and peoples. The panel members discussed the international and Australian research that highlights the importance of community-level Indigenous self-determination in a climate of unsuccessful indigenous policies. The audience heard the stories of success through self-reflective and evolving governing systems of the Ngarrindjeri Nation, Gunditjmara People and Wiradjuri Nations, who are strategically engaging their citizens to determine their futures.

Attendees were diverse, from the university, government and community organisation sectors. They were asked to engage through a concluding question and answer session around how thriving, strong Indigenous nations that self-govern and determine their own priorities can benefit all of Australia.



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