For 50 years Flinders University has been a focus for long term and systematic education and research in the field of public policy and administration.  Its public policy activities have always had a strong collaborative element working with government.

Over the past 50 years the public administration landscape has changed dramatically and the fundamental issues of organising our society to steer new directions, and harness our resources to deliver public value has been highly contestable.  Our public servants have very hard jobs giving policy advice and managing programs

This half day seminar provided pointers to the future, and looked at lessons we can learn from the past.

The session was chaired by Professor Adam Graycar, School of Social and Policy Studies, Flinders University. 

Our two keynote speakers brought knowledge, vision and experience

Dr Zeger van der Wal
The 21st Century Public Manager: Trends, Challenges, and Competencies

Drawing on cutting edge research, Dr van der Wal will outline how public managers, faced with volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity can face future challenges and risks.

He will show that these challenges and risks also provide unprecedented opportunities, enabling public managers to be more entrepreneurial, faster, “flatter”, responsive, and innovative in their ability to respond to citizen needs, policy challenges, and demands and assignments from political and administrative bosses.   In his outline of how to deliver “better” public management he will draw upon his forthcoming book The 21st Century Public Manager. His opening address will cover:

  • Key drivers and trends affecting the operating environment of public managers in the 21st century, such as Climate Change, Aging, Ultra-urbanization, Economic Interconnectedness, and Disruptive Technological Change
  • Seven clusters of demands, dilemmas, and enablers resulting from these trends, such as Managing Stakeholder Multiplicity, Managing Authority Turbulence, and Managing the New Work (Force)
  • The potential of a new paradigm of 21st Century Public Management to complement Traditional Public Administration, New Public Management, and New Public Governance
  • The ability of our field to stay relevant to practice amidst rapidly changing and highly dynamic environments and contexts

Mr Kym Kelly
Lessons from the past: Values to lead and Capacity to manage

Following the coffee break we heard from four people closely associated with the School, two who have been involved in teaching, and two Masters graduates

  • Dr Cassandra Star,  Associate Professor in Public Policy
  • Dr Jo Baulderstone, former Associate Professor in Public Policy
  • Mr Phil Fagan-Schmidt,  currently Executive Director, Housing SA
  • Ms Barbara Dickens currently with RenewalSA

Learn about our speakers

Associate Professor Cassandra Star

Associate Professor, College of Business, Government and Law
Flinders University

Cassandra Star is an Associate Professor of Public Policy in the College of Business, Government and Law. She lead the Climate and Sustainability Policy Research (CASPR) group. She is currently Research Theme Leader for Flinders Government. She has previously been Head of Department of Politics and Public Policy at Flinders University. She has an Honours degree from Griffith University and a PhD from Monash University.

Her research is concentrated on the interface between politics and the policy process and the subsequent impact of these dynamics on policy formulation. The ways in which stakeholders shape the climate policy agenda is the current focus of her work.

She is highly sought after to provide advice and professional development services to state and federal government agencies. She was the academic coordinator of the Public Sector Management Program for the Australian Public Service Commission from 2013-2015 and managed the team that delivered this $1.6m dollar project from Flinders University. She is a member of the Institute of Public Administration, South Australian division’s Strategic Advisory Committee.

She is an outstanding, internationally recognised innovative educator. She is the recipient of eight teaching awards across her career, including two prestigious Office of Learning and Teaching competitive National Citations for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning.

Cassandra provide significant leadership within political science nationally and internationally, including convening the Environmental Politics and Policy Standing Committee for the Australian Political Science Association.

- PhD Monash University
- Graduate Certificate in Tertiary Teaching and Learning University of Southern Queensland
- Bachelor of Science (Australian Environmental Studies) Hons (I) Griffith University
- Bachelor of Science (Australian Environmental Studies) Griffith University

Prof Adam Graycar


In 2015 Professor Adam Graycar joined the School of Social and Policy Studies at Flinders University. For five years before that he was Professor of Public Policy at the Australian National University and also Director of the Transnational Research Institute on Corruption (TRIC). He acquired extensive policy experience over 22 years in the senior level posts he has held in government, both Commonwealth and State, including Australia’s first Commissioner for the Ageing, and later Head, Cabinet Office, government of South Australia.

Dr Zeger van der Wal

Associate Professor of Public Policy
National University of Singapore

Dr Zeger van der Wal is Assistant Dean (Research) and Associate Professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, based at the National University of Singapore (NUS). He currently serves as Associate Editor of Public Administration Review, one the premier journals in the field. Zeger has (co)authored over 75 publications, including books, journal articles, and op-ed pieces in magazines and newspapers. Top-tier journals which have published his work include International Public Management Journal, Public Administration Review, Public Administration, and Public Management Review. Zeger manages an active executive education and consulting portfolio. His areas of interest are: ethics, values, and good governance, performance management, and strategic HRM. Currently, he is working on a textbook geared towards MPA, MBA, and executive education classrooms, titled: “The 21st Century Public Manager”.

Barbara Dickens

Manager, Engagement
Renewal SA

Barbara Dickens is a community engagement specialist who graduated with a Master of Public Administration (Management) from the Flinders University School of Social and Policy Studies in April 2013, gaining the Chancellor’s commendation. She had previously undertaken the Public Sector Management Program and won the IPAA High Achiever Award for the highest total marks in South Australia in 2008. For the past 11 years Barbara has been responsible for the development and delivery of engagement strategies for major South Australian Government urban renewal and infrastructure projects, working collaboratively with key internal and external stakeholders to build relationships and negotiate sustainable outcomes within a broader political and government policy context. She is currently the Manager, Engagement with Renewal SA, the Authority formed to provide a fully integrated approach to delivering an inspiring urban future for the State.

Dr Jo Baulderstone

Former Associate Professor in Public Policy

Jo Baulderstone’s career began in the Australian Public Sector was characterised by asking ‘why’ and occasionally ‘why not’? Seeking answers to these questions led to enrolment in the Master of Policy and Administration and morphing into an academic. With a primary interest in applied research, Jo’s academic career focussed on non-profit organisations’ intersection with government, with a particular interest in accountability and inter-agency collaboration. Her third career, as an ‘academic at large’, is proving to be the best yet.
Jo is an Adjunct Associate Professor at Flinders University and with the Australia New Zealand School of Government.

Philip Fagan-Schmidt

Executive Director
Housing SA

Philip Fagan-Schmidt was appointed to the position of Executive Director, Housing SA in 2009. He was holds the Degree of Master of Public Policy from Flinders University. He was awarded a Public Service Medal for his work in social housing policy and practice in 2015. Philip has worked in both academic and government spheres and in a range of areas including health, housing, natural resource management, infrastructure and major projects.

View Event Resources

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

(8:30am registration)
9:00am - 12:30pm

Flinders University Victoria Square, 182 Victoria Square, Adelaide SA 5000