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ANZSOG evolves to respond to impact of COVID-19

30 June 2020

News and media


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The ongoing global impact of COVID-19 has been felt across all sectors and the importance of effective, evidence-based and transparent public sector leadership has never been more important.

This impact has also been felt by ANZSOG as the rapidly evolving situation made implementing a range of our education programs a complex ever-changing challenge.

In March, we made the difficult decision to defer a number of executive leadership programs based on advice from our government owners, the availability of faculty and acting on our responsibility to help arrest the spread of COVID-19.

Since then, we have been able to adapt to a focus of online or virtual engagement building on our tried and tested method of bringing public servants across Australia and New Zealand together in face-to-face interactions. We have now launched several new initiatives and evolved a number of our existing programs to suit the current environment.

Our foundation program – the Executive Master of Public Administration (EMPA), led by director Chris Walker, has moved to online delivery for the rest of 2020. This will ensure our participants are able to progress their studies despite uncertainty around international and domestic travel and the cessation of larger gatherings. Those interested in the 2021 EMPA can submit an expression of interest here.

Work is underway to adapt our other foundation programs, including the 2020 Executive Fellows Program and the 2020 Towards Strategic Leadership Program, and we expect to outline more details in the near future.

We have continued to host bespoke education workshops and masterclasses in conjunction with our government owners and we are progressively relaunching our executive education workshops tailored for the online environment.

These include:

Communication and presentation workshops with Dr Zina O’Leary
Authentic leadership with Dr Dana Born
Regulation and compliance with Professor Malcolm Sparrow.

New ANZSOG initiatives responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

Since March, we have launched several new initiatives designed to provide public sector leaders with accurate and timely research to help inform decision making at a time of immense pressures.

These include:

ANZSOG’s new research translation series The Bridge. The series is designed to bridge the gap between the research work of academics and the policy work of public servants by providing access to high-quality research tailored to practitioners. The Bridge is compiled by Maria Katsonis a former senior Victorian public servant and current Public Policy Fellow at the University of Melbourne. It is emailed fortnightly to thousands of engaged readers, including public servants and academics, in Australia, New Zealand and globally. It centres around a Research Brief, which distils academic research into an easy-to-read format and is complemented by other insights into public policy and management.
ANZSOG’s Leading in a crisis series features the best global research and thinking on crisis leadership in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The series features concise summaries of lessons from successful approaches to crisis management compiled by internationally renowned academics.
ANZSOG’s partnership with the National Regulators Community of Practice continues to go from strength-to-strength, with the launch of free fortnightly webinars to support participants and agencies to become more professional and capable regulators. The webinars can be found on the ANZSOG events page.
ANZSOG has partnered with the Centre for Public Impact to launch Reimagining Government – a new series of six webinars bringing together senior practitioners, academics and leading thinkers from across the globe to explore the complexities of society, relationships and learning in the government context.

All of ANZSOG’s free webinars are recorded and shared on our YouTube Channel.

We will continue to place the health, safety and general wellbeing of our participants, faculty and staff members at the heart of all our decision-making.

We aim to continue to educate, inspire, enrich and connect public sector leaders across agencies, sectors, jurisdictions and nations. This is all aimed at ensuring governments can deliver better outcomes for the citizens of Australia and New Zealand.

And we believe in uncertain times like this, our mission is more important than ever.

– Professor Ken Smith, ANZSOG Dean and CEO