All are welcome to attend our event, however as places are limited, we recommend registering early to secure your seat.

About the lecture: The current state of social services in Australia has been critically reviewed through a long list of royal commissions and public inquiries which suggest failures persist in the quality of social services available within our country. In this talk, Professor Mark Considine discusses his most recently published book 'The Careless State: Reforming Australia’s Social Services' in which he shows that the preferred model of reform has failed deliver the social improvements touted.

The lecture will focus on the arrival of the ‘choice revolution’ as a cure for several public sector ills. Bi-partisan interest in having agents carry out service delivery and to hold the government role more firmly as ‘steering, not rowing’ – or ‘funding, not doing’ - created a new architecture for many core public services. We will examine some of the cases and show how the core ideals of the new model were tested in practice. This will include examination of the impact upon staffing and expertise, plus the re-bound effect upon the regulatory work of purchasing departments in Canberra and elsewhere.

Issues in relation to the contemporary challenges in the areas of childcare, aged care and NDIS where the choice model is proving difficult to steer and hard to sustain will be discussed.

The lecture concludes with an examination of positive cases of service delivery models that do not rest upon choice as their engine, or do so in a way that incorporates agents into a service model that is independently developed and verified.

Following the talk, Sue Cooke, Executive Director from Anglicare Southern Queensland will join Professor Considine for Q&A.

About the presenter: Mark Considine is Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Melbourne. He is best known for prize-winning research on public sector reform, new methods of governance and the street-level delivery of public programs. He and his team have pioneered work on the long-run institutional impacts of different service delivery regimes. Mark has also had a significant career in leadership roles within higher education and as a contributor to policy innovation inside government and in civil society organisations.

Event Details

Registration: 5pm for a 5.15pm start 

Public Lecture: 5.15–6.30pm

Reception: 6.30–7.30pm (light refreshments will be served)

Location: Room 308, Level 3, 308 Queen Street, UQ Brisbane City  


This lecture is organised by The University of Queensland's Institute for Social Science Research, Centre for Policy Futures and School of Political Science and International Studies, with support from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

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