Crisis Response in Higher Education: how the pandemic challenged university operations and organisations in Australia, the UK and Sweden

Prof. Mats Benner (27 March 2023)

Throughout history, universities have been deeply affected by societal developments, war, peace, booms, and busts. Disruption and rupture are characteristic of the university-society relationship, with the pandemic as only the most recent instance in history. Professor Mats Benner will showcase how the pandemic affected universities in Australia, the UK and Sweden, and how governments, university leadership, faculty, staff and students responded. He will highlight the significant differences between the three countries in their approach to the pandemic. The dramatic upheavals of the pandemic years may also provide an opportunity to choose to change things for the better, as universities move towards consciously planning for a different future and explore possible lessons for the future.

Mats Benner is a professor of science policy studies at Lund University and is engaged in studies of research policy formation and implementation, and university policy. He has written on the future of Asian universities and the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic and its influence on university governance and power relations affected by the pandemic, geopolitical tensions, and other broader forces. His recent book Crisis Response in Higher Education: How the Pandemic Challenged University Operations and Organisations explores the impact of Covid-19 on universities, and how students, staff, faculty and academic leaders have adapted to and dealt with the impact of the pandemic.

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Equality at Work? The Albanese Government’s Efforts to Make Workplaces Fairer and Safer for Women

Prof. Andrew Stewart (24 March 2023)

Labor’s 2022 election platform promised to help close the gender pay gap and make workplaces safer for women. During the Albanese Government’s first year in office, those objectives have driven major changes to the Fair Work Act, as well as anti-discrimination laws and gender equality reporting for large organisations. Join employment law expert and Centre associate Professor Andrew Stewart as he examines these recent changes to the law, including novel prohibitions on pay secrecy, new paths to pay equity in feminised sectors, and more extensive remedies for sexual harassment at work.

Andrew Stewart is the John Bray Professor of Law at the University of Adelaide, Adjunct Professor with QUT’s Centre for Decent Work & Industry, and a consultant with the national law firm Piper Alderman.  A pre-eminent expert on employment law and workplace relations, and the author of Stewart’s Guide to Employment Law, he has decades of experience in advising employers, trade unions and governments at all levels on legal and policy issues. Together with other researchers at the Centre, he has helped design and analyse results from groundbreaking national surveys on unpaid work experience and digital platform work. He has also written extensively on pay equity laws, including as part of research for the Fair Work Commission.

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Flushing out the hidden assumptions in the New South Wales Governments Aboriginal employment policy

Simon Jovanovic (27 July 2022)

Since the mid-1970s, the New South Wales public service has afforded Aboriginal, and Torres Strait Islander people racialised positions in the bureaucracy under the guise of race-based ‘Aboriginal’ employment policies. Ostensibly, these NSW Government Aboriginal employment policies aim to improve the under-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working in government agencies.

This presentation critiques selected Aboriginal employment policy texts of the NSW Government from the 1980s to the present day. It exposes the hidden assumptions, problematic representations and racial categories about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in policy text to understand better how Aboriginal employment is formed, shaped, and reformed in the NSW public service. The presentation uses Bacchi’s (2012) What is the Problem Represented to be? and Fairclough’s (2015) Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to uncover and explore the policy discourses at play in the selected Aboriginal employment policy texts.

Simon Jovanovic is a citizen of the Walbunja nation of the far south coast New South Wales, and is a Thought Leader in Aboriginal employment policy research and practice. Simon is of Aboriginal and Serbian heritage. He is presently the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Byamee Institute, an Indigenous owned company specialising in influencing effective employment policy development for government, private enterprise and Indigenous business.Simon has expertise working in Aboriginal affairs and the Indigenous sector with strong business acumen and commercial drive to lead and manage growth and change for the Aboriginal workforce. He is currently a PhD Candidate at Macquarie University, based with the Department of Indigenous Studies, Simon worked in Aboriginal identified positions across the New South Wales Government from 2009 to 2018, providing advice and support for Aboriginal programs and services. Simon has successfully attained undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in Indigenous studies, business management, human resources, adult education, vocational education and training, social sciences, and public sector management. A member of the National Congress of Australia’s First People, Gandangarra Local Aboriginal Land Council, Batemans Bay Local Aboriginal Land Council and Redfern Aboriginal Corporation, Simon is an advocate and ambassador for the economic development and advancement of Australia’s First Peoples.

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A transcript of this presentation is available online.

Talking Decent Work and Industry

Prof. Andrew Stewart with Prof. Robyn Mayes (11 May 2022)

Robyn Mayes, Director of the Centre for Decent Work & Industry (CDWI), chats with Professor Andrew Stewart from the University of Adelaide. Robyn and Andrew discuss employment and industrial relations in Australia in the context of the 2022 Federal Election. Andrew also delivered a seminar on this topic, which you can watch on the CDWI website:

The HDR Game

Prof. Rick Krever with Prof. Robyn Mayes (1 April 2022)

Robyn Mayes, Director of the Centre for Decent Work & Industry (CDWI), chats with Professor Rick Krever from the University of Western Australia. Rick offers some terrific advice for Higher Degree Research (HDR) students with regard to publishing their thesis: