Jennifer Menzies

Jennifer Menzies is a Director with the consultancy Policy Futures and a Commissioner with the Commonwealth Grants Commission. A former senior executive and Cabinet Secretary within the Queensland Department of the Premier and Cabinet, she has over 20 years’ experience in both state and commonwealth governments. From 2007 to 2009 she was the inaugural Secretary for the Council for the Australian Federation. She consults in the field of public policy and governance and has published in the fields of caretaker conventions, federalism and intergovernmental relations. She is an Adjunct Senior Research Fellow with the Centre for Governance and Public Policy, Griffith University.

Caretaker Conventions in Australasia »

Minding the shop for government

In the second revised edition of this monograph, Jennifer Menzies and Anne Tiernan capably chart the often hazardous terrain of the ‘caretaker period’ that ensues from the time an election is called until a new government is formed. This is a landscape fraught with political and administrative dangers – particularly for public servants who are required to ‘mind the shop’ and keep the basically machinery of government going. The conventions represent an historical accretion of custom, practice and rules, often leavened with uncertainty. In tackling their subject, Menzies and Tiernan draw upon their shared past experiences as public servants and ministerial ‘staffers’ as well as the highest standards of academic scholarship – this is a ‘must read’ for politicians, public servants and students of government. The second edition expands on the first edition by documenting recent controversies and trends which have had an impact on caretaker conventions. The analysis of the contemporary application of caretaker conventions has been updated and new case studies included – particularly from the last federal election. Also included is additional material about lengthy government formation after election day and the management of caretaker conventions during that time. The New Zealand material has been revised and updated. The caretaker conventions Australia (PDF, 127KB) Australian Capital Territory (PDF, 187KB) New South Wales (PDF, 234 KB) Northern Territory (PDF, 175KB) Queensland (PDF, 94KB) South Australia (PDF, 224KB) Tasmania (PDF, 232KB) Victoria (PDF, 178KB) Western Australia (PDF, 430KB) New Zealand (PDF, 280KB)