The Inaugural Churchill Policy Room event

15 Mar 2021

The Inaugural Churchill Policy Room event featured image
Picture from L-R Trent Nelson, Chair Dja Dja Wurrung Clans Aboriginal Corporation, Katherine Webber CF2018, Katrina Marson CF2018, Scott Falconer CF2017, Jennifer Bowles CF2014, Claire Seppings CF2015, Natalia Krysiak CF2018, Taryn Lane CF2016, Jessica Cocks CF2016, Steve Harrison CF2015, Megan Gilmour CF2016

On Monday 15 March the Trust held the inaugural ‘Churchill Policy Room’ event at Parliament House in Canberra to share the expertise and recommendations of the Churchill Fellows who were selected to participate in our Policy Impact Program.

The Churchill Policy Room saw the launch of Policy Futures: A Reform Agenda, the flagship publication of the Policy Impact Program, a partnership between the Churchill Trust and the University of Queensland to identify, curate and advocate a selection of ideas from our Churchill Fellows that have the potential to shape best practice and policy reform on a variety of relevant and contemporary issues facing Australia.

The Churchill Policy Room event was opened by The Hon. Ken Wyatt, Minister for Indigenous Australians. Opening remarks and policy insights were also provided by: Professor Heather Zwicker, Executive Dean, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences University of Queensland;  The Hon. Margaret White AO, Patron of The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust; Mr David Trebeck, Chair of The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Board; and select Churchill Fellows.

Over the course of the day, the following Churchill Fellows presented on their policy topics: Magistrate Jennifer Bowles, Mr Scott Falconer, Mr Steve Harrison, Katherine Webber, Katrina Marson, Claire Seppings, Natalia Krysiak, Taryn Lane, Jessica Cocks, and Megan Gilmour. You can watch the individual presentations here.

The Fellows spent their time advising members of parliament, their advisers and senior departmental officials. Several meetings and presentations were also arranged with some government agencies, including Prime Minister and Cabinet; Education, Skills and Employment; Social Services; and Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. Media engagement opportunities on the day and throughout the week following were positive, with some examples included below. The Trust was thankful for the event support provided by Australian Public Affairs, which is owned and run by 1996 Churchill Fellow, Tracey Cain.

It is intended that Policy Futures: A Reform Agenda will serve to increase the accessibility of valuable evidence and experiences to policymakers within Australia. We hope this publication will encourage more partnership approaches toward developing public policy that is informed by broad groups of experts, including our Churchill Fellows.

On the same day as our Churchill Policy Room event, the March 4 Justice movement was in force across the country including at Parliament House. Although we could not join the crowds outside, we stood with them in spirit. One of our event participants, Katrina Marson (ACT, 2018) was interviewed in Parliament House by the ABC to discuss her research into preventing sexual violence through youth education. The number of Churchill Fellowships we award on issues relating to violence and unequal treatment of women serves to reinforce that cultural change in our country is well and truly overdue.

You can read the policy articles and download Policy Futures: A reform agenda here.

Media highlights

Churchill Fellows hold ’war room’ to plot COVID-19 recovery  The Australian, 16 March 2021

‘Five crucial steps on the road to justice for women’ The Age 21 March 2021 (Katrina Marson CF 2018)

‘Planned or cultural burns: are they effective bushfire management methods?’ ABC News Online Monday 22 March 2021 (Scott Falconer CF 2017)

National Indigenous Drug and Alcohol Conference Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP 23 March 2021 (Jennifer Bowles CF 2014)

‘Public toilet expert creates blueprint for how Australia can improve loo management’ ABC News Online and MSN 29 March 2021 (Katherine Webber CF 2018)

‘Mother’s “year from hell” exposes gap in justice and treatment systems’ Bendigo Advertiser 29 March 2021, Canberra Times 31 March 2021 (Jennifer Bowles CF 2014)

‘You can change things’ The Sunday Telegraph 11 April 2021 (Katrina Marson CF 2018)

‘Meet the Researcher Who Travels the World Studying Public Toilets’ VICE 13 April 2021 (Kathryn Webber CF 2018)

‘Canberra company takes robot presence to the world’ RIOTACT! 17 April 2021 (Megan Gilmour CF 2017)

Rage of Consent Channel 9 60 Minutes 25 April 2021 (Katrina Marson CF 2018)

‘Ill Informed Consent’ The Monthly National May 2021 (Katrina Marson CF 2018)

‘Not on our Watch’ The Saturday Paper Melbourne (Katrina Marson CF 2018)

‘Supporting Traditional Owners To Care For Country’ Premier of Victoria The Hon Daniel Andrews Website 9 May (Scott Falconer CF 2017)

‘We can, through education, drive rates of sexual offending down’ The Weekend Australian Magazine 5 June 2021 (Katrina Marson CF 2018)

‘Everyone has a public toilet story’ City News Canberra 28 July 2021 (Katherine Webber CF 2018)

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