Blog

5 February, 2020

The summer of our discontents

Now is the summer of our discontents made inglorious by … bushfires, hailstorms, choking smoke, record high temperatures and climate change. And the challenge for governments is how best to respond. In the face of an emergency, a good government […]
16 December, 2019

A review of the weirdness that was 2019

2019 was a weird year. Bushfires and heat waves in November. Lots of stuff happened and so we list here three moments that we thought were inspiring, strange and surprising. We start with the best. If you are over thirty […]
3 October, 2019

Can public servants write well? That’s a multimillion-dollar question

Published in the Public Sector Informant, Canberra Times, on October 1 2019 On a dark and stormy night, a long time ago, a colleague of mine, having spent long hours reviewing and clearing documents, declared that the work of reading […]
4 September, 2019

Can and should in the Age of Implementation

A good rule for life—and one learnt very hard sometimes by teenagers—goes like this: just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. Just because you can stand on the roof of a car travelling at 90 kilometres per […]
1 August, 2019

Ratbags, rorts and regulation

The Big Short is a fabulous film about the global crash of 2007–2008. It stars Steve Carell as Mark, a financial dealer who is obnoxious, loud and utterly correct in his analysis of a financial market that was white-ant riddled with fraud. As […]
22 July, 2019

Be passionate about the new digital Style manual

Sometimes in life we get lucky. Something comes along that captures our imagination and interest and which aligns perfectly to the things that we’re passionate about. Generally it’s love. On this occasion, however, it’s the Commonwealth Style manual, which now […]
22 July, 2019

A eulogy and a meditation to Bob Hawke

This is a meditation on decency, humanity and grace. A eulogy to Bob Hawke who transformed Australia, helped to end apartheid in South Africa, constructed Medicare, built a modern Australian economy and believed that a winner-takes-all approach to politics created losers […]
3 March, 2019

Even Homer sometimes nods

Amid some conjecture and debate, Homer is the ancient Greek author credited with writing the epic poems The Odyssey and The Iliad. These two poems, aside from being great literature, have had a defining impact on the development of Western culture. Homer’s works […]
20 February, 2019

The importance of digitial literacy

In the 21st century, communication in the digital sphere is clearly essential and having staff trained in such space is essential. But how do you go about learning this new ‘digital literacy’? In their article Digital literacy and digital literacies, […]
29 January, 2019

What makes a word ‘real’?

It’s something you hear all the time (or maybe you’re the one saying it)—that the English language is going down the drain. With people inventing new words and acronyms like ‘lol’ we just know that we’re losing our grip on […]
12 December, 2018

A phrase to remember if you’re flying over the holidays

You hear new words almost every day, but sometimes you come across one that you just really like. Here’s one that stuck with me and one I think you’ll remember next time you’re travelling. The word is an evolution of the […]
30 November, 2018

Stepping up and letting go

For a manager newly appointed, letting go of the detail is sometimes a challenge. Promotion very often is based on a positive assessment of a candidate’s technical skills and understanding of detail. Leadership, however, demands an applied and subtle understanding […]
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