A network for economists

And anyone working on economic policy

The Australian Government Economist Network is for anyone working in the Australian Public Service, federal or state, and who is an economist or who works on economic policy. The network hosts an annual conference, the 2019 edition attracted 400+ attendees and was a great day in November, and in 2020 the network is planning to expand its offering of talks, opportunities to meet other economists and to run a great conference again. Subscribe to the mailing list and join the network to participate!

An initative of the Chief Economists from the Australian Public Service

The Conference

Organised with the support of

For Government Economists bGovernment Economists 

An initiative of the Government Economist Network, the Australian Government Economist Conference was back for a third year in 2019 as a one-day event for public servants who are economists or work on economic policy. The conference provides an opportunity to hear from leaders in the field, network with others and dedicate time to professional development.

The keynote address by Dr. Nicholas Gruen on Making an impact as an economist, as well as the opening and closing of the conference can be watched below.


2019 Conference program

The program includes a full day of talks from leading economists within and outside government discussing how economics can have influence. Speakers include public economists, previous advisors to politicians, those working on the boundary of media and economics as well as economists within government.

During the day there will be a separate track of three masterclasses, delivered by experts from across the APS. Throughout the day, there will also be showcase booths where you can meet economists from across the APS and hear about their work and interests.

Steven Kennedy

Treasury Secretary

Jenny Gordon


Chief Economist

Jenny Wilkinson

Head of the Parliamentary Budget Office

Nicholas Gruen

Lateral Economics


Kat di Marco

ex-advisor to Malcolm Turnbull

Asst. Secretary


Matthew Ryan

ex-advisor to Peter Costello

Jessica Irvine

Sydney Morning Herald, Fairfax

Sam Reinhardt

ex-adviser to Julia Gillard

Division Head

Dept. of Industry, Innovation & Science

Meghan Quinn


Deputy Secretary

Melissa Bray

General Manager

Economic Advice

Dept. of Industry​, Innovation & Science

Mark Cully

Deregulation task force lead

Peter Martin

The Conversation

ANU Crawford

Steve Hatfield-Dodds


Executive Director

Stephen Koukoulas

Guardian & Yahoo Fin.

Market Economics

Managing Director

Virginia Cook

General Manager


Dept. of Industry, Innovation and Science

Luise McCulloch

Deputy Australian Statistician, ABS

The 2019 program


9:00-9:30 Coffee

9:30-10:00: Welcome

Welcome from Steven Kennedy and welcome to country from Paul House

Keynote: Making an impact

10:00-10:45: Keynote

10:45-11:15: Tea

Nicholas Gruen, CEO of Lateral Economics, will be giving a key-note on making an impact as an economist within and outside Government.

Session: Economics and Politics

11:15-12:30 Session

12:30-13:30: Lunch

Insights from former economic advisers to Treasurers and PMs including Kat DiMarco (Turnbull), Sam Reinhardt (Gillard) and Matthew Ryan (Costello)

Masterclass: Data Gaps

11:15-12:30 masterclass

Australia's Deputy Statistician, Luise McCulloch, delves into the measurement issues in the Australian Economy. 

Session: Thinking differently

13:30-14:45 Session

14:45-15:15: Tea

Questioning a panel of economists: Mark Cully (Deregulation Taskforce Lead), Jenny Gordon (Nous Group Chief Economist), Steve Hatfield-Dodds (ABARES Executive Director), Meghan Quinn (Treasury Deputy Secretary)

Masterclass: Machine Learning

13:30-14:45 masterclass

The ANUs Dr. Artem Lenskiy gives a masterclass on what Machine learning can do and how to do it with a practical example and the latest thinking

Session: Economics and Journalism

15:15-16:30: Session

Exploring the intersection of journalism and economics, with Virginia Cook (DIIS), Jessica Irvine (SMH; Fairfax), Stephen Koukoulis (Guardian) and Peter Martin (The Conversation)

Masterclass: Mapping with R


Requires a laptop 

A masterclass from the Productivity Commission team, Manpreet Singh, Henry McMillan and Max Gillespie on When statistical areas lie - better maps with R


16:30-16:45 Close

Jenny Wilkinson closes the conference and reflects on the day and network

Networking event


Showcases during the day

During the day there will be expo-style booths in the main areas of the conference venue where you can see showcases of what is going on in other departments, talk to colleagues about what they do, and see more of what happens across the APS and Canberra when it comes to economics and economic policy making.


Dept. of Industry

Dept of Employment

Dept. of Environment and Energy

Women in Economics

Economics Society of Australia

Sir Roland Wilson Foundation

The Venue

Hotel Realm, Canberra
18 National Circuit, Barton ACT

Hotel Realm boasts impressive function and conferencing facilities and have been awarded by the Australian Hotels Association the Best Meetings and Event Venue in Australia for 2012, 2013 and 2014. Located conveniently in Canberra's Parliamentary district, Hotel Realm is easily accessible via public transport or vehicle and ample public parking space is available in the area. 


Register for 2020

Registration for the 2020 conference is not yet open.


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The network is proudly supported and participated in by the following departments:


Australian Government



An initative of the Chief Economists from the Australian Public Service

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