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

Working with First Nations: Delivering on the Priority Reforms


Early bird $1650 (inc GST) | Full price $2065 (inc GST) | Group pricing available




1-hour orientation and, 6 x 2.5-hour sessions over 3.5 weeks


4-27 June 2024, or 10-31 October 2024


The Productivity Commission’s recent Closing the Gap review report found that Australian governments are failing to meet their obligations under the National Agreement on Closing the Gap because they have failed to fully grasp the nature and scale of change required to share power with First Nations communities.

To drive the change required, public servants need to develop new skills, mindsets and capabilities to work effectively with First Nations peoples and communities and deliver on the promise of the Priority Reforms in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. 

Working with First Nations: Delivering on the Priority Reforms will guide you through the new approach in the National Agreement, the Priority Reforms and help you to understand the capabilities necessary for working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and building shared decision-making partnerships. These include cultural responsiveness, engagement, co-design and co-production, and place-based community development – including supporting communities to access, own and use data. The program adopts the Canadian Two-Eyed Seeing approach to respectfully recognise and embed the strength of Indigenous and non-Indigenous worldviews. 

All Australian governments entered into an agreement with the Coalition of Peaks in July 2020 to give effect to a commitment by all Australian Governments and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives to a fundamentally new way of developing and implementing policies and programs that impact the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  Known as the National Agreement on Closing the Gap (National Agreement), it replaced the National Indigenous Reform Agreement (NIRA).   

The National Agreement is underpinned by four Priority Reforms:  

  • Priority Reform One – Formal Partnerships and Shared Decision-Making   
  • Priority Reform Two – Building the Community-Controlled Sector  
  • Priority Reform Three – Transforming Government Organisations  
  • Priority Reform Four – Shared Access to Data and Information at the Regional Level       

These reforms should be incorporated into the daily work of all public sector agencies and used as a framework to build better relationships with First Nations. 

Guest presenters include:

  • Jody Broun, CEO, National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA)
  • Dr Gordon de Brouwer, Commissioner, Australian Public Service Commission
  • Donnella Mills, Chair, National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NAACHO)
  • Catherine Liddle, CEO, SNAICC- National Voice for our Children
  • Haylene Grogan, Chief Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Officer and Deputy Director-General, Queensland Health
  • Prof Maggie Walter, Professor of Sociology and Pro Vice-Chancellor of Aboriginal Research and Leadership, UTas 
  • Dr Jacob Prehn, Associate Dean Indigenous, College of Arts & Law, UTas 

The themes and approach of this program are outlined by the program facilitators inStarting your journey to working with First Nations’. This online presentation gives public sector leaders a basic introduction to the key skills and mindsets required to work in partnership with First Nations communities. The video and slides are free to watch and share, and will give you an idea of the themes covered in more depth in Working with First Nations: Delivering on the Priority Reforms.

What will you learn?

Working with First Nations: Delivering on the Priority Reforms is designed to create dynamic and engaged online learning. Each session will focus on a few key points as a way to drill down practically to key, memorable lessons drawing out priority reforms and how to bring them alive. Curated digital assets will be used to guide participants to maximise their learning experience. 

Upon completion of all six sessions of the program, participants will have:  

  • A greater appreciation of the ongoing impacts of colonisation on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  
  • An understanding of the perspectives and cultures of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and how they can contribute to contemporary society.  
  • A better understanding of the importance of engaging effectively with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, organisations, and communities, and building genuine partnerships with shared decision-making.  
  • Explored key challenges public sector managers currently face and enhanced skills in how to effectively share decision-making with, and transfer service delivery to, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and organisations.  
  • Learnt how to apply these new skills practically in their everyday work. 
  • A deeper understanding of the “new approach” promised by governments and the commitments contained in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.  
  • Greater self-awareness and confidence around cultural competence and being more comfortable about identifying and eliminating institutional racism and unconscious bias.   

Who should attend?

This program is aimed at Senior Executives, middle level officers and other cohorts such as: policy, procurement, human resources, and program delivery officers. 

Event Details


  • Program 1: 4 June (1 hr orientation), 6, 11, 18, 20, 24, 27 June 2024 (2.5 hr sessions) – Registrations close 20 May (early bird price only until 10 May) 
  • Program 2: 10 October (1 hr orientation), 15, 17, 22, 24, 29, 31 October 2024 (2.5 hr sessions)


  • Program 1: 1-hour orientation (2-3pm AEST) and 6 x 2.5-hour sessions (10am-12.30pm AEST) over 3.5 weeks.
  • Program 2: 1-hour orientation (11am-12pm AEDT) and6 x 2.5-hour sessions(11am-1.30pm AEDT) over 3.5 weeks 

Location: Online


  • Early bird: $1650 (inc GST) only until 10 May (for June program)
  • Full price: $2065 (inc GST)  

Save 10% on group bookings for 5+ people.

ANZSOG Alumni receive a 15% discount.

Every person who completes the Executive Master of Public AdministrationExecutive Fellows ProgramDeputies Leadership ProgramTowards Strategic Leadership or an international program becomes part of our alumni. Only one discount is redeemable for each registration.

Got a question?

To enquire about this course, please contact ANZSOG’s Program Delivery team with the program name as the subject line to e.education@anzsog.edu.au or call us on +61 3 8344 1984.

Read our cancellation, transfer and refund policy.