As the Australian economy recovers from the COVID-19 recession, we are at a critical juncture in policy in Australia. Policy decisions made today will shape the trajectory of Australia’s recovery with implications for equality, our society and environment for decades to come. This panel will offer analysis and insights into the policy decisions needed to rebuild a better Australia.
COVID-19 and the consequential economic downturn has created unparalleled uncertainty about our economic future. Dr Sarah Hunter, Chief Economist at BIS Oxford Economics, will provide an overview of Australia’s budget outlook and the changing structure of the Australian economy against a global backdrop. With the pandemic presenting both challenges and opportunities for Australia’s economy, Sarah will discuss what Governments will need to do to secure a sustained and inclusive economic recovery.
The pandemic has not hit everyone equally: women were more likely to lose their jobs, dominate many of the risky frontline roles like childcare, nursing and checkout staff, and have shouldered a disproportionate share of the caring responsibilities at home including remote learning. Dr Leonora Risse, Chair of WEN and Harvard Kennedy School Women and Public Policy Program Fellow, will discuss the gender faultlines in the economy exposed by the COVID crisis and what policies are needed to drive a gender equitable recovery and improve women’s economic outcomes in a post COVID world.
Immigration was a vital driver of economic growth and cultural contribution to Australia prior to the pandemic, but will we be able to rely on it again into the future? Gabriela D’Souza is an economist at CEDA specialising in the economics of immigration and will provide analysis of the future of this traditional source of economic growth for Australia in the short and long term.
Dr Sarah Hunter is the Chief Economist at BIS oxford Economics. Sarah is a regular commentator on the outlook for Australia and the global economy in the national and international press. She also presents and discusses the economic outlook with clients across the Asia Pacific region. After studying economics at the University of Cambridge, Sarah went on to gain a MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and a DPhil from the University of Oxford, where her thesis analysed how WWI triggered structural changes in Britain’s economy.
Gabriela D’Souza is a Senior Economist at the Committee on the Economic Development of Australia (CEDA). She has worked at some of Australia's most well-known and respected public policy think tanks and economics research centres, including the Grattan Institute. She has conducted research on a wide range of public policy issues including education, immigration, multidimensional disadvantage, and area-based measures of exclusion. Gabriela has a master’s degree in economics from Monash University and is an affiliate of Monash University’s Department of Business Statistics and Econometrics. She is a member of the board of the International Education Association of Australia.
Dr Leonora Risse is a Lecturer in Economics at RMIT University, a Research Fellow with the Women and Public Policy Program in the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University, and a Research Fellow with the Women’s Leadership Institute Australia. She is current National Chair of the Women in Economics Network. She was named among Apolitical’s 100 Most Influential People on Gender Policy in 2020 globally. Leonora holds a PhD in Economics from the University of Queensland and was previously a Senior Research Economist at the Productivity Commission. Her research focuses on understanding gender gaps in economic outcomes and other dimensions of equality, disadvantage and wellbeing.