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'Journey' by Aaron McTaggart and Emma Bamblett
Professional Learning Program

Policy Frameworks and First Nations Relations

To develop policy practice based on authentic relationships with First Nations and communities


$1995 (excl. GST)  per microcredential




Each microcredential will be delivered online over five weeks


August - September 2024


The First Nations policy landscape is changing, and public servants need to develop a deeper understanding of First Nations histories, cultures, and ways of knowing, being and doing.

Indigenous Australia is, in many ways, a foreign country to most non-Indigenous Australians, whose understandings are informed by inaccurate and misleading stereotypes dating from Australia’s colonial past.

Relationship-based policy practice requires understanding of the frameworks for engaging with First Nations people and communities, and recognition of the strengths of Indigenous knowledge and cultures.

This microcourse is accredited by Charles Darwin University as part of a broader suite of First Nations public administration micro-credentials planned between ANZSOG and the university. It provides the opportunity for current and aspiring public sector leaders to improve their ability to design and implement policy by viewing Australia through a different lens and building their knowledge of First Nations history and culture.

It explores the history and contemporary lived experiences of Australia’s First Nations, showing how the historical policy landscape imposed by settler colonial governments and society, shapes modern reality.

Participants will explore different ways to develop policy that values the existing capabilities of First Nations communities and delivers better outcomes.  The focus will be on framing the learning so that ‘knowing’ leads to ‘doing’ policy differently.

Each module of the microcredential takes a respectful, strengths-based approach to learning about First Nations cultures and societies and moves away from the deficit discourse that has dominated policy debate. They will explore how to move to more productive, work more effectively with First Nations communities and deliver on the Priority Reforms in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

Who is it for?

Public servants and other professionals wanting to:

  • work more effectively with First Nations communities.
  • transform government organisations so they work better for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
  • strengthen and establish relationship-based partnerships and shared decision-making processes in policy work.
  • build public service capability to co-develop policy with First Nations communities.
  • deepen their existing understanding of First Nations history and culture

Learning outcomes

At the completion of this microcredential participants will have: 

  • reviewed and critiqued historical and current policies affecting First Nations communities. 
  • explored the cultural and legal foundations and implications of key resource rights available to First Nations peoples. 
  • examined the role of treaties in engaging with First Nations peoples and the potential ramifications 
  • discussed the role of diplomacy in engagement with First Nations peoples in policy contexts. 
  • analysed some policy case studies relating to First Nations peoples and the effects on First Nations ability to improve well-being and exercise self-determination. 


ANZSOG in collaboration with Charles Darwin University, Faculty of Arts and Society.


ANZSOG will be offering a suite of First Nations policy microcredentials in collaboration with Charles Darwin University. The first in the series, Policy Frameworks and First Nations Relations, is now open for registrations, and further microcredentials are currently being developed.

Each microcredential will be delivered online over five weeks.

Date, time, location

Currently on offer:

Policy Frameworks and First Nations Relations 

  • Orientation (1hr)  – Tuesday, 13 August
  • Session 1 (2hrs)  – Tuesday, 20 August
  • Session 2 (2hrs)  – Tuesday, 27 August
  • Session 3 (2hrs) – Tuesday, 3 September
  • Session 4 (2hrs)  – Tuesday, 10 September

Location: Online


$1995 (excl. GST)  per microcredential.

More information

The suite of microcredentials will look at specific issues including:   

  • understanding how a relationship-based way of knowing shifts the foundations of policy work with First Nations people.   
  • the importance of understanding  the historical context of policy interactions with First Nations people and how it shapes contemporary policy work. 
  • the (continuing) impact of past policies on First Nations and how better relationships can improve current and future policy development.   
  • the challenges of working with the diversity of First Nations experiences from within the colonising institutions of the Australian polity.   
  • an exploration of policy successes and missed opportunities of policymaking in First Nations contexts. 

The program will challenge participants’ existing perceptions and assumptions about Indigenous Australia. This can be discomforting but will result in rich learning opportunities, and the ability to turn newfound knowledge into practical change.   

Got a question?

To enquire about this course, please contact ANZSOG’s Program Delivery team with the program name as the subject line to  Programs_team@anzsog.edu.au.

Read our cancellation, transfer and refund policy.