Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy & International Affairs

Sir Walter Murdoch School news and events 2017


The Sir Walter Murdoch School has farewelled Prof David Butler, one of Australia's leading experts in behavioural economics. His class on Thinking and Reasoning Economically has been a core offering in the Sir Walter Murdoch School's Public Policy and Management program.
David studied for his Bachelors and Masters degrees at the University of York, UK, and obtained his PhD from the University of Western Australia. His research interests are in experimental economics, decision theory and behavioural game theory, and integrates techniques from such disciplines as experimental and cognitive psychology, evolutionary theory and philosophy into experimental economics research and behavioural game theory.
David has been a major contributor during his time at the School, including working with Harvard Professor Michael Hiscox, to look at applying behavioural economics, or nudge thinking, in the public sector. We wish him all the best in his new position at Griffith University.

SWMS Staff - DB Farewell
Photo: Prof Butler with staff and faculty of the Sir Walter Murdoch School


Frencesco.jpgA new paper co-authored by Dr Francesco Paolucci, chair of the Sir Walter Murdoch School’s Health Policy program, analyses the current status of the health sector in Egypt. By analyzing the institutional settings and the historical dimension of institutional and policy development in Egypt, it offers important insights about the governance and institutional development of health sector in countries where the decision-making process was centralized, and one decision or choice among other alternatives has led to a persistent structure of policies, reforms and institutions, with repercussions for the global objective of universal health coverage. This research has the potential to inform the public more about the potential reasons behind the current status of the health sector in Egypt. Moreover, it may add to the growing voices in Egypt that call for a more participatory and inclusive decision-making in policies that shapes the present and future of the Egyptians. On an international level, countries that share similar system and governance structure with Egypt might leverage from the experience by unlocking their dependent path and starting a real public dialogue to undertake structural changes to their health systems.

The paper is available in Frontiers in Public Heath, and can also be viewed here.


On Tuesday December 12, the Sir Walter Murdoch School co-hosted with our partners Young Australians in International Affairs a panel discussion on the recently released 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper.

School Dean Professor Reilly joined former Foreign and Defence Minister Professor Stephen Smith and WA Senator Linda Reynolds to discuss the implications of the White Paper and the regional and global challenges and opportunities facing Australia.

Discussion at the event, which also featured many former and current Sir Walter Murdoch School students, was candid and wide-ranging. Panelists discussed the success of the Indo-Pacific concept and its implications for Western Australia, acknowledgement that Australia is a status quo power and as such it seeks to maintain the current rules-based order, and acknowlegement that the world's economic and strategic centre of gravity is shifting to Asia and that Australia must act to maintain its relevance and regional influence.


Photo: Professor Reilly with former Foreign and Defence Minister Professor Stephen Smith


Three Sir Walter Murdoch School students were honored yesterday at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Australia Awards event, held at the Ballroom of Government House in Perth.
Ms Emma Wakpi (Masters of Health Administration, Policy and Leadership), Mr Benson Hahambu and Mr Gilang Fauzi (both Masters of Development Studies) have completed their degrees and are now returning to their home countries of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.
Gilang also gave a speech welcoming the new Australia Award students and reflecting on his experience at Murdoch.
Our congratulations to all three on their achievements.

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Photo: I to r: Emma Wakpi, Professor Reilly, Benson Hahumbu and Gilang Fauzi at the Australia Awards event

One Health and the Challenge of Anti-Microbial Resistanceanna george.jpg

Dr Anna George, an Honorary Professor in the Sir Walter Murdoch School, has recently published in the journal One Health on the problem of anti-microbial resistance in the international food chain.
In the article, titled ‘Antimicrobial resistance, trade, food safety and security’, Dr George writes that “The global threat of antibiotics becoming ineffective from overuse generated several apocalyptic scenarios that grabbed the public imagination. These antimicrobial resistance (AMR) ‘superbug’ scenarios helped governments recalibrate policies and regulate to reduce human use of antibiotics. Surprisingly, the other main contributor to AMR - antibiotics used in food production - received less attention. The World Health (WHO), Food and Agriculture (FAO) and Animal Health (OIE) agencies' collaborative work on AMR over many years produced research and policy options to reduce antibiotic use in food production. But with a few exceptions, progress at the national level in this key economic sector has been slow.”

For more, see

SWMS Students at Global Climate Change Negotiations in Germany

Two Sir Walter Murdoch School students are currently in Bonn, Germany, as part of the UN Climate Change talks (COP23).

Rhiannon Foster (Master of Public Policy student) and Stephanie Matulin (Master of Development Studies) were the winners of this year’s Mal and Karyl Nairn Global Voices Scholarship, which takes students first to Canberra for meetings with senior ministers and officials, and then to a major international policy conference.

Rhiannon is investigating the implications for climate mitigation via the use of “nudge” economics, while Steph will examine how the sharing or “gig” economy can contribute to emissions reduction.

Their blogs from the meetings are available at

UN Climate Change Talks COP23.jpg

Photo: Rhiannon Foster and Stephanie Matulin with other students and DFAT officials at the COP23 meeting

Dr Jeffrey Wilson

Dr Jeffrey Wilson has secured high profile media placement in the weekend edition of the Australian Financial Review discussing the outcomes of Australian’s unwillingness to help Canada join the East Asia Summit. VIEW ARTICLE

Dr Jeffrey Wilson.jpg

Foreign Policy White Paper

The Sir Walter Murdoch School was highlighted in the Australian Government’s Foreign Policy White Paper’s Public Consultations Summary Report, available here.

