PhD title: Welfare service consumers as regulators: Case studies of welfare service regulation and consumer influence in commodified welfare markets.
Anna has been a social policy director in the Department of Social Services since 2016. She previously spent many years working for government and non-government welfare services in the homelessness, domestic violence, mental health and disability sectors. Anna’s current focus has been on regulatory systems for welfare services. Most recently, she led work to develop the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Quality and Safeguards Commission, which was established in 2018.
Anna’s involvement in NDIS policy has informed her research topic, with a particular focus on the regulatory implications in welfare models, which include consumer-directed funding. Her thesis will examine how consumers of welfare services interact with a regulatory system and whether their representative civil society organisations become regulatory actors. The research will use a case study approach to construct network/node models, comparing the impact of consumers on welfare regulation in Australia to other, more mature commodified care markets in Europe and the United Kingdom.
PhD title: Economic inequality over the life cycle in Australia.
Owen has worked in the APS since 2004. Since 2010, he has managed various teams within the Macroeconomic Group at Treasury, responsible for providing advice on the Australian and Chinese economies.
Owen’s PhD research explores the life-cycle dimension of income and consumption among Australian households, and how this is shaped by government policy. He looked to answer questions, such as the relative importance of individual differences versus other factors in explaining wage inequality in Australia, and the role that the tax-transfer system plays in cushioning workers from unexpected income changes. Owen has also published a number of research publications on economic topics like Australian household saving behaviour and structural change in the Chinese economy.
The Rise in Household Saving and Its Implications for the Australian Economy; Freestone, Owen; Gaudry, Danial; Obeyesekere, Anthony; et al. Economic Round-up, 2011, Issue 2
Economic inequality over the life cycle in Australia; Freestone, Owen. 2020. Dissertation/Thesis, The Australian National University.
Department of Health
Australian National University
PhD title: Saving lives with big data—methods for policy impact in health and social systems data analytics
Cathy joined the Australian Public Service in 2001. Since then, she has had a broad range of policy and program roles in the health portfolio in the areas of primary care, legislation, performance reporting, and data analytics. More recently, Cathy’s work has focused on big data strategy. She co-led the establishment of the Social Health and Welfare Analytic Unit, in partnership with colleagues from the Departments of Education and Social Services. She also led Health’s cross-portfolio engagement on big data analytics projects through the Data Integration Partnership for Australia. Prior to joining the public service, Cathy was a medical researcher at the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research.
Cathy’s research focuses on how to fast-track governments’ ability to translate big linked data into policy and social impact. She aims to uncover the critical conditions and elements of policy analytics and how these can be embedded within the data system and APS processes, roles and organisational structures.