Policy made on the fly is likely to flop

Click here to read my latest article, published by The Conversation. It's on best practice policy making and discusses some recent duds. Here's a peek:

"The exacting set of processes suggested by the policy cycle does not guarantee perfect governing, but as Bridgman and Davis state, it does reduce the chance of “howling errors”, such as a revenue raising tax that fails to raise revenue and destabilises a government already under attack."

Joining The Conversation on politics, policymaking and education

The Conversation, a newish national online publication combining 'academic rigour with journalistic flair' has recently published two opinion articles of mine. The first, 'Hard-headed politics', discusses the role of experts in the policy making process using the controversial expert panel on asylum seekers as an example. The second piece, 'State stoush', is my latest on the landmark Gonski Review, outlining the challenges that lie ahead for any Australian government wishing to reform education arrangements. Of course, you can find these articles, and many more, by clicking the 'publications and media' link.

Malcolm Fraser launches my book!

The evening was a roaring success, with over 300 guests and wonderful speeches by  former PM Malcolm Fraser, Lindsay Tanner (Federal Minister for Finance and Deregulation), James Merlino (Victorian Minister for Multicultural Affairs), Nick Kotsiras (Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs), George Lekakis (Chairperson of the Victorian Multicultural Commission), Sam Afra (ECCV Chairperson) and, of course, myself.

My book, Many Hopes One Dream, uncovers the untold story of Australian multiculturalism – how it was shaped from the ground up by grassroots associations of migrants and refugees.

Based entirely on original research, including interviews with key players and unexplored government, organisational and media archives, Many Hopes One Dream is the first comprehensive study of the united ethnic movement, concentrating on the history and influence of the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria – the oldest federation of migrant, ethnic, refugee and multicultural associations in Australia.

It is a story of the birth, development and evolution of the united ethnic movement. The story of its trials and triumphs, and how, despite formidable obstacles, it was able to shape the reality and institutions of multicultural Australia. It is published by Australian Scholarly Publishing.

Buy your copy of the book here.  For a foretaste, read my guest column in MUSSE: Melbourne University Staff/Student E-news.

Want more?  Here’s Lindsay’s speech, James’s speech, my speech from the launch.

Live, national radio interview on my book this week!

I’ve been invited on SBS’s French radio program on Friday 11 September to discuss my new book: Many Hopes, One Dream: the Story of the Ethnic Communities’ Council of Victoria. Tune in at 11am to listen live or download the podcast here.

Don’t forget that ticket sales to book launch will close 11 September.  Don’t miss out! $38 gets you a seat at the formal, celebratory dinner with an impressive line up of speakers, including James Merlino, Victorian Minister for Multicultural Affairs and George Lekakis, Victoria’s Multicultural Commissioner. Former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser will also be appearing. Call the ECCV on (03) 9349 4122 or email eccv@eccv.org.au More info here.

Schooling funding and federalism - Australian Social Policy Conference

My research paper on school funding and federalism got a rave response at the Australian Social Policy Conference. Based on my PhD research, it highlights the complexity of school funding arrangements; their relationship with intergovernmental processes, institutions and structures; the paucity of research to date and the need to reconceptualise the problem for quality research and lasting reforms. The powerpoint presentation is here, and the paper itself is here.