The report highlights the main themes and issues raised by the hundreds of Australians and Australian organisations who participated in the consultations process, through face-to-face consultations and written submissions and events such as our co-hosted Youth Roundtable, featuring staff and students from the Sir Walter Murdoch School, pictured below.

Foreign Policy White Paper - Photo.jpg

Centre for Health Policy Seminar Series with Dr Francesco Paolucci - Risk equalisation in Chile: an empirical evaluation and proposals for reform

Date: Thu 23rd November 2017Frencesco.jpg
Location: The University of Melbourne, Room 410, Level 4, 2017 Bouverie Street
Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm 

In the Chilean healthcare system all insurers are obliged to offer a minimum set of services, which in the private insurance market are subject to community-rating and risk-equalisation regulations. We evaluate the current risk-equalisation mechanism as well as propose new ones that use all services, new adjusters and methods. Results show that the current method performs poorly in terms of statistical power and improving the formula would help to increase its fit.
Further, we study predictive performance by calculating predictive rations for some particular groups, as well as simulate allocations between insurers, comparing each proposed model. We provide evidence that an enhanced risk adjustment formula impacts both predictive ratios and allocations. An interesting result arises as we show some insurers have a mismatch between actual expenditure and risk adjusted one that could be attributed to efficiency in disease management.

Dr Paolucci is Associate Professor in Health Economics & Policy at the School of Business & Governance and Head of Health Policy at the Sir Walter Murdoch of Public Policy & International Affairs, Murdoch University in Perth.
A scholar and advisor who over the last decade has published extensively in the areas of public policy, economics and management with a focus on healthcare, both nationally and internationally, including a single-authored book and three edited special issues in peer reviewed journals, as well as peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and more. Highlights of his career include over 10 years of engagement in health economics, policy and management in numerous countries through research, fieldwork and working experience. In 2016 he has received a 40under40 Business News award for his entrepreneurial and business leadership.

These seminars are free. Visitors are welcome to attend. For more information contact the Centre for Health Policy
+61 3 8344 911

Public Lecture: How is the world borrowing from Australia to combat political polarisation?

Ben R.png

Mon 30th October, 6.00pm - 7.00pm, Kim E Beazley Lecture Theatre, Murdoch University

When Australia became a nation, we borrowed ideas from other countries such as the United States. Today, the roles are reversing. Political reformers in the US and other countries are looking to Australia for insights on how to combat extremism and polarised politics. Leading political scientist, Professor Benjamin Reilly, will discuss this trend and its wider implications for Australia and the rest of the world.

Tickets for this lecture are free, but please RSVP to secure your place. Register here.


Date: Wed 25th October 2017
Location: Murdoch University, Learning Link Building 513, Room 1.004
Time: 10.00am - 11.00amrajagogapl.jpg

“Dr Raj”, described by the New York Times as the “father of palliative care in India”, will discuss the just-released major commission of the British Lancet on palliative care and pain relief in the developing world. The report highlights the disparity in prescribing opioids between developed and developing nations, leading to enormous levels of pain and unnecessary suffering for those dealing with life-threatening and terminal illnesses. His focus on ethical medicine will be explored as well as implications for rural and regional Australia. The seminar will also include excerpts from the film Hippocratic currently in cinemas, nation-wide.

About “Dr Raj”

M.R.Rajagopal MD is a palliative care physician from India. He qualified as a physician from Trivandrum Medical College, Kerala and as an anaesthesiologist from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. He and his colleagues founded the Pain and Palliative Care Society, a palliative care delivery system suited to the Indian cultural and social background. This initiative has now resulted in palliative care reaching about 30% of the needy in Kerala as against a national average of less than 0.5%. Since 1996 he has worked with Pain and Policy Studies group in Madison-Wisconsin to remove regulatory barriers to availability of oral morphine for pain relief in India, resulting in simplification of narcotic regulations in 13 of India’s 28 states. In 2003, he founded the charitable trust, "Pallium India" which has been successful in establishing palliative care services in 8 Indian states, which till then had no palliative care service. Currently, he is the chairman of Pallium India ( and director of Trivandrum Institute of Palliative Sciences.

Please RSVP to by Monday 23rd October.

Light morning tea provided Please note photos may be taken for social media purposes.


Date: Monday 23rd October 2017

Location: Murdoch University, ECL Building 460, Room 1.031

Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm

Dr Alix Valenti will be presenting an analysis of major Asia Pacific naval modernisation projects (e.g. Australia, South Korea, China, Japan) focusing discussion on the key geopolitical drivers for these projects (e.g. Chinese assertiveness in the South and East China Sea, North Korean threat) and the main naval platforms that are being commissioned in the context.

About Dr Alix Valenti

Dr Alix Valenti is the Editor in Chief of the magazine Naval Forces. She holds a PhD in Development Planning, and wrote her thesis on the impact of UN transitional administration on the reconstruction of political institutions in East Timor after independence and how this affected urban development policies and the construction of citizenship therein. Prior to doing her PhD, Dr Valenti worked as a consultant for the European Commission on migrations issues within the EU.

