Peter Karmel Lecture/Panel Discussion in Public Policy

The Peter Karmel Lecture in Public Policy honours the late Professor Peter Karmel AC, CBE (1922–2008), who had a profound impact on higher education and public policy in Australia over many decades. Professor Karmel was President of the Academy from 1987–1990. The lecture, which was presented for the first time in 2013, is intended to provoke public discussion of a particular policy of an Australian government, the policy-making process itself, or comparisons of policies or policy processes found in Australia with those found in other jurisdiction. The Academy therefore welcomes attendance at the Peter Karmel Lecture by policy makers government agency staff and the general public.

The inaugural Peter Karmel Lecture in Public Policy was presented by Professor Gary Banks AO, FASSA, Dean of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government on the theme 'Public inquiries and public policy: some reflections'.

About - Peter Karmel Lecture/Panel Discussion in Public Policy

Educated at the University of Melbourne and Cambridge University, where he gained a PhD in Economics, Peter returned to Melbourne University as a senior lecturer in Economics in 1948 and, by 1950, at 27, was Professor of Economics and Dean of the Faculty at Adelaide University. He became Flinders University's first Vice-Chancellor in 1966. He chaired the Interim Council of the University of Papua New Guinea (1965-69) and became its Chancellor.

In 1971 he returned to Canberra as chair of the Australian Universities Commission, which became the Commonwealth Tertiary Education Commission in 1977. In 1973, as Chair of the Interim Committee for the Australian Schools Commission, he released the report Schools in Australia, commissioned by the Whitlam Government, which influenced the Commonwealth Government's funding of schools and in 1985, as Chair of the Quality of Education Review Committee he released the report Quality of Education in Australia. He was Vice-Chancellor of the Australian National University (1982–87) and, from 1979–99, President of the Australian Council for Educational Research. Professor Karmel also chaired the Australia Council, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare and the National Council on AIDS at various times. He was an active member of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia from his election in 1952 and was President of the Academy for three very fruitful years from the end of 1987. He continued to contribute to public discourse, particularly in education, throughout his life.

The purpose of the Karmel Lecture in Public Policy is to provoke public discussion of one or more of the following:

  1. A particular policy of an Australian government – the academy will be interested in the discussion of public policies at any of the three levels of the Australian system of government
  2. The policy-making process itself. That is, the Lecture might focus on particular kinds of actors, processes and institutions of policy-making and service delivery – for example, the public, the Minister, the Cabinet, the mass media, the expert, the client, the administration.
  3. Comparisons of policies or policy processes found in Australia with those found in other jurisdictions
  4. The academy will welcome especially lectures that recognise the contribution of social science to effective policy and effective policy development

A written version of the lecture will be electronically published by ASSA, once the lecture has been presented.

Frequency: Annual (within the period February - October, taking into account availability of the Lecturer, but preferably between February and July).

Place: Generally, in one of the seven State/Territory capitals, but occasionally in Canberra, if that seems best option.

Co-hosts: Universities and or/associations concerned with commentary on public policy.

2015 Moderator: Ms Laura Tingle | Panelists: Dr Mike Keating AC FASSA, Ms Patricia Pascuzzo, Dr Vince FitzGerald and Professor Andrew Podger AO FASSA Creating an Overarching Retirement Income Policy Framework
2014 Professor Anthony Jorm FASSA Why hasnít the mental health of Australians improved?
2013 Professor Gary Banks AO, FASSA Public inquiries and public policy: some reflections