A. J. Brown

A. J. Brown holds law and politics degrees from UNSW, a graduate diploma in legal practice from ANU, and a PhD from Griffith University. He is admitted as a barrister in Queensland and a barrister and solicitor in Australia’s federal courts. From 1993 to 1997 he worked for the Commonwealth Ombudsman in Canberra, primarily as Senior Investigation Officer (Major Projects). In 1998 he served as Associate to Justice G. E. (Tony) Fitzgerald AC, President of the Queensland Court of Appeal; and in 1999 as ministerial policy advisor to the Hon Rod Welford MLA, then Queensland Minister for Environment Heritage and Natural Resources. He has worked or consulted for all levels and branches of government, as well as in the non-government sector.

Since 2003 Professor Brown has been a Senior Research Fellow and Senior Lecturer at Griffith University, researching and teaching in a range of areas of public accountability, public policy and public law. He currently leads several research projects on the future of federalism.

Whistling While They Work »

A good-practice guide for managing internal reporting of wrongdoing in public sector organisations

Authored by: Peter Roberts, A. J. Brown, Jane Olsen
Publication date: September 2011
This guide sets out results from four years of research into how public sector organisations can better fulfil their missions, maintain their integrity and value their employees by adopting a current best-practice approach to the management of whistleblowing. This guide focuses on: the processes needed for public employees and employees of public contractors to be able to report concerns about wrongdoing in public agencies and programs; and managerial responsibilities for the support, protection and management of those who make disclosures about wrongdoing, as part of an integrated management approach. The guide is designed to assist with the special systems needed for managing ‘public interest’ whistleblowing-where the suspected or alleged wrongdoing affects more than the personal or private interests of the person making the disclosure. As the guide explains, however, an integrated approach requires having good systems for managing all types of reported wrongdoing-including personal, employment and workplace grievances-not least because these might often be interrelated with ‘public interest’ matters.

Whistleblowing in the Australian Public Sector »

Enhancing the theory and practice of internal witness management in public sector organisations

Edited by: A. J. Brown
Publication date: September 2008
Of the many challenges in public sector management, few are as complex as the management of whistleblowing. Because it can lead to the discovery and rectification of wrongdoing, public interest whistleblowing is widely acknowledged as being positive for organisations and for society at large. However, the conflicts and reprisal risks often associated with whistleblowing also support a widespread belief that every whistleblower is destined to suffer, and nothing can be done to protect them from reprisals. Even if they did it once, sensible employees are often seen as unlikely to ever blow the whistle a second time around. The extensive research in this book reveals a more complex and, fortunately, more positive picture. The product of one of the world’s most comprehensive research projects on whistleblowing, evidence from over 8,000 public servants in over 100 federal, state and local government agencies shows that whistleblowers can and do survive, and that often their role is highly valued. Public sector managers face significant challenges in better managing and protecting whistleblowers. There is great variation between the many public agencies making the effort, and the many agencies where the outcomes — for managers and whistleblowers alike — are still likely to be grim. This book is compulsory reading for all public sector managers who wish to turn this negative trend around, and for anyone interested in public accountability generally.

Federalism and Regionalism in Australia »

New Approaches, New Institutions?

Edited by: A. J. Brown, Jennifer Bellamy
Publication date: August 2007
Australia’s federal system is in a state of flux and its relevance is being challenged. Dramatic shifts are occurring in the ways in which power and responsibility are shared between governments. Pressure for reform is coming not just from above, but from below, as the needs of local and regional communities – both rural and urban – occupy an increasingly important place on the national stage. How will these competing pressures for centralisation and devolution in the structures of federalism be reconciled? In this volume, experts and policy practitioners from diverse backgrounds canvass this uncertain future to conclude that the future of state, regional and local institutions is not only a vital question of federal governance, but must be addressed in a conscious and concerted way if Australian federalism is to evolve in ways that are sufficiently legitimate, effective, efficient and adaptive.