Lessons from Australia’s past national wellbeing approaches

Overview

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Lessons from Australia’s past national wellbeing approaches is a briefing paper from the Centre for Policy Development’s Wellbeing Government Initiative that examines Australia’s history in relation to wellbeing economics and government. It is written by Dr Cressida Gaukroger.

It examines ABS and Treasury engagement with wellbeing, including in the Measuring Australia’s Progress project, finding they were leading instances of government engagement with more expansive and granular indicators of progress.

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Lessons from Australia’s past national wellbeing approaches examines ABS and Treasury engagement with wellbeing, including in the Measuring Australia’s Progress project, finding they were leading instances of government engagement with more expansive and granular indicators of progress.

It identifies several lessons for contemporary policymakers.

Insights for national wellbeing approaches

Lessons from Australia’s past national wellbeing approaches identifies several lessons for contemporary policymakers. These include:

  • Historic approaches in Australia were largely successful despite the policy environment they inhabited being less wellbeing-literate
  • The importance of creating enduring cultural and practical changes for public officials
  • Frameworks that include clear guidance are more durable and effective than those focused on measurement alone
  • A public mandate for wellbeing acts as a guardrail against politicisation of the public service
  • Environmental sustainability is an indispensable component of a successful approach

About the author

Cressida Gaukroger

Dr Cressida Gaukroger is senior policy adviser for the Wellbeing Government Program at the Centre for Policy Development

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