The Australian Design Council has a 60-year history of bridging design, business and government to amplify the impact of design in Australia.  

The Council’s inaugural Design Meets Government Roundtable, aimed to identify what is needed in Australia’s National Innovation Ecosystem to embed design into key policies to scale its impact.

The Council hosted the Minister for Trade and Manufacturing, Hon. Senator Tim AyresMichael Schwager, Director General of IP Australia, Design Champions, Design-led Business Leaders, and Australian Design Council Members at their first Design Meets Government Roundtable.

Murray Hunter, Design + Industry, speaking at the Roundtable. Image: Australian Design Council

As Australia responds to several complex challenges which span geopolitical uncertainties, maintaining sovereign capabilities, accelerating renewable energy transitions, maintaining food security, and managing climate risks – design is fast emerging as one of the key enablers to deliver responsible national prosperity.  

Illustration: Ben Crothers

By embedding design as a critical enabler for a future diversified economy, the Australian Design Council believes aims to achieve:

– Growth in globally competitive Australian businesses and brands;

– Better investment in advanced manufacturing capability;

– Greater confidence in private investment;

– New advanced skills and jobs;

– Better collaboration with research institutions;

– More resilient supply chains and sovereign capability;

– Amplified economic, social and environmental impact.

The Roundtable acknowledged the importance of design and identified areas to focus on how to scale its impact into key policies and programs.  

Catherine Livingston AO, Australian Design Council Member. Image: Australian Design Council

“This discussion set the platform to focus the Council’s efforts for 2023 and we look forward to working with the design community, business and the Government to refine these into practical actions to enable our world-class design capability to continue to drive national prosperity,” said Dr. Sam Bucolo, CEO of the Australian Design Council.

“A recurring theme from the Roundtable was that Government should demand that good design principles be considered across policy and program investments. As highlighted at the Roundtable, firms that apply good design deliver amplified impact across economic, social, and environmental areas,” said Dr. Bucolo.

Dr. Sam Bucolo, Australian Design Council CEO (L) and Minister for Trade and Manufacturing, Hon. Senator Tim Ayres (R)

Also flagged at the Roundtable, the inclusion of design will require a champion inside Government, however, design has no natural home in Government as it is an enabler. A Design Champion would ensure design principles can be connected to relevant departments and agencies to maximise return on Government and private investment.

Illustration: Ben Crothers

Special thanks to Caroma for hosting the Roundtable at Caroma on Collins and to Ben Crothers for capturing the insightful discussions.


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