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Deepen your understanding of First Nations policy with new ANZSOG microcredential

12 June 2024

News and media


Working effectively with First Nations communities requires public servants to have a deep knowledge of First Nations culture and history. 

Recent movements towards Treaty, Truth-telling, and debate around the Voice to Parliament, as well as the National Agreement on Closing the Gap have heralded a change in the way governments are working with First Nations. 

These ways of working have huge potential to build genuine partnerships with First Nations that share decision-making and power, but this will only happen if public servants develop the understanding needed to make them work. 

ANZSOG has partnered with Charles Darwin University (CDU) to develop the new Policy Frameworks and First Nations Relations microcredential. This program is accredited by CDU as part of a broader suite of First Nations public administration microcredentials planned between ANZSOG and the university.  

Indigenous Australia is, in many ways, a foreign country to most non-Indigenous Australians, whose understandings are informed by inaccurate and misleading stereotypes dating from Australia’s colonial past. These misunderstandings still have a negative impact on policy development and form one of the barriers between governments and First Nations. 

This microcredential provides the opportunity for current and aspiring public sector leaders to improve their ability to design and implement policy by viewing Australia through a different lens and building their knowledge of First Nations history and culture. 

Relationship-based policy practice requires understanding of the frameworks for engaging with First Nations people and communities, and recognition of the strengths of Indigenous knowledge and cultures – and a move away from the deficit focus that has dominated policy debate. 

Policy Frameworks and First Nations Relations explores the history and contemporary lived experiences of Australia’s First Nations, showing how the historical policy landscape imposed by settler colonial governments and society, shapes modern reality.   

Participants will explore different ways to develop policy that values the existing capabilities of First Nations communities and delivers better outcomes.The focus will be on framing the learning so that ‘knowing’ leads to ‘doing’ policy differently.  

The microcredential is designed for public servants and other professionals wanting to: 

  • work more effectively with First Nations communities. 
  • transform government organisations so they work better for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. 
  • strengthen and establish relationship-based partnerships and shared decision-making processes in policy work. 
  • build public service capability to co-develop policy with First Nations communities. 
  • deepen their existing understanding of First Nations history and culture 

It builds on the basic knowledge of ANZSOG’s Working with First Nations program and provides a university-accredited microcredential based on in-depth knowledge of First Nations culture and policy. 

At the completion of this microcredential participants will have:  

  • reviewed and critiqued historical and current policies affecting First Nations communities.  
  • explored the cultural and legal foundations and implications of key resource rights available to First Nations peoples.  
  • examined the role of treaties in engaging with First Nations peoples and the potential ramifications  
  • discussed the role of diplomacy in engagement with First Nations peoples in policy contexts.  
  • analysed some policy case studies relating to First Nations peoples and the effects on first Nations ability to improve well-being and exercise self-determination. 

This microcredential is part of ANZSOG’s work to build capability within the public sector to allow it to work in more effective partnership with First Nations and to emphasise the importance of using First Nations culture and history in the work of the public sector. This includes our Working with First Nations: Delivering on the Priority Reforms program, our First Nations public policy conferences, and the Wise Practice Collection of strengths based First Nations resources. 

Policy Frameworks and First Nations Relations will be delivered online across five weeks beginning on 13 August. For more information including how to register visit the Policy Frameworks and First Nations Relations page on our website.