Australia’s policy-making machinery is currently undergoing something of a mechanical inspection. Earlier this year, then-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced a major Independent Review of the Public Service “to ensure the APS is fit-for-purpose in the years and decades ahead”. On this week’s podcast, we find out where the APS is well-oiled, where it’s a bit rusty, and where it needs a new set of parts altogether, as hosts Martyn Pearce and Sharon Bessell chat to the policy equivalents of expert mechanics: Professor Glyn Davis and Professor Helen Sullivan. Topics discussed include expertise and ethics, populism and partisanship, blockchain and automation, and a number of your audience questions.

Professor Glyn Davis recently joined Crawford School as a Distinguished Professor. He was previously Vice-Chancellor at the University of Melbourne from 2005 to 2018, and is renowned as one of Australia’s finest higher education leaders, whose academic work has shaped the thinking of public servants at all levels of government.

Professor Helen Sullivan is Director of Crawford School of Public Policy. She has published widely on public policy, public governance and public service reform, and in 2013 established the Melbourne School of Government.

Show notes | The following were referred to in this episode:

In Focus: Poverty – a new section guest edited by Sharon Bessell

Reimagining the Future Public Service Workforce, edited by Helen Dickinson, Catherine Needham, Catherine Mangan, and Helen Sullivan

The Brief: Australia’s Banking Royal Commission with Tracey Mylecharane

The art of R&D courtship by Amanda-Jane George, Julie-Anne Tarr, and Alexandra McEwan

A #MeToo movement for children by Cecilia Tortajada

Policy Forum Pod is available on iTunesSpotifyStitcher, and 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 find us on Facebook.

This episode of Policy Forum Pod was written and produced by Martyn Pearce and Nicky Lovegrove. It was edited by Martyn Pearce.

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