Wicked problems: domestic policy

Many of the enduring challenges in Australian domestic policy are seemingly intractable. How we respond - or don't respond - will shape our society for decades to come. How do we energise on critical domestic issues including Indigenous disadvantage, climate change and tax policy? How will the arts and our demographic mix change our view of the future Australia?

ANU Panellists:    
Dr Liz Allen, ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods  
Professor Bob Breunig, Tax and Transfer Policy Institute, Crawford School of Public Policy 
Professor Tony Dreise, Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research 
Professor Mark Howden, Climate Change Institute  
Professor Kylie Message, Humanities Research Centre 

Moderated by: Catherine McGrath, one of Australia's most respected political journalists.

Dr Liz Allen is a lecturer with the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods. She is a highly experienced demographer with an expertise spanning demography (specifically fertility, migration, and population change), social trends, and population health. Liz has extensive experience working in the public and university sectors. Liz has special interests in health and education inequalities, gender, and Indigenous demography. In 2018, Liz was appointed inaugural ABC Top 5 Humanities and Social Science Researcher.

Professor Robert Breunig is the Director of the ANU Tax and Transfer Policy Institute at the Crawford School of Public Policy.  He is one of Australia's leading public policy economists and is an expert on the Australian Tax and Transfer system.  Professor Breunig has made significant policy impact through a number of his research projects:  the relationship between child care and women's labour supply; the effect of immigration on the labour market prospects of Australians; the effect of switching to cash from food stamps in the U.S. food stamp program and the inter-generational transmission of disadvantage.

Professor Tony Dreise is Professor of Indigenous Policy at ANU and the Director of the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research. He is a proud descendent of the Guumilaroi and Euahlayi First Nations people of north-west NSW and south-west Queensland, and is recognised as a leader in education policy, evaluation and research. Tony's long policy and research career has included time as a Principal Indigenous Research Fellow at the Australian Council for Educational Research, as well as roles with the Queensland Aboriginal Justice Advisory Council, the Australian Indigenous Training Advisory Council, and the NSW Department of Education and Training. He is also a former Senior Executive with the Queensland Government. Tony completed his PhD at ANU, at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, where he explored the relationship between Australian philanthropy and Indigenous education.

Professor Mark Howden is a global expert on climate science and is Director of the Climate Change Institute at ANU. He is a Vice Chair of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and sits on the Australian National Climate Science Advisory Committee. Professor Howden is an expert on how climate variability and climate change will impact on agriculture, food security and on other systems and how to adapt to those impacts. He has also developed the national and international greenhouse gas inventories for the agricultural sector and developed sustainable methods of reducing net greenhouse gas emissions.  He has worked extensively on issues of transformation and on trust and ethics in the science-policy interface.

Professor Kylie Message is a Professor of Public Humanities in the Humanities Research Centre at ANU. Kylie's work focuses specifically on the relationships between cultural organisations, citizenship, government, and political reform movements.  Her research investigates the role that museums and other forms of public culture play in political exchange.  She has written extensively about the ways that museums across the world have been involved in and identified as sites of activism and controversy. Her research has made a significant contribution to the way various participants and stakeholders understand the political history and impact of culture. Kylie's recent publications include The Disobedient Museum: Writing at the Edge, and Museums and Racism.

About the Moderator: 

Catherine McGrath is a giant of the Australian media and a well-known Canberra identity, keynote speaker, MC, writer and businesswoman. Catherine spent 30 years reporting for the ABC and SBS in both Australia and overseas. She was political editor for both public broadcasters and was the ABC's South East Asia Correspondent based in Singapore. Catherine covered her last federal election campaign in 2016 and has gone onto open an event, speaking and training business Catherine McGrath Media. She is the founder of #WomenSpeaking a program designed to train more women to speak at conferences and events Australia wide. In 2001 Catherine was awarded the Centenary of Federation Medal for Services to Society through Journalism. Twitter @CathMcGrath