In 2015, Rosie Batty was made Australian of the Year for her outspoken advocacy on behalf of the victims of domestic violence. Her leadership galvanized a national conversation, and in August 2015 the Tasmanian Government pledged over $25 million for a new statewide action plan to tackle family violence – the Safe Homes, Safe Families initiative. The release of the plan was the culmination of a rapid eight-week policy development process, undertaken after state government departments and external stakeholders had set up bespoke institutional structures to deliver the plan. This included a dedicated cabinet sub-committee, a committee of the heads of the relevant agencies who met weekly throughout the process, and a working group from across government that were physically located together for two days a week while they worked on the plan. This kind of collaboration within government was further supported by an external consultative group, built from existing connections.*
This short video case study explores how the process worked, and what factors led to it being widely considered a success. The policy team went on to win a commendation at the 2017 Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Sector Management.
The case study argues that the key elements at play included deeply engaged political and bureaucratic leadership, a multi-agency strategy backed up by physical co-location, and a determination to capture and retain the institutional memory being generated.
*Please note that the wording of this abstract draws on text first published by the authors in their 2018 article: ‘Singular Memory or Institutional Memories? Towards a Dynamic Approach’, Governance 31: 555-573.
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