Meet our people – Brad Astbury

Find out more about our staff, their roles, and what their day to day looks like!

What was your path into evaluation and ARTD?

I was introduced to the field of evaluation in the early 2000s while working as a researcher and lecturer in the criminal justice department at RMIT University.

Through this role I met Gerald Elsworth and Patricia Rogers who had formed an evaluation centre at RMIT. I collaborated with Patricia and Gerry on numerous evaluation projects and in 2007 was invited by Ros Hurworth to join the Centre for Program Evaluation (CPE) at the University of Melbourne.

At CPE I developed and taught several postgraduate evaluation subjects and conducted evaluations across a diverse range of areas. In 2018 an opportunity arose to become a Director at ARTD and support establishment of the Melbourne office.

I have always enjoyed the theoretical and methodological aspects of evaluation and along the way completed a Masters in Assessment and Evaluation and a PhD that involved developing new methods for evaluating program sustainability.

Can you sum up your role as a Director in one sentence?

I lead multidisciplinary teams that provide high quality evidence to improve the design, delivery and impact of policies and programs.

What was the best opportunity/ your proudest work moment since starting at ARTD?

One of the features of working at ARTD that makes me most proud is the opportunity to influence policy-making for the betterment of individuals, communities and society.

I have been fortunate to be part of several impactful evaluations of nationally significant programs where the findings have been used to inform policy development and change. Of course, conducting evaluations is never easy and use is not guaranteed. But when done well, evaluation can provide clear answers to important policy questions.

What is your favourite thing about working at ARTD?

The culture, values, people and work environment at ARTD are very supportive. It is a place that provides incredible opportunities to make a difference across a diverse range of policy sectors.

What does a ‘day in the life’ look like for you?

My days are quite diverse, but typically involve a mixture of meetings and workshops with clients and staff to progress evaluations, data collection and analysis, proposal and report writing, and contributing to strategic focus and direction.

What’s something your clients may not know about you?

I grew up in some very remote parts of Australia and my early years of education were completed by School of the Air.


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