On this page

Conference links

Conference theme

4th Annual Crawford PhD Conference

Monday, 4 November

0900 - 1700

Molonglo Theatre, Crawford School

Public Policy in Uncertain Times

The Public Policy In Uncertain Times conference will examine the challenges facing the global economy and the implications of increasing uncertainty for policy-making. This one-day conference will explore policy solutions through presentations by doctoral researchers at the Crawford School of Public Policy. It will provide a forum for students, academics, policymakers and decision-makers alike to discuss the implications of uncertainty for public policy.

At a recent conference, IMF Chief Economist Olivier Blanchard summed up the sense of uncertainty among the world’s leading economic experts when he lamented that ‘[w]e don’t have a sense of our final destination...Where we end [up] I really do not have much of a clue’.

Having enjoyed more than a century of relative security with a period of sustained economic growth, the future of the global economy now faces significant uncertainty because of numerous financial, political, environmental and demographic challenges.

In recent times, serious structural weaknesses in the global economy have been highlighted by events such as the 2008 global financial crisis and the continuing volatility of the Eurozone. In the Asia Pacific region, a number of security issues, such as South China Sea territorial disputes and uncertainty on the Korean Peninsula, pose an ongoing source of concern for regional peace and stability.

The potential implications of climate change and environmental pressures – particularly in developing regions – are other issues that the world is grappling with. There is also mounting uncertainty about the consequences of demographic change in both developed and developing regions.

Public policy is always created in an environment of uncertainty – risks must be evaluated and trade-offs made between competing goods. However, the degree of uncertainty is now high and likely to grow. The conference will explore this uncertainty in its various guises and the ramifications for policy-making.

Keynote speaker

Dr Ken Henry AC, FASSA

Dr Henry is Chair of the Institute of Public Policy, and the Tax and Transfer Policy Institute, at the Australian National University, Chair of the Advisory Council of the SMART Infrastructure Facility at the University of Wollongong, Chair of the Board of the Sir Roland Wilson Foundation, a member of the Boards of National Australia Bank Limited and the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). and a member of the Board of Reconciliation Australia. He is also a Governor of CEDA and a Council member of Voiceless.

Dr Henry was Secretary to the Treasury from 2001 to 2011. He chaired the Review into Australia’s Future Tax System in 2009-­‐10. As Special Adviser to the Prime Minister in 2011 and 2012, Dr Henry was responsible for leading the development of the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper.

Dr Henry holds a first class honours degree in economics from the University of NSW (1979) and a PhD in economics from the University of Canterbury, NZ (1982). Dr Henry was awarded a Companion of the Order of Australia General Division (AC) in the Australia Day Honours 2007. In May 2009, Dr Henry was awarded the degree of Doctor of Business honoris causa from the University of NSW. In November 2012 Dr Henry was made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia.

Panel: The state of public policy and the policy debate in Australia

The aim of the panel discussion session is to build on the research and presentations during the day, to invoke a robust discussion around the state of public policy and the quality of the policy debate in Australia. We expect the discussion to touch on
  • the policy challenges facing Australia, and how they can be addressed
  • the barriers to reform
  • the importance of public debate, particularly in the current environment
  • the role of the media, public sector and academia in the public policy debate, and
  • how the policy debate has changed over time and how it can be improved/enhanced.

MichaelWesley.pngMichael Wesley (Chair)

Professor Wesley was appointed as Professor of National Security at the Australian National University on 1 November 2012. He will lead the National Security College’s Academic, Outreach and Research contribute to a number of courses at the Crawford School of Public Policy. He has extensive experience teaching, researching and communicating on Australia’s international engagements, particularly in Asia.

Professor Wesley has published extensively and has authored several books on foreign policy, including The Howard Paradox: Australian Diplomacy in Asia. He won the 2011 John Button Prize for Best Writing in Australian Politics for his book, There Goes the Neighbourhood: Australia and the Rise of Asia.

