The University of Western Australia has established a new way to share its world-class research and expertise with decision makers and community leaders to help shape the future of our society.
The UWA Public Policy Institute will deliver high quality, independent and impartial research and advice to contribute to the development and implementation of sound public policy in Western Australia, Australia and the Indo-Pacific.
UWA Vice-Chancellor Professor Dawn Freshwater said while UWA had always played an active role in the development of Western Australia, there was much more the University could do to contribute to public policy decision making.
“Our goal is to position UWA as a trusted partner for those seeking evidence-based ideas and solutions to current and emerging problems,” Professor Freshwater said.
The aim of the Institute is to create a ‘shop front’ for industry, government and community organisations to directly access the University. The institute will provide policy-focused reports on social and economic indicators, run short-courses and professional development programs and offer thought-leadership on issues which impact on WA, Australia, the Indian Ocean region and the Indo-Pacific.
“Many of our neighbours in the region are grappling with issues relevant to UWA’s research strengths such as energy, agriculture, health, governance and economic development”, Professor Freshwater said.
“Through the creation of the UWA Public Policy Institute, we aim to take our engagement with communities both at home and internationally to a new level as we strive to be more visible and have greater impact.”
UWA Professor, former Australian Defence and Foreign Affairs Minister, and Chair of the Advisory Board for the Institute, Stephen Smith, said the Public Policy Institute would allow UWA to better work with government, industry and community organisations on solutions to real-world problems.
“Our aim is to make it easier for decision makers throughout the community to find experts from across the University who can work with them to find evidenced-based solutions to modern challenges,” Professor Smith said.
The University already interacts with government on a range of issues which affect communities, for example the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities, which involves UWA researchers working alongside government to develop long-term strategies for current and future sustainable water usage.
The new Policy Institute (uwa.edu.au/institutes/public-policy) will be based at UWA’s Crawley campus.
David Stacey (UWA Media Manager) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716