Frances Foster-Thorpe

Frances Foster-Thorpe


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Frances is an incisive policy thinker who understands organisations and people are crucial to good solutions. Prior to joining Nous, she worked as an adviser at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), advising on the Environment portfolio, water policy and the Budget process. Frances has expertise in Australia water policy and public accountability frameworks, developed through her doctorate, and a strong legal background.

Influential work

  • Provided advice on implementation of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan and Commonwealth obligations under the Water Act 2007, including the Bureau’s water information programme
  • Provided advice on fiscal strategy and budget priorities for the environment, health and education portfolios
  • Embedded in the Gonski Schools Funding Taskforce, which involved drafting the inter-governmental agreement, advising on the underpinning legislation and participating in negotiations with state and territory governments and non-government school peak bodies
  • Co-authored a strategic research project on the economic security of women in later life
  • Developed a strategic communications plan for the minister for women, including developing key messages and identifying primary and secondary audiences for those messages.

Outside of Nous

Prior to joining Nous, Frances worked in the area of PM&C that advises on the Environment portfolio and water policy, and then in the area that advises on budget process and the Finance portfolio. She was also research director for the chief justice of New South Wales, and a sessional lecturer at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Law School.

Frances’ PhD in Law from Oxford University focused on how public accountability can contribute to policy outcomes. She also holds a Master of Science in Socio-Legal Studies from Oxford University, Bachelors of Arts and Law from the UNSW, and is an admitted solicitor.

In her spare time...

Frances has always been a keen student of Australian politics and social issues. In her spare time she reads, practices yoga and is endeavouring to learn Olympic weight lifting.