Integrity is a difficult thing to pin down but an impossible thing to buy. As an international expert on policies and practices required to prevent corruption, Adam Graycar is an exceedingly busy man.
“Corruption is a real and tangible problem,” Professor Graycar said. “It destroys good government and undermines social and economic goals and aspirations.
“When an official is bought a cup of coffee or a modest lunch, that in itself is not corruption. It is corruption, however, when that exchange leads to a change of a decision, or an outcome that is bought.”
Professor Graycar’s early academic career flourished at Flinders in the 70s and he subsequently moved into a broad range of leadership roles, including Australia’s first Commissioner for the Ageing, the head of the Australian Institute of Criminology, and head of the Government of South Australia’s Cabinet Office, as well as a stint as a dean at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and then at the Australian National University.
Upon his return to Flinders in 2015, all those roles seemed to be a great career preparation for his current role, working closely with international agencies such as the United Nations and the World Bank to help fight corruption.
Professor Graycar says public and social policy was a hard area to work through and required the brightest minds to do the work.
“Flinders gave me a wonderful career start and returning 30 years later is allowing me to put my experience to good stead to mentor younger academics, build links between the University, the government and the community sector, and lead research that matters for our wellbeing,” he said.