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How one computer salesman contributed to the digital revolution

Publication date: 2019
‘Thank you for your order, Mr Mainframe Customer. The cost is £5 million and the lead-time for manufacture will be two years. In the meantime you will have to build a special computer centre to our specification. For our part, our project team will help you recruit and train potential programmers and we shall advise on how you might use the system.’ How different from today when the customer will want to see a specific application running before he puts a hand in his/her pocket. Chris Yardley lived the changes as a computer salesman and tells his story of a career living and working in five countries. Warts and all. The ecstasies, the heartbreaks and idiocies of major corporations.  His career was not a planned one. In a growing industry, opportunities presented themselves and Chris believes he grasped every one presented. Having written his story, he has had every chapter verified by at least one person who features in that narrative. His respondents have universally endorsed the facts with comments such as ‘Wow, I’d forgotten most of that’. ‘You have a fantastic memory.’ ‘I never knew before the full facts of what happened.’ ‘How have you remembered all the circumstances?’ ‘It really is a people business.’ This is the only book that has followed a computer sales career over almost 50 years.

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Successful Public Policy »

Lessons from Australia and New Zealand

Publication date: 2019
In Australia and New Zealand, many public projects, programs and services perform well. But these cases are consistently underexposed and understudied. We cannot properly ‘see’—let alone recognise and explain—variations in government performance when media, political and academic discourses are saturated with accounts of their shortcomings and failures, but are next to silent on their achievements. Successful Public Policy: Lessons from Australia and New Zealand helps to turn that tide. It aims to reset the agenda for teaching, research and dialogue on public policy performance. This is done through a series of close-up, in-depth and carefully chosen case study accounts of the genesis and evolution of stand-out public policy achievements, across a range of sectors within Australia and New Zealand. Through these accounts, written by experts from both countries, we engage with the conceptual, methodological and theoretical challenges that have plagued extant research seeking to evaluate, explain and design successful public policy. Studies of public policy successes are rare—not just in Australia and New Zealand, but the world over. This book is embedded in a broader project exploring policy successes globally; its companion volume, Great Policy Successes (edited by Paul ‘t Hart and Mallory Compton), is published by Oxford University Press (2019).

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‘True Biographies of Nations?’ »

The Cultural Journeys of Dictionaries of National Biography

Edited by: Karen Fox
Publication date: April 2019
Dictionaries of national biography are a long-established and significant genre of biographical and historical writing, existing in many forms across the globe. This book brings together practitioners from around the English‑speaking world to reflect on national biographical dictionary projects’ recent cultural journeys, and the challenges presented to them by such developments as the transition to a digital environment, a new alertness to the need to represent diversity, and the rise of transnationalism. Exploring their paths forward, the chapters of this book collectively make a powerful argument for the continued value and importance of large‑scale collaborative biographical dictionary research.

In Search of the Never-Never »

Mickey Dewar: Champion of History Across Many Genres

Edited by: Ann McGrath
Publication date: 2019
Mickey Dewar made a profound contribution to the history of the Northern Territory, which she performed across many genres. She produced high‑quality, memorable and multi-sensory histories, including the Cyclone Tracy exhibition at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and the reinterpretation of Fannie Bay Gaol. Informed by a great love of books, her passion for history was infectious. As well as offering three original chapters that appraise her work, this edited volume republishes her first book, In Search of the Never-Never. In Dewar’s comprehensive and incisive appraisal of the literature of the Northern Territory, she provides brilliant, often amusing insights into the ever-changing representations of a region that has featured so large in the Australian popular imagination.

Competing for Influence »

The Role of the Public Service in Better Government in Australia

Authored by: Barry Ferguson
Publication date: 2019
Amidst growing dissatisfaction with the state of government performance and an erosion of trust in our political class, Competing for Influence asks: what sort of public service do we want in Australia? Drawing on his experience in both the public and private sectors – and citing academic research across the fields of public sector management, industrial organisation, and corporate strategy – Barry Ferguson argues the case for the careful selection and application of private sector management concepts to the public service, both for their ability to strengthen the public service and inform public policy. These include competitive advantage, competitive positioning, horizontal strategy and organisational design, and innovation as an all-encompassing organisational adjustment mechanism to a changeable environment. But these are not presented as a silver bullet, and Ferguson addresses other approaches to reform, including the need to rebuild the Public Sector Act, the need to reconsider the interface between political and administrative arms of government (and determine what is in the ‘public interest’), and the need for greater independence for the public service within a clarified role. This approach, and its implications for public sector reform, is contrasted with the straitjacket of path dependency that presently constricts the field.

