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APO appoints new Director

We are delighted to announce that Dr Brigid van Wanrooy has been appointed as the new Director of Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO) at Swinburne University of Technology (Swinburne). Brigid is well equipped for leading APO into its next phase, with a background in both government roles and academic research.

APO Director, Dr Brigid van Wanrooy

Based at Swinburne, Brigid will collaborate in particular with Swinburne’s Social Innovation Research Institute (SIRI), to build on the success of APO by developing a policy and industry-relevant sustainable business strategy, with new offerings to support evidence-informed policy.

‘APO is a trusted source for researchers and policymakers. I’m excited to have the opportunity to build on this great resource and ensure that it continues to be a “must have” for evidence-informed policy in a rapidly changing environment,’ said Brigid. 

Earlier this year, APO was named a ‘Change Maker’ by Swinburne for its success in demonstrating real-world impact in society and with industry. APO is an important driver of impact for Swinburne, through collecting research outputs on public policy and practice, and providing these resources to government, not-for-profits, industry and academics.

‘For policymakers, APO is a unique resource giving easy access to key collections of research and evaluation,’ said Director of the Social Innovation Research Institute, Professor Jane Farmer. 

For researchers, it’s a brilliant tool to make direct connection with policymakers by publishing their research reports. Our new Director will take APO into another exciting phase, harnessing diverse contemporary evidence,’ said Professor Farmer.

Most recently, Brigid worked with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, delivering projects and strategies to embed the use of evidence and improve policy and practice. Brigid’s previous research has centred on employment relations, with previous roles at the University of Melbourne, Acas (UK) and the University of Sydney.

NAIDOC Week: Truth telling together

NAIDOC Week: Truth telling together was originally published by the Australia & New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) on 5 July 2019.

NAIDOC week is an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Australia’s First Peoples. The theme for 2019’s NAIDOC Week is: ‘Voice. Treaty. Truth.’ Carissa Lee Godwin, Editor, APO’s First Peoples & Public Policy Collection outlines why these themes matter to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and how the APO collection supports them.

Voices will be heard

Voice is never an easy topic to cover when it comes to First Peoples. There are so many voices and nations, to try and sum us up as one would be an inaccurate representation of who we are as people. In 2017, the Uluru Statement From the Heart called for the establishment of a First Peoples voice to be present in the Constitution of Australia:

We seek constitutional reforms to empower our people and take a rightful place in our own country. When we have power over our destiny our children will flourish. They will walk in two worlds and their culture will be a gift to their country.

We are aware that we face challenges within our own communities, with a multitude of voices clashing over the licensing of the Aboriginal flag, and how we navigate the intersection between cultural rights and ownership, and what a statewide Treaty would even look like. However, we are a strong collective of mobs, and our voices will remain loud and significant in this country.

Calls for a Treaty

The word ‘treaty’ can be used to describe a range of agreements between states, nations, governments or people. There have been recent developments with calls by the Victorian Treaty Advancement Commission to have a First Peoples’ Assembly established, and to have our Victorian mobs vote on the establishment of a committee from various First Peoples nations across Victoria, to help set up a statewide Treaty.

With these conversations taking place, the presence of Treaty in this year’s NAIDOC theme feels like a significant one, and will hopefully inspire other state governments to consider the possibility of moving forward with a national Treaty.

Truth as an action

The concept of ‘truth telling’ has become widely used in policy. As defined in the 2019 Truth Telling Symposium Report:

Truth telling processes and mechanisms aim to increase historical acceptance in order to progress reconciliation. Truth telling processes may include official apologies, truth and reconciliation commissions, other inquiries or commissions, memorials, museums, education and healing centers.

Although this is a promising premise, there needs to be action beyond mere lip service. This country needs a more truthful stance on who our First Peoples are, and the importance of our presence in this country.

The APO First Peoples & Public Policy Collection, established in partnership with ANZSOG, aims to provide diversity in views and resources. We want to encourage organisations to do more than claim truth telling as a methodology for practice, and instead we want it to actually be used. And for this to happen, the voices of First Peoples must be included in the conversation in a more significant way.

About the First Peoples & Public Policy Collection

As part of its mission to improve Indigenous policy in Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand, ANZSOG is working to increase knowledge of Indigenous culture and history. Part of this is our support of the Analysis & Policy Observatory’s (APO) First Peoples & Public Policy Collection, launched at our Reimagining Public Administration conference in February 2019.

APO is an online knowledge hub that makes public policy research visible, discoverable and usable. It contains more than 40,000 resources, including specialist collections, grey literature reports, articles and data.

