Fixing The System: A Guardian Live Event

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Fixing The System: A Guardian Live Event
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Griffith Review says
Join political experts Anne Tiernan and Patrick Weller in a conversation with The Courier-Mail's National Affairs Editor, Dennis Atkins, in a discussion about Australia's political and social system and why so many believe it to be unfit for purpose. With a reading by Laura Elvery.

While Australia has never been richer, its people better educated and the country better connected internationally, there is a widespread perception that systems and key institutions are broken. Interest groups flex their muscle and block each other. Risk management has paralysed the system. Commentators proclaim the 'end of the reform era'. They lament the rise of a 'new volatility' in the nation's electoral politics; the demise of the capacity and will to lead; and the paucity of debate of the problems and challenges facing Australia. They complain about the resistance to change and openness to bold new ideas, and the ability to talk frankly and fearlessly about the kind of society we want to build for the future. All this is happening in a world that is changing rapidly, but without a clear road map.

Griffith Review 51: Fixing the System, edited by Julianne Schultz and Anne Tiernan, provides fresh insights into how to fix the system, and why it matters.


Anne Tiernan is a professor in the School of Government and International Relations at Griffith University. Her books include Lessons in Governing: A Profile of Prime Ministers’ Chiefs of Staff and The Gatekeepers: Lessons from Prime Ministers’ Chiefs of Staff, both with RAW Rhodes (Melbourne University Press, 2014); Learning to be a Minister: Heroic Expectations, Practical Realities, with Patrick Weller (Melbourne University Press, 2010); and Power Without Responsibility: Ministerial Staffers in Australian Governments from Whitlam to Howard (UNSW Press, 2007).

Patrick Weller AO is professor emeritus in the School of Government and International Relations at Griffith University and an adjunct professor in the Centre for Governance and Public Policy. His books include Malcolm Fraser: Prime Minister (Penguin, 1989), Cabinet Government in Australia (UNSW Press, 2007) and Kevin Rudd: Twice Prime Minister (MUP, 2014). His essay ‘Capitalism in conference or democratic gridlock?’ appeared in Griffith Review 1: Insecurity in the New World Order.

Dennis Atkins has worked in and covered politics across Australia for more than 30 years, including about 15 years in Canberra. He was national chief of staff with Melbourne's News-Sun Pictorial during the 1980s and national political editor for The Courier-Mail while John Howard was Prime Minister. He is currently the Courier-Mail's national affairs editor based in Brisbane, writing editorials, analysis and features as well as a regular political column, Party Games.
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By: Griffith Review