Thank you for a great 2017 from the APO team!

It’s time to reflect on a very busy year here at APO and to acknowledge the contribution of the many people and organisations that help keep us going. 

Over 2016 and 2017 we have been undertaking a major project to upgrade the database, set up data hosting and refresh the design. This work was supported by the Australian Research Council (ARC) and the Australian National Data Service (ANDS) and we are very grateful to have had this support for public knowledge infrastructure. We are now able to host datasets and classify content in ways that ensure interoperability with other systems. Anyone can register and contribute content to APO for free to be moderated by the APO team – just go to our contribute page.

Towards the end of last year we embarked on a redesign project and we hope you enjoy the beautiful colour scheme and fresh clean layout. It is still very much a work in progress with lots more improvements to come so please let us know your thoughts and we look forward to making it even better in 2018.

In the process of reviewing the design we also considered our identity and found a way to change and stay the same. We are still APO but this now stands for ‘Analysis & Policy Observatory’ to reflect the fact that we carry a wide range of content from all over the world and cover policy issues from local to global perspectives. An example is our new Pacific Research Collection developed by the NZ Institute for Pacific Research. We will continue to support Australian policy issues but will also be able to connect these with resources, authors and organisations from around the world. 

In 2017 APO celebrated its 15 Year Anniversary with our inaugural APO Forum. We hope this will be an annual event as well as the beginning of more events in collaboration with our partner organisations. A write up of the day, photos and all the video recordings are now available. 

Thank you to our partners and colleagues

Jane Farmer showing off her APO t-shirt to ANZSOG’s Sophie Yates

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank all our readers for your contributions, enthusiasm and support throughout 2017 – and we look forward to reconnecting with you in 2018!

APO has been lucky to have had a stable home at Swinburne as well as many other committed partner organisations particularly UniSA and ANZSOG and a dedicated team of academics and staff who keep the show on the road. This is one of the key elements in keeping APO thriving for 15 years. APO benefited from the warm and collegial culture of the Swinburne Institute for Social Research and would like to thank Julian Thomas and all the staff there for this support. Rest assured Julian remains a key part of the APO project from his new base at RMIT. Thanks also to Kath Hulse Director of the Centre for Urban Transitions for her help and guidance this year and Lourdes Jayecumar and Grace Lee who are endlessly patient and helpful with all things financial and administrative.

In 2017 APO moved to become part of the Social Innovation Research Institute led by the dynamic Professor Jane Farmer who is also the new Chair of the Advisory Board. We also welcomed three other new APO Advisory Board members in 2017: Professor Lisa Given, Associate Dean, Research, Faculty of Health, Arts and Design, Swinburne University; Monica Pfeffer, Director, Applied Learning, Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG); and Associate Professor Sora Park, Director, News & Media Research Centre, University of Canberra. We look forward to your wise council into 2018 and beyond. A full list of APO team and Advisory Group members are here.

A huge thanks to our partner organisations who have made a commitment to APO in 2017 and continuing in 2018. At Swinburne, our thanks go particularly to Professor Aleksander Subic, DVC Research & Development, Professor Scott Thompson-Whiteside, PVC Faculty of Health, Arts and Design, and Dr Tania Bezzobs at Swinburne Research.

Professor Denise Meredyth at the University of South Australia has been a loyal champion of APO wherever she goes and we have been able to create some terrific collections through this ongoing partnership with the Division of Education, Arts and Social Sciences. And it is terrific to now have the wisdom of Monica Pfeffer whose presentation at the APO forum 2017 on the policy process is essential viewing. 

It has also been great working with the LCL Knowledge Hub team which has been developing particularly Peter Graham and Peter Newton and CRC LCL Headquarters. And thank you to all those who joined with us to develop the 2018 ARC LIEF bid. It was a huge effort and it is exciting to be able to make it a reality. More details to come in 2018 as the project gets going. 

A sad farewell

Sadly we lost a dear colleague from Swinburne, Scott Ewing, who passed away recently. Scott’s work as a social researcher on the World Internet Project and the Digital Inclusion Index are examples of some of the best public interest research that we host on APO. He will be much missed by all of us at APO and our thoughts are with his partner and family. 

Finally introductions and farewells from the APO team

APO is pleased to introduce Emily Silvester, our new full time Marketing Coordinator who joined the team in November just in time to promote our first APO forum.  Emily brings a wealth of marketing experience from universities, NGOs and journals in Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

And as other projects finish and new babies begin we gratefully thank and sadly farewell four other team members: Anna Hyland who has been the Urban and Regional Curator and our digitisation champion as part of the 2016 LIEF grant, Philip Worthington kindly seconded from the Victoria University of Wellington to build up the NZ collection, Leanne Whitby who joined us temporarily from Informit to help with our data hosting and has returned there and Thia Koikas, who worked for many years with APO managing and expanding our advertising program. They have all made significant contributions to APO and were keen supporters of APO’s growth and development.

APO also encourages volunteers and interns to help us manage the workload and learn the arts of public knowledge sharing. We would like to thank Jonathan Perdikaris, India Mauritzen, Colin MacKay and Veronica Perera who have variously volunteered or undertaken course placements at APO during 2017.

From all of us at APO,
Happy Holidays!


Photo above: APO Melbourne team: (back row left to right) Penelope Aitken, Amanda Lawrence, Andrew Zammit, (middle row) Tim McCarthy, Emily Silvester, (front row) Camilo Jorquera, Anna Hyland and Michelle Zwagerman. Also on the team are Philip Worthington (NZ) and Megan Deas (Canberra).