Centre for Public Value UWA


The Centre for Public Value UWA is an independent research centre situated in the UWA Business School. The establishment of this centre is motivated by the opportunity for making a real and substantial contribution to Australian and regional communities through robust examinations of Australia’s social policy landscape and, in particular, the effectiveness and sustainability of the human service sector.

Embedded in our approach is the adoption of an historical perspective so as to capture the lessons learnt from our accumulated experience, as well as examine the extent to which these lessons are adequately reflected in current practices. A major benefit of this approach is that it enables a more effective contestation of paradigmatic assumptions, influences and practices. 


Aims and Objectives 

The Centre's key objectives include: 

  • Developing a systematic examination of the efficiency and effectiveness of the Australian human services sector.
  • Producing insight into the economic mechanisms and significance of the Australian human services sector. 
  • Develop industry-ready resources to further systematic governance, transparency and planning in the sector, as well as within the government/nonprofit nexus. 
  • Further the establishment and utilisation of appropriate data assets and capabilities to deliver high-quality decision-making and foster linkage and accessibility for broader knowledge sharing and insight 

The Centre's Research Programs

Australian Nonprofit Accountability

Nonprofit organisations play a vital role in Australian society, but ensuring their accountability and transparency is essential to maintaining public trust. This research project seeks to grapple with the current state of nonprofit accountability in Australia, through the mechanisms of legal requirements, governance, regulatory interactions, and stakeholder expectations.

Australian Disability Services System

The Australian Disability Services System comprises an assortment programs and priorities that service the those people with disability in the Australian community. The National Disability Insurance Scheme is an example of just one of these programs which constitute the disability services system in Australia. This project seeks to examine the system both as a whole and in its components to tease out the issues that are hindering the proper coverage in services, ease of access and the overall outcomes of Australians with disability.

Economics of Human Services

Human services providers face an increasingly pressurised operating environment with challenges, such as increased demand for services, more complex needs of recipients, inadequate funding and challenges in maturing service costs and regulatory burden. For providers to be able to service the community effectively and equitably, sustainability requirements must be understood and supported. This theme examines the funding and operational challenges that hinder human service organisational sustainability while positioning the sectors contribution and interactions with market economics in its proper societal context.

History of Human Services and the Welfare State

Ideas surrounding welfare and the welfare state have become disassociated with their historical motivations. The pejorative nature of the surrounding discourse has meant that discussion about the value of the infrastructure that underpins human services is poorly understood and grossly underutilised. This theme will investigate the development of the Australian welfare state to reconcile contemporary challenges with the emergence of the welfare infrastructure and its trajectory in the Australian context. Key topics within this theme include the history of the welfare state and human services, as well as the evolution of economic and welfarist thought. Provides political and economic theoretical grounds in which the study human services, the government/nonprofit nexus and the broader institutional welfare infrastructure can be examined.

Australian Nonprofit Accounting Standards Research Program

This program, supported by the Institute of Community Directors and being undertaken by a group of Australian universities led by Not-for-profits UWA, is focused on supporting the development of efficient and effective accounting standards for nonprofit and charitable organisations.

For more information on the program, its research aims and contribution please visit the program's webpage

Public Sector Accountability and Governance

This project aims to examine the effectiveness of public sector accountability mechanisms and governance structures in the public sector. Key themes include the role of transparency, access and participation, and stakeholder engagement in promoting accountability and good governance, as well as the impact of political and institutional factors on accountability processes. The program seeks to contribute to the development of evidence-based policy recommendations and practical tools for improving public sector accountability and governance.

Resources to Support Nonprofits

In alignment with the Centre’s mission to provide practice-ready resources, this project aims to deliver financial and organisational tools and materials to support nonprofit organisations further sustainable and effective operation, particularly in the human services.

Pathways to Politics for Women UWA 

Applications Now Open 6th March - 24th April

Pathways to Politics for Women is increasing the number of women in Australian politics by equipping diverse women to boldly embrace their political ambitions, thrive as leaders and make a profound contribution to society. 

Through comprehensive practical training, workshops, mentoring and career-long support, we provide unparalleled expertise for women who are serious about driving change through political leadership. 

The program at UWA is run through the Centre for Public Value UWA and the UWA Public Policy Institute. 


Pathways to Politics for Women UWA  Apply Now!

Stay Updated

The Centre for Public Value strives in providing regular and up-to-date publications, news, events and opportunities to our community. If you would like to receive the latest from the sector and in public value we invite you to subscribe to our newsletters.

You can also view our YouTube channel for more video offering bitesize practical insights. 

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Team Members, Fellows and Associates



Centre for Public Value Research Team
Research Students
Associated Scholars
UWA Adjunct Personnel
  • Adj Prof Susan Pascoe AM (former ACNC Commissioner. Currently: Vatican Commissioner on Church Governance; Co-chair, Victorian Government Taskforce on Social Services Regulation; Chair ACFID)
  • Adj Prof Robert Fitzgerald (former member Australian Productivity Commission; former Royal Commissioner, Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse; currently: NSW Ageing and Disability Commissioner) 


UWA Honorary Research Fellows
  • Mr Andrew Pickford (former CEO, Mannkal foundation; currently: Strategic Advisor and External Affairs, Atlas Iron) 
  • Mr Craig Fisher (former Chairman, RSM New Zealand Group; currently: Member NZ Auditing and Assurance Standards Board) 

PhD Opportunities

Academics associated with the research network are available for supervising topics related to public value as its relevant intercepts.

Information about Applying 

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Centre for Public Value UWA

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Centre for Public Value UWA


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