The First Peoples & Public Policy Collection is curated from a broad selection of key Indigenous policy topics, and provides a valuable resource on Indigenous affairs, with a focus on diverse Indigenous voices.

Resources:

Opinion: Sorry Day – The importance of knowledge

My name is Carissa Lee Godwin. I’m a Wemba-Wemba and Noongar woman, and Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO) Specialist Editor for the First Peoples & Public Policy Collection. To me, knowledge is important, it’s something that has been passed on between generations within the many nations of the First Peoples of Australia. Unfortunately, a lot of First Peoples’ knowledge has been lost due to one in ten Indigenous children being forcibly removed from their families between 1910 and 1970 – breaking vital links to our generational knowledge.

Significance of Sorry Day

Sorry Day is a day where Australia acknowledges the mistreatment of First Nations peoples, namely the taking of First Nations children from their families, creating what are known as the Stolen Generations. The 26th of May 1997 was the date that the Bringing them home report – a guide to the findings and recommendations of the National Inquiry into the separation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children from their families – was tabled in parliament.

Sorry Day is followed by National Reconciliation Week on the 27th of May, which marks the date when the 1967 referendum took place. National Reconciliation Week concludes on the 3rd of June, which is when the High Court Mabo decision took place. The 1967 referendum is significant because this is when First Nations people were finally recognised as part of the Constitution of Australia. The Mabo decision led to the recognition of First Nations peoples and their ownership of land under the Native Title Act 1993 – which recognises the traditional rights and interests to land and waters of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. However, there is still a long way to go on First Nations people being treated equally and being given rights to their land, even with amendments to the Constitution and the Native Title Act.

National Reconciliation Week

The placement of National Reconciliation Week after Sorry Day feels symbolic because in order for us to reconcile between and across cultures, we need to first acknowledge the wrongs that have been done. Reconciliation cannot happen without this first step. National Reconciliation Week has a theme each year, this year the theme is ‘Grounded in Truth – Walk Together in Courage’. This week is an opportunity for different cultures to come together and learn about First Nations people in an act of reconciliation, with organisations such as APO’s host Swinburne University of Technology holding events for Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week.

Public apologies and refusals

On the 12th of December 1992, as part of the celebration for the Year of the World’s Indigenous People, Paul Keating issued his Redfern speech to the citizens of Australia, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, stating his empathy and remorse at the occurrence of Indigenous children being taken from their families. He acknowledged that Australia was to blame for this, as well as the high numbers of Aboriginal deaths recorded in the Royal Commission into Deaths in Custody Report that had been collated the previous year. Over a decade later, then-prime minister Kevin Rudd issued his apology speech on the 13th of February, 2008. This was a significant moment in Australian history, after the previous prime minister John Howard had vocally refused to apologise.

Lasting trauma of the Stolen Generations

One misconception about Sorry Day is that all Australia needs to do is acknowledge that Indigenous children were taken, and be sorry about it. However, the effects of such an act of disregard against human beings doesn’t stop there. Trauma is cruel like that. Australia needs to also recognise the intergenerational trauma that has occurred as a result of the Stolen Generations, the numerous massacres, ongoing police brutality, and institutionalised racism, a lot of which still happens today.

Continue reading “Opinion: Sorry Day – The importance of knowledge”

Meet Carissa – First Peoples Collection Editor

The APO First Peoples & Public Policy Collection (FPPP Collection) was launched in partnership with the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) in February 2019. I spoke to Carissa Lee Godwin, Specialist Editor of the Collection and First Nations academic, about the need for this Collection in the First Peoples’ policy space.

Carissa Lee Godwin, Specialist Editor for the APO First Peoples & Public Policy Collection

Emily: Carissa, welcome. It’s fantastic to have your specialist First Peoples knowledge contributing to APO. To start, can you tell me a little about your background?

Carissa: I’m a Wemba-Wemba and Noongar woman. I’m currently completing my PhD in Indigenous Theatre through The University of Melbourne. 

Emily: Can you give us a quick intro to the Collection? 

Carissa: Yes, of course. The APO First Peoples & Public Policy Collection was launched at the ANZSOG Reimagining Public Administration Conference in February this year, and it’s fast becoming one of the most visited Collections on the APO site. The Collection collates and curates policy-relevant and accessible resources specific to First Peoples. It focuses on Australian and New Zealand resources, as well as international First Nations resources, where relevant.

Emily: Why did APO partner with ANZSOG on this Collection?

Carissa: ANZSOG believed that we could assist with better education of First Peoples’ and public policy through the Collection, with the goal of influencing better policies being created as a result.

