Economics and finance, Government and governance, Social policy, Health | Australia, Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, The Pacific, The World

17 August 2020

Has a failure to properly value care led to poor decisions driven by profit, and in doing so entrenched inequality for women? On this Democracy Sausage we take a look at the crisis unfolding in Australia’s aged care sector, the gendered dimensions playing out in the pandemic, and why we need to rethink how we value human beings in society.

Even before the coronavirus hit, it was clear that the aged care sector had significant problems – a sector largely privatised and governed by profit, and built on the back of many low-paid, poorly-valued, and precariously employed women workers. On this episode of Democracy Sausage Mark Kenny speaks to Meegan Fitzharris, Helen Sullivan, and Sharon Bessell about what the crisis in aged care tells us about how governments deliver the services people need, what we value in society, and what we want society to look like after the crisis. Listen here:

Meegan Fitzharris is a Senior Fellow in Health Policy and Leadership at ANU College of Health and Medicine. She is a former Labor Member of the Legislative Assembly for Molonglo and Yerrabi and was the ACT Government’s Minister for Health and Wellbeing.

Professor Helen Sullivan is Director of the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy.

Sharon Bessell is Professor of Public Policy and Director of Gender Equity and Diversity at Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University.

Mark Kenny is a Professor in the ANU Australian Studies Institute. He came to the university after a high-profile journalistic career including six years as chief political correspondent and national affairs editor for The Sydney Morning HeraldThe Age, and The Canberra Times.

Democracy Sausage with Mark Kenny is available on AcastApple PodcastsSpotifyGoogle Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. We’d love to hear your feedback for this podcast series! Send in your questions, comments, or suggestions for future episodes to You can also Tweet us @APPSPolicyForum or join us on the Facebook group.

This podcast is produced in partnership with The Australian National University.

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