19 April, 2017

Critical reasoning and strategic decision making—Analysis, values and persuasion in public policy

By John Preston In ancient Greek mythology, Theseus—the founder of Greek democracy—entered the Labyrinth on the island of Minos and conquered the Minotaur. Theseus was renowned for his great strength, courage and—above all—wit. Today’s regulatory and policy environments are a labyrinth worthy of Theseus. Public policy professionals—tasked with producing coherent […]
5 April, 2017

-ise vs -ize

Using an ‘s’ over a ‘z’ is one of the most obvious differences between Australian English and American English. It’s an area of huge debate—when are grammar rules of opposing English-speaking countries ever not?—but also of huge confusion. Everyday grammarians are aware that some words must include a ‘z’, no […]
3 April, 2017

Ready, steady, go! – Bridging the science—influence—policy divide in public sector policy

By John Preston Let’s face it; if facts were enough, we wouldn’t still be discussing the science of climate change, would we? And yet here we are. Why is this? Could the problem lie with the fact that we don’t equip our scientists with the skills they need to influence […]
3 April, 2017

Sticky tales—Tell a story to make ideas memorable

By Robert Garran  ‘A storm is brewing over spectacular Katherine Gorge about Aboriginal land rights.’ Back when I was a rookie journalist on the Age in the 1980s, I wrote an article that began something like that. I’ve forgotten the details, beyond that it was about a land rights claim […]
31 March, 2017

Structure—A crucial ingredient of successful writing

By Robert Garran I’ve started reading an insightful book by Gideon Rachman of the Financial Times—called Easternisation: War and Peace in the Asian Century—that provides a great example of the importance of structure in driving compelling writing. The book starts with a blurb summing up the argument in two sentences: […]
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