Public Mistrust in the Digitalisation of Health Records

Judith attended the 2018 OECD Forum in Paris. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Business at the Queensland University of Technology and works part time as a Law Clerk.


The digital economy contributes to the global economic growth and advances human wellbeing. Alongside these benefits, however, come increasing risks that impact vulnerable environments across both the public and private sector. These risks include security threats, theft, and illegal activity, but potentially the most concerning is the risk of an increased lack of trust in governments and institutions. How can the Australian government address this risk and instead utilise digital transformation to regenerate trust in its systems, in particular in e-healthcare?

This paper outlines how the Australian government can re-evaluate their current digital strategies and policies to bolster consumer trust towards Electronic Medical Records (EMR), in an age of digital security risk.  After reviewing existing practices and policy, this paper will provide recommendations to increase engagement between the Australian Government and patients, in order to achieve a fully digitalised and integrated electronic Medical Records (‘ieMR’). Additionally, this paper will explore how the Australian government can employ digital initiatives to cultivate a level of trust within EMR to help facilitate its advancement.

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Addressing Barriers to Chronic Pain Treatment in Australia

Hayley attended the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva in 2018. She is a PhD candidate at the University of South Australia and is currently a physiotherapist at the Royal Adelaide Hospital and a pain science tutor at UniSA.​​​​​​​ 


Chronic pain imposes a significant social and economic burden on the individual and the Australian community. There is a large gap between the volume of pain science knowledge generated through research and the application of that research in current policy and community settings. As a result, healthcare professionals do not receive adequate training in pain assessment and treatment, funding systems do not effectively meet needs in primary or tertiary care, and societal myths that encourage detrimental behaviour and increase fear and anxiety perpetuate. 

This paper will review the current state of pain management in Australia; consider international efforts to change the way the concept of pain is taught, classified and funded and; propose recommendations to align clinician and community views with a contemporary, biopsychosocial understanding of pain, with the ultimate aim of improving outcomes and reducing the economic and social impact of chronic pain.

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The Unsweet Truth about Sugar Sweetened Beverages

Sean attended the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva. He is currently studying a Doctorate of Medicine at Bond University.


A leading contributor to the burden of disease and health-care costs of the Australian population is poor nutrition, as convenience is often favoured over nutritional quality in modern society. Sugar sweetened beverages such as soft drinks, hold no nutritional value in a diet, yet two out of three Australians consume at least one daily. This equates to 47% of added sugar to an individual’s diet.1The link between the consumption of sugar sweetened beverages and the development of obesity is strong. There is also a strong link between obesity’s pro-inflammatory tendency and an individuals’ susceptibility to develop disease processes, such as heart disease and cancer. This research report will propose two recommendations; a federal sugar tax and restriction of serving sizes of sugar sweetened beverages. In doing so, it will also explore the social implications and political landscape that have hindered the implementation of effective policies to combat the risks of sugar-sweetened beverages to date.

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‘Funding Social Enterprises in Australia and narrowing the knowledge gap - Improving Social Impact Measurement and Social Impact Bonds’

Zoe attended the 2018 OECD Forum in Paris. She is currently studying a Bachelor of International and Global Studies at the University of Sydney Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and in the near future will be working in Indonesia with the Empowering Indonesian Women for Poverty Reduction Program.


In order to foster prosperity and fight poverty through economic growth and financial stability, communities need to have confidence in markets and institutions. It is imperative to stress that this growth must be both sustainable and inclusive in order to recreate this sense of security. A relatively new and innovative solution are social enterprises. These are organisations that run like a business, although they have goals and values equal to those of a charity. Social enterprises generate creative solutions to complex social issues, and are, more often than not, driven by the local community. Community-driven change is imperative, and by empowering individuals and local communities to take initiative to create businesses it will lead to greater social reform and recreate confidence in the market.

Although they are a relatively new concept in Australia, the community is rapidly expanding. With this expected growth comes an increase in opportunity for the Australian government to utilize this innovation to achieve the most effective and sustainable social outcomes. Social impact bonds are also growing in popularity around the world, especially in countries where much of welfare is privatised for example the UK and US. There is an increasing body of research that is investigating effective ways of measuring social impact, however, they are not necessarily communicating with enterprises who need effective measurement strategies. Additionally, social impact bonds provide a way for the government to invest in solutions that have proven the intended social outcome. However, for these bonds to be the most effective there needs to be a thorough understanding of the appropriate uses of social impact measurement. 

To productively shape the future for social enterprises in Australia, this paper provides two specific policy recommendations. Firstly, to utilise the wealth of knowledge on social enterprises in Europe by connecting with them through a conference. This conference should focus on social impact measurement and should connect academics, government, and social entrepreneurs. And secondly, to expand the current piolet programs for social impact bonds to create more sustainable funding methods for social enterprises. In addition, with social impact bonds, the government is only paying for programs which have proven results. 

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The value of the homemaker and why she should be involved in the national accounts

Jessica attended the 2017 United Nations Commission on the Status of Women 61st Session as a Global Voices National Scholar. She is a reporter for the Australian Financial Review.


Sometimes she’s a cook, sometimes she’s a housekeeper. Heck, these days she’s probably both a chauffeur and a mechanic. Regardless of which way you spin it, a lot of work goes on running a household and in a shocking twist, the Real Housewives of Melbourne has been found to include inaccuracies.

As economists the world over grapple with the task of measuring digital output and confront the genuinely flawed methodology of gross domestic product, I’d like to argue it is a perfect time to begin fulfilling our global obligation to measure the staggering amount of unpaid work that goes on in the homes.

This is crucial, not only so we can develop effective and appropriate childcare, tax and industrial relations policy, but also to empower and acknowledge that the domestic roles of women haven’t changed, regardless of how much workforce participation has improved. Instead of alleviating and spreading the tasks of running a household, which does indeed constitute economic output, we have simply added it to a woman’s full-time workload. And rather than celebrate and appreciate the role of homemakers in our society, we risk depressing and devaluing one of the most valuable contributors.

This paper looks at the current flaws in GDP, using the internet as an example; it then explains how to measure unpaid domestic work and then looks at the widespread benefits of acknowledging this often invisible societal powerhouse.

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