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Build new skills and refresh for the challenges ahead with ANZSOG’s Public Leadership Masterclass series

19 April 2023

News and media


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The challenges public leaders face today are more complex and fast-moving than ever. They need to understand different ways of thinking about problems – and keep up to date with new ideas. 

ANZSOG’s Public Leadership Masterclass (PLM) series is designed to give public leaders and emerging leaders a chance to re-energise their thinking by exposing them to new ideas and guiding self-reflection and professional growth, in a format that fits into a busy workday.  

The 2023 PLM series is now open, comprising 13 masterclasses from June-November. As in past years, participants can choose their own combination of masterclasses to attend, to suit their schedules, budgets and professional development priorities. Full information on pricing packages, including early bird specials available until 31 May, can be found here. 

Participants will learn from a global faculty from the public and private sectors and universities, including the Harvard Kennedy School, Oxford University, and Columbia University. Presenters deliver two-hour virtual masterclasses on topics including: adaptive leadership, managing negotiations, leading for gender equality, community-centred design, and leadership for social impact. 

This program originated in 2020, and what started as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic has become a popular and effective way for public leaders to build their skills and learn from practitioners and academics who they would not otherwise engage with. 

The masterclasses are rated highly by participants with the most recent series gaining a 4.7/5 average rating for presenters. Of participants who responded to an ANZSOG survey, 90 per cent found topics to be contemporary and relevant to their work, and 85 per cent said that the packages provided the flexibility they were looking for. 

As a taste of what PLM can offer, ANZSOG is offering a free one-hour session on 8 May presented by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Professor Dana Born on How to effectively develop leaders. Professor Born has wide international experience in leadership development and in this session she will discuss the research-backed strategies that you can use to design leadership programs or develop the leadership capacity of others.  

This masterclass is designed for people involved in the professional development of their organisations or teams. While it is free, places are limited so if you are interested we encourage you to register now. This interview with Professor Born explores her views on public sector leadership.  

ANZSOG Acting Deputy CEO, Thought Leadership, James Green, said that public leaders needed the knowledge, creativity and confidence to provide timely advice, tackle problems creatively and lead others through change.  

“The skills required to be an effective public leader are changing rapidly. The Public Leadership Masterclass series is an opportunity to step away from work and consider fresh approaches to the challenges of public leadership. It gives public leaders a better understanding of the broader environment they work in, and some tools and ideas to succeed in that environment,” Mr Green said.  

“The new series of PLM is a curated program of masterclasses, led by new and returning presenters, covering a range of topics at the cutting edge of public sector leadership.” 

“ANZSOG supports agencies to send multiple staff because in an environment where public services face immense competition for talent, high quality professional development opportunities are an important way to retain emerging leaders.”  

Below is the list of 2023 masterclasses in chronological order. Each will be scheduled twice during the year:

  • Leader(ship): “Put your own oxygen mask on first!” with Harvard Kennedy School’s Professor Dana Born 
  • Understanding and correcting data bias with University of Melbourne’s Professor Leah Ruppanner 
  • Leadership for social impact with UNSW Professor and Paul Ramsay Foundation CEO, Kristy Muir and UNSW Centre for Social Impact Associate Professor Shamal Dass 
  • How to think outside the box with Director of the Urban & Social Policy Program for the Executive MPA at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, Professor Yumiko Shimabukuro 
  • Designing policies to enhance wellbeing with Professor Arthur Grimes, Chair of Wellbeing and Public Policy in the School of Government at Victoria University of Wellington 
  • Building relationships with First Nations people to co-create prosperity with Katrina Johnson, Co-Director of Australia’s first Master of Indigenous Business Leadership at Monash Business School 
  • Creating value through negotiation and influence with Alex Smith, from Google’s public affairs and policy team 
  • Community-centred design with Professor Anna Brown, founder and director of Toi Āria: Design for Public Good, a research unit at the College of Creative Arts, Massey University 
  • Leading for Gender Equality: Learning lessons from the evidence with Professor Michelle Ryan, inaugural Director of the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at the ANU 
  • Diversity and Leadership with Professor Tim Soutphommasane, Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Oxford and former Australian Race Discrimination Commissioner 
  • Managing high conflict negotiations with Jen Overbeck, Associate Professor of Management at Melbourne Business School 
  • Transforming Public Interest Organisations with Grant Freeland, adjunct Lecturer at Harvard Kennedy School and a former Global Leader and Senior Partner at the Boston Consulting Group  
  • Adaptive Leadership with Harvard Kennedy School Adjunct Professor Farayi Chipungu

For more information, visit the Public Leadership Masterclass FAQs page or contact us at e.education@anzsog.edu.au .