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Executive Leadership Program

Deputies Leadership Program

Being a public sector Deputy comes with distinct and complex challenges. Learn how to meet them head-on.


$20,000 (excl. GST)


Brisbane and Melbourne


5 days over 2 months


Module 1: 31 July-2 August 2024 | Module 2: 2-4 September 2024


Our Deputies Leadership Program is designed to challenge and guide early-stage Deputies to be effective and resilient leaders who build cultures of integrity, trust and collaboration in changing times.

Deputy leaders in the public sector operate at the political-administrative interface. They balance shifting political demands and public expectations with a growing menu of complex, tough and urgent public policy problems. They combine strategy, trust and empathy to design and deliver new responses and better results.

Deputy roles demand resilience, integrity and stewardship capabilities, the confidence to lead and operate in a digital environment, as well as mindsets for policy, regulation and service delivery outcomes.

This leadership development program, tailored specifically to early-stage Deputies, blends insights drawn from both academic thinking and practical experience in a collaborative learning environment. It puts you in the room with your peers and with senior leaders and practitioners who’ve been there, understand what it’s like to be a Deputy, and can speak candidly about their experiences.

You’ll leave with a new appreciation of the responsibilities and expectations specific to these critical public sector leadership roles, a deeper understanding of how integrity, First Nations perspectives and stewardship impact contemporary public sector challenges and a valuable network of fellow Deputies.

An information session for the Deputies Leadership Program took place online on Tuesday 28 May. The recording for the session is available below:

Interview with alumni: Deb Jenkins

Deputy Secretary & Chief Operating Officer, Corporate and Enabling Services, Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (CTH)


Who is it for?

This executive leadership program is designed for those who are:

  • early stage Deputy Secretaries (or equivalent) with up to two years’ experience; and
  • working in a public sector organisation in Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand.

You can read more about the experience of previous participants in this article.

Our Deputies Leadership Program co-directors also recently sat down for a conversation about What Deputies need to know, highlighting the philosophy behind the program and the unique challenges that come with the Deputy role. 

Interview with alumni: David Mackay

Deputy Secretary, Regions, Cities and Territories, Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications, and the Arts (CTH)

Learning outcomes

The Deputies Leadership Program grounds contemporary academic thinking on public administration with lived experience leading agencies and teams at the Deputy level.

Throughout this executive leadership program, you will:

  • Deepen your understanding of your leadership practice and what’s required of the Deputy role
  • Build your resilience and confidence to deliver across all dimensions of the role in rapidly changing and often uncertain times
  • Create a network of peers across the public sector and stay connected via our Alumni Program
  • Extend your understanding of contemporary public sector challenges and exploring their implications for leadership
  • Share leadership behaviours that drive cultures of integrity, trust and collaboration
  • Develop greater confidence and clarity in what it means to be a public leader in the digital age


You’ll learn from:

  • co-directors Kathryn Anderson and Martin Stewart-Weeks – leaders in contemporary thinking on public sector leadership with strong practical experience
  • a wide range of national and international public sector leaders and academic experts in public sector administration and leadership.


The Deputies Leadership Program is delivered via two modules:

  • Module 1: 2.5 days, in-person (Brisbane)
  • Module 2: 2.5 days, in-person (Melbourne)

This executive leadership course is designed to enable participants to learn from each other’s experiences and challenges.

Your learning experience will be highly interactive, with small group discussions and reflection forming a central part of the program. Places are limited to about 30 per cohort to ensure a positive peer learning experience.

While program material will be provided to participants who wish to dive more deeply into topics covered, the program design recognises Deputies’ time constraints and will not rely on extensive pre-session work.

Date, time, location

  • Module 1: 31 July-2 August 2024, Brisbane
  • Module 2: 2-4 September 2024, Melbourne

While timely applications have closed, late applications are still being considered, only until 7 July (earlier if at capacity).



$20,000 AUD (excl GST)

Travel and accommodation arrangements and expenses are not included in the program fee.

More information

Register now to attend anonline information sessionwith the program co-directors on Tuesday, 28 May 2024, 5:30pm-6:00pm (AEST)  7:30pm – 8:00pm (NZST). 

To find out more about this leadership program: