BEc (Hons) (Adelaide), FAICD


I have a range of professional interests and experiences that are relevant to the social sciences:

I have considerable experience in the use of data and evidence for social and economic policy design and implementation, including applications in welfare to work, retirement income and health policy. Evidence can be a very powerful tool for designing good public policy and effective service delivery, delivering better outcomes for the community, cost-effective solutions for taxpayers and combatting prejudice and ignorance. While some existing data sources are underutilised, there are also many untapped opportunities to improve measurement of outcomes from public policies and programs and increase transparency to the community.

I have experience improving the quality of official statistics and data for a range of purposes. This has particularly included improvements to Australia’s official labour market and economic statistics, ensuring the quality production of official statistics, using data from new information sources, and providing transparent advice to data users. I have a long-standing interest in longitudinal data and information that captures the interplay between economic and social factors

New technological and statistical developments have increased the opportunity to draw greater value from expanded use of available data sources, through integration of multiple data sources (including some very large administrative and sensing data) and improvements to the visual presentation of data. Large integrated microdata can be safely and effectively used with statistical and technological tools, such as the Five Safes approach combined with remote data access, to deliver new evidence.

I have a longstanding interest in the practice of public administration and an understanding of many contemporary challenges facing organisations. I can draw on my experience as a past CEO of two major public organisations, the ABS and AIHW, following many senior Executive roles in a number of Government Departments, in total over a 30 year period. I have progressed successful transformations of both ABS and AIHW that improved their effectiveness, and have an understanding of the many challenges and risks that arise when you progress organisational change. I have direct experience improving strategy, governance, culture, workforce capability and organisational infrastructure.

I have had a very strong focus on partnerships, and seen the value of collaborations, especially multidisciplinary ones, to deliver improved understandings and more effective solutions. I would expect to continue such an approach with opportunities that arise with the Academy.

Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Business, Government and Law, University of Canberra

Chair, ACT Electoral Commission

Member, Executive Board, General Authority for Statistics, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors

Institute for Governance Public Sector Excellence Award, University of Canberra, November 2019

David Wallace Prize, Australian Association of Gerontology, 1999

  1. Kaspura, AJ and Kalisch, DW 1984, Labour supply 1950 to 1980 in BJ Chapman, JE Isaac and JR Niland (eds), Australian Labour Economics Readings, 3rd ed, Macmillan, Melbourne
  2. Kalisch, DW and Patterson, N 1994, Australia’s retirement income system: interactions and attitudes, in D Knox, Colloquium of Superannuation Research papers, Longmans, Melbourne
  3. Kalisch, DW, Aman, T and Buchele, LA 1998, Social and health policies in the OECD: a survey of current programmes and recent developments, Labour market and social policy occasional paper no. 33, OECD, Paris
  4. Kalisch, DW 2015-2019, Australian Statistician’s Review, Australian Bureau of Statistics Annual Report, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra
  5. Kalisch, DW 2020, Key issues and challenges with the forthcoming Intergenerational report, The Mandarin 15 June