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.

First Peoples public policy collection launches

We are thrilled to announce the APO First Peoples & Public Policy Collection, established in partnership with Australia & new Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG). This collection has been created to gather together First People’s digital policy resources all in one place.

The APO First Peoples & Public Policy Collection (FPPP Collection) highlights existing knowledge, databases and information that support policy and practice for First Peoples. It features resources for and by First Peoples and those working in Indigenous public policy and administration.

The collection was formally launched at the ANZSOG Reimagining Public Administration: First Peoples, governance and new paradigms conference on 21 February 2019 in Melbourne.

ANZSOG’s Catherine Althaus officially launches the APO First Peoples & Public Policy Collection at the Reimagining Public Administration conference (Melbourne, 21 February 2019)

Welcome to Carissa Godwin

With the arrival of this collection, we warmly welcome Carissa Godwin to the APO team. Carissa is the new Specialist Editor of First Peoples & Public Policy. She will be working with ANZSOG and members of the Indigenous community to curate and develop our First Peoples resources.

APO is hosted at Swinburne University of Technology, the first Australian University to have it’s Reconciliation Action Plan recognised at Elevate status.

Image: Gathering Knowledge. Artist: ARBUP Ash PETERS Wurundjeri/Taungurong Man, local artist and direct descendent of Coranderrk. This painting depicts the continuous cycle of footprints on a never ending journey travelling around Swinburne University’s campuses located on Wurundjeri land.

If you have feedback or queries about the FPPP collection, please get in touch with Carissa Godwin at For more general enquiries about APO Collections, contact

Mint a DOI with APO

APO’s DOI minting service has quietly been around for more than a year now. I spoke to APO Editor Tim McCarthy about what DOIs are and what benefits they offer.

Emily: So Tim, can you explain what a DOI is, in a nutshell?

Tim: A Digital Object Identifier (DOI) is a unique alphanumeric string used to identify content and provide a persistent link to its location on the Internet. You may have noticed that journals use a DOI link for electronically published articles.

International DOI Foundation logo

Emily: Yes, I’ve noticed that. So why is APO minting DOIs if journals are already doing that?

Tim: DOIs are also becoming more common in publication metadata on government publications and grey literature. That’s basically where APO saw a need in the publishing landscape for minting DOIs.

Emily: What are the benefits of having a DOI?

Tim: Assigning a DOI to a resource adds a level of metadata to the publication that makes it easier to link to or share. The permanency of the link also makes it a more desirable inclusion in a citation. So it not only benefits authors and publishers, but digital libraries and researchers using publication citations as well.

Emily: Are there any special requirements for getting a DOI minted by APO?

Tim: APO can mint DOIs for certain publications. To be eligible, an author or publisher must be the copyright holder of a published, or soon-to-be published, resource and have the authority to grant APO permission to hold a full-text copy of the publication. It should be noted that only one DOI can be assigned per publication – DOI double dipping isn’t allowed as the identifier must be unique.

Emily: If an author or publisher would like a DOI minted by APO for their publication, what should they do?

Tim: They should send their DOI enquiry to APO at and someone in our friendly editorial team will get the process started.

Emily: Cheers Tim. It’s great that APO is offering this service.

Tim: No worries. If people want to know more about the DOI system in general and how it works, the International DOI Foundation has plenty of resources on its website.

For all enquiries about APO’s DOI minting service, please email

Informit launches new Policy Database via APO partnership

Media release from RMIT University Newsroom – see the original here

5 March 2019

Informit is thrilled to announce the addition of a new Policy database as part of an ongoing partnership with the Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO). Informit customers will now have access to over 35,000 public policy records including research reports, articles, papers, policies and other grey literature. The new database expands Informit’s range of hard-to-find Australasian content, located in one place.

Informit APO Policy record

In 30 years of service to the information management industry, Informit has firmly established itself as the go-to place for Australasian research content. It provides access to unique specialist content through its collection of over 100 databases, across a range of subject matter.

The new Policy database is an extension of this offering and part of the next phase of Informit which includes significant platform upgrades and enhancements.

Michael Tully, Informit Director, said,“What makes this partnership so exciting is that Informit and APO are working together to deliver on preserving and providing access to high quality content and towards a common goal of delivering the most value to Informit customers.”

Michelle Zwagerman, APO’s Digital Product Manager commented, “This collaboration enables us to expand the reach of our policy content through Informit’s well-established Australasian network and helps Informit customers discover our hard-to-find Policy content quickly and easily.” 

