Civil society plays a vital role in governance. This seminar explores different styles of representation connecting affected constituents, policy narratives and governance spaces.

Representatives from civil society play a vital role in governance settings, holding the state to account on behalf of affected constituencies. While their representative claims and influence have been extensively documented, less consideration has been given to the ways in which civil society organisations (CSOs) develop their representations of – and with - affected constituents.

This seminar presentation looks closely at the practices of civil society through the lens of representation, developing an understanding of the links between constituents and representation formation. It progresses an idea of how different styles of formation practice influence CSO representation narratives, and how those narratives are performed. Connecting CSO representation practice to governance spaces advances a view how the interaction between governance infrastructure and CSOs shape each other in ways that both help and hinder.

Anna Fieldhouse’s thesis draws on evidence from interviews with civil society leaders and submissions to two recent Australian Royal Commissions to understand how representation is used in aged care and disability sector governance spaces.

This seminar is Anna's final presentation of her doctoral candidature.

About the speaker

Anna Fieldhouse’s research considers the regulatory governance of welfare services and the role of civil society as intermediaries representing marginalised welfare service users. She comes to RegNet with extensive experience in social policy design, including in the development of responsive regulatory systems.

Anna holds a position as Policy Director in the Australian Government Department of Social Services (DSS). Her career has included policy and operational leadership roles in government and non-government organisations in the homelessness, domestic violence, mental health and disability sectors.

Anna’s more recent focus has been on designing regulatory systems for welfare services, including developing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Quality and Safeguards Commission, established in 2018. As a 2020 Sir Roland Wilson PhD Scholar, her research was selected in a highly competitive process as likely to make a significant contribution to public policy and the Australian Public Service.

COVID protocols

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This seminar presentation will be dual-delivery. Registration is only required for Zoom attendance; registration for in-person attendance is not required as neither the ANU nor ACT Health conduct contact tracing any longer.

If you require accessibility accommodations or a visitor Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan please email

Image credit: Image of street art stencil: “Nothing about us without us is for us” from a public art event of the same name in Glasgow, Scotland, by t s Beall and many others on flickr, used under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 DEED licence

Event details

Event date

Tue, 27 Feb 2024, 12:30 - 1:30pm