Vijaya L. Ramamurthy

PhD Candidate T: 0439 860 700
The John Curtin Institute of Public Policy E:
Curtin University, Western Australia  
A/Manager, Budget Strategy  
Western Australian Department of Health  


Vijaya’s PhD study is centred on a most pertinent issue of federalism: What role have conditional or tied grants played in Australian federalism and what has been the impact of those grants on policy making and service delivery in the States? In resolving this question, her thesis constructs a longitudinal case study of tied grants for public hospitals from the Whitlam to Howard governments, with comparative reference to a minor case study constructed on tied grants for public schools. Vijaya’s work is being supervised by Professor Alan Fenna of Curtin University. Her study is in its final stages and forms part of an ARC Linkage Project.
The recipient of a 2007 APAI scholarship, Vijaya had an industry career prior to joining Curtin University, including twenty years with the Western Australia public sector. She has a public policy and finance background, having held a range of roles in the Department of Treasury and Department of Health. Highlights of her public sector career include involvement in: the delivery of the Health Reform Committee’s A Healthy Future for Western Australians report which put forward 86 recommendations for reform of the WA health system; and the design and implementation of a new accrual based appropriation regime and cash management framework for WA budget sector agencies. Vijaya currently works with the Resourcing, Strategy and Infrastructure Division of the Western Australia Department of Health in a part-time capacity. She has also served as a Research Associate with the John Curtin Institute of Public Policy and a Sessional Academic with the Faculty of Health Sciences, Curtin University.

Research Interests

Health system governance and reform; intergovernmental relations, policy making and governance; and public finance.


Refereed conference paper Shared Governance: Experiences from the Australian Federal System, Fourth International Conference on Public Policy, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore India, 9-12 August 2009

Refereed conference paper The Politics of Tied Grants: the Pitfalls and the Opportunities, Australian Political Studies Annual Conference, Macquarie University, Sydney, 27-30 September 2009

Book chapter (forthcoming): Tied Grants and Policy Reform in Public Hospitals and Schools, in Tomorrow’s Federation, Federation Press 2011

Refereed conference paper: Tied Grants and Federal Reform: Experiences from Hospitals and Schools, Federalism Research Roundtable, Gilbert and Tobin Centre of Public Law, University of New South Wales, Sydney, March 24-25 2011

Conference presentation: Commonwealth-State Policy Making and Governance – Who Really Controls?, Emerging Health Policy Research Conference, Menzies Centre for Health Policy, University of Sydney, Sydney, August 17 2011