Past events

A new reform agenda for Australian schooling policy

Screenshot of speakers via ZoomA collaboration with the UWA Graduate School of Education

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ModeratorAssociate Professor Glenn Savage (UWA Graduate School of Education)
PanellistsLaureate Professor Jenny Gore (Director of the Teachers and Teaching Research Centre at the University of Newcastle), Dr Zid Mancenido (Senior Manager (Research and Evaluation) of the Australian Education Research Organisation); Lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education), Bevan Ripp (President of the Principals Federation of Western Australia), and Dr Marnee Shay (Senior Research Fellow, School of Education, The University of Queensland).

The new federal government has a golden opportunity to influence the decade to come in education reform. Next year, a new National School Reform Agreement will need to be established, to replace the existing agreement that ends in 2023. The development of the new agreement provides a rich opportunity to assess the impact of recent policies and set a new course for education for the decade to come. This webinar brings together schooling leaders and practitioners to consider opportunities for schooling reform.



Sustainable food systems: food production and security in a changing climate

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Moderators: Chris Crellin and Jemah Harrison (UWA Public Policy Institute interns)
Dr Ben Cole (Managing Director of Wide Open Agriculture), Ronni Kahn AO (CEO and Founder of OzHarvest), I-Lyn Loo (Director Regional Development, Wheatbelt Development Commission), and Dr Caitlin Moore (UWA School of Agriculture and Environment).

Do you know where your food comes from and how it got to your plate? Focusing on food production, this event will focus on one key problem of the food system: food security.

In the face of climate change, land degradation, current land management practices, and a doubling population by 2050, Western Australia’s agriculture sector and food security will be affected. Our panel will discuss the steps needed to mitigate against and adapt to these challenges.



Who run da world: What stands in the way of gender equity?

Five panel members on chairs on stageA collaboration with the State Library of WA for the 2022 Disrupted Festival 

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Panellists: Professor Romola Bucks (UWA Pro Vice-Chancellor Health and Medical Research); Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa (performer and filmmaker); Linda Savage (former Member of Parliament); Jessica Smith (co-founder of She Runs).

Back in 2006, Australia stood 15th in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Report, which ranks countries based on gender equality in economic participation, political empowerment and educational attainment. By 2021 we slipped all the way down to 50th. Are we going backwards, or is the rest of the world progressing at a much faster rate? 

In this panel discussion and Q&A for the Disrupted Festival on Saturday 18 June 2022, we assembled key figures known for their advocacy for gender equity and for accelerating and embedding change. We spoke to them about corporate life and overcoming barriers to women achieving senior roles, on gender bias in the legal and political domains, and the cultural reasons behind low glass ceilings for women from minority groups. What will it take for us to reach parity in the next thirty years? 



Dissecting Australian life after the election

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Panel members at post-election event on stageOpening address: Eve Howell, Member of the UWA Public Policy Institute Board
PanellistsThe Honourable Colin Barnett (former Premier of Western Australia [2008 - 2017]; Adjunct Professor at the UWA Business School), The Honourable Professor Carmen Lawrence (former Premier of Western Australia [1990 - 1993]; Emeritus Professor and Senior Honorary Research Fellow at the UWA School of Psychological Science), Dr Sue Boyd AM (Immediate Past President of the Australian Institute of International Affairs (WA); former head of diplomatic missions in the Australian Foreign Service), and Martina Ucnikova (co-founder of She Runs).

This is a recording of a free, public event in the State Theatre of Western Australia on 25 May 2022. It was convened by the UWA Public Policy Institute to discuss the national and WA implications of the recent federal election, highlighting key new commitments on the economy, climate change, national security, social policy and public trust in government.

Australia went to the polls on 21 May and cast their votes. The 2022 federal election was the first national political test since the onset of the COVID-19 global pandemic, the easing of international and state borders, a stuttering national economic recovery, and the fading impact of the COP26 Glasgow climate change summit. Furthermore, the Russian invasion of Ukraine presents a fresh uncertainty to the international rules-based order, to regional dynamics in the Indo-Pacific, to the national security priorities of the West, and to gas and oil markets.

The Liberal-National Coalition’s record through the past three years was at stake, notably on the public health crisis, Australia’s 2050 carbon-zero commitment and increasingly fractured rows about integrity issues at senior level in the government.

The challenges facing the next Commonwealth government are substantial, and will be overshadowed by heavy national debt, calls to strengthen integrity in political life, and escalating tensions with China as President Xi Jinping enters a third term. What are the prospects for the new administration?



WA 2050: How do we make WA a thriving place?

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Panel speakers on stage for WA 2050 eventOpening address: Professor Peter Klinken AC, Chief Scientist of Western Australia
PanellistsSonia Arakkal (Policy Fellow at Perth USAsia Centre), Chris Rodwell (CEO of Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA), Sisonke Msimang (Head Storyteller at Centre for Stories) and Rebecca Tomkinson (CEO of the Royal Flying Doctors Association WA).

