Dr Stephen Mills

BA Hons Melb, MPA Harv, PhD Syd
Lecturer, Graduate School of Government

F10 - Law School (Camperdown)
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 9114 0806

Website Contact details
Website

Biographical details

Stephen Mills lectures at the Graduate School of Government, teaching Public Sector Leadership, Work Based Projects and Governance in the Extractive Industries. His research covers all aspects of election campaign management, with particular interests in party professionalisation, opinion research, and campaign finances. He is former political journalist, ministerial staffer and corporate affairs specialist. Stephen’s most recent book is “The Professionals: Strategy, Money and the Rise of the Political Campaigner in Australia” (2014). He is also the author of “The New Machine Men: Polls and Persuasion in Australian Politics” (1986) and “The Hawke Years” (1993). He was the co-convenor of the 2nd Australia-New Zealand workshop in Campaign Management and Political Marketing at the University of Sydney, July 2014.

Stephen was a journalist and editor in the Fairfax newspaper group in Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney for ten years. He served as speechwriter to Prime Minister RJL Hawke from 1986 to 1991. He has more than 10 years’ experience in managing external relationships for leading financial services companies including ASX, Citigroup and Bankers Trust.

He has lectured in Public Sector Leadership (GSOG 6002) at the Graduate School of Government since 2008. He is also responsible for teaching and supervising Work Based Projects (GSOG6005). He is a regular presenter in the GSG’s executive education courses, and has taught on Governance in the Extractive Industries in Africa and in Sydney.

He completed his PhD through the Department of Government and International relations in 2013 with his thesis "Campaign Professionals: Party Officials and the Professionalisation of Australian Political Parties.” He won a Harkness Fellowship from the Commonwealth Fund of New York in 1983 to travel and study in the United States during the 1984 Presidential election season. He completed a Master of Public Administration at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in 1985.

More information on publications and a detailed CV is available on www.stephen-mills.com.au.

Research interests

  • Campaign management
  • Campaign professionalisation
  • Political party organisation
  • Campaign funding
  • Electoral regulation

Teaching and supervision

GSOG 6002, Public Sector Leadership

GSOG 6005, Work Based Projects

Current projects

“Problems of Campaign Finance Regulation”, a jointly-funded collaboration involving researchers from the University of Sydney, the University of Melbourne and the NSW Electoral Commission, using NSW campaign finance laws as a case study to examine whether the costs of electoral regulation outweigh the benefits.

In the media

  • 26 Sep 2014: 'Taxpayer poll funding dismissed, ' Sydney Morning Herald, p3
  • 13 Aug: Interview with Rob Sitch &Dee Madigan on Jon Faine's The Conversation Hour (ABC): Also accessible here.
  • 16 July: Interview with Philip Adams, ABC Radio National: Also accessible here.
  • ‘Big Data meets Door-knocking: the political contest’s new frontier’, The Conversation, 7 July 2014
  • 12 July: Interview with Geraldine Doogue, ABC Radio National: Also accessible here.
  • ‘After the votes are in, the backroom operators still have a vital role’ Sydney Morning Herald (op-ed), 7 July 2014
  • ‘It was time: Mick Young’s triumph, forty years on’, Inside Story 13 (Dec 12-Jan13). Also accessible here.
  • ‘Richard Casey’s Forgotten People’, Inside Story 11 (Aug-Sep 12). Also accessible here.

Selected guest presentations and seminars

29 August 2014: “The Professionals,” presentation to Electoral Regulation Research Network (Vic), University of Melbourne.

27 August 2014: “The Political Party Machine,” presentation and discussion at Melbourne Writers’ Festival.

Selected publications

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Books

  • Mills, S. (2014). The Professionals: Strategy, Money, and the Rise of the Political Campaigner in Australia. Melbourne: Black Inc.

Book Chapters

  • Mills, S. (2014). "I am Sorry": Prime ministerial apology as transformational leadership. In John Uhr and Ryan Walter (Eds.), Studies in Australian Political Rhetoric, (pp. 19-32). Canberra: ANU Press.
  • Mills, S. (2012). Campaigns and campaign funding. In Rodney Smith, Ariadne Vromen, Ian Cook (Eds.), Contemporary Politics in Australia: Theories, Practices and Issues, (pp. 143-151). Melbourne, Australia: Cambridge University Press.
  • Mills, S., Tiffen, R. (2012). Opinion Polls and the Media in Australia. In Christina Holtz-Bacha, Jesper Strombacker (Eds.), Opinion Polls and the Media: Reflecting and Shaping Public Opinion, (pp. 155-174). Basingstoke, United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Mills, S. (2012). The party official as political marketer: the Australian experience. In Jennifer Lees-Marshment (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Political Marketing, (pp. 190-201). Oxon, United Kingdom: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.

Conferences

  • Mills, S. (2010). Contrasting Paths: Political Careers of Labor and Liberal State Party Officials. Australian Political Studies Association Conference 2010 APSA 2010, Melbourne: Australian Political Studies Association.

2014

  • Mills, S. (2014). "I am Sorry": Prime ministerial apology as transformational leadership. In John Uhr and Ryan Walter (Eds.), Studies in Australian Political Rhetoric, (pp. 19-32). Canberra: ANU Press.
  • Mills, S. (2014). The Professionals: Strategy, Money, and the Rise of the Political Campaigner in Australia. Melbourne: Black Inc.

2012

  • Mills, S. (2012). Campaigns and campaign funding. In Rodney Smith, Ariadne Vromen, Ian Cook (Eds.), Contemporary Politics in Australia: Theories, Practices and Issues, (pp. 143-151). Melbourne, Australia: Cambridge University Press.
  • Mills, S., Tiffen, R. (2012). Opinion Polls and the Media in Australia. In Christina Holtz-Bacha, Jesper Strombacker (Eds.), Opinion Polls and the Media: Reflecting and Shaping Public Opinion, (pp. 155-174). Basingstoke, United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Mills, S. (2012). The party official as political marketer: the Australian experience. In Jennifer Lees-Marshment (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Political Marketing, (pp. 190-201). Oxon, United Kingdom: Routledge imprint of Taylor & Francis.

2010

  • Mills, S. (2010). Contrasting Paths: Political Careers of Labor and Liberal State Party Officials. Australian Political Studies Association Conference 2010 APSA 2010, Melbourne: Australian Political Studies Association.

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