MasterCraft Series - Applying research to policy making and co-design for a disability user audience

Co-design is one of the many latest policy and program 'buzz words', but what is it and how does it compare to consultations and process government has undertaken for years. This session is the next in the collaboration between the Australian Public Service Academy and the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA). This event will bring together a number of experts across government and academia to present understandings, evidence and personal experiences of co-design. With the upcoming International Day of People with Disability, on 3 December, this session will have a particular focus on the co-design in policy, service delivery and technologies with and for people with disability, but the insights and knowledge gained will be transferable to all areas.

The session will serve to explore the intersection of research, public service, and technological co-design. Our goal is to enhance attendees’ understanding of the opportunity and challenges in co-design, and provide them with practical tools for use within their own workplace.

It is convened and led by the Australian Council of Learned Academies (ACOLA) with the APS Academy, to facilitate deep discussion between experts, practitioners and policymakers.

The seminar will be in-person, with an option for online for those not based in Canberra. Face-to-face is encouraged as the seminar is designed to be a conversation, commencing with initial thought-provoking presentations and followed by an interactive panel discussion.  


9 Gordon Street
Ian Potter House

Entrances to the building are on three sides. Preference is to come from Gordon Street entrance or the Edinburgh Street entrance.



Professor Jackie Leach Scully

Professor Jackie Leach Scully 

Jackie is an internationally recognised bioethicist specialising in disability and feminist bioethics. With a background in molecular biology and further training in neurobiology, she held research fellowships at the Ecole polytechnique federale de Lausanne and the University of Basel, Switzerland, before helping to establish the first interdisciplinary unit for bioethics at Basel. In 2006 she joined Newcastle University, UK as Senior Lecturer, becoming Director of Research and ultimately Executive Director of the Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Centre there. In August 2019 she moved to UNSW as Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Disability Innovation Institute, based in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.


Professor Karen Fisher

Professor Karen Fisher 

Karen Fisher is a Professor at the Social Policy Research Centre. Her research interests are the organisation of social services in Australia and China; disability and mental health policy; inclusive research and evaluation; and social policy process. Karen applies mixed methodology and adopts inclusive research methods with people with disability, families, policy officials and services providers.


Dr. Erol Harvey

Dr. Erol Harvey

Erol has a few roles. He is the CEO of the Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery (ACMD), Head of Development and Translation at the Bionics Institute, a Board Member of the National Imaging Facility, is on the Industry Advisory Panel for the Australian Medtech Manufacturing Centre, a grant reviewer for the NHMRC and is a Fellow of the Academy of Technology and Engineering. He has been awarded the prestigious Clunies Ross medal for entrepreneurship and in 2010 was named Emerging Technology Entrepreneur of the Year by the Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame.

He founded a medical device manufacturing company, MiniFAB in 2002 and was its CEO until 2018. In 2011 MiniFAB was awarded Enabling Technology Company of the Year by the Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame. He also founded the Small Technology Cluster, a business incubator for advanced technology businesses, which has evolved to be the Medtech Actuator based in Melbourne and in Singapore. He has started 18 companies and not-for-profit organisations, actively encourages young entrepreneurs and startups and regularly mentors early career scientists through the Academy’s IMNIS program.


Jessie Callaghan

Jessie Callaghan

Jessie is Project Capability Lead at the Australian Public Service Commission and is responsible for cultivating capability in human-centred design and new ways of working. She coaches teams to conduct user research and develop policies, strategies, and digital products that meet the needs of users and government.

Throughout her career, she has gained extensive experience in building cross cutting communities to create impact and build digital capability. Recently, Jessie co-lead the development and growth of the Design and Research Community and facilitated monthly events. This community brings together local, state, and federal government human-centred design practitioners, innovation teams, user researchers, and service designers. It creates space for people to connect, share, and learn from one another.



Ryan Winn

Ryan Winn

Ryan is the Chief Executive Officer and Director at the Australian Council of Learned Academies since 2019. Ryan brings nearly two decades of experience running strategy, policy, research and program areas across various Australian Government departments. During that time, his broad areas of focus were higher education, research, research infrastructure, family violence and early childhood. He also had significant experience working on policies and programs that support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Ryan also brings significant experience in leading and managing interdisciplinary project teams, establishing technical working groups to undertake research, analysis, and consultations, and developing reports for Government. Ryan has completed a Masters of Business Administration (Innovation and Leadership) from the University of Canberra and a Bachelor of Social Work from Curtin University.

Participant benefits

  • Develop an understanding of the core principles of co-design.
  • Learn from the insights and evidence of experts working in the field of co-design.

Suitable for

All staff.

Craft and User level

This workshop aligns with the Working in Government Craft at the Foundation level.

How to register - Additional Information

  • To enrol in this session you will need a valid APSLearn profile. 
  • Steps on how to create an APSLearn profile or to view FAQs can be found here.
  • If you have moved Departments or you have multiple APSLearn profiles, you can request to merge your profiles here
2-hour face-to-face session. 1:00PM - 3:00PM (AEDT)
Event type
Australian Capital Territory
$0 per attendee
165 seats