Jules Wills

Dr Wills is Director International Alumni at the University of Canberra: he holds a Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies from CCAE, and a Masters Degree in Public Administration and PhD in Public Sector Management from UC.

Jules served 23 years in the Royal Australian Air Force and 13 years in the Australian Public Service before moving fulltime to UC in 2000. 

During several years as a UC Senior Lecturer in business and government, he served as Director of the Center for Research in Public Sector Management and Academic Director of the National Institute for Governance.  He was also Convenor of the Command, Leadership and Management and RAN MBA programs for the Australian Command and Staff Course, Australian Defence College at Weston, ACT, and Convenor of the Doctorate in Business Administration. 

In 2003, he founded the China Management Studies Unit and became the Director, Professional Management Programs in 2004 where he revamped the PMP programs, expanded its APS operations and developed a comprehensive network of international training connections.

He was appointed Director of the newly combined Marketing and International group in November 2007 and up to March 2011 in this role was responsible for domestic and international marketing and recruiting, brand and publishing, centralised management of transnational education for UC and coordinating international training at UC and overseas.

Jules became Director International Alumni in 2011.

The Centrelink Experiment »

Innovation in Service Delivery

Publication date: December 2008
Centrelink was established in 1997 as part of the Howard government’s bold experiment in re-framing social policy and re-shaping service delivery. Centrelink was the embodiment of a key tenet of the Howard vision for public service: a specialised service delivery ‘provider’ agency separated from the policy functions of the ‘purchaser’. Carved out of a monolithic Department of Social Security, Centrelink was established along ‘business lines’ operating 320 service centres and delivering payments to 10 million Australians. Although enjoying ‘monopoly provider’ status, the organisation was required to deliver services to many different clients on behalf of its ‘purchasing departments’ (up to 25 in total) under the terms of quasi-contractual service agreements. It was meant to demonstrate a greater level of both transparency and accountability for the administration of payments amounting to over $60 billion of Commonwealth expenditure. For many years there was a real ‘buzz’ around the Centrelink experiment and staff and clients were generally enthusiastic about the transformation. However, after around eight years, the experiment was reined in and Centrelink was placed under closer ministerial direction and under a new managing department. The experiment continues, but its trajectory reflects the different pressures impacting on such dedicated ‘services delivery agencies’. John Halligan, Professor of Government at the University of Canberra, is a foremost Australian expert on public sector governance and has published extensively on the evolution, form and behaviour of the public sectors in Australia and overseas. This volume is the culmination of an exhaustive empirical study of the origins and experience of ‘the Centrelink Experiment’. I commend this book to researchers, policy practitioners and students with an interest in policy innovation, change management and the realpolitik of public sector reform. John Wanna, Sir John Bunting Chair of Public Administration, The Australian National University