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High demand for ANZSOG’s 2023 First Nations public administration conference continues

8 February 2023

News and media


First Nations 2023 Conference, First Peoples to All Peoples banner

Over 750 registrations have already been received for ANZSOG’s 2023 First Nations public administration conference First Peoples to All Peoples: partnerships, devolution, transformation and sharing which will be held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Turrbal and Jagera country in Meanjin Brisbane on 1-3 March 2023. 

The conference will be ANZSOG’s first face-to-face First Nations conference since 2019 and will help attendees understand the transformation in the ways governments are working with First Nations, and be inspired by different approaches to working with First Nations communities. The conference will build on the success of previous ANZSOG First Nations conferences and provide a unique forum for the voices of First Nations to be heard by public servants and academics, to deepen understanding of the value of First Nations knowledges and cultures and their importance to public policy, and to build links between people and organisations working for positive change and genuine partnerships. 

First Peoples to All Peoples is being held in partnership with the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) and is also sponsored by the Northern Territory and Western Australian governments, and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Te Arawhiti/ Office for Māori Crown Relations. For more information on how to become a sponsor of the conference click here. 


Due to high demand, First Peoples to All Peoples will be shifting to a larger space within the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre. This will enable us to accommodate even more delegates. In-person registrations are available until Monday, 20 February and virtual registrations until Tuesday, 28 February. Virtual registration is half the price of in-person and allows you to watch all plenary sessions online and get full access to all conference resources. For more details including how to register visit the conference website 


The full conference program features 24 speakers, 19 of whom are First Nations and includes 10 speakers from Aotearoa New Zealand. The conference will be hosted by ABC journalist Dan Conifer and will feature opening addresses from Minister for Indigenous Australians The Hon. Linda Burney, New Zealand Minister for Māori Crown Relations Hon Kelvin Davis, and an address from local host Minister The Hon. Craig Crawford. 

Other speakers include: 

  • Jody Broun, CEO of the National Indigenous Australians Agency 
  • Dr Chris Sarra, Director-General Queensland Government Department of Seniors, Disability Services and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships 
  • Catherine Liddle, CEO SNAICC – National Voice for Our Children 
  • Dr Janine Mohamed, CEP Lowitja Institute 
  • John Paterson, Convenor Aboriginal Peak Organisations NT 
  • Glenn Webber, Acting Tumu Whakarae – Chief Executive, Office for Māori Crown Relations – