What happens when Dr Karl talks and public servants don’t?

Most Australians have no idea how the public service helps them, making it easy to cut jobs. A political communications academic says the bureaucracy can fix that by talking to journalists.

There’s “very much a black hole in the public mind” about what the public service does, says University of Melbourne political communication expert Associate Professor Sally Young.

This ignorance of the role played by public servants is what makes it easy for governments to cut public service jobs and make unhelpful statements about ‘frontline’ workers versus other staff.

“In Australia there’s a real lack of a public service perception. We don’t have the civil service aspect the British public has,” Young told The Mandarin.

Either the work of the public service is not represented in the media, or it’s seen negatively when things go wrong.

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  • Accept the points made above, but suggest that it’s really important when talking about the generic term “government advertising” that due respect is paid to the proven effectiveness of recent State behavioural campaigns in the tobacco, health and road safety areas. Each of them have a clear focus,which is to address the issue and drive changes in behaviour and there are empirical results available to show that they have worked.