Seminar Co-hosted by the Sir Walter Murdoch School with the Asia Research Centre
Please RSVP to by Friday 20th October

New online offering in Public Administration

The Sir Walter Murdoch School is launching a new qualification in public administration aimed at current and intending public servants at the local, state and national level.
The Graduate Certificate in Public Administration aims to provide core skills and understanding of key contemporary issues in public policy, management and administration, and provide an alternative entry route for those wishing to pursue studies at the Masters level.

Graduates holding a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration will be able to:

• Understand contemporary trends and developments in public administration, public sector management, financial budgeting and management in both developed and developing countries

• Demonstrate the ability to apply relevant theories in explaining and analysing real world public policy, public sector administration and management problems.

The new offering has been endorsed by the Australian Institute of Public Administration (IPAA).

Starting in 2018, the Grad Cert comprises four units, all offered in intensive format:

SWM515, Public Sector Management, S1

SWM532, Financial Administration and Budgeting, S1

SWM516, Policy Research and Evaluation

SWM651, Comparative Governance and Public Administration, S2

Each of these units will be available in internal, external and mixed format, giving students the option of moving between online and on-campus study as they choose.
Course code: C1143

Read article in the InterSector website

For more information:

Sir Walter Murdoch School Policy Seminar with Mr Richard Mathews, Australian Consul-General in Makassar, Indonesia


Date: Friday 29th September

Location: Murdoch University, Learning Link Building 513, room 2.004

Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm


About Mr Richard Mathews
In March 2016, Australia’s new Consulate in Makassar was opened, with coverage of 11 provinces in Eastern Indonesia (the six provinces of Sulawesi, Maluku, North Maluku, NTT, West Papua and Papua). Mr Richard Mathews is the first Consul-General, having previously served as Australia’s Deputy Head of Mission in Taipei in 2009-12, and with previous postings in Athens (2002-2004) and Brunei Darussalam. He taught foreign, defence and strategic policy at the Australian Defence Force senior staff college, the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies in

Canberra, in 2013. Mr Mathews is fluent in Indonesian and has written a book on the economies of the eastern provinces of Indonesia, published by the ANU Press. In his early career he was also a teacher of Bahasa Indonesia at high schools in Australia.
Please RSVP to by Wednesday 27th September.

SWMS student Emma Tunne Wakpi addresses AIIA on Development in Papua New Guinea and Melanesia

Our Health Administration, Policy and Leadership masters student Emma Wakpi has delivered an Australian Institute for International Affairs seminar on developEmma AIIA 2017 photo.jpg

ment challenges in her native country, Papua New Guinea (PNG), where 85% of the population is rural or remote as well as culture bound and illiterate.
Although PNG is resource rich, public services are not reaching the people who need them. Effective and transparent service delivery comes from non government organisations and from states with which PNG has bilateral relations. As much as this is appreciated by the people who receive it, it does not empower them to hold their governments accountable or to reduce their dependence on foreign aid.
In her presentation, Emma made the case that the method of delivery of aid programs needs to be improved to ensure good governance, local ownership, and sustainability, and that clear exit strategies need to be in place. She drew on her experience of Australian aid delivery in PNG at a grass roots level, with reference to other countries in Melanesia and the objectives of the Melanesian Spearhead Group

Congratulations Emma on an outstanding presentation.

See Emma's interview.

Development in PNG and Melanesia: SMWS Student Addresses AIIA

Globalisation presents many challenges in Papua New Guinea (PNG) where 85% of the population is rural or remote as well as culture bound and illiterate. Emma Tunne Wakpi, a Sir Walter Murdoch student studying Health Administration, Policy and Leadership, will present at the AIIA Conference on the 19th of September. Find out more and register here.

West Australians don’t really want a ‘WAxit’, they just want a little love

The Sir Walter Murdoch School’s Ian Cook writes on the issue of WA secession in The Conversation:

Murdoch Health Expert in Chile

Dr Francesco Paolucci, Head of Health Policy at the Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs, Associate Dean of Research and Associate Professor of Health Economics and Policy at the School of Business and Governance at Murdoch University, has been invited to deliver a Keynote address at the international conference EISACH - Hospital Expo 2017 in Chile (30-31 August, 1 September). His address will focus on the challenges that most countries' healthcare systems are currently facing and in particular on their sustainability trajectories.

Read more

Australia Awards Student Wins Prestigious Development Prize

Benson Hahambu, who is studying a Master of Development Studies at the Sir Walter Murdoch School under the Australia Awards program, and his classmate Stephanie Matulin, teamed-up to develop the project called Papua New Guinea Education Network for Disaster Risk Reduction. The students were judged joint winners of the Student Partnership for Impact Award, taking home an AUD 10,000 grant to help implement their idea in rural regions of Papua New Guinea.