He was Executive Director of the Lowy Institute for International Policy from 2009 to 2012 and Professor of International Relations and Director of the Asia Institute at Griffith University from 2004 to 2009. He has also taught at a number of other universities in Australia and overseas. Professor Wesley was an Assistant Director-General in the Office of National Assessments in 2003/04 and served as co-chairman of the Security and Prosperity working group at the Australia 2020 Summit in 2008.

Professor Wesley completed a PhD at the University of St Andrews in Scotland. He is a Visiting Professor at the University of Hong Kong, and previously worked as a lecturer at the University of New South Wales.

Lin Hatfield Dodds


Lin Hatfield Dodds is the National Director of UnitingCare Australia, and one of Australia’s leading social justice advocates. A recognised expert on social policy and community services, she has served on a wide range of boards and government advisory bodies, and is a frequent media commentator and conference speaker.

Lin was a leading participant in the Australian Government Tax Forum (2011) and the Prime Minister’s 2020 Summit (2007). She is a member of numerous advisory committees, including the Government’s National Place Based Advisory Group. Lin was a member of the national Community Response Task Force advising the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs during the global financial crisis.

Lin’s background includes working as a counselling psychologist and policy advisor. She has worked in counselling in government and community settings, including in drug rehabilitation and with young people at risk, with a particular interest in trauma and abuse. She has worked as a public policy advisor on health and community services within federal and state governments.

Lin’s achievements have been recognised by being named ACT Australian of the Year (2008), receiving a Churchill Fellowship to study anti-poverty strategies (2003), and being awarded a Chief Minister’s International Women’s Day Award (2002).

Warwick McKibbin


Professor Warwick McKibbin has a Distinguished Chair in Public Policy in the ANU Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis (CAMA) in the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University (ANU). He is also an ANU Public Policy Fellow; a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences; a Distinguished Fellow of the Asia and Pacific Policy Society; a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. (where he is co-Director of the Climate and Energy Economics Project) and President of McKibbin Software Group Inc. Professor McKibbin was foundation Director of the ANU Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis and foundation Director of the ANU Research School of Economics.

Professor McKibbin is internationally renowned for his contributions to global economic modeling. Professor McKibbin has published more than 200 academic papers as well as being a regular commentator in the popular press. He has authored/ edited 5 books including Climate Change Policy after Kyoto: A Blueprint for a Realistic Approach with Professor Peter Wilcoxen of Syracuse University. He has been a consultant for many international agencies and a range of governments on issues of macroeconomic policy, international trade and finance, greenhouse policy issues, global demographic change and the economic cost of pandemics.

Professor McKibbin has published more than 200 academic papers as well as being a regular commentator in the popular press. He has authored/ edited 5 books including “Climate Change Policy after Kyoto: A Blueprint for a Realistic Approach” with Professor Peter Wilcoxen of Syracuse University. He has been a consultant for many and a range of governments on issues of macroeconomic policy, international trade and finance, greenhouse policy issues, global demographic change and the economic cost of pandemics.

JimMurphy.pngJim Murphy

Jim has wide-ranging experience in senior levels of the Commonwealth Government. Jim has particular interest in the effectiveness of Government administration and in policy development relating to the financial system, competition, business growth and infrastructure. Jim was an advisor with the International Monetary Fund in Washington DC during 2001 and 2002. Jim was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2011 for his work on the Government’s response to the global financial crisis. Jim is Executive Director, Department of Treasury.

LauraTingle.pngLaura Tingle

The Australian Financial Review’s political editor Laura Tingle has covered politics, policy and economics from Canberra since 1986 for The Australian, The Age, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Financial Review. She began her career in Sydney with the AFR in the early 1980s reporting on financial deregulation and the floating of the dollar. Her book, Chasing the Future – documenting the recession of the early 1990s – was published in 1994.

