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ANZSOG helping Malaysian public servants lead in uncertain times

6 April 2022

News and media


Image of the skyline of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

ANZSOG has used its networks of practitioners and academics to deliver a custom executive training course for senior officials in the Malaysian government.

The three-day program was delivered virtually in collaboration with the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur. It focused on developing the participants’ policy and leadership skills, enhancing their understanding of the emerging global policy context and providing insights on Australia’s governance and response to COVID-19.

Participants included a range of high-ranking Malaysian public servants working for ministers including the Ministers for Defence, and Environment and Water, as well as officials from the Prime Minister’s Department, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Works.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) said that the program had been a great opportunity to showcase Australian expertise while strengthening links with Malaysia.

“The course was excellently run and brought together outstandingly qualified experts to provide participants with an enjoyable, engaging and informative program. The ANZSOG team did a great job of tailoring course content to participants specific duties, and participants reported that they would be able to directly apply this new knowledge to their work,” the spokesman said.

“It also provided a unique opportunity for the Australian High Commission to showcase Australian expertise while collaboratively exploring Australia and Malaysia’s efforts to grapple with the many challenges facing public sector leaders in this era of uncertainty.”

While ANZSOG’s international exchange programs have been temporarily halted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the program is an example of how our work to connect Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand with nations in the Indo-Pacific region has continued.

Participants in this, and similar DFAT programs, are usually decision-makers and emerging leaders who are in a position to contribute directly to a greater understanding of Australia’s policies and institutions, and in positions which deal with issues of direct who are likely to be in positions which deal with relevance to Australia’s foreign and trade policy interests.

The line-up of workshop presenters included ANZSOG and University of Melbourne Professor Janine O’Flynn discussing Delivering Public Value, ANZSOG Dean and CEO Professor Ken Smith AO on the role of Intergovernmental Relations in Australia, and ANZSOG Senior Fellow Dr Avery Poole on the Malaysia-Australia relationship.

The program also featured Dr Zina O’Leary on Using and communicating data effectively, former Tasmanian Premier David Bartlett on forming public policy in a complex environment, and University of Sydney Professor Allan McConnell on the role of experts and expertise in Australia’s COVID-19 response.

Sessions were designed for small groups, and combined presentation workshops, storytelling and case studies supported with Q&A, group discussion and reflection.

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