Western Australia in the past 30 years has enjoyed tremendous prosperity, coupled with safety from conflict and being shielded from infectious disease. How assured is the next 30 years?

It is large, remote, resource-rich and a place of immense biodiversity, but its future can only be secured by addressing key challenges now. Areas needing reform centre around the growth of WA’s future population and the infrastructure needing to accommodate over a million more people. Equally, we must develop a diverse economy and support for new businesses, ensure regional areas are connected through quality health infrastructure, and greater integration with our neighbouring countries in the Indian Ocean Region. Finally, to truly unite this enormous state, we should be connected to and encouraged to share our stories and histories through a thriving cultural and creative arts sector.

At this launch of the WA 2050: People, Place, Prosperity report on 11 May 2022, we heard from a distinguished panel of experts on policy ideas and proposals that are best placed to deliver a vibrant future for WA.



The future of suburbanisation, spaces and infrastructure in WA

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Professor Fiona Haslam McKenziePanellists: Adjunct Professor David Caddy (Chairman of the Western Australian Planning Commission), Dr Kate Hislop (Dean and Head of the UWA School of Design, and registered architect), Associate Professor Paul Maginn (urban planner/geographer in the UWA Department of Geography), and Winthrop Professor Fiona Haslam McKenzie (Co-director of the UWA Centre for Regional Development).

In this webinar held on Thursday 28 April, 2022, our expert panel answered questions about infrastructure needs that will deliver social, economic and environmental outcomes for WA’s future. 

Infrastructure is crucial when planning for Western Australia’s success in the next thirty years. In this webinar, we look at place-making in WA and the physical infrastructure—such as urban planning and transport—needed to prepare for connected, resilient, inclusive and vibrant places.

How should WA prime its infrastructure to adapt to the climate and the needs of cultural heritage? How do we plan for sprawling suburbanisation to ensure connected spaces and people? What critical infrastructure is needed to ensure universal design for all Western Australians to flourish?



In conversation with Omar Khorshid: The future of healthcare in WA

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Dr Omar KhorshidGuestDr Omar Khorshid, President of the Federal Australian Medical Association

Health policy has rarely been higher on the international agenda than the last two years. The pandemic has seen Western Australia’s health infrastructure go through its greatest and most unexpected stress test. With recent events in mind, looking beyond this crisis and further into the future towards 2050, how might the WA health system respond to emerging challenges facing healthcare? What new funding and service models are needed to facilitate better care? Can the recent responses to the pandemic help catalyse change in the WA health sector?

This is a recording of a webinar on 31 March 2022. Join Director Professor Shamit Saggar as he speaks with Dr Khorshid about the future of healthcare in WA. The audience also had their chance to ask questions about the WA medical system and workforce, healthcare trends, and what they might expect from the next thirty years.



Women on top: Progression, not participation, in Australia's top roles

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Diane Smith-Gander AOModeratorDiane Smith-Gander AO, Chair of Zip Co Limited.
Panellists: Toni Emmanuel (WA Industrial Relations Commissioner), Shelagh Magadza (Executive Director, Chamber for Arts and Culture WA), Winthrop Professor Alison Preston (UWA Business School), Jessica Shaw MLA (Member for Swan Hills).

The rapid feminisation of the workforce in the corporate business sector and in new and traditional professions has not been accompanied with significant gender rebalancing of senior executive roles and boards. Similar, male-heavy leadership also persists among universities and the creative sector, and it is especially noticeable in the federal parliament.

Australia is therefore in danger of becoming an outlier in comparison to the gains made at the top in other advanced economies, creating a reputational doubt about bias in senior roles. The impacts can undermine the sensitivity of parliament to women’s needs, the ability of businesses to appeal to the market as a whole, and the capacity of institutions to design solutions that are fit for purpose.

In this discussion you'll hear about research findings on the pace of gender equity in different sectors, the measures that have worked, and perspectives of senior women who have driven change. This virtual panel discussion and Q&A was broadcast on Thursday 25 November 2020.



UWA Public Policy Institute lecture with the Law School

COVID myth-busting: power, rights and the law

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PanellistsAssociate Professor Meredith Blake and Dr Murray Wesson (UWA Law School).
ModeratorProfessor Sarah Murray (UWA Law School)

Public panel and Q&A event in the Law Lecture Theatre, The University of Western Australia, on Wednesday 27 October 2021. A collaboration between the UWA Public Policy Institute, UWA Law School and Australian Association of Constitutional Law.

In an attempt to contain virus spread as well as harmful economic and social impacts, governments around the world have harnessed their powers to impose extraordinary obligations on their citizens. From lockdowns, curfews and travel bans to vaccine passports and tracking and tracing apps, we have become aware of and felt the effects of concentrated executive power every day. 

In Australia, the extended use of these exceptional measures have been challenged on constitutional grounds. They have led to heated criticism by civil rights advocates, and a recent series of ‘freedom marches’ across the country. Are our constitutional rights actually being subverted? What alterations to our social fabric are permissible under the law? How much faith can we have in conventional checks and balances?