She is also the author of the June 2012 Quarterly Essay “Great Expectations – government, entitlement and an angry nation”. Laura won the Paul Lyneham Award for Press Gallery Journalism in 2004, was shortlisted for the John Button Prize for political writing in 2010 and won Walkley awards in 2005 and 2011.


Prizes of $500 will be awarded each to the best POGO, IDEC and RE&D presentations. A prize of $250 will be awarded to the best IDEC discussant.


Attendance at the conference is free.

Register via Eventbrite

The conference Twitter hashtag is #anucrawfconf

Call for abstracts

We are seeking papers from post-first year Crawford PhD candidates in the following areas:
  • Economics/economic policy
  • Public policy and governance
  • Environment and development and resource management

Papers will be selected via a competitive process.

View last year's abstracts and presentations

Papers may discuss (but are not limited to) the following issues: trade, environment, economic growth, energy and resource management, international relations, social and political development, poverty, food and water security, climate change.

All post-first-year Crawford PhD students are invited to give presentations according to the following formats, which reflect the typical formats found in Crawford PhD seminars:
  • Economics: 15-minute presentation, with 5 minutes discussant and 5 minutes of question time
  • POGO and E&D: 15-minute presentation with 10 minutes of question time

Each session will have a facilitator. Coaching will be available to help you plan and prepare your presentation.

This conference provides a wonderful opportunity to present your work in an open and supportive academic environment which benefits your research. You should encourage your colleagues to attend and share time to discuss and debate the high quality of research that is taking place in the Crawford School.

Presentation feedback
This conference will provide valuable opportunities for your PhD research. Feedback for your presentation will come either from discussants (in the case of Economics papers) and/or from the questions received from the floor.

Paper guidelines/important dates
  1. Abstract Length: 150 words
  2. Abstract submission deadline: Thu, 27 Jun, 2013
  3. Abstract acceptance notification: Thu, 1 Aug, 2013
  4. Submission of final paper (Economics only): Thu, 10 Oct, 2013
  5. Academic skills session on slideshows and presentation skills: Mon 28 Oct, 2 - 3 pm, Computer Lab 1, Level 2, Crawford Building
  6. Discussant feedback (Economics only): before Tue, 29 Oct, 2013
  7. Submission of presentation slides (if you are using slides): Fri, 1 Nov, 2013
  8. Conference: Mon, 4 Nov

A PowerPoint template will be available to assist you with the preparation of your presentation and will be emailed to you. Alternatively, you may like to design your own slides.

All submissions must be sent to: megan.poore@anu.edu.au

The committee will award prizes of up to $500 each to the three most outstanding papers presented in this conference (one each in the areas of Economics, POGO and E&D).

About the Crawford School of Public Policy

Crawford School researchers have disciplinary and interdisciplinary expertise in public policy, economics, development, political science and environmental management, and area expertise in the Pacific Island countries and Asia.
In the past 30 years our research and advice has had a major policy impact by improving economic cooperation and performance, governance, and the environment within the Asia-Pacific region.

Our school’s academics are contributing strongly to public discussion on water management, climate change, international development, trade, biosecurity, democratic institutions and public sector benchmarking and public value. Large regional programs, particularly on Indonesia and China, have made recent influential contributions.

Within Crawford School, academics cluster their research into organised research units to leverage research synergies and create opportunities to maximise the impact of research findings and policy recommendations on targeted audiences.

These organised research units are funded independently through grants, consultancies or other contracts.

Planning committee members

  • President: Shane (ECO)
  • Papers Director: Belinda (POGO)
  • E&D Papers Co-ordinator: Julia
  • ECO Papers Co-ordinator: Koh
  • POGO Papers Co-ordinator: Ben
  • Promotion and Marketing Director: Steve (POGO)
  • Logistics Director: Rebecca (POGO)

If you have any questions relating to the Conference, please email Megan (megan.poore@anu.edu.au) and she will put you in touch with the relevant conference committee member.