NSW Department of Family and Community Services
Michael Woodhouse has over 20 years experience in health and human services that includes policy, program and operational roles. He has worked for the NSW, Northern Territory and Commonwealth governments as well as in the non government sector. Michael has worked with FACS for five years. His previous roles have included A/g Deputy Secretary, Corporate Services and Executive Director roles in Strategic Policy, Ministerial and Communication Services and Carers, Ageing and Disability Inclusion.
Michael had led FACS work to build commissioning capability to better link FACS services to client outcomes. He holds degrees in Economics and Law.
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH
Graeme Barden is the Acting First Assistant Secretary of the Research, Data and Evaluation Division of the Commonwealth Department of Health. Mr Barden and his teams inform and shape policy development through the use of research, data analytics, performance measurement, and evaluation. This is evidence-based policy in action, built on identifying areas to strengthen to ensure the best available evidence to inform policy advice, including through governance, practice and capability development.
Department of Premier & Cabinet, NSW
Peter is in the Premier’s Implementation Unit supporting the Premier in driving delivery of the Government’s priorities. The unit provides independent oversight of progress, working closely with agency implementation teams to support delivery, ensure risks are managed, and address barriers to progress.
Peter’s career has a consistent theme around bringing evidence to bear on practice, specialising in program design and evaluation, and performance monitoring and implementation.
This has recently involved supporting NSW Government decision making through strengthening program evaluation practice across the sector. Prior to this Peter was responsible for the outcomes evaluation of Keep Them Safe, the largest evaluation of a human services initiative in NSW Government history.
Australian National University
Dr. Nicholas Biddle is a Fellow at the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research (CAEPR) at the Australian National University (ANU) and Deputy Director of the ANU Centre for Social Research and Methods. He has a Bachelor of Economics (Hons.) from the University of Sydney and a Master of Education from Monash University. He also has a PhD in Public Policy from the ANU where he wrote his thesis on the benefits of and participation in education of Indigenous Australians. He previously held a Senior Research Officer and Assistant Director position in the Methodology Division of the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Deborah Mohr is currently leading Uniting negotiations with NSW government and her consortia partners on a second Social Benefit Bond. With the experience of working on the Newpin SBB at a contract level as well as at a detailed outcomes analysis and reporting level, she has a keen understanding of the benefits of linking a financial incentive to outcomes within any grant funding contract to achieve better results for all. Her commercial audit background places her well in discussions around what hard measurements can be used as proxies for the array of qualitative measures which a program might strive for.
Office of the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Commonwealth Attorney General
John is a practicing Barrister and nationally accredited mediator. He is a professional speechwriter and runs speechwriting courses. John is a registered provider of services to the NSW Government and Commonwealth Governments.
John is also the Co Author of the NSW Workplace Conflict Guide available for download from iTunes. He makes regular appearances as a political commentator in print and on television advocating for change in the way Australia is governed.
John has been Senior Adviser to Two Prime Ministers and Two Premiers as well as Chief of Staff to the Commonwealth Attorney General and The Commonwealth Minister for Justice.
He has been a Director in both the Ministry of Transport and the former Roads and Traffic Authority.
Poppy Wise is a specialist in public policy research and evaluation. She’s worked in research and evaluation for 15 years in the private and not-for-profit sectors, most recently advising on policy and programs in mental health, disability, domestic violence and community safety.
Poppy’s strong personal commitment to shaping health and happy communities means she has worked across a range of policy areas throughout her career. She has become expert in the design and implementation of policy research and evaluations – especially for largescale, complex studies, and serves as the current NSW chair and National Board Member of the Social Impact Measurement Network of Australia.
Among recent highlights, Poppy lists her time leading a three-year evaluation of the $500 million Commonwealth mental health program, Partners in Recovery; developing the framework to assist Women NSW evaluate the success of their behaviour-change programs for domestic violence perpetrators; and her current work with the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage to improve energy equity for vulnerable households.
Julian holds qualifications in areas as varied as adult education, arts, IT, law and science. He’s worked in research, policy and management roles within the Victorian Government, his own consultancy, and the commercial and not-for-profit sectors. At Urbis, Julian applies his multidisciplinary skills and broad understanding of social issues to projects spanning education, health, disability, justice, drugs and alcohol, and mental health.
A skilled project manager and conceptual thinker, Julian leads project teams that shape and evaluate investments made in response to complex social problems, including assessing a $540 million national investment in Indigenous early childhood development, and advising on how specialist mental health services should be delivered in Victorian prisons. He also helps clients develop more effective programs, including through his work on a project to better connect people experiencing homelessness to health care.
Andrew is a director of ARTD Consultants where he has worked for 10 years. Andrew has qualifications in psychology and administrative law, is co-chair of the Australasian Evaluation Society’s Realist Evaluation Special Interest Group and a fellow of Charles Darwin University.
Andrew works as an independent evaluator, facilitator and mentor for public policy professionals, delivering credible and useful evidence for decision-making. Andrew’s strength lies in a deep understanding of evaluation theory, uses (and abuses) of program logic, and the nature of evidence in complex systems. He draws on a background in psychology, administrative law and behaviour change theory. He uses a realist lens and empirical analysis to monitor performance and conduct comprehensive evaluations to help clients understand how interventions work, and how they may be improved to achieve strategic objectives.