Read more here

New international education partnership

The Sir Walter Murdoch School has a new joint program with Universitas Gadjah Mada (UGM), one of the top universities in Indonesia. Under this new post graduate arrangement, students from UGM will be able to undertake a joint Masters degree, combining UGM’s MA in International Relations with our SWM Master of International Affairs and Security (MIAS) program. Students will complete one year of coursework studies at UGM, before articulating into a second year in our MIAS program, which will lead to a jointly badged degree. The program will culminate with research methods training at Murdoch, and the completion of a jointly-supervised research thesis. The first cohort of students will commence in the Indonesian will arrive at Murdoch for Semester 2 2018.

Read the full article

Information on the UGM MA in International Relations program is available here

Seminar: The Future of the Global Economic Order

Speaker: Matthew P. Goodman, William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington DCM goodman.jpg
Date: Monday 28th August
Location: Murdoch University, Building 513, Room 1.005
Time: 2.30pm - 3.30pm

The global economic order is under stress. The international institutions and rules set up at the end of World War II to provide a framework for global prosperity face mounting attack from within and without. On one front, there is a growing sentiment that the existing order is no longer delivering strong, sustainable, balanced, and above all inclusive economic growth. Meanwhile, emerging states argue that governance structures set up over 70 years ago no longer reflect the distribution of economic weight in the world and are thus unfair. However, the order is arguably “too big to fail,” with a breakdown of these institutions and rules likely to cause broad economic harm, and critics have yet come up with alternative arrangements that would deliver more benefit to more people. Mr. Goodman will discuss these dynamics, U.S. perceptions of the global order under the new Trump Administration, and the implications for Australia.

About Matthew P. Goodman
Matthew P. Goodman is senior adviser for Asian Economics and holds the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy at CSIS, with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region. Before joining CSIS in early 2012, Goodman was White House coordinator for Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the East Asia Summit. He also served as director for international economics on the National Security Council staff, helping the president prepare for G-20 and G-8 summits. Prior to the White House, Goodman was senior adviser to the under-secretary for economic, energy, and agricultural affairs at the U.S. Department of State. Goodman has extensive experience in both the public and private sectors. Before joining the Obama administration in 2009, he worked for five years at Albright Stonebridge Group, a global business advisory firm based in Washington, D.C., where he was managing director for Asia. Goodman holds an M.A. in international relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and a B.S. in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).


Student Ambassador attends UN Symposium

SWMS masters student Callum Ince is attending the United Nations University Scholars Leadership Symposium in Bangkok. Here are his impressions:Callum at conf.jpg

"Being a participant at the 8th Annual University Scholars Leadership Symposium (USLS) at the United Nations in Thailand, representing Australia and Murdoch on the world stage; networking with global leaders and like-minded youth from all corners of the globe has been a phenomenal experience - one that I shall never forget. I came to this conference as an individual, but left as a community of global brothers and sisters with a passion to implement change in the world. The Sir Walter School has enabled me to participate in this global forum for change, and represents just some of the international opportunities available for current and prospective students who choose to undertake postgraduate studies within the confines of this incredible, global institution."

SWMS Student working towards peace in Palestine

Our graduate Huthayfa Abuseifein is hoping to combine his University education and experience of Australia to work for peace between Israel and his home country of Palestine.

Read the full article here

Winners of Mal and Karyl Nairn Global Voices Scholarship

Two Sir Walter Murdoch School students are packing their bags to join an international delegation to the next round of the UN Climate Change talks (COP23) in Bonn, Germany.

Rhiannon Foster (Master of Public Policy student) and Stephanie Matulin (Master of Development Studies) were the winners of this year’s Mal and Karyl Nairn Global Voices Scholarship, which takes students first to Canberra for meetings
with senior ministers and officials, and then to a major international policy conference.

Rhiannon will be looking at the implications for climate mitigation via the use “nudge” economics, while Steph will look at how the sharing or “gig” economy can contribute to emissions reduction. Congratulations to both, who won what is the flagship scholarship for Sir Walter Murdoch School students.

Global voices sholarships 2017.png

Constitutional Design and Democratization

The Sir Walter Murdoch School's Dean, Prof Benjamin Reilly, has continued his advisory work on constitutional reform in the Philippines. In July he was the keynote speaker on 'Constitutional Design and Democratization' at a workshop on "Philippine Federalism Model: Drafting the Federal Constitution Workshop II". The workshop was a professional retreat to refine the recommendations of a Study Group appointed to frame a new federal constitution for the Philippines. Program attached.

Health Policy Forum: Sustainable Future for Health

18th July 2018, 1pm - 3pm, Murdoch University

The School of Business and Governance and the Sir Walter Murdoch School, together with the Australasian College of Health Service Management (ACHSM), invite you to the Health Policy Forum "Sustainable Future for Health" on the 18th of July at Murdoch University (WA).
Despite good performance and results over the last 10 years in quality and safety of care, Western Australia’s health system faces huge challenges: health expenditure is growing at an unsustainable rate, public hospitals cost 20 percent more than the national average, and State debt is increasing.
According to the Sustainable Health Review, the main risk factor are WA’s growing and ageing population, the high cost of chronic diseases, and our low number of GPs per capita compared to other States.
A patient-centered health care system, investments in new technologies, promotion of healthier lifestyles to reduce chronic diseases, and better partnerships across sectors are needed to reduce expenditures and improve health outcomes.
This policy forum will investigate some of these specific reform options, drawing on potential strategies to adapt Australia’s healthcare system for current and future challenges.

