Good social policy making workshop – undermining the market paradigm - Australian Fabians Former Site - For Page Transfers

Good social policy making workshop – undermining the market paradigm

Saturday - 26 May, 2018 - 02:00 PM

Community and Public Sector Union - Haymarket, Australia

Want to know how to do good social policy making more effectively?  Join other Fabians in an initial half day workshop.

There are serious shortfalls of socially oriented policies that address the gaps in policies that cover social inequity, fairness and social well being on progressive political parties agendas and relatively few are being promoted by advocacy and community groups. Too much of the present focus is on policies that adjust some obvious flaws in neo-liberalism, so there are few that seek the necessary radical changes that restore social goals as priorities and put economics back to offering the means to pay for them.

At the same time there are angry voters, who are expressing both protests at what is and is not happening. This is fuelling a major distrust epidemic which is undermining the legitimacy of democratic processes. While protesters are identifying their discontents, there are few offering alternatives so their activities have limited effects. Little happens as those seeking and/or in power rarely have the vision necessary to conceptualise alternatives to what they offer to 'buying' voter approval. So little is changing.

If we want changes, we need to show that there are social rather than economic alternatives, both to attract voters with credible visions of better futures and convince those in power that they need to listen. So we need policies that offer the public (voters) greater fairness and a sense that their future government is listening to options for creating more equal and civil societies.

We need to develop policy proposals as possible agenda items, which replace the current limited policies, by those that have social goals, not just economic ones. To develop and distribute these, we need to tap into wider ideas and viewpoints, so we are exploring the option of offering a half day plus workshop as an intro to social policies options that can  be used to lobby for and advocate more progressive priorities.

This is intended to be a brief introduction to putting together ideas for policies that can effectively create a paradigm shift so we are citizens, not customers who live in a society not an economy, so we can restore trust in social democratic governance. It will explore both some good social policy possibilities and how they can framed and promoted.

This workshop is open to all, however, will we be asking non-Fabian members to make a small donation to help cover costs for the workshop.



Session One: Policy 2pm

  • Introductions
  • What the participants can expect from the day
  • Welcome to Country
  • House keeping


Part one

A. What is social policy? How does social policy differ to economic policy making? How do Governments organise and communicate their policy agenda? What can the Fabians do to promote it?

Comparing Models:

Post war social democratic model of the welfare state.

1980s onward- neoliberalism, market-based society.

B. State of the Nation: Filling the gaps: Why we need to work on how is social policy written, advocated for in the current climate, and how do we can retrieve community, care, and social wellbeing?

  • Discussion & Questions

Objective: Develop analytical skills for exploring both policy and political problems and the development of solutions

C. A case study – Fixing the welfare mess: Case Study on how does one collect evidence and mount a case for a UBI? Writing a policy submission. Handout: Our policy submission. format; or community services, returning the local and non profit model  

Objective: Develop skills in both critiquing and proposing policies. You need to be able to offer critiques of current broad policy directions and dominant paradigms, and develop proposals for particular policy changes, within an advocacy or activist framework.


Session Two: Advocacy

  • Introduction
  • How does policy get made and unmade: the political structures and who has the power to decide? Exercise/Quiz about the following

Who are the players? What are the processes? How does social change come to fruition? How is power brokered through the Senate and the House of Representatives? What is the role of political parties? What is their influence and how do they operate? What are the broad differences in jurisdiction between the Commonwealth and states and local governments? What is COAG?

  • Exercise: Taking the UBI or a community service and write a brief for a political campaign strategy
  • Media campaign strategy for a UBI or other examples to ensure public support and effective pressure.

Objective: Understand the operations of power in and out of formal institutions and the ways in which political process might be transformed by the influence of stakeholders, social movements and political activism.

  • Discussion
  • Questions

Planning for next steps forward


Handouts to come:

  • Good Society Manifesto
  • Good Society Outlining the Problems
  • Samples of the Policy Submission


Please provide the following details:

Intention to attend the workshop for catering purposes (definitely/most probably/maybe/another time)

Any particular areas of interest

Current/usual job

Membership of organisations related to the policy process

Related qualification/area of study ?

Age group (<20/20-30/31-40/40 plus)


We use cookies on our websites. You are free to manage this via your browser setting at any time. OK