Hon Prof Lisa Paul wants to bridge the gap between academics and public policy

19 March 2024

Crawford’s Honorary Professor Lisa Paul AO PSM hopes her depth of experience within the Australian Government will help students bridge the gap between academia and real-world policy. She recently joined the Crawford School of Public Policy team, saying that “After more than thirty years as a public servant, 12 of which I served as secretary of Education, I am absolutely delighted to be made Honorary Professor.”

Now also Chancellor at the University of Canberra, Lisa emphasizes the importance of Crawford students understanding the motives behind decisions that politicians make. In her experience, all politicians are committed to making a positive difference to Australia and Australians. “I hope to offer students some insights into how to get things done and what good policy looks like not only from the perspective of the public service but also the politician,” she said, adding that it is always important for students to understand that politicians are elected, and public servants are not.

The strength of universities cannot be overstated either in this relationship. “Universities are our most important institution, after the polity, for upholding democracy. I’m passionate about any work that helps support democracies.”

Lisa underscores the importance of education to individuals achieving their potential, and that opportunities need to be more equally shared across backgrounds including for First Nations students, staff and researchers. “I’m also interested in impact, across the board in higher education; but also the impact that policy relevant research can have on creating good public policy. I’d love to help bridge the two worlds of public service and university.”

Joining Crawford is not only a professional opportunity for Lisa, but also a personal connection to her alma mater, the ANU. Her presence enriches the Crawford community, welcoming students and faculty to engage in meaningful dialogues and initiatives that shape the future of public policy and governance.

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Updated:  15 July 2024/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team