Professor Simon Loertscher, Associate Professor David Byrne, Professor Steven Williams and Mr Gary Stoneham

The Centre for Market Design, a consortium of the University of Melbourne, the Victorian Department of Treasury and Finance and the Australian Department of Treasury, conducts robust research into key social and economic issues contemporary society experiences.

The Centre for Market Design (CMD), directed by Professor Simon Loertscher, Associate Professor David Byrne, Professor Steven Williams and Mr Gary Stoneham, works alongside government and industry to formulate resolutions to complex problems affecting a broad range of sectors. Dedicated to creating results supported by evidence, the CMD team engages those with lived experience and various stakeholder groups to produce guaranteed solutions.  Their contribution to the community and ability to produce outcomes with ongoing positive impact has earned them the Excellence in Engagement — Public Value award for 2019.

Over 2018, several of the CMD’s projects were realised, delivering benefits for the energy, disability and legal sector. One project saw the CMD partner with Court Services Victoria, the Children’s Court of Victoria, RMIT University and the Department of Justice and Community Safety to evaluate the impact of several non-custodial interventions being trialled for youth offenders across Victoria. The team have been collecting data on the likelihood of youth offenders to reoffend and are combining this data with interviews with young offenders to formulate a report, now in its final stages, to demonstrate which interventions are likely to be most successful.

The CMD is met with the difficult task of selecting from multiple complex engagement opportunities and research projects. Centre Director Associate Professor Byrne acknowledges the importance of working with partners as it allows the team to determine what the community needs and which projects have the potential to create the most value for the community. For CMD staff, one of the most rewarding elements of the process is being able to visit these communities and see the impact of their research in action.

By focusing on problems with direct benefit for the community, we get to grow as a Centre in terms of our ability to work across fields of research to develop solutions to challenging and important problems that at the end of the day matter for individuals in the community. Associate Professor David Byrne

This recognition demonstrates the Centre’s ability to produce tangible outcomes for the public, by attracting some of the best industry and government partners to collaborate with to produce and implement the research. Associate Professor Byrne looks forward to the Centre’s ability to grow as a leader in the University community and act as a model for other centres and researchers who wish to initiate positive change for the public.