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