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.



Refugees: a new era of forced displacement

78425b60d9b911e5be3097772db5a502_inset_imageOn Monday 8 September 2014, the Melbourne School of Government and Melbourne Law School hosted a discussion of the current global displacement situation, the changing humanitarian landscape confronting the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the international community, as well as the operational challenges and dilemmas facing humanitarian actors today. The forum explored the shared responsibility to respond to the crises around the world – including large-scale displacement crises in Syria, Iraq and Central Africa. Also discussed was the UNHCR’s key operations in the Asia Pacific region, such as in Myanmar (Burma) and Sri Lanka.

We were privileged to host an esteemed panel of presenters: Janet Lim, Assistant High Commissioner Operations, UNHCR Geneva; Daisy Dell, Director, Bureau for Asia and the Pacific, UNHCR Geneva; and Thomas Albrecht, Regional Representative, UNHCR Canberra.

The event was chaired by former UNHCR Assistant High Commissioner for Protection and current Vice-Chancellor’s Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne, Erika Feller.

View the lecture online.


G20 2014: how will it affect Australia?

54992d10d9b911e5b3896b9634fe0bf7_inset_imageIn the lead up to the G20 Summit in Brisbane in November, the Melbourne School of Government is hosting a number of G20 related activities.

On Friday 5 September 2014 the School hosted a forum addressing what Australia is seeking to achieve in its G20 host year and how the outcomes of the G20 Summit will impact Australian policy and regulation, and therefore our business and community sectors.

Guest speakers included Australia’s G20 Sherpa, Dr Heather Smith; Senior Adviser at UBS and B20 Sherpa for Australia, Robert Milliner; Chair of the C20 and Chief Executive of World Vision Australia, Tim Costello plus Josh Frydenberg, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister. The esteemed panel explored the likely domestic impacts of this meeting of world leaders.

David Speers, Political Editor of Sky News Australia, served as moderator and facilitated a lively and informative discussion.

This event was sponsored by our G20 partners, CPA Australia.


The John Button Lecture 2014: David Marr

209a52f0d9b911e5b3aa1f9889fd5cda_inset_imageThe John Button Lecture is an annual lecture given by the winner of the John Button Prize for writing on policy and politics in Australia. The current winner is David Marr for his ‘Quarterly Essay’ Political Animal: The Making of Tony Abbott.

Views about freedom of expression, free markets, free will, civil liberty, rights and self-determination underpin the economic and social policies our governments decide and enforce. Discussions about freedom, therefore, are fundamental to a full examination of public policy options and decision-making.

In light recent controversies about auditing the ABC, sponsorship of the Sydney Biennale and plans to change the Racial Discrimination Act, David Marr’s address explored the question ‘what type of “freedom” is the Abbott government pursuing?’

David Marr is a journalist and broadcaster who writes for ‘Guardian Australia’ and ‘The Saturday Paper’ and appears on ‘Insiders’ and ‘Q&A’. He once wrote for ‘The Age’ and ‘The Sydney Morning Herald’ and is author of numerous biographies and books on Australian politics.

View the lecture online. An extended version of David’s lecture was published in the September edition of ‘The Monthly’ magazine.


Professor Helen Sullivan delivers keynote address at policy and politics conference, bristol, uk .

052ce180d9ba11e5ad60b53274d7a8b4_inset_imageProfessor Helen Sullivan delivered a keynote address at this year’s Policy and Politics Conference, Bristol, UK (16-17th Sept). Helen spoke on the theme of Collaboration as ‘the new normal’ – Global trends, public policy and everyday practices. Her lecture offered a different perspective on the role of collaboration in public governance and public management, emphasising the necessity of thinking more expansively about the places and spaces of collaboration to build new knowledge. She argued for the need to develop better frameworks for understanding collaboration, focusing on the political, material and culture spheres of collaboration, and the significance of a number of undermined elements including ethics, emotions, expertise and practices. The lecture concluded by identifying a range of challenges arising for policy makers, policy analysts and practitioners of working in this way. Watch Professor Helen Sullivan’s keynote address on the Policy and Politics Journal Blog.


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