Running Better Evaluations
The Daily Telegraph
As a keen runner, I’m pretty keen on going where the evidence points. In experiments, high intensity training produces remarkable gains, so I try to build it into every workout. Randomised trials suggest that stability shoes don’t much affect foot strike, so I stick with cushioning shoes instead. After a long run, I’ll use compression socks, since they’ve been shown to improve recovery. I try to eat a Mediterranean diet, randomised trials show to be linked with better heart health. I don’t bother with vitamin pills, which haven’t been shown to improve longevity among otherwise healthy people.
When it comes to improving your workout, the evidence base is remarkably good. The top athletes are always testing new training techniques and gear, and the results trickle down to also-rans like me. But when it comes to figuring out what works in policy, the evidence is a good deal patchier. Unlike the search for the best sneakers and health supplements, there’s a whole lot less impact measurement. Particularly under the last government, too many decisions were made by the principle of GOBSATT: good ol’ boys sitting around the table.Read more
ABC CANBERRA DRIVE WITH ANNA VIDOT
THURSDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2023
SUBJECTS: Harmonisation of state and territory fundraising rules; Reducing red tape for charities.
ANNA VIDOT (HOST): At a time of financial pressure, when more people are becoming dependent or needing the support of charities both here and around the world, making sure that none of that money is wasted is really important. Well, soon there's going to be a consistent approach to the rules about how charities in Australia can raise money. Currently, each state and territory has a different set of rules for charitable fundraising, and compliance requirements are apparently costing charities an estimated million dollars per month nationally. Doctor Andrew Leigh is the member for Fenner and also Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury. He's on the line with us this afternoon. Andrew Leigh, thanks very much for your time.
ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMPETITION, CHARITIES AND TREASURY ANDREW LEIGH: Real pleasure, Anna. Terrific to be with you and your listeners.
VIDOT: Why do we have such strict rules for fundraising and how did we end up with different ones?
LEIGH: The rules around fundraising were developed at a time when going on line was something you did with wet washing. Most of the fundraising that was done a generation ago was face-to-face, so it made sense for the regulation to be at a state and territory level. But now, fundraising is largely done over the internet, which means that an Australian charity that wants to raise money needs to comply with state and territory laws. There's seven different sets of laws -- only the NT doesn't have its own charitable fundraising laws -- so the paperwork can take a charity up to a week of staff time every single year. And that's where you get this total cost of a million dollars a month or more: in complying with all of those different state and territory fundraising laws.Read more
House of Representatives, 16 February 2023
Radovan Leovic was born in Yugoslavia in 1927. He yearned to escape and as a teenager decided that if only he could be selected to represent Yugoslavia in the European Games he'd be able to get out. But he wasn't quite good enough, so he did something else. He got hold of a national team uniform, travelled to the north of the country, where the games were held and, wearing a national uniform, cycled with the peloton over the border, where he escaped and ultimately made his way as a refugee to Australia.
He became a regular in the Canberra triathlon scene, receiving the Legend of the Sport Award from Triathlon ACT just last year, at the age of 95. As recently as 2018 he was running, cycling or swimming every day and said he was 'all the time warm and all the time ready to race'. My friend Alex Gosman said of Rad: 'I can remember Rad always being one of the last to leave after a race as he stayed around to help pack up. Rad always gave 100 per cent, never complained, and had a smile and a hello for everyone.' Triathlon is an extraordinarily competitive sport, but triathletes are generous to one another, and Rad was the epitome of a sport that combines endurance and generosity to fellow competitors.
House of Representatives, 16 February 2023
Ann Harding founded NATSEM, the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling, in 1993—over a fish-and-chip shop. She later settled into an $11 million state-of-the-art building on campus, and her legacy lives on in the name of the Ann Harding Conference Centre. Ann worked on microsimulation and was made a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia in 1996 and the inaugural president and co-founder of the International Microsimulation Association. She served as the president of the ACT branch of the Economic Society of Australia and authored or co-authored over 300 books, chapters, articles, papers and commissioned reports.
NATSEM did critical work in policy. Ann was constantly serving on academic and government boards, including the Treasury and the departments of social security, health, housing, and community services. I remember meeting Ann for the first time in the 1998-99 discussions over the introduction of a goods and services tax. I was then working for the late Senator Peter Cook. As I brought her upstairs for the hearings she said to me, 'You know, you Labor people will come to like this tax, because it'll allow you to spend what you need on health and education.' Ann always had a ready wit and a generosity of spirit and helped many in NATSEM, including yourself, Deputy Speaker Payne. She was generous to me as a young economist, too.
Joint media release with
The Hon Danny Pearson MP
Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs
AGREEMENT REACHED ON REFORM OF CHARITABLE FUNDRAISING LAWS
Charities have long told their governments that they are wasting time complying with inconsistent and outdated fundraising rules across the states and territories. On one estimate, compliance requirements cost Australian charities more than $1 million per month.