Main speakers include:
• Professor Christobel Saunders, University of Western Australia ”IMPROVING THE VALUE IN CANCER CARE"
• A/P Emmanouil Mentzakis, University of Southampton, UK, “CHRONIC AND RARE DISEASES: TRENDS & CHALLENGES”
• Dr Adeleh Shirangi, Murdoch University, “GEOGRAPHICAL VARIATION AND HEALTH”

Read more

Register here

Short Courses for Health Care Professionals


The Sir Walter Murdoch School is offering intensive training courses for health care professionals and students looking for a career in the health industry.

The short courses in “Health Economics and Finance” and in “Strategic Health Leadership and Management” are available both face-to-face and online.

Beginning at the end of June, the four-day courses are convened by Associate Professor Francesco Paolucci, Head of Health Policy at the Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs and Dr Ana Rita Sequeira, Lecturer and Researcher at the School of Business and Governance.

The course in Strategic Health Leadership and Management involves the presence of many industry leaders, delivering guest lectures. Key industry speakers include executive directors and managers, such as Christopher McGowen, Executive Director at Silver Chain; Mark Slattery, Executive Manager at 360 Health + Community; Michael Stanford, Executive Director at SJGHC; Paul Forden, Executive Director at Fiona Stanley Fremantle Hospital Group.

Participants who complete the course will be granted three credit points towards eligible postgraduate programs at Murdoch, such as our Graduate Certificate or Master in Health Administration, Policy and Leadership.

Find out more about the Short Course in Strategic Health Leadership and Management here

Find out more about the Short Course in Health Economics and Finance here

Indonesian Public Health Study Tour

Master of Public Policy and Management student Emily O'ConnelEmily OConnelll is heading to Indonesia as Murdoch’s representative on the ACICIS Public Health Study Tour. A Senior Policy Officer within the Chronic Disease Prevention Directorate at the Department of Health WA, Emily will learn about the structure and governance of the health system in Indonesia and see firsthand how the Indonesian government is tackling the complex public health challenges there, while also completing her Capstone unit for her studies.

Emily’s travels are supported by an Endeavour Mobility grant and the VC’s student fund. Congratulations Emily!

A copy of Emily's Case Study Presentation can be viewed here

Madrid Conference

In late May, Dr Katie Attwell from the Sir Walter Murdoch School was an invited participant at the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases conference held in Madrid, Spain.

katie Madrid.jpgKatie Madrid 2.jpg

Dr Attwell presented a keynote speech to an industry event for an audience of 600 policymakers, healthcare professionals, and industry representatives. The theme of the session was Lifecourse Immunisation. Dr Attwell provided the societal perspective on this based on her research into parents’ attitudes towards vaccination. The four presenters will be co-authoring an article deriving from their combined presentations.

Policy Seminar with Dr Andrew Leigh MP, Shadow Assistant Treasurer

"A Few Big Firms"

Date: Wed 7th June 2017


Location: Murdoch University, Building 390, Room 2.006
Time: 1pm - 2pm

How many Australian industries can you name that aren’t dominated by just a few big firms? Analysing 481 industries, Andrew Leigh shows how Australia’s markets are highly concentrated and getting worse. Anti-competitive conduct is on the rise, from non-compete clauses in employment contracts to the exploitation of our dairy farmers. Anti-consumer conduct is also becoming the norm, from flushable wipes that don’t flush to cooling paint that doesn’t cool. Andrew shows why competition should be a top priority for all Australians and the practical things we can do to strengthen it.

About the speaker
Andrew Leigh is the Shadow Assistant Treasurer and Federal Member for Fenner in the ACT. Prior to being elected in 2010, Andrew was a professor of economics at the Australian National University. He holds a PhD in public policy from Harvard, having graduated from the University of Sydney with first class honours in Law and Arts. Andrew is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, and a past recipient of the 'Young Economist Award', a prize given every two years by the Economics Society of Australia to the best Australian economist under 40. His books include Disconnected (2010), Battlers and Billionaires (2013), The Economics of Just About Everything (2014) and The Luck of Politics (2015). Andrew is a keen marathon runner, and hosts a podcast titled "The Good Life", available on iTunes.

Chair: Benjamin Reilly, Dean, Sir Walter Murdoch School

Please RSVP to Hazel Turner ( by the 5th of June.

Global Voices Applications Open

Applications for our two Global Voices scholarships are now open. These all-expenses paid scholarships allow Sir Walter Murdoch School students to complete their capstone unit as part of an international delegation to a high-level policy forum, with representatives from other Australian universities. This year, these forums include an APEC meeting in Vietnam, and the next round of the UN Climate Change talks (COP23) in Germany.

The Global Voices program also includes private meetings with policy experts and world leaders, and attendance at round table discussions and panel events. The program consists of three components:

• Attendance at the pre-departure briefings in Canberra (12-14 September) where you will meet members of the Australian government, think-tanks, and other experts;

• Participation in the Global Voices Research Fellowship to develop your understanding of the key issues of the summit; and

• Attendance at the UNFCCC COP23 Climate Talks in Bonn or the APEC CEO Summit in Da Nang.

Both scholarship places are fully funded thanks to the generosity of Mal and Karyl Nairn and include all domestic and international flights, accommodation, breakfasts, visas, most transfers, insurance, and registration fees are covered (you will need to cover the cost of some meals and transfers).

