Dr Wendy Jarvie

Adjunct Professor
+1 2 6268 8966


Room 318
Building 27
UNSW Canberra


Dr Wendy Jarvie is an Adjunct Professor at the School of Business, UNSW Canberra.

Professional and Teaching Experience

Dr Wendy Jarvie has had a diverse career. She spent seven years (2001- 2008) as a Deputy Secretary in the Commonwealth Departments of Education, Science and Training (DEST) and Education, Employment and Workplace relations (DEEWR). In those positions she oversighted at different times indigenous education, international education, higher education, science policy, student income support, the Budget process, and research and evaluation.She was Director of Australia’s first Office of Early Childhood Education and Child Care (2007-8). Since leaving government she has worked for the World Bank in Vietnam and the Pacific on early childhood education, and has had a number of appointments to government committees including The Audit and Risk Committee and the Independent Evaluation Committee for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Advisory Group on Aboriginal Affairs Research (NSW government).

Dr Jarvie started her career as a research assistant in signal detection in the Department of Mathematics at Newcastle University, then as a computer programmer at the Hunter Valley Research Foundation. After completing a PhD in 1984, she joined the Bureau of Labour Market Research, part of the Australian Public Service. Following its abolition she became a mainstream public servant, working in numerous departments including Finance, Employment and Industrial Relations, Prime Minister and Cabinet, and Health and Ageing. In addition she worked for three years in the World Bank in Washington (1998-2001), initially in the Operations Evaluation Department where she was a manager of corporate evaluations and evaluation methods, and later in Operations and Country Strategies where she worked on small states issues, and managed a taskforce on Bank strategies for middle income countries.

Dr Jarvie has three degrees from the University of Newcastle (BA (hons) in History, Diploma of Computer Science,and Masters of Engineering Science), as well as a Ph D in Geography from Flinders University. She has also completed an Executive Development Program at Harvard University. Wendy’s research interest is public policy in Australia, in particular innovations and sustainability in indigenous development, the creation of national early childhood policy, and Australia’s relationship with Latin America. 

Book Chapters

Jarvie WK; mercer T, 2018, 'Australia’s employment services,1998–2012: Using performance monitoring and evaluation to improve value for money', in podger A; Su TT; wanna J; chan H; Nui M (ed.), VALUE FOR MONEY. BUDGET AND FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT REFORM IN THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA, TAIWAN AND AUSTRALIA, ANU Press, Acton ACT Australia, pp. 277 - 297, http://dx.doi.org/10.22459/VM.01.2018.13

Mercer T; Jarvie WK, 2017, 'Negotiating the Early Childhood Education Revolution: An Exercise in Multi-level Governance', in daniell KA; Kay A (ed.), Multi-level Governance Conceptual challenges and case studies from Australia, ANU Press, Acton ACT Australia, pp. 161 - 185, http://dx.doi.org/10.22459/MG.11.2017

Jarvie WK; Stewart J, 2017, 'Multi-level Governance in Aboriginal Community Development: Structures, Processes and Skills for Working across Boundaries', in Daniell KA; Kay A (ed.), Multi-Level Governance. Conceptual Challenges and case studies from Australia, ANU Press, Acton ACT Australia, pp. 211 - 230, http://dx.doi.org/10.22459/MG.11.2017.09

Jarvie W; Mercer T, 2015, 'Championing Change in a Highly Contested Policy Area: The literacy reforms of David Kemp, 1996-2001', in wanna J; lindquist EA; Marshal P (ed.), New Accountabilities, New Challenges, ANU Press, Acton ACT aUSTRALIA, pp. 343 - 367

Journal articles

Jarvie W; Stewart J, 2018, 'Conceptualizing learning in the public sector: the importance of context', International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 31, pp. 14 - 30, http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/IJPSM-08-2016-0137

Stewart J; Jarvie WK, 2015, 'Haven't we been this way before? Evaluation and the impediments to policy learning', Australian Journal of Public Administration, vol. 74, pp. 114 - 127, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-8500.12140

Jarvie WK, 2012, 'Qualitative Research in Early Childhood Education and Care Implementation', International Journal of Child Care and Education Policy, vol. 6, pp. 35 - 43, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/2288-6729-6-2-35

JARVIE WK; BROWETT JG, 1980, 'Recent changes in migration patterns in Australia', Australian Geographical Studies, vol. 18, pp. 135 - 145, http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8470.1980.tb00363.x

Conference Presentations

slattery D; Jarvie WK, 2017, 'Balancing Learning and Accountability: building an effective internal evaluation function for Australia's foreign aid program', presented at AES17 International Evaluation conference, Canberra Australia, 04 September 2017 - 06 September 2017