Dr Brigid van Wanrooy has been appointed Director of Analysis & Policy Observatory (APO), an open-access evidence platform for public policy and practice hosted at Swinburne University of Technology (Swinburne).
Working across Swinburne and in particular with the Social Innovation Research Institute (SIRI), Dr van Wanrooy will build on the success of APO by developing a policy and industry-relevant sustainable business strategy with new offerings to support evidence-informed policy.
With a background in both government roles and academic research, Dr van Wanrooy will lead APO into its next phase.
“APO is a trusted source for researchers and policymakers. I’m excited to have the opportunity to build on this great resource and ensure that it continues to be a ’must-have’ for evidence-informed policy in a rapidly changing environment,” says Dr van Wanrooy.
APO is an important driver of impact for Swinburne, through collecting research outputs on public policy and practice, and providing these resources to government, not-for-profits, industry and academics.
“For policymakers, APO is a unique resource giving easy access to key collections of research and evaluation,” says Director of the Social Innovation Research Institute, Professor Jane Farmer.
“For researchers, it’s a brilliant tool to make direct connection with policymakers by publishing their research reports. Our new Director will take APO into another exciting phase, harnessing diverse contemporary evidence,” she says.
Most recently, Dr van Wanrooy worked with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, delivering projects and strategies to embed the use of evidence and improve policy and practice. Her previous research has centred on employment relations, with roles at the University of Melbourne, Acas (UK) and the University of Sydney.
APO (formerly ‘Australian Policy Online’) began at Swinburne in 2002 as an online database for academic research. Awarded ‘Best Information Website’ at the 2014 Australia & New Zealand Internet Awards, APO has grown from humble beginnings to having more than 40,000 resources, 4.2 million users, and over 16.4 million page views. In 2019, APO was named a ‘Change Maker’ by Swinburne for its success in demonstrating real-world impact in society and with industry.