Annual Company Conference held in Melbourne

The SGS team gathered in Melbourne on the 2nd of December for the Annual Company Conference (ACC). The conference, held at the MCG, focused on the theme of equality. The purpose of the ACC is to provide opportunities for team building and development, and to look beyond daily projects to the bigger picture in line with our vision “to be a college of professionals providing Australia's best independent policy advice”.

Equality, and the need to achieve it, is an increasingly critical issue in our cities, regions and globally.

The day was framed by an initial presentation from John Thwaites, who discussed the UN Sustainable Development Goals, one of which includes reducing inequality. John is a Professorial Fellow at Monash University and Chair of ClimateWorks Australia and the Monash Sustainable Development Institute. He is a consultant at Maddocks Solicitors providing advice to the firm and its clients on climate change, water, sustainability and corporate social responsibility.

Jeanette Pope then gave a presentation on inequality and how this in particular affects young people. Jeanette has worked in strategy, policy and research in government, statutory authorities, not-for-profits and universities. For a decade she developed the strategy and research agenda for the Department for Victorian Communities, and then the Department for Planning and Community Development, writing whole of government strategies, and coordinating research and evaluation across a range of portfolios.

Following a tour of the MCG, we heard from two internal research project teams who had been charged with developing an innovative research idea for the team to focus on in 2017. These related to education access and wealth inequality.

The day was capped off with an intra-SGS debate on the merits of privatisation in achieving equality.

Thank you to Jeanette and John for sharing informative and insightful presentations and contributing to another successful ACC.