In their most recent meeting, the Commonwealth, state and territory Treasurers agreed to a set of nationally consistent fundraising principles to streamline and harmonise state and territory requirements on charitable fundraiser conduct.Read more
2CC 1206 AM WITH STEPHEN CENATIEMPO
WEDNESDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2023
SUBJECTS: AVOIDING CHARITY SCAMS; PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION REVIEW INTO PHILANTHROPY
STEPHEN CENATIEMPO (HOST): I got to say, it's a bloody disgrace that we have to discuss this, but unfortunately, it's the way of the world in 2023. A week now, or a bit over a week since the earthquake that hit Türkiye and Syria. The death toll is now over 35,000 people. And whilst most of the world is trying to assist those two countries with their rescue and salvage and repair efforts, there are warnings about scammers trying to take advantage of people's generosity. It's absolutely extraordinary. And this is off the back of yesterday, we talked about Valentine's Day scams. Dr Andrew Leigh is the Assistant Minister for Charities, Competition and Treasury and the member for Fenner, and he joins us on the line. Andrew, good morning.
ANDREW LEIGH , ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION AND TREASURY: Good morning, Stephen. And, look, I think you just hit the nail on the head about how disgusting this is. You've got people buried under the rubble, you've got helpers flying to the other side of the world to assist them, and yet there's this tiny minority of people looking to make a fast buck out of the generosity of their fellow Australians.Read more
SKY AM AGENDA WITH LAURA JAYES
WEDNESDAY, 15 FEBRUARY 2023
SUBJECTS: Avoiding charity scams; Reserve Bank of Australia; energy policy; reducing inflation.
LAURA JAYES (HOST): Well, security experts are warning scammers are preying on people’s goodwill in the aftermath of the Türkiye–Syria earthquake and there’s instances of people being tricked into donating to fake causes.
Joining me live is the Assistant Minister for Charities, Dr Andrew Leigh. Thank you so much for your time, Dr Leigh.
ANDREW LEIGH , ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION AND TREASURY: Real pleasure.
JAYES: I mean, we shouldn’t be surprised that this kind of disgusting behaviour is going on, but so soon after this tragedy. What should we be looking out for?
LEIGH: Laura, I think it’s key to look out for things that are a bit out of the ordinary. We know there’s been scammers posting things on Twitter and TikTok asking for people to give based on a compelling picture. Sometimes those pictures don’t look quite right, as in the infamous one of a so-called rescued person who has six fingers – obviously, an image generated through an artificial intelligence engine. But if you’re being asked to give to a PayPal appeal, then be a little bit suspicious because PayPal hasn’t operated in Türkiye for a number of years. It’s better to give through an established charity and if you’re not sure whether a charity is established, just go to the charity commission website, ACNC.gov.au —
JAYES: That’s a really good tip. Give us that again because I interrupted you, sorry.Read more
5AA MORNINGS WITH MATTHEW PANTELIS
TUESDAY, 14 FEBRUARY 2023
SUBJECTS: Avoiding charity scams; Reserve Bank of Australia; Government policy and reducing inflation.
MATTHEW PANTELIS (HOST): Well, we know of the tragedy in Türkiye and Syria, the earthquake there has killed tens of thousands of people. A miraculous rescue just overnight, I think, after 178 hours a young girl pulled out from the rubble, which is fantastic. But there's a lot of appeals that have been launched to try and raise money for the earthquake victims. The Federal Government has issued a warning about some appeals being scams and what to look out for. The Assistant Minister for Competition, Charity and Treasury, Dr. Andrew Leigh is on the line. Andrew, good morning to you.
ANDREW LEIGH, ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR CHARITIES, COMPETITION AND TREASURY: Good morning, Matthew. Great to be with you and your listeners.Read more
HARNESSING GENEROSITY, BOOSTING PHILANTHROPY
A once-in-a-generation review of Australian philanthropy has kicked off. Undertaken by the Productivity Commission, the goal of the review is to boost donations to charities and meet the Australian Government’s goal of doubling philanthropic giving by 2030.
The Government has appointed Krystian Seibert, formerly an Industry Fellow at the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University of Technology, to join the review as an Associate Commissioner. Mr Seibert has extensive experience in the philanthropic and not for profit sectors.
The review comes at a time when the charity sector is under pressure. Over recent decades, Australians have become less likely to join community groups, less likely to volunteer, less likely to play organised sport, less likely to attend religious services, and less likely to know their neighbours. Declining social capital has broad implications for wellbeing, health and social connectedness.Read more
House of Representatives, 9 February 2023
I first worked in this building in 1988 doing work experience for the then member for Fraser, John Langmore. I came back to work as a staffer for the late Senator Peter Cook from 1998 to 2000 and I've had the privilege of serving in this place as a member, first for Fraser and then for Fenner, since 2010. So I've seen the culture in the parliament evolve. I've seen it change from a building which was almost entirely a parliament of men to now being much more gender diverse. I've seen it become a little more caring and I've seen the rise of the #MeToo movement, that very welcome rally that said it was about time that we had gender equity in this country.
But other things haven't changed. This still remains one of the very few workplaces in Australia where it's considered acceptable to shout insults at your co-workers while they are trying to do their jobs. It still remains a place in which there are highly personal attacks made on people for political reasons, and the rise of anonymous social media has worsened that particular cesspool. We've seen pile-ons which have challenged the mental health of many. Just think about the impact on former Senator Nick Sherry from the partisan attacks which caused him to attempt to take his life. Many who have been in the eye of the storm during the 12 years that I've been in this parliament have spoken to me about the way in which that affects their mental health.Read more