Policy Forum Pod

Policy Forum Pod

Policy Forum Pod is the podcast of PolicyForum.net - Asia and the Pacific's platform for public policy debate, analysis and discussion. Policy Forum is based at Crawford School of Public Policy at The Australian National University. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.


September 27, 2023 40 mins

In this special episode of Policy Forum Pod, Thomas Mayo joins Sharon Bessell and Arnagretta Hunter to discuss the importance of the Voice to Parliament.

Thomas Mayo explains how the Voice will create unity and a stronger future. We are a Nation divided, but Constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples gives us a way of coming together and leaving a legacy of collective hope and justice for our chi...

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This podcast delves into the complex world of balancing the need for energy through fossil fuels and protecting the environment and human health.

Energy is central to so much human activity today and the politics are complex, weighing up local and global needs for energy, the ‘needs of the economy’ against the resultant environmental and climate impacts.  Guests Professor Melissa Haswell and Professor Hillary Bambrick disc...

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September 14, 2023 54 mins

This Podcast delves into the Intergenerational Report, looking at both the challenges and opportunities it highlights.

Dr Liz Allen and Professor Paul Burke discuss the key takeaways of the latest IGR that in 2062 Australia will be bigger, slower growing, and more diverse, with living standards at risk of going backwards.

Liz says we are “heading into the greatest demographic headwinds of our time,” and we need to spend more ...

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September 7, 2023 55 mins

This episode discusses the connections between planetary health and human health.

Sharon Friel and Fran Baun look at the challenges of health inequality, over-consumption and how we move toward a better future. 

To have healthy people we need to have a healthy planet, and in order to do that we need to be prioritising the health and wellbeing lens as a powerful tool for policy shifts.

"It can't be biomedical, it's a...

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August 31, 2023 53 mins

This National Child Protection Week we ask the question: What part can we as individuals play in protecting children and creating a culture of care?

The theme for this year’s National Child Protection Week is ‘Where we start matters’ building on the essence that ‘every child in every community needs a fair go’. In this episode, we speak to researcher Tim Moore, and NAPCAN Deputy-CEO Rani Kumar about what needs to happen, not jus...

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August 24, 2023 56 mins

In this episode, Rob Hopkins discusses why we need imagination as a core component to create the future we want.

We need to make time to listen to the bird song and allow our minds time to come up with solutions to tough problems.

“At a time when we fundamentally have to reimagine everything, we’ve created the worst possible conditions for the human imagination,” Hopkins said. Without imagination and big-picture thinking, w...

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In this episode, Dr Rebecca Colvin talks about Australia’s new Net Zero Authority, and the challenges some regional communities are facing as we move towards a decarbonised future.

She expands on the role of both local and political leadership, and how identity influences the way in which our politics work. People’s love for and connection to place is often overlooked or outright ignored, as is local knowledge. Place-based comm...

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In this episode, Professor Susan Sell talks about 21st century capitalism and how it undermines health outcomes, social goals and equity.

She discusses the connection between the market, our work and our health, particularly for those with precarious working conditions where we see the market’s direct impact on physical and mental wellbeing.

Professor Sell explains the phenomenon of ‘failure demand,’ growing demand for serv...

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This week, Professor Kay Cook and Associate Professor Ben Phillips talk about reimagining what we value and how we value it when it comes to poverty and social policy in Australia.

Both Professor Cook and Associate Professor Phillips are on the Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee and advocate strongly for raising the rate of support payments in Australia, to bring people out of poverty.

Phillips takes us through the immedia...

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In this episode, Dr Andrew Leigh MP sits down in the studio with Sharon and Arnagretta to discuss the hierarchies of evidence in policy making in Australia.


Dr Leigh, a former Economics Professor at the ANU and prolific author on the subject, shares his views on the benefits of randomised trials and what he hopes the newly established Australian Centre for Evaluation will accomplish in a data-rich world.  



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Professor Peter Whiteford joins us to talk about the highly anticipated Robodebt Scheme Royal Commission report.

He breaks down some key items of the report, and how he thinks we can prevent a policy like this from happening again. It is clear that the scheme was made possible through years of attitude and policy changes that prevented access to social security and stigmatised those who received it.  

Professor Whitefor...

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This episode kicks off our miniseries on reimagining social policy. Sharon Bessell sits on the other side of the mic to give her insights into how Australia ended up in the position it is, the commodification of public policy and how child poverty became acceptable in society.

She talks about the policy history that allowed Robodebt to be accepted, the current PwC scandal, and how this is all a part of a bigger picture of Austr...

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In this episode we talk to Professor Kim Rubenstein about what Constitutional change means for Australia and how the Voice to Parliament is the first step in recalibrating for modern times.

She discusses how the Australian Constitution is structurally caught in the 1890s and we need to evolve our constitution so it represents who we are today.

Professor Rubenstein also criticises the unreasonable expectation that the Voice shoul...

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On this episode, we discuss the deliberations, points of contention and wider implications of the Bonn Climate Change Conference, which recently took place in Germany. Dr Siobhan McDonnell who was part of the negotiations joins us for this podcast.

The Bonn Climate Change Conference aims to lay the groundwork for the political decisions required at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) at the end of the year.

Dr McDonnell ...

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June 23, 2023 3 mins

Policy Forum Pod encourages you to take this week to listen back to some of our episodes around the Voice to Parliament.

Professor Kate Auty spoke to Sharon Bessell and Arnagretta Hunter about her work on documenting Australia’s true history and her work in establishing indigenous courts. 


Dale Agius, South Australia’s inaugural Commissioner for First Nations Voice discussed how SA’s Voice to Parliament can be us...

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In this episode, we delve into the new Risk, Reward, and Resilience Framework with Professor Anthea Roberts and Dr Arnagretta Hunter.

The pair, along with host Sharon Bessell discuss how this framework can be applied across multiple disciplines from health to climate change to work through complex policy challenges.

Its goal is to break down the silos of thinking, and enable insights from diverse disciplines to not just be ‘...

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Catherine Liddle, the CEO of SNAICC the National Voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children, joins us for a powerful conversation about the lasting trauma of policy failures.

She tells the incredible story of her family meeting Thomas Mayo and discussing the Uluru Statement from the Heart that he rolled out on the floor of her lounge room. “We could hear the beating of that heartbeat,” she said.

Catherine al...

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In this special episode of Policy Forum Pod, we are joined by the Treasurer, the Hon Dr Jim Chalmers MP, who talks about the values behind the May budget.

The Pod was recorded live in front of an audience at the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy on May 31st, 2023. The Treasurer gave a short speech highlighting the nine ways to unlock the budget before sitting down for a one-on-one conversation with Crawford School Director Pr...

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May 26, 2023 42 mins

In this episode, we speak to Rachel Perkins, a film and television director, on her dedication to telling indigenous stories and the Voice to Parliament.

WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander listeners are warned that the following podcast contains stories about deceased persons.

Released at the start of Reconciliation Week 2023, Sharon Bessell and Arnagretta Hunter acknowledge the 6th anniversary of the Uluru State...

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May 18, 2023 52 mins

Budgets are a central tool of government, offering not just economic policy but defining social and environmental policies for the years ahead. The 2023 budget moves in “the direction of fairness,” but is it moving fast enough?


In this episode, we speak to Professor Paul Burke and Associate Professor Elise Klein about the impact budget priorities have on people’s daily lives, the values that underlie it, and unpacking the choi...

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