Fostering evaluative thinking upfront

Queen of hearts playing card floats between two hands as though just released in a magic trick

I’ve been doing a lot of work recently on evaluation capacity building, and supporting program designers to consider monitoring and evaluation up front. I keep coming back to an article I wrote in 2018 with Dr Caroline Tomiczek following a presentation we did at the Australian Evaluation Society conference the previous year. That was snarkily … Read more

Can we get off the treadmill?

Over the last couple of months, I’ve heard many people say that “it’s OK not to be your most productive during a crisis”. Yes! I completely agree. Clearly, productivity is not going to be number one priority when competing with health, homeschooling your kids and the general existential angst of a pandemic. And even when … Read more

Featured in Royal Commission report

Catching up on a bit of news from when my website was under redevelopment! Last year, I wrote a submission to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s mental health system. I was honoured when the Commission contacted me to feature my story in the interim report. You can read the full report here with my cameo … Read more

Response to the Productivity Commission draft report

Late last year, the Productivity Commission inquiry into mental health released their draft report of findings and recommendations so far. It is a huge report (over 1000 pages!) that covers immense ground, picking up on many of the flaws in the current mental health system. I opted to provide a response to the draft report. … Read more

Managing anxiety on your own

I’ve been lucky throughout my career to work with managers who have been focused on my professional development. But whenever we sat down for a semi-regular performance chat, one question would always stump me – “What are you doing well?” I could point to hundreds of flaws, but ask me to say a nice thing … Read more

Rethinking ambition

One of the surprisingly common reactions to my recent announcement that I have started my own business is the question of what my goals are. How soon before I employ someone else? Where is my office going to be? How big do I anticipate growing? It seems I’m not alone in answering these questions. In … Read more

Unapologetically feminist

This weekend was the Wheeler Centre’s first Broadside, an “unapologetically feminist” festival of ideas. Of course that’s my jam, so I bought a ticket as soon as it was released. And oh my god, I was blown away by the weekend. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a public event that has so genuinely … Read more

Abandoning my alterego

Clark Kent takes off his glasses and suddenly he’s Superman. Jo Farmer leaves work and suddenly she’s a person experiencing mental illness. The facade is superficial but somehow works. For a long time, this was me. A mental health consumer who happened to also work in health policy. I kept the two sides – the … Read more