Eligible students must be Australian citizens or permanent residents under 30 at the time of the awards, and must concurrently enrol in SWM619 Research Internship. A merit-based selection process involving both Global Voices and the Sir Walter Murdoch School will determine the scholarship winners.

We encourage all eligible students to apply before 19 July via the website: . Successful applicants will be announced at our annual awards night on Wednesday 26 July.

More details at

Recent Contribution to the Australian Institute of International Affairs

Professor Anna George's piece on "Antiobiotic Resistance and the Global Food Chain"

Read the full article here

Professor Kanishka Jayasuriya’s piece on ‘Diplomacy Key to Creating an Asian Research Area’

Read the full article

SWMS Dean Ben Reilly's piece on "China's Bad Behaviour a Wake-Up Call"

Read the full article here


Policy seminar with Mr. Amit Kumar Mishra, Consul General of India in PerthAMIT.png

Date: Monday 29th May
Location: Murdoch University, Building 460, Room 1.031
Time: 12.30pm - 1.30pm

About the speaker
Mr Amit Kumar Mishra is a career diplomat. He served as Indian Consul General in Herat before joining as Consul General in Perth. He joined the Indian Foreign Service in 2004 and has served in Indian diplomatic missions in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. In his postings abroad, Mr. Mishra has dealt with political, commercial, education, cultural and diaspora issues. From 2011-2014, he worked in the Ministry of External Affairs as Under Secretary dealing with the India-United States relations.

Professor Andrew Taggart, Provost, Murdoch University

Please RSVP to Gaia Manganelli at by 24th May.

Congratulations to our Prize-WinnersSTEPHANIE MATULIN.jpg

Congratulations to Sir Walter Murdoch School students Stephanie Matulin and Mateusz Gwozdz who were awarded prizes at a university Award Ceremony on 26 April.
Stephanie won the Oxfam Australia Prize in Sustainable International Development for the best academic performance in ‘Theories of Development’ by a student enrolled in the Master of Development Studies, as well as the May Trust Graduate Gender Studies Prize for best academic performance in ‘Gender and Development’.
Mateusz, who recently graduated with a Master of International Affairs, won the Professor Paul Miller Memorial Prize for the best academic performance in ‘Thinking and Reasoning Economically’.


Professor Paul Effler


Date: Wed 12th April
Location: Murdoch University, Building 390, Room 2.006
Time: 12.30pm - 2.00pm

Although the risk of a serious adverse reaction following vaccination is very low, it cannot be completely eliminated. As the benefits of immunisation are critical for protecting the health of our population, there is a strong case for compensation for the small, but predictable, number of individuals who may be injured as a consequence of immunisation. The ethical argument for establishing no-fault vaccine injury compensation programs is based on the concept that any person who is injured while helping to protect the community - by contributing to herd immunity - should not bear the consequences of injury alone. Nineteen countries around the world already have no-fault vaccine-injury compensation programs in place. In contrast, Australia has no straightforward means for compensating individuals who might be injured by a vaccine.

About Paul Effler

Paul Effler received a Doctorate in Medicine from the University of California and a Master of Public Health from the University of Hawaii. Upon completing a residency in Public Health Medicine, Dr. Effler served as an Officer in the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. In 1994 he became the State Epidemiologist for Hawaii, where he directed the public health response to SARS, dengue fever, measles, and influenza and oversaw Hawaii’s immunization program. In 2008 Dr. Effler moved to Perth where he works in immunization and communicable disease control. He is an Adjunct Professor at UWA and an Associate Editor for Emerging Infectious Diseases.


Dr Katie Attwell, Capstone Coordinator, Sir Walter Murdoch School

Please RSVP to Gaia Manganelli at by 10 April.

Light lunch refreshments provided. Closest paid car park is Car Park7 and Car Park 8. Campus map attached.

Please note photos will be taken for social media purposes. If you do not consent, please advise Gaia.

Prof Reilly delivers keynote presentation at Lund University, SwedenBEN AT THE CONF.png

Prof Reilly’s presentation on ‘Democracy and development in Southeast Asia: China’s long shadow’ was the keynote for the conference at Lund University, Sweden on ‘Democracy and Human Rights in East and South-East Asia’, held on 10 March 2017.

Watch the presentation here

Ambassadors for Murdoch

Murdoch University hosted three special visitors today, with the arrival of Australia’s Ambassadors to Turkey, Jordan and Ethiopia, the African Union and Djibouti.

The ambassadors visited Murdoch’s Perth campus to learn more about the University’s research and innovation, learning and teaching capabilities so that they can become advocates for the University in the countries where they represent Australia.

Read full article

Making Australia’s health care system better

A Murdoch University health policy expert is calling for an overhaul of Australia’s health care system to make it more efficient, equitable and accessible.

Associate Professor Francesco Paolucci, Head of the Health Policy Programs at the Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs, says the current system results in duplication of private and public services and is inequitable in terms of access to health care.

Speaking to ABC Radio National’s The Money program, Professor Paolucci said his proposal would require consumers to make a choice between public and private health insurance, removing any duplication and overlaps.

"Both the public and private universal packages would be compulsory and defined by law,” said Professor Paolucci.

