Fixing the System (Griffith Review, Volume 51)
Griffith Review 51: Fixing the System sets out toexamine Australia’s political and social system and to investigatewhy so many believe it to be unfit for the purpose.While Australia has never been richer, its people bettereducated and the country better connected internationally, there isa widespread perception that systems and key institutions arebroken. Interest groups flex their muscle and block each other.Risk management has paralysed the system. Commentators proclaim the‘end of the reform era’. They lament the rise of a ‘new volatility’in the nation’s electoral politics; the demise of the capacity andwill to lead; and the paucity of debate of the problems andchallenges facing Australia. They complain about the resistance tochange and openness to bold new ideas, and the ability to talkfrankly and fearlessly about the kind of society we want to buildfor the future. All this is happening in a world that is changingrapidly, but without a clear road map.Edited by Julianne Schultz and Anne Tiernan, Fixing theSystem examines this chorus of complaint. It asks what isbroken and examines the reasons how and why. It considers whatneeds to be done to revive the lucky country.Contributors include Carmen Lawrence, Clare Wright, Peter VanOnselen, Paul Ham, Gabrielle Carey, Chris Wallace, Jonathan West,Megan Davis, Stephen Mills, Anne Coombs, Graham Wood, Lee Kofmanand many more.Julianne Schultz is the founding editor ofGriffith Review. She is a member of the Griffith Centre forCreative Arts Research and chairs the Australian Film, Televisionand Radio School. She sits on the editorial board of TheConversation and is a member of the Australia Council for the Arts’Pool of Peers. She is an acclaimed author of several books,including Reviving the Fourth Estate (Cambridge) andSteel City Blues (Penguin), and the librettos to theoperas Black River and Going Into Shadows. Shebecame a Member of the Order of Australia for services tojournalism and the community in 2009 and an honorary fellow of theAustralian Academy of Humanities the following year. She is athought leader on media and culture and an accomplished publicspeaker and facilitator. She has served on the board of directorsof the ABC and Grattan Institute, and chaired and been a member ofmany advisory boards with a particular focus on education,journalism and creativity, including the Centre for AdvancingJournalism, A Companion to the Australian Media, the NationalCultural Policy reference group and the Queensland DesignCouncil.Anne Tiernan is a Professor in the School ofGovernment and International Relations at Griffith University. Apolitical scientist, who had earlier careers in government in theCommonwealth and Queensland, and in teaching and consultancy, Anneis respected for her independent, professional andresearch-informed analysis and commentary on national politics,public administration and public policy. Her research focuses onthe work of governing. Anne is author of books including:Lessons in Governing: A Profile of Prime Ministers’ Chiefs ofStaff and The Gatekeepers: Lessons from Prime Ministers’Chiefs of Staff (both with R.A.W. Rhodes, Melbourne UniversityPublishing, 2014), Learning to be a Minister: HeroicExpectations, Practical Realities (with Patrick Weller,Melbourne University Press, 2010) and Power WithoutResponsibility: Ministerial Staffers in Australian Governments fromWhitlam to Howard (UNSW Press, 2007).