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Professor Catherine Althaus

ANZSOG Chair of Public Service Leadership and Reform

University of New South Wales

Faculty: Subject/program leads

Melbourne, Australia

Areas of expertise

  • Public leadership
  • Public policy
  • Reform/change management
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Catherine is the ANZSOG Chair of Public Service Leadership and Reform at the University of New South Wales and is the Deputy Dean (Teaching and Learning) at ANZSOG. Catherine was the lead for ANZSOG’s Executive Fellows Program and has been made an Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria for her work in Indigenous public administration and leadership.

Her academic training is in economics, politics and public policy and she specialises in working with First Peoples communities across Canada, Australia, Aotearoa-New Zealand and South Africa focusing on the leadership contributions of Indigenous public servants and opportunities to learn from and enact Indigenous ways of knowing and being in policymaking. Her recent co-authored book Leading from Between: Indigenous Participation and Leadership in the Public Service is the first international comparative volume centring the voices, stories and insights of Canadian and Australian Indigenous public servants.

She is co-author of the popular textbook The Australian Policy Handbook, former editor of the Australian Journal of Public Administration, an IPAA Victoria Fellow, a University Medallist, an award-winning researcher, and an Australia Day Medallion winner for service to the Queensland Treasury department. She is Co-Director of the ANZSOG program Working with First Nations: Delivering on the Priority Reforms, and teaches into programs with the Australian War College, Australian Department of Defence and Government of Samoa officials, and conducts senior delegations to Aotearoa-New Zealand and publishes on reform agendas associated with Indigenous public administration.. Catherine is an Adjunct Professor with the University of Victoria, Canada and Griffith University and was recently appointed an Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria. She is also an Honorary Member of the South Asian Network for Public Administration (SANPA).

ANZSOG programs

Prof Althaus teaches in the following ANZSOG programs:

As a Co-Director of Working with First Nations: Delivering on the Priority Reforms

Selected publications

Althaus, C. (2022). Complementary Bureaucracy: Reimagining Weberian Impersonalism with Indigenous Relationality, Perspectives on Public Management and Governancehttps://doi.org/10.1093/ppmgov/gvac002 (winner of the Camilla Stivers Award for best paper in PPMG)

Althaus, C. and O’Faircheallaigh, C. (2022). Bureaucratic Representation, Accountability and Democracy: A Qualitative Study of Indigenous Bureaucrats in Australia and Canada, Public Administration Review, Volume 82, Issue 4, pp. 646-659

Althaus C; Carson L; Smith K, 2021, ‘Rethinking the commissioning of consultants for enhancing government policy capacity’, Policy Sciences, vol. 54, pp. 867 – 889, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11077-021-09441-3

Althaus C; Carson L; Sullivan H; van Wanrooy B, 2021, ‘Research and education in public sector practice: a systems approach to understanding policy impact’, Policy Design and Practice, vol. 4, pp. 309 – 322, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/25741292.2021.1977478

Althaus, C. (2021). Cultural Fluency Training for the Twenty-First Century Public Servant. In H. Sullivan, H. Dickinson and H. Henderson (eds). The Palgrave Handbook of the Public Servant. Palgrave Macmillan.

Threlfall, D. and Althaus, C. (2021). A quixotic quest? Making theory speak to practice. In T. Mercer, R. Ayres, B. Head and J. Wanna (eds). Learning Policy, Doing Policy: Interactions between Public Policy Theory, Practice and Teaching. Canberra: ANU E-Press.

Althaus, C. and Threlfall, D. (2021). The Policy Cycle and Policy Theory: From Theory-building to Policy Making. In W.B. Hildreth, G. Miller and E.L. Lindquist (Eds). Handbook of Public Administration, 4th edition. Routledge.

Althaus, C. (2021). Political Science and the Arts as allies and strange bedfellows – a chapter in five parts. In Rhodes, R.A.W. and Hodgett, S. (eds). Blurring Genres: Recovering the Humanities for Political Science and Area Studies. Springer.

Althaus, C. (2020). Different paradigms of evidence and knowledge: Recognising, honouring, and celebrating Indigenous ways of knowing and being. Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 79, pp. 187 – 207, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8500.12400

Althaus, C. and O’Faircheallaigh, C. (2019). Leading from Between: Indigenous Participation and Leadership in the Public Service. Montreal: McGill-Queens Press.
Althaus, C., Bridgman, P., & Davis, G. (2018). The Australian policy handbook (6th ed.). Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin.
Althaus, C., & Patterson, M. (2017). A Line in the Sand 50 Years On: Commonwealth Involvement in Indigenous Affairs. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 76, 395–396.
Althaus, C.E., & Tedds, L.M. (2016). User Fees in Canada: A Municipal Design and Implementation Guide, Canadian Tax Foundation.
Althaus, C. (2016). Soft Diplomacy or Hard Policy Benefits? Exploring the Value of Cross-jurisdictional Learning Exchanges in Policy and Public Administration across the Asia-Pacific Region, CMU Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 3(1).
Althaus, C. (2016). The Administrative Sherpa and the Journey of Public Service Leadership. Administration & Society, 48(4), 395-420.
Althaus, C., & Morrison, T. H. (2015) Federalism Dreaming? Re‐imagining the Governance of Australian Landscapes. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 74(1), 93-99.
Althaus, C., & Vakil, T. (2013) Political transitions: Opportunities to renegotiate the public service bargain. Canadian Public Administration, 56(3), 478-490.
Althaus, C., Evans, B., & Rathbone, E. (2012). Trends in Australian and Canadian Public Service Perceptions from an Employee Survey Perspective. Australian Journal of Public Administration, 71(4), 423-439.
Althaus, C., McAvoy, A. & Tedds, L. (2011). The Feasibility of Implementing a Congestion Charge on the Halifax Peninsula Filling The ‘Missing Link’ of Implementation. Canadian Public Policy, 37(4), 541-561.
Althaus, C. (2011). Assessing the Capacity to Deliver: the Building the Education Revolution Experience. Australian Journal of Public Administration. 70(4),421-436.
Althaus, C. (2005). A Disciplinary Perspective on the Epistemological Status of Risk. Risk Analysis, 25(3), 567-588.