Welcome to the Canberra online hub
AES members across Australia and New Zealand engage with each other through networking, special interest groups, professional learning events, and many interact through their local regional group and local events.
There about 100 individual AES members in the Canberra region and a number of Commonwealth agencies are organisational members. The Canberra Region committee is always happy to talk to individuals and organisations about how the local workshop and seminar program can respond to the interests and needs of members.
The Canberra Region Committee meets on a Wednesday evening every 6 weeks or so, between 5.30 and 7 at the Hyatt Hotel. We plan regional activities at these meetings, and catch up on activities happening across Australia. The meetings are friendly and low key. If you are interested in learning more about the AES, joining us for a cup of tea at the Hyatt is a great way to get started.
Also in August 2019 we trialled a new free event - an evaluation reading and dinner group at the friendly White Eagle Polish Club. This was an opportunity for local members to meet and connect. Look out for details of our next event.
Priorities of the Canberra Region Committee are to influence the performance culture in the Australian Public Service (APS), and to host a warm and engaging community of practice. For example, in 2018-19 members of the Canberra Region Committee took a lead role in drafting the AES’ two submissions to the Independent Inquiry into the APS. The AES welcomed the Review Panel’s positive response to the AES’ first submission and took up the Review Panel’s invitation to submit a second submission to provide further advice. Both submissions are available online.
In the past 12 months, the Canberra Region Committee hosted the following AES workshops: Using Policy Logic conversations to build policy, program and evaluation capability; An introduction to Qualitative Research Methods; Introduction to Evaluation; Performance Story Reporting; A Gentle Introduction to Statistics; and Designing Implementing a Monitoring and Evaluation System; and Commissioning Better Evaluations. Another highlight was the way AES members generously shared their expertise by conducting free lunch time 'brown bag' seminars. These Canberra Region Committee thanks Fiona Kotvojs for sharing her insights on evaluating capacity development, Graham Smith for sharing his insights about improving performance information, and Ruth Bill for insights into how to manage conflict in evaluations. In November 2018, the Canberra Region Committee partnered with the APS Evaluation Community of Practice to host a facilitated session on developing the performance culture of governments. This fast paced, highly engaged session was attended by over 30 participants from a wide variety of agencies. We contine to trial new formats for engaging members. Our cosy networking event in July 2019 was well attended, and we all look forward to our Christmas event.
Frances Byers, Regional Network Co-convenor