Andrew is an award winning evaluator and is respected internationally for his thought leadership on monitoring and evaluation. He recently co-authored a major report onChoosing appropriate designs and methods for impact evaluation for the Australian Government Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.He has also published more academic work exploring the foundations and appropriate use of randomised controlled trials for generating evidence and testing program theory in complex social systems.
Centre for Innovative Justice
Rob Hulls completed his law degree at RMIT and began his career as a Solicitor for the Legal Aid Commission of Victoria from 1984–86. Rob served one term in Federal Parliament from 1990–93 as the member for Kennedy, Queensland and in 1994 on return to Melbourne was appointed Chief of Staff to the Victorian Leader of the Opposition. In his state political career Rob held the offices of Attorney-General; Minister for Manufacturing Industry and Minister for Racing, Minister for WorkCover, Minister for Planning and Minister for Industrial Relations.
As Attorney-General, Rob instigated significant changes to Victoria’s legal system which saw the establishment of the state’s first Charter of Human Rights and reform to Victoria’s Upper House. He established special courts in Victoria including for Victoria’s indigenous community, for people with mental health issues, and for victims of family violence. He also opened up the process for the appointment of people to Victoria’s judiciary.
In October 2012 Rob was appointed Adjunct Professor at RMIT and was invited to establish the new Centre for Innovative Justice as its inaugural Director. The Centre’s objective is to develop, drive, and expand the capacity of the justice system to meet and adapt to the needs of its diverse users.
Australian Institute of Health & Welfare
Phil is head of the Data Linkage Unit at AIHW, established in 2005 to coordinate and drive the integration and linkage of health and community services data. The Unit’s role includes investigating data linkage and analytical methods, and undertaking data linkage and analyses of linked data sets for both AIHW and external researchers. This work has been growing rapidly in the last few years since the AIHW became an accredited Integrating Authority for the linkage of Commonwealth data.
Phil has worked in several areas within the AIHW, and previously as a population geneticist and then a statistical consultant, being involved in a wide variety of projects for industry, academia and government. He has extensive experience in statistical analysis and policy-relevant research in both the health and welfare sectors in Australia, as well as in data development and collection, and data linkage methodology, ethics and governance. He is an adjunct associate professor in the Faculty of Health, University of Canberra.
DEPARTMENT OF IMMIGRATION & BORDER PROTECTION
Meg Reid is the Director of Australian Trusted Trader Headquarters Section within the Australian Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) and is responsible for the delivery of the Australian Trusted Trader programme. Within DIBP, Ms Reid previously held positions as Assistant Director, Irregular Migration Policy, responsible for people smuggling policy and third country resettlement options under Operation Sovereign Borders; Assistant Director, Middle East and Sri Lanka; and Assistant Director, Joint Agency Task Force. Ms Reid has previously held positions in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. Prior to public service, Ms Reid was engaged in the private sector, working in crisis and project management at Societe General, Lloyds TSB, Anglo Irish Bank and BP International in London. Ms Reid holds a Bachelor of Economics, a Bachelor of Communications and a Graduate Diploma in International Relations. Ms Reid has has lived in London, Los Angeles and Cairo.
Safe Work Australia
Perri’s research background is in social and organisational psychology, epidemiology, environmental health, and justice studies. He began his university studies in physiology but eventually moved into psychology where he initially focussed on cognitive psychology and ergonomics. He supplemented his training as a research psychologist by completing a PhD in law.
Perri has conducted research at the University of Queensland, the Queensland University of Technology, Griffith University, the Australian National University, the Department of Defence, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the Department of Health. He has spent the last eight years at Safe Work Australia and its predecessor, the Australian Safety and Compensation Council. In recent years he has worked on an evaluation of the model work health and safety laws and is currently studying the physical and mental health consequences of job strain.
Department of Health
Shane Porter is Assistant Secretary, Strategic Policy Branch in the Commonwealth Department of Health, and has responsibility for both strategic policy projects and strategic policy capability development. Current projects include leading the development of the Fifth National Mental Health Plan, the National Health Genomics Policy Framework, and reimagining the Australian health system in 2040. His capability development responsibilities include leading the development and implementation of Department’s Strategic Policy Environment, Strategic Policy Work Program, and Innovation Action Plan, and other supporting activities. Shane has worked across the Health Department for more than 15 years, prior to which he worked in scientific research.
Alexandra & Associates
Jason has over 30 years experience working in sustainability and natural resources management (NRM) holding senior roles in national and international organisations and consulting, revegetation and farming businesses. Between 2008 and 2013 Jason was a Senior Executive at the Murray Darling Basin Authority with responsibilities for NRM, water reform, climate science and ecosystem management. Jason is a Director Falls Creek Alpine Resort and Water Stewardship Australia. He has been a Director of Land & Water Australia (http://lwa.gov.au) the Executive Director of the Earthwatch Institute where he initiated the successful citizen science program ClimateWatch.
As the managing director of Alexandra and Associates Pty Ltd, Jason has completed over 100 research and consulting projects. These include coordinating national R&D programs on vegetation and biodiversity and leading evaluations of national NRM programs. His work developing a strategic plan for water R&D in Tasmania was nominated by the OECD as “a public sector innovation of international significance” due to its use participatory foresighting methods.. Jason has published widely and many of his reports, papers and presentations can be found at https://rmit.academia.edu/JasonAlexandra.