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PM to give Paterson Oration at Victoria University

28 June 2004

PM to give Paterson Oration at Victoria University

New Zealand Prime Minister, the Rt Hon Helen Clark, is to give the John Paterson Oration at Victoria University's Pipitea Campus in downtown Wellington today (June 28).

The speech is an Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) event. Victoria University is a foundation member, along with the New Zealand and Australian Federal governments, three state governments and nine leading Australian universities.

The event is named after Dr John Paterson, a senior Australian public servant, who died in February last year. The inaugural Paterson Oration was given by Australian Prime Minister, the Hon John Howard, in Sydney last year.

The School offers a Master of Public Administration (Executive) degree to about 120 senior public servants from both countries each year. It has a small teaching complement of outstanding academics based in Melbourne as well as staff drawn from the contributing universities.

The first group, which started the programme last year, will spend a week at Victoria undertaking a course with an Australian staff member, while the second group, who began studying this year, is undertaking a policy course with a Victoria staff member in July.

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Matthew Palmer said the University was delighted to host the Paterson Oration and was committed to its involvement in ANZSOG.

"Dr John Paterson was one of Australia's most esteemed public servants, providing governments from across the political spectrum with practical solutions to long-standing problems, ensuring delivery of a better public service. That focus on intellectual rigour and a creative approach to complex policy issues is at the heart of the programmes that both ANZSOG and Victoria's own School of Government offer.

"The State Sectors in both countries have experienced major reforms since the 1980s and Victoria has a long-standing history of educating public servants. In addition to our involvement in ANZSOG, we have also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the New Zealand State Services Commission to provide a strategic direction for public sector education.

"Victoria's academics, both within our own School of Government and elsewhere in the University, have a wealth of leading edge state sector policy and research knowledge. That status was confirmed when Victoria's academics topped the Performance-Based Research Fund exercise as the best researchers in the political science, international relations and public policy subject area."

Victoria's School of Government is based in the University's Pipitea Campus, in the heart of the Capital's political, legal and commercial district.

ENDS

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