Read more


Date: 30th March 2017 larsen_james_sml.jpg
Location: 513.1.005
Time: 11am - 12 noon

The Sir Walter Murdoch School and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are proud to host Mr James Larsen, Australian Ambassador to Turkey, who will share insights of his life as Ambassador and the role of diplomacy in the modern age.

About Mr Larsen
Mr Larsen is a senior career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. He has previously served as Ambassador for People Smuggling Issues; Ambassador to Israel; Counsellor in Brussels; and Second Secretary in Bangkok.
Until September 2013, Mr Larsen was Principal Adviser to the former Minister for Foreign Affairs. He has previously served as Assistant Secretary of the Legal Branch.
Mr Larsen holds Bachelor of Arts and Laws degrees from the University of Melbourne.

If you would like to participate, please RSVP to Gaia Manganelli at by the 27th of March.

Nudge Thinking: Cure-all or all too hard?
Special Sir Walter Murdoch School lecture by Harvard Professor, Michael Hiscox 

Date: 20th March 2017
Location: ECL2.031
Time: 10am - 1pm

Visiting Harvard Professor Michael Hiscox, presently on secondment to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, is giving a special guest lecture for Sir Walter Murdoch School students on 20 March.
The lecture will take place in Prof David Butler’s class SWM629 Thinking and Reasoning Economically, and will look at applying behavioural economics, or nudge thinking, in the public sector.
Nudge draws on research from behavioural economics, psychology, and neuroscience to understand how humans behave and make decisions in everyday life. By better understanding how people respond to different contexts and incentives, decision-makers can design and implement better policies and services.
Public servants engaged in policymaking need to develop a set of skills and tools that are adaptive and responsive to the complexity of modern policy issues. Behavioural economics provides new tools for policy development, implementation and engagement that are well aligned with modern policy challenges.
Nudge has been trialled in a wide range of policy areas including water consumption, taxation, and health across a number different of different countries.

About Michael J. Hiscox
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Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs, Harvard University

Michael Hiscox Leads the Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government (BETA). He is currently on public service leave from his position as the Clarence Dillon Professor of International Affairs at Harvard University. He was born and raised in Tamworth, NSW.
He is a founding faculty member of the Harvard Behavioural Insights Group – a group of more than 30 of Harvard’s research scholars - at Harvard’s Centre for Public Leadership.
He is co-director of the Sustainability, Transparency, and Accountability Research Lab - part of the Harvard Behavioural Insights Group with bases in Harvard and Sydney. He is also a faculty associate at the Institute for Quantitative Social Science, the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and the Harvard University Center for the Environment.
Working with governments, non-profit organizations, and corporations, he has designed and implemented randomized trials to evaluate a large range of government policies, company initiatives, and programs administered by non-profit organizations in the United States, Singapore, Indonesia, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and Nigeria.
His research has examined international trade and immigration, economic development, global supply chains, corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives, and policies addressing economic, social, and public health issues in several countries.
He has written numerous articles for leading scholarly journals in economics and political science (including the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of International Economics, Economics and Politics, and the American Political Science Review).

About Professor Butler
David Butler is Professor of Economics at Murdoch University and is currently teaching WA’s only behavioural economics class for public policy in the Sir Walter Murdoch School.

David studied for his Bachelors and Masters degrees at the University of York, UK, and obtained his PhD from the University of Western Australia. He has previously taught at UWA and the University of Arizona. His research interests are in experimental economics, decision theory and behavioural game theory. He is a former President of the WA branch of the Australian Economic Society.

His research integrates techniques from such disciplines as experimental and cognitive psychology, evolutionary theory and philosophy into experimental economics research and behavioural game theory. Particular research interests include consequences of imprecise preferences and pro-social behaviour in experimental games.

Health Policy Takes Off at Murdoch

The Sir Walter Murdoch School’s Health Policy program is one of Murdoch University’s fastest-growing offerings, with student numbers more than doubling this year. The program offers a Masters and Graduate Certificate in Health Administration, Policy and Leadership, with streams allowing students to specialise in Health Administration and Leadership, Policy and Evaluation, and Informatics and Analytics.

The program also offers a wide range of seminars, scholarships and international travel opportunities for students, including:
• The Sir Walter Murdoch School is proud to be a sponsor of CEDA’s event “Transformation of healthcare” on the 30th of March. Dr Francesco Paolucci, Head of the Health Policy Programs at the Sir Walter Murdoch School, will be part of the experts’ panel, discussing how the healthcare system can be transformed in a more sustainable model. If you are interested in participating, please find more information on the event here. Dr Paolucci was recently interviewed on the same subject by Richard Aedy on the ABC RN Radio National “The Money”. The podcast can be found here. The article can be found here.
• Five $2,000 Endeavour mobility grants are available to Sir Walter Murdoch School students wishing to participate in ACICIS Study Indonesia’s two-week Public Health Study Tour (PHST) commencing on 8 July 2017. The tour will provide an introduction to the public health challenges currently facing Indonesia, as well as to existing government, international and community-led initiatives tasked with meeting these challenges. More information on this study option is available here .
• The Master of Health Administration, Policy and Leadership has recently been recommended as an approved course by the Royal Australasian College of Medical Administrators (RACMA).
For more information, click here

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Policy Seminar with Professor Michael W. BauerProf. Bauer_1212.jpg

Date: 8th March 2017
Location: School of Business and Governance Boardroom
Time: 10am - 11am
RSVP: by 6th of March

Challenges of Financing International Organizations

Professor Michael W. Bauer is Jean Monnet Professor and holds the chair of Comparative Public Administration and Policy Analysis at the German University of Administrative Sciences in Speyer. He works on international and multilevel public administration as well as in the comparative analysis of public policy-making.

