Following its launch in May 2022, The Policymaker quickly found avid readers among policymakers and the broader public policy community, with its most popular articles being read by thousands across Australia and internationally.

This week marks the first anniversary of the platform, which is a digital publication of the James Martin Institute for Public Policy (JMI).

With over 40 articles published by more than 50 expert contributors we’ve been able to capture some ground-breaking new policy ideas from Nobel prize winners, First Nations leaders, senior policymakers, experienced government advisors, civic leaders and advocates, practitioners in diverse fields, and formidable emerging thinkers.

A new voice in the public policy landscape

We asked a number of contributors and the platform’s editor, Dr Vafa Ghazavi, for their reflections on the value and impact of The Policymaker.

Duncan Ivison, Professor of Political Philosophy at the University of Sydney, said that “in the short time since being launched, The Policymaker has become a go-to source for smart, thoughtful, punchy, but always well-informed takes on the big policy questions of the day.” Professor Ivison wrote last November for The Policymaker on Australia’s research funding system.

Dr Alicia Mollaun struck a similar chord by saying “The Policymaker should be required reading for all public policy practitioners.” Dr Mollaun is a Senior Manager for Economic Policy at Equity Economics. She published two timely articles on The Policymaker about economic policy and Australia’s first well-being budget.

Dr Ghazavi said the platform’s success comes down to the unique formula applied to its content. “What has set the Policymaker apart is its clear focus on constructive ideas and solutions.”

“Articles are designed to allow readers to get to the heart of complex policy issues, and to offer concrete and potentially transformative recommendations and insights to advance public discussion,” Dr Ghazavi said.

Building bridges to drive impact

The Policymaker fits squarely within the broader mission of JMI. JMI supports policymakers to develop practical solutions to strategic policy challenges by enabling them to access a wide range of expert thinking.

“It’s never been more important to bridge the gap between outstanding public policy research and practitioners in government and the broader community who are wrestling with policy dilemmas every day,” Professor Ivision added. “The Policymaker is helping to build those bridges,” Professor Ivison said.

The Policymaker is such a strong and important partner in building those bridges,” said Professor Maree Teesson AC, Director of the Matilda Centre at the University of Sydney, who contributed to two highly insightful articles on Australia’s health and drug policy.

The future is bright

“The first year has shown a real appetite among policy thinkers and practitioners in Australia for an outlet that enables them to share new ideas and creative solutions on some of the most important challenges facing the country,” Dr Ghazavi said.

In its second year, the editorial team at the James Martin Institute looks to expand the depth and breadth of the platform’s coverage of critical public policy challenges in Australia.

“We will use what we have learnt in the first year to grow the platform in 2023 and beyond.”

“The future of public policy in Australia is strengthened by courage and truth telling. Thanks for the voice of The Policymaker,” Teesson added.

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