Q&A Panel: Who Makes Public Policy in Australia?

Has the reinstatement of Kevin Rudd as leader of the ALP and Prime Minister shifted focus from the drama of personality politics to a focus on policy, or are policies the pawns of political power play?

This is an important question in all democracies which should engage a variety of actors in the policy making process, with different interests influencing how priorities are set and resources allocated.

As we await a federal election, this expert panel will explore the question 'who makes public policy in Australia?'. Audience members will be encouraged to submit questions to the panel and join this important debate.


Melissa Conley Tyler is National Executive Director, Australian Institute of International Affairs; conflict resolution lawyer; member of International Advisory Council of US Center for Citizen Diplomacy; research includes Australian foreign policy making, its role in the G20, Australia as a middle power.

Professor Brian Howe is Deputy PM 1991-95; Federal Minister 1984- 96; credited with major policy reforms, including introduction of Child Support, National Mental Health Strategy and Commonwealth Dental Scheme; Professorial Associate, Centre for Public Policy, University of Melbourne.

Geoff Allen AM is founder Allen Consulting, advising government and companies on public policy, regulation, government-business relations and public affairs management; founding Chair, Centre for Corporate Public Affairs; Chair, Australian Statistics Advisory Council and Committee for Economic Development of Australia; Director, European Centre for Public Affairs.

Gay Alcorn was The Age and Sydney Morning Herald Washington correspondent covering 2000 presidential election and September 11; deputy editor The Age 2006-08; editor The Sunday Age 2008-12; currently The Age columnist and election fact-checking editor, The Conversation.

Terry Garwood is Deputy Secretary, Local Infrastructure and Land, Department of Transport, Planning & Local Infrastructure; Victoria's most senior Aboriginal public servant, 30+ years' experience in six different Victorian government departments and agencies; Director, Museum of Victoria and Institute of Public Administration Australia Victoria.

Moderated by Professor Helen Sullivan, Director of the Melbourne School of Government.

Recorded: Wednesday, 14 August 2013 | 6.30pm to 7.45pm

Where: 'The Spot' Basement Theatre Faculty of Business & Economics The University of Melbourne