Heather Cotching

Senior Advisor, BETA,
Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet
Policy Economist


Heather is the Senior Advisor, Behavioural Science within BETA ((Behavioural Economics Team of the Australian Government. This team is located within the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. She is responsible for managing a team of staff from diverse backgrounds (economics, psychology, neuroscience) to understand and diagnose behavioural biases that may be preventing people from making optimal decisions.

This work is used in a range of policy areas across the federal government to test whether these biases can be overcome, and how this changes decision-making and outcomes.

Heather has more than a decade of experience in the Australian public service, across agencies including Treasury (where she started her career) the Murray-Darling Basin Authority and the Department of Industry, Innovation & Science.

While at the Murray-Darling Basin Authority, Heather managed the introduction of a new single set of water trading rules covering the five states and territories in the Murray-Darling Basin. These rules were designed to reduce transaction costs, give all buyers and sellers access to certain rights and information and make it easier to trade.

While at the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Heather managed the Economic Outlook team, responsible for macroeconomic analysis of the economy and the impacts on Australian industry and the publication of the Industry Monitor and chapters of the annual Australian Industry Report.

She is happy to discuss and advise on issues including economics as a career, job applications and interviews.

Heather has a degree in Economics from the University of Tasmania and a Graduate Certificate in Management from ANU.