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2015 Annual Sir Roland Wilson Oration

The Australian National University

Wednesday, 6 May 2015 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm (AEST)

2015 Annual Sir Roland Wilson Oration

Ticket Information

Type End Quantity
Lecture Ended Free  

Event Details

The 2015 Annual Sir Roland Wilson Oration will be delivered by The Hon Mr John Howard OM AC, 25th Prime Minister of Australia.

The reform challenge.

The role of the public service in Australian government is to work responsively with the popularlyelected government, serving as advisors and implementers of government policy. In many ways, Prime Minister Menzies established the pattern of relationships between elected governments and the public service in Australian government. It is timely to reflect on that Menzies model, to identify the secrets of success but also to recognise
generational changes in the partnerships between ministers and public servants.

Menzies operated in an era when there was little alternative advice to Ministers, from that of the public service. Menzies crafted a form of national governance where ministers knew they could rely on the public service to advise where necessary and to implement when directed.

Sir Roland Wilson had a long association with Prime Minister Menzies, including as Secretary of Treasury from 1951 to 1966 and during the war years as Secretary of Labour and National Service, whose primary responsibilities included post war reconstruction. But now, nearly fifty years after the retirement of Australia’s longest-serving prime minister, politicians and public servants can benefit from guidance on their relationships of shared responsibility in the ideal governance framework. Menzies understood the underlying ‘spirit of the laws’ which could nurture the right sort of leadership partnership between politicians and administrators, with the public service managed as a valuable public instrument for many of the core businesses of government.

How can we today restate Menzies’ public philosophy about the important but limited role of the public service, with a capacity to contribute to national policy leadership under the direction of elected government led by prime ministers who often have a public mandate to make the system of government work more productively?

Have questions about 2015 Annual Sir Roland Wilson Oration? Contact The Australian National University

When & Where

National Library of Australia
Parkes Place W
Canberra, ACT 2600

Wednesday, 6 May 2015 from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm (AEST)

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The Australian National University

The Australian National University (ANU) is a celebrated place of intensive research, education and policy engagement. ANU is home to an interconnected community of scholars. The University is located in the heart of Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia.

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