APO provides access to digital policy and practice resources, making them visible, discoverable and usable. Established by and hosted at Swinburne University of Technology since 2002 and supported by the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) and the Australian Research Council, APO is highly regarded in the policy space and well known for curating top quality content.  

Karen Mahlab from Pro Bono Australia praised APO’s content and its practical applications in her role, “I use APO to find evidence for issues I’m interested in. Every week, it becomes more authoritative with the papers pulled together from thousands of sources.”

The Policy database is now available via Informit and will soon be searchable through all major library discovery services. Customers who are interested in subscribing to the Policy database are encouraged to contact us [Informit] for a trial or quote.

For more information about Informit or to start searching, visit or to find out more about APO, go to

APO for students

APO has produced a handy new guide for students studying public policy and social issues – as well as tools for lecturers and librarians to introduce students to APO.

Discover your policy studies ‘secret weapon’

With ‘toga, toga, toga’ echoing around Swinburne University Campus, you can be sure that we’ve once again encountered that very special time of year… O Week. Meanwhile, university staff madly prep their course materials for the rest of the semester.

With this in mind, APO is making it easier than ever for staff to introduce students to their new policy studies ‘secret weapon’ – and for students to discover APO’s vast repository of digital public policy resources.

Steve Urkle in a toga – he looks like a BIG public policy fan to us!

Guides for students and lecturers

Students who are studying public policy or social issues at any level are invited to access our new student page at Make sure that you view our Student How to Guide to learn how to search APO for resources for your assignments. You can also Subscribe to our free Briefing service for regular updates from the policy sphere.

If you’re a university course coordinator or lecturer you can download our Lecture Slide to introduce your students to APO. Or, if you’re a tutor or librarian you can download our Tutorial Exercise Slide to use in class. 

Download our quick guides for students, lecturers, librarians and tutors

Tell us what you think

Here at APO, we hope that we can make your studies just that little bit easier – once you finally stop wearing that toga and decide to knuckle down! Haha, just kidding. Seriously though, we’re always looking for ways to help our student community, so please feel free to contact us with your questions or feedback.

Swinburne names APO a ‘Change Maker’

Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO) was recently named as one to watch by Swinburne University of Technology’s Professor Aleksandar Subic in a publication featuring 15 impact case studies – from research as diverse as astrophysics to homelessness.

Professor Aleksandar Subic, Swinburne University

‘I am pleased to let you know that we have published Change Makers – a compilation of 15 diverse stories of research impact from across Swinburne that showcases some of our most inspiring and transformative outcomes,’ announced Professor Subic, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Development).

‘These case studies showcase how innovative research and strong partnerships can create positive real-world change in industry and the community.’

Professor Aleksandar Subic

Better information for more people

APO was named as one of three digital providers of ‘better information for more people’. These three enterprises (APO, Inside Story and UniPollWatch) were all ‘born digital’ and collect and organise information to make it more discoverable and usable in new ways.

The case study traces the evolution of APO (originally named ‘Australian Policy Online’) from its launch in 2002 as an open access database for policy research. Awarded the ‘Best Information Website’ at the 2014 Australian and New Zealand Internet Awards, APO has grown from humble beginnings to having more than 4.2 million users from around the world, with 16.4 million page views.

At the time of writing the case study, APO hosted an impressive 38,928 policy resources in 1,264 subjects, contributed by more than 6,000 institutions and almost 27,000 authors – numbers that continue to grow steadily year on year.

APO’s comprehensive array of policy contributors includes government departments and agencies, academic research centres, think tanks, civil society organisations, consultants, and research companies and academic publishers from all around the world. Many organisations have also joined as partners, APO Collection sponsors and APO Briefing subscribers.

Change Makers case study booklet

Presented alongside APO in this case study is Inside Story – an online magazine on current affairs and culture from Australia and beyond, authored by academics and journalists. UniPollWatch – established for the 2014 Victorian state election to provide innovative coverage of current events through the eyes of young Australians – is also highlighted in the same category.

Change Makers is a compilation of 15 diverse case studies of research impact from across Swinburne University. This research is in line with Swinburne University’s Research and Innovation Strategy – ‘Transforming Industries, Shaping Lives and Communities’, and the Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Engagement and Impact Assessment agenda. Enquiries about this publication can be made to Swinburne Research.