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East Asia Forum Quarterly: Volume 11, Number 1, 2019 »

Publication date: March 2019
This issue of East Asia Forum Quarterly touches on key economic and social questions that affect gender equality in Southeast Asia and East Asia, delving beneath the aggregates and measurement challenges. Strengthening the evidence base is critical to building the policy toolkit and shaping public investments that ensure no woman or man is left behind. East Asia Forum Quarterly grew out of East Asia Forum (EAF) online, which has developed a reputation for providing a platform for the best in Asian analysis, research and policy comment on the Asia Pacific region in world affairs. EAFQ aims to provide a further window onto research in the leading research institutes in Asia and to provide expert comment on current developments within the region. The East Asia Forum Quarterly, like East Asia Forum online, is an initiative of the East Asia Forum (EAF) and its host organisation, the East Asian Bureau of Economic Research (EABER) in the Crawford School of Economics and Government in the College of Asia & the Pacific at The Australian National University.
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In from the Cold »

Reflections on Australia’s Korean War

Publication date: 2019
Open hostilities in the Korean War ended on the 27th of July 1953. The armistice that was signed at that time remains the poignant symbol of an incomplete conclusion – of a war that retains a distinct possibility of resuming at short notice. So what did Australia contribute to the Korean War from June 1950 to July 1953? What were the Australians doing there? How significant was the contribution and what difference did it make? What has that meant for Australia since then, and what might that mean for Australia into the future? Australians served at sea, on land and in the air alongside their United Nations partners during the war. They fought with distinction, from bitterly cold mountain tops, to the frozen decks of aircraft carriers and in dogfights overhead. This book includes the perspectives of leading academics, practitioners and veterans contributing fresh ideas on the conduct and legacy of the Korean War. International perspectives from allies and adversaries provide contrasting counterpoints that help create a more nuanced understanding of Australia’s relatively small but nonetheless important contribution of forces in the Korean War. The book finishes with some reflections on implications that the Korean War still carries for Australia and the world to this day.

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ANU Historical Journal II: Number 1 »

Publication date: 2019
The first issue of the revived ANU Historical Journal (ANUHJ) follows in the footsteps of its predecessor, bringing together the writing and research of several generations of Australian historians in a single volume. It begins with seven short memoirs from the editors and contributors of the ANUHJ (1964–87), which together offer an extraordinary window on to the student history of the ANU in the 1960s and 1970s. Following the memoirs, the articles in this issue consider the symbolism of the early Aboriginal Tent Embassy; Louisa Lawson’s involvement in Australia’s suffrage movement through her magazine The Dawn; the changing meanings of barn swallow migration in Europe; how the sexuality of Frederick the Great can shine further light on our understanding of Prussian masculinity; the recent public apologies of two prominent leaders of the Lebanese Civil War: Assad Shaftari and Samir Geagea; evangelical humanitarian discourse in the Australian colonies; and the cultural and religious diversity engraved on one Sicilian tombstone. Elsewhere, contributors contemplate the place of national history amid the rise of transnational and global history, and review some of the leading Australian titles that were published last year.

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A Doctor Across Borders »

Raphael Cilento and public health from empire to the United Nations

Publication date: February 2019
In his day, Raphael Cilento was one of the most prominent and controversial figures in Australian medicine. As a senior medical officer in the Commonwealth and Queensland governments, he was an active participant in public health reform during the inter-war years and is best known for his vocal engagement with public discourse on the relationship between hygiene, race and Australian nationhood. Yet Cilento’s work on tropical hygiene and social welfare ranged beyond Australia, especially when he served as a colonial medical officer in British Malaya and in the Mandated Territory of New Guinea. He also worked with the League of Nations Health Organization in the Pacific Islands and oversaw international social welfare programs for the United Nations. On one level, this professional mobility allowed ideas and practices of public health and government to circulate between colonial spaces of northern Australia, the Pacific Islands and Asia. On another, it meant that Cilento’s Pacific colonialism and colonial experience shaped his understanding of Australian national health and welfare. Rather than attempt a comprehensive biography of Cilento, this book instead uses this border-crossing career as a means to explore several material and discursive facets of Australia’s relationships to the Pacific and the world.

The Court as Archive »

Publication date: 2019
Until the late 20th century, ‘an archive’ generally meant a repository for documents, as well as the generic name for the wide range of documents the repository might hold. An archive could be visited, and then also searched, to discover past actions or lives that had meaning for the present. While historians and historiographers have long understood the contests that archives contain and represent, the very idea of ‘the archive’ has, over the last 40 years, become the subject and object of widening and intensified consideration. This consideration has been intellectual (from scholars in a wide range of disciplines) and public (from communities and individuals whose stories are held captive, or sometimes hidden or excluded from official archives), as well as institutional. It has involved scrutiny and critique of official archives’ limitations and practices, as well as symbolic, affective and theoretical expansion and heightened expectation of what ‘the archive’ is or should be. The very language of ‘the archive’ now carries freight as administrative practice, normative value, metaphor, description and aspiration in different ways than it did in the 20th century. This collection offers a unique contribution to these reinvigorated and sometimes new conversations about what an archive might be, what it can do as a consequence, and to whom it bears custodial responsibilities. In particular, this collection addresses what it means for contemporary Australian superior courts of record to not only have constitutional and procedural duties to documents as a matter of law, but also to acknowledge obligations to care for those materials in a way that understands their public meaning and public value for the Australian people, in the past, in the present and for the future.