Skip to content

Deputies leadership program

The role of the Deputy: meeting the challenges of leading in the modern public sector


$18,500 AUD (excl.GST)




Three x 2-day modules (1 in-person, 2 online)


18 September–14 November (see details for more information)


Resilience, integrity and effectiveness: these leadership qualities have been put under a microscope in today’s public sector, one which is characterised by volatile and uncertain conditions and ongoing Covid-19 responses and recovery. Performance expectations are high, and not always easy to define or discern, and accountability and public scrutiny is increasing.

But the role of public sector Deputy leaders has always been complex and challenging. Deputies are not only responsible for significant budget, policy, service and people leadership, but also share accountability for their organisation’s success and have stewardship obligations that extend to the broader public sector and service system.

Deputies operate at the political-administrative interface, which is changing dramatically as shifts in the style and conduct of politics and government collide with a growing menu of complex, tough and urgent public problems.

Deputies also need to be able to confidently lead in a digital environment which demands effective use of digital, data and design tools as well as mindsets for policy, regulation and service delivery outcomes patterned increasingly by empathy, competence and trust.

This program will challenge Deputies in the early stages of their role to explore all aspects of responsibilities specific to this role, stretch their thinking about effective performance and as individuals and a cohort, share insights for impact and influence.

The program has been designed by co-directors Kathryn Anderson and Martin Stewart-Weeks, who bring strong practical experience as well as leading contemporary thinking about public sector leadership.

Who is it for?

This program is for early stage Deputy Secretaries (or equivalent) of public sector departments and statutory entities across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand (up to two years experience).

It is designed to support the successful transition of senior executives to Deputy level and equip participants with tools to make them more flexible and effective in their roles.

Why should I choose the Deputies leadership program?

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

The Deputies leadership program grounds contemporary academic thinking on public administration with lived experience leading at Deputy level. The program presenters bring a mix of theory and senior leadership and practice, reflecting a complementary set of skills, backgrounds and approaches. The course takes the best of research and practice and blends them in lively and practical collaborative learning.

The opportunity to be part of a network of high performing Deputies across Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand is a key feature of this program. Participants will develop a deeper understanding of what is required to excel as Deputies, and a clear sense of what CEOs, Secretaries and equivalents need and want from them.

Participants will grow their understanding of themselves – their leadership styles, their drivers and their aspirations – and build resilience to lead with integrity.

Guest presenters for the 2023 program include:

  • Peter Mares and Carl Murphy from the Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership
  • Deborah Glass, Victorian Ombudsman
  • Margaret Crawford, NSW Auditor-General
  • Lil Anderson, CEO of Te Arawhiti
  • Vicky Robertson – Former Secretary for the New Zealand Environment Department and former Deputy Secretary New Zealand Treasury
  • Ian Hamm, former senior Victorian public servant
  • Jim Betts, Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Infrastructure
  • Mike Kaiser, Director General, Queensland Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning
  • Gordon de Brouwer, new Australian Public Service Commissioner

What will I learn?

  • develop a more fulsome understanding of the specific nature and expectations of the Deputy role
  • deepen your understanding of contemporary public sector challenges and directions (including the impact of a changing environment on issues like trust, respect and effective collaboration with Ministers and ministerial staff), and implications for leadership during and post-COVID-19
  • strengthen your approaches to building trust through collaboration and stakeholder engagement
  • grow confidence in leading for, with and in digital government
  • develop techniques to build resilience and lead with integrity.
Key People

The program will be jointly led by Kathryn Anderson and Martin Stewart-Weeks. Kathryn Anderson served as a Deputy Secretary in two departments in the Victorian Public Service, and has worked across jurisdictions in policy, program and corporate roles. She is now a Partner at Cube Group, a consultancy working exclusively with the public purpose sector. Kathryn is a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration (IPAA) Victoria. Martin Stewart-Weeks has been a Ministerial Chief of Staff, public servant in Canberra and Sydney and an advisor, facilitator and writer at the intersection of policy, public sector management and leadership and technology for the past 30 years. He held executive roles in the innovation and strategy group at Cisco Systems and is the founder and principal of Public Purpose Pty Ltd. With Simon Cooper, Martin is the co-author of Are We There Yet? The Digital Transformation of Government and the Public Sector in Australia (Longueville Media, 2019)


The program will be delivered in a blended format over three months with the first module in-person and modules 2 and 3 online. It is designed to enable participants to learn from each other’s experiences and challenges. It will be highly interactive, with small group discussions forming a central part of the program delivery.


  • Module 1: 18-19 September (Melbourne)
  • Module 2: 16-17 October (online)
  • Module 3: 13-14 November (online)

Applications closing 21 August 2023. To enquire about late applications, please contact Rebecca Starling at

Price: $18,500 AUD, excl GST

Note that all travel and accommodation arrangements and expenses related to Module 1 are the responsibility of the participant.

Please note, places are limited to ensure a positive cohort experience. 

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

Frequently asked questions

First Nations Public Administration Scholarship

An Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori public servant will receive a fully-funded place in one of ANZSOG’s 2024 foundation programs, which include the Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA), through the 2024 ANZSOG First Nations scholarship. Applications for the 2024 Scholarship open on 31 May and close on 6 October 2023.

This second ANZSOG scholarship was announced at the First Peoples to All Peoples conference in Meanjin Brisbane in March 2023, and is part of ANZSOG’s commitment to building capability in First Nations administration and lifting the number of potential First Nations leaders in all levels of the public sector.

This scholarship will help to build the capacity of First Nations leadership within the public sector and give the recipient a career-changing opportunity.

The recipient of the scholarship will be able to choose any ANZSOG foundation program: Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA), the Executive Fellows Program (EFP)Towards Strategic Leadership (TSL), or Deputies Leadership Program, and have all academic costs covered.

The inaugural 2021 Scholarship was awarded to Palawa woman Brenda McDermott, currently working in the Victorian public service. Brenda commenced the EMPA in 2022.

Applicants for the scholarship must Identify as either Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori and be currently working in the public sector in Australia or Aotearoa New Zealand, and are expected to remain in the public service for the period of their scholarship.

Applications for the Scholarship are now open and close on 6 October. Full criteria for the scholarship are available here.

Interested in our programs?

If you have a question, please contact ANZSOG's Program Delivery team with the program name as the subject line to Alternatively, express your interest below.