Global governance rests on international institutions. The “backbone” of the emerging net of international and transnational interactions are international organizations and their secretariats. These organizations and their secretariats–in order to provide a common good to its members–obviously need money. On the one hand, such financial resources are a source of “independence” for international organizations; on the other hand, for the national governments providing such financing constitutes an important means of control and oversight over international agents’ activities. Analysis of financial and personnel data of 15 UN agencies over time, most of which Australia is a member, shows that the growth of voluntary contributions has important implications for the autonomy of international bureaucrats, impacting on administrative professionalism and organizational performance.

Discussant / Chair
Kim Moloney

Congratulations to our new graduates!

New graduates Mr Sam Edge, Ms Detaviana Guterres and Ms Yanka Gbamoquelli with School Dean Professor Reilly. Ms Yanka Gbamoquelli is the first graduate of the Master of Health Policy and Leadership!

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Post-Brexit TradeAnna-George.jpg

SWMS Honorary Fellow Anna George, a former Australian ambassador, writes on the dilemma facing the UK’s post-Brexit trade policy for the Australian Institute of International Affairs: 

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Date: 1st March 2017
Location: McCusker Conference Room - Building 390 - Murdoch University
Time: 12:30 - 1:30pm
RSVP to by 3pm, 28th February.

‘Selling Your Public Health/Health Systems Research to Stakeholders’

Director, Scottish Collaboration for Public Health Research and Policy*, University of Edinburgh; Professor Emeritus, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto

Many research funders, and research grant recipients worldwide, now expect more than ever of their investigators aiming to influence policy and programme decisions in public health and health systems. Specifically, they want to see research project plans, included in grant applications, that: 1) detail precise actions to achieve these “knowledge transfer and exchange” goals; 2) lay out exactly how such impacts of the research will be evaluated. This presentation provides a potted history of thinking about these issues, since the pioneering work of Canadian Jonathan Lomas (founder of the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation) more than two decades ago. The target audience is particularly early-to-mid-career researchers in these fields.

Dr Francesco Paolucci
School of Business and Governance

Light lunch refreshments provided
Closest paid car park is Car Park7 and Car Park 8 .

Please note photos will be taken for social media purposes. If you do not consent, please advise, as soon as you can, prior the seminar.

Pop-Up event: Recent Developments in Myanmar

Date: 1st March 2017
Location: Council Chamber, Level 3, Bld 100, Curtin University Bentley campus
Time: 18:30 - 19:30

The Australian Institute for International Affairs Western Australia, in collaboration with Curtin University and the Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs, is hosting a discussion on Recent Developments in Myanmar to be presented by Professor Ben Reilly and Elliot Brennan. Read more about the presenters here

This event is free but please register by clicking here: 'Buy Tickets'

Students centre of foreign policy roundtable


Several current and former Sir Walter Murdoch School students recently participated in an invitation-only roundtable –the only one of its kind in Australia – on the new Foreign Policy White Paper.
The White Paper is a comprehensive framework to guide Australia’s international engagement over the next 10 years. To ensure that the White Paper is informed by the best possible advice, the Government has convened a series of roundtable discussions with interested stakeholders.

The Sir Walter Murdoch School, together with the University of Western Australia and the Australian Institute of International Affairs, hosted the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) Foreign Policy White Paper Youth Roundtable.

Masters of International Affairs and Security students Lindsay Barnes, Jake Davis, and Luke O’Donnell joined Murdoch alumni Darcy Rowe (now working with the federal Department of Immigration and Border Protection) and Krystal Hartig (now at the Perth USAsia Centre) to contribute to the White Paper discussions, along with students from other universities and prominent young professionals in the field.

Lindsay Barnes said the White Paper consultation gave him a valuable glimpse into the world of foreign policy development, which was incredibly valuable, both personally and from a policy standpoint.

“To be part of a discussion about Australian foreign policy with some of the best and brightest young people in international affairs was pretty special,” he said.

“The youth of today are tomorrow’s diplomats and hopefully by hearing our opinions and recommendations the White Paper will be all the better for it.

“On a personal level, I'm hopeful this experience will be beneficial to my employment prospects in the future.”

The kinds of questions the students grappled with ranged from how can Australia maximise our trade and investment and expand commercial opportunities for Australian business; to how can Government best use Australia’s national assets, including our overseas development assistance program, to advance Australia’s interests?

The Roundtable also featured contributions from senior academics, and was chaired by Richard Maude, head of the taskforce that has been established within the DFAT to develop the White Paper.

This will be Australia’s first foreign policy White Paper since 2003.

The joint submission to the Foreign Policy White Paper taskforce arising from the roundtable can be accessed here.

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2017 Nominations Now Open see here