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FAQs: Towards Strategic Leadership

TSL alumni Mary Manescu

1. What are the program fees?

The program fees are $21,000 AUD + GST.

2. What does the program fee include?

The fee includes all program materials, teaching faculty and facilitation, learning management system

3. When do applications open?

Application are now open if you wish to apply for the next iteration of Towards Strategic Leadership. Alternatively, express your interest for more information.

4. When do applications close?

Applications close on 1 September 2022.

5. How do I apply for the program?

Please apply here for the next iteration of Towards Strategic Leadership. Alternatively, express your interest for more information.

6. What is the cancellation policy?

Places for TSL are limited to ensure an engaging environment for participants, as such, places are hotly contested. However, once you have been accepted into the program, cancellation will only be considered in exceptional circumstances due to the difficulty of filling places at short notice.

7. When is the program being held?

The program will be blended delivery (face to face and online). Module details are below:

  • Orientation: Thursday 22 September 2022
  • Module 1: (Online) Tuesday 4 October 2022
  • Module 2: (Online) Tuesday 11 October 2022
  • Module 3: (Face to face) 24 – 28 October 2022 (4.5 days in Sydney)
  • Module 4: (Online) Friday 18 November
  • Module 5: (Online) Monday 5 December 2022
  • Module 6: (Online) Tuesday 7 February 2023

8. Who is the program for?

TSL is the ideal program for senior public sector professionals, such as Directors and Branch Managers, and more generally those who are in the process of moving from tactical to strategic leadership roles. The program is designed to help you perform your role with purpose, good judgement and strategic nous. TSL will provide a tangible boost in confidence and capabilities and prepare leaders to face senior executive responsibilities.

9. Can I speak with a previous TSL participant?

If you are interested in applying for TSL, we encourage you to speak to our TSL alumni to get an insider’s perspective. Please contact our Alumni Coordinator via email at:, to arrange an introduction.

10. Do I need managerial approval to attend the program?

Yes. In submitting the application form, you confirm that your manager agrees to support you to participate in the program and that your organisation will pay the full program fee if your application is successful. Your manager will also receive a copy of your application via email.

11. When will I be invoiced?

Once you submit your application, it will be reviewed by the selection committee and you will be advised as soon as possible of the outcome. Once you have received formal acceptance into the program, your organisation will be invoiced.

12. Who teaches into the program?

Towards Strategic Leadership is co-led by Paul ‘t Hart, Professor Utrecht University and Netherlands School of Government and Robbie Macpherson, Managing Director, Adaptable Leadership.

13. How long is the program?

TSL is delivered in a blended format (face to face and online) with 6 modules held over 5 months. Sessions are usually 5-6 hours long and may occur outside of business hours (until 6pm or 7pm AEST).

14. How big is the cohort?

The program offers a maximum of 42 places each year. A selection committee will assess each applicant’s level and experience and, where possible, seek a balance of jurisdictions and departments.

15. What are the program (learning) outcomes?

TSL participants will explore thematic thrusts, that will be interwoven in the structure of the program and both the asynchronous and live activities, including:

Strategic leadership

  • Self, role, system
  • Authority vs Leadership
  • Technical vs adaptive challenges
  • Relational work: informal authority and leadership capital
  • Identity work: navigating us and them
  • Communicative work: rhetoric, dramaturgy, symbolism
  • Political work: up, down, and out
  • Collaborative work: Leading when no one is ‘in charge’.

16. Will I become part of the alumni community upon completion of the program?

Yes, you will. Our Alumni Program helps you to maintain and build on their peer-to-peer relationships, creating a broad community of public sector managers from across Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia and internationally. This provides an opportunity for ongoing learning and support from peers, greater exposure to different perspectives, and an appreciation of work done, and solutions found, elsewhere.

17. Can I use FEE-HELP to pay all or part of my tuition fees?
No unfortunately you can’t use FEE-HELP. You may enter a salary sacrifice arrangement with your employer to attend the program. Your employer will be billed the program fee. This will be discussed on a case-by-case basis with your sponsoring agency.

Prepare to take the next step in your career.