Emily: Can you share what kinds of resources this Collection contains?

Carissa: We collect and curate articles, publications, policy and government documents. A notable quality of First Peoples is that we’re great speakers, so the Collection also has transcriptions, video and audio files available to access.

Emily: Providing ‘spoken word’ resources sounds wonderful. Can you tell me a little bit about your personal experience being a First Nations researcher? Are there any particular challenges that you’ve faced?

Carissa: As a First Nations and First Peoples academic, I have found that it’s not always straightforward when it comes to accessing First Nations-themed or First Nations-written materials. It’s often especially difficult to find out if a particular resource was written by an Indigenous person. 

The development of this Collection needs to be a collaborative process. I can’t stress that enough. Because that’s how mob work.

Carissa Lee Godwin, First Peoples Collection Editor

Emily: So are you saying that there is a need for Indigenous academics to reference materials by other Indigenous authors, but it’s hard to find this information?

Carissa: Exactly. Some First Nations academics, myself included, like to ensure that their literature review predominantly contains materials written by other First Peoples, so as to ensure cultural and ethical integrity within our research. 

Emily: It must be frustrating not being able to find that information easily when it is so crucial to your research.

Carissa: Yes. Because ethnicity isn’t always explicitly stated on some search engines, this can be a tricky endeavour. In addition to this, it’s often useful to know what mob/nation is being represented in the publication being read, as not all First Peoples belong to the same groups.

Emily: Is there anything else that makes this Collection special? I mean, some people may ask why they can’t just use Google, or search for these resources on APO.

Carissa: All APO Collections are designed to make the research experience much more efficient and provide a space to explore both broad and focused subjects. 

Emily: Can you share your key objectives for this Collection with us?

Continue reading “Meet Carissa – First Peoples Collection Editor”

APO seeks new Director to set future vision

Analysis & Policy Observatory is about to enter a new phase in its evolution with a reinvigorated vision of how to provide evidence and insights in the age of open access, artificial intelligence and the digital economy. Do you, or someone you know, have what it takes to lead APO into the future?

APO is seeking a Director who will be responsible for leading the organisation into our next phase – providing vision and implementation of an exciting, relevant and sustainable strategy, with new data and information offerings for policy, consultant, research and practice audiences.

With a strong interest in research around evidence and data for public policy and practice, the new Director will be known as a research and thought leader, who will be motivated to generate contemporary innovative research and engagement activities around APO.

It will be crucial to advance APO as a nationally partnering and collaborating platform, with an increasingly international policy information market.

About APO at Swinburne

Analysis & Policy Observatory (originally named ‘Australian Policy Online’) began at Swinburne University of Technology in 2002 as an open access database for public policy resources. As a not-for-profit collaborative knowledge infrastructure and web platform, APO works with partners from universities and other organisations across Australia, New Zealand and beyond.

APO continues to be hosted by Swinburne University and run with the support of partner organisations – including the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) and the Australian Research Council (ARC).

Awarded the ‘Best Information Website’ at the 2014 Australian and New Zealand Internet Awards, APO is well established and boasts more than 4.2 million users from around the world and 16.4 million page views. You can find out more about APO on the About APO page.

Applying for the role

Applications for this role are now closed.

APO Digital Inclusion Collection relaunched

APO has relaunched the Digital Inclusion Collection with the support of the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University and Dr Chris K. Wilson, who will be writing a new Digital Inclusion review every month.

In recent years, digital inclusion has emerged as a critical area of investigation and policy development in Australia as it has elsewhere. Digital technologies have become progressively more deeply embedded in work, education, government, health, and other aspects of everyday experience. The goal of digital inclusion is to enable everyone to access and use digital technologies effectively and to do so in an affordable and sustainable manner.

APO’s Digital Inclusion Collection reflects and promotes these issues and we’re very pleased to relaunch the collection with the support of the Centre for Social Impact (Swinburne University node) through the expertise of Research Fellow, Dr Chris K. Wilson.

Dr Chris K. Wilson speaking at Ageing in a Digital World a conference hosted by 3Bridges Community as part of their 3Point Connect series (Sydney, 2 April 2019)

Chris is principal analyst for the Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) project, a collaborative venture between the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University, RMIT University, Telstra and Roy Morgan Research. As the expert collection curator, Chris will contribute new resources and review existing content in a monthly Digital Inclusion review.  You can read his first review here APO Digital Inclusion Collection Brief: April 2019.

If you have feedback or questions about the APO Digital Inclusion Collection please get in touch with our Editorial Team at editors@apo.org.au.