MasterCraft Series – Unconscious Bias Masterclass

Join with Eric Harper for a Masterclass on unconscious bias.

Unconscious bias is a construct that can pose a significant and challenging impact for a broad range of public policy design, implementation and customer-centred outcomes. It can be pervasive in the way it permeates our thinking and if left unchecked, can potentially contaminate sound ethical decision-making, seriously impeding our aspirations to tackle persistent and adaptive public policy issues.

Join Eric Harper as he takes us through understanding what unconscious bias is, how it tends to operate and how we as public policy professionals can minimise its impacts in the way we think and behave. Understanding it is a vital first step to building our capacity to combat it. Given we operate within an intricate and rich tapestry of connected public policy and delivery systems, it is important to understand and contextualise how these biases can affect outcomes – including those for vulnerable individuals and communities, beyond just our own value-chains.

This workshop is designed to:

  • explore the common challenges unconscious biases pose within the public policy and delivery context
  • relate concepts through real case examples that can be synthesised to apply to a range of similar APS policy and delivery domains
  • enhance understanding of unconscious bias through intentional thought, and equip participants with end-to-end design and tools to reduce its cumulative impact
  • build capability to meet bias challenges beyond a foundational awareness, through adopting an analytical and intentional thinking lens to our work.


Head shot of Facilitator Eric Harper


Eric Harper

Eric Harper is presently the National Manager for Participation Programmes and Compliance at Services Australia (Customer Service Design). He leads a range of diverse end-to-end programs and transformational projects geared towards improving outcomes for working-age citizens through economic participation. He has held senior executive positions within varied portfolios throughout 4 Australian government jurisdictions (New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and the Commonwealth). His career has spanned the full spectrum of delivery (including on the front line) through to strategic policy areas encompassing funding, design, regulation, implementation and industry reform.

A longstanding area of passion for Eric has been understanding and raising awareness about the concept of unconscious bias – and specifically how it can impact ethical decision-making across public policy design and delivery contexts. Through a mix of professional leadership experience and applied expertise in social policy settings, Eric is committed to increasing knowledge about unconscious bias, and what it can mean for our collective and intertwined policy/program delivery networks. 

Eric holds formal qualifications in behavioural science (B. Science / B. Psychology with Honours, Master Applied Psychology (Neuroscience)) and management (B. Management – Project Management), and a Master in Public Administration (ANZSOG).

Participant benefits

  • Present a neuro-cognitive model of unconscious biases that demonstrates how they manifest in our public policy design and implementation processes.
  • Explore the impact of unconscious bias in contemporary areas that require a strong ethical decision-making paradigm – these include digital transformation and automation, how we empower and engage with vulnerable cohorts, commissioning practices, and how biases can hamper effective adaptive and step-change leadership.
  • Stimulate awareness through application of the concepts to each participant’s own unique policy and delivery environment through a simple virtual group-based exercise.
  • Promote a mind-shift approach to positive disruption of identified biases, and doing so through the frame of understanding the impact on public-value generation within our extended service delivery ‘value chains’.
  • Provide an interactive approach that encourages open discussion, sharing of experiences and thought-provoking engagement.

Suitable for

APS 1 – SES band 3

Craft and User Level

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


$0 per attendee

1 hour 30 minutes, 9:30 am –11:00 am (AEST)
Event type
Australia wide
$0 per attendee
40 seats