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The Australian National University

Power to persuade - Women's policy forum

Presenter/s: Elena Campbell, Centre for Innovative Justice; Susan Feldman, Monash University; Miranda Stewart, Australia National University; Lyndall Strazdins, Australia National University; and others

Event type: Symposium


Event type: Forum

Event date: Monday, 15 August 2016 - 8:30am

Event venue: Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Melbourne.

These two events, held in conjunction, aim to work together to harness the opportunity to create frank and open dialogue between the various actors involved in creating effective social policy.


The Ecological Systems of Public Policy: Keeping them open, healthy and sustainable through strategic, multi-level collaboration

The Power to Persuade Symposium started with a simple idea: that the best way to start breaking down the barriers between public servants, academics and the community sector was to put everyone in the same room. These groups rarely have a chance to share needs and challenges of their respective sectors. By offering a diverse range of speakers and perspectives, the symposium provides an opportunity to share knowledge across sectors and explore more effective ways of working with each other.

Policy is designed and implemented by highly complex networks of actors. Some of these operate at the ‘institutional’ level, like federal or state governments, large corporations and universities. Others are local actors, such as the community sector or local government. Still other actors work through looser collectives, relationships, and single-issue social action. Conceptually, we can think of these networks as ecosystems – made up of formal and informal relationships and collaborations. At any one time, changes are occurring in different parts of the ecosystem that create ‘ripple’ effects which are felt in other areas. How can we make sure public policy eco-systems are healthy and robust? How can we ensure they are sustainable, and can survive ‘ecological shocks’ (e.g. changes in government and/or policy shifts)? Diverse open systems are healthy systems: collaborations are one way to ensure systems are open - or are they?


Putting Women at the Centre: A Policy Forum

What happens when we put women at the centre of our policy thinking and processes? This forum will cast a gender lens over policy design and implementation in selected key areas impacting women’s wellbeing, searching for the threads that link the experiences of diverse groups of women and the patterns of disadvantage that patriarchy creates. The forum will draw together a program and an audience reflecting the many types of expertise in community, legal, health, academic and government sectors. Putting women at the centre also means creating woman-centred processes and user-centred perspectives, asking how policy ‘lands’ and what tensions are held and challenges negotiated in the process.

The Forum implements the ‘networked’ policy development model articulated within the Power to Persuade project ( ). It builds on the success of the 2015 PTP Gender Forum held in Canberra, and harnesses some of the momentum created through the recently launched Scorecard on Women and Policy. Panels will explore themes of justice and economic security as they manifest for women. Different platforms for feminist civic participation will also be discussed, along with concepts of voice, agency, and resistance.

Visit the website for more information and links to registration.

Registration (for one or both events) is via Eventbrite:



Updated:  7 November 2012/Responsible Officer:  Convenor, Gender Institute/Page Contact:  Web manager, Gender Institute