Strategic policy, research and advice
Policy-making is complex. People are complex, our communities are rich and diverse, and society is a fabric woven from so many strands that it cannot be unpicked.
Hamilton Stone are experts in research, community engagement, data and politics. We embrace complexity and understand it.
We work with information, with values, with people, and with ideas. We value empathetic relationships, incisive analysis, creative insight, and high-quality communication.
We develop solutions and advice for clients, tailored to their context and need.
When you contract us, we work collaboratively with you and immerse ourselves in your project.
We like making a difference in the world and like working with organisations that do, too.
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Learn about our projects
Ten months since the Commonwealth initiated its review of the Australian Public Service, the review panel has just released its Priorities for Change report. As part of its in-depth analysis of the issues, it published a paper by Hamilton Stone director Ian Holland and Griffith University researchers Anne Tiernan and Jacob Deem, on how to reform relationships between ministers, their offices and the APS. You can offer your input to the Review between now and 2 May 2019 here.
Hamilton Stone directors Ian Holland and Lisa Fenn have been talking with Indigenous people, asking them about their aged care journeys and what their information needs might be. We spoke with over 50 older Aboriginal people in places ranging from the urban to the very remote. They were Elders, grandmothers and grandfathers, and members of the Stolen Generation. Some were artists, stockmen, preachers, fisherwomen. What did we hear?
The Queensland Trucking Association has been representing the freight industry for over a hundred years. With momentum building toward significant policy change in the road transport sector, we assisted the Association to develop and communicate its thinking around one of the more controversial aspects of the transport system: toll roads. Read more about the issue here.
We spent a couple of months talking to consumer organisations and to people using aged care services, asking them about how they like to get information, and what's important to them. A very diverse group of people shared their expertise and insights with us, and we summarised our findings in this report, released by the Aged Care Quality Agency.
We love doing consulting work of different kinds, and the most rewarding part is the opportunity to hear the ideas and experiences that people share. When we consult, we always seek to demonstrate that we value people's expertise in their own lives. As we explained to someone who didn't understand why we would pay them for their insights: "it's because you know stuff we don't".
We invited aged care consumers to participate in some consultation sessions this month. The consultations are about how consumers like to receive information about aged care issues, and what information is important to them about aged care quality. It's all part of our latest project, for the Australian Aged Care Quality Agency.
Hamilton Stone Director Ian Holland has a particular interest in Section 44 of the Australian constitution. Read his analysis and commentary for Griffith University's Policy Innovation Hub as the citizenship crisis in parliament rolled on...
Hamilton Stone was engaged by the Commonwealth Department of Health to provide research, writing and editorial advice for the for the Review of National Aged Care Quality Regulatory Processes.
We were delighted to have assisted Early Childhood Australia in the development and writing of the Statement on the Inclusion of Children in Early Childhood Education and Care.
Hamilton Stone provided research, writing and editorial advice for the Aged Care Legislated Review.
In the lead up to the review, Ian Holland of Hamilton Stone also wrote a piece for Australian Ageing Agenda explaining the implications of the legislative review of Australian aged care.
Read our ideas
In September 2018, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a Royal Commission into the aged care sector. It came on the eve of the ABC’s Four Corners airing a two-part documentary that outlined some distressing cases of abuse or neglect in residential aged care. As Hamilton Stone directors Ian Holland and Lisa Fenn explain in our article in Australian Ageing Agenda this week, the individual cases will not remain the focus of the Royal Commission. We can expect its attention to move to systemic issues and broad policy questions.
Hamilton Stone director Ian Holland has just read an excellent review by Tayler Lonsdale of the issues leading to the catastrophic fatal fire in Grenfell Tower in London. It is a well-written and accessible discussion that avoids the understandable vilification of those who have cut regulatory oversight and 'red tape', while still bluntly identifying important process failures. What can we learn?
Hamilton Stone directors Lisa Fenn and Ian Holland were pleased to be involved in the important discussion about costs and funding of child care. Our research, reported in the Canberra Times, showed that cost increases have disproportionately affected low income families while child care workers' pay remains significantly below average.
Six years ago Australia’s artists’ resale royalty scheme was introduced, under which artists receive a percentage of the value of certain resales of their work. Three years ago a Departmental review was commenced. The divided opinions of submitters to the inquiry suggest that the scheme has some issues. We explain why, focussing on the clash between policy theory and complex reality.
There are many different strategies and systems that help customers of social services, as well as the broader community, to find out about quality. This isn't always simple, though information technology has opened up new options. But you don't need to go digital to go the experts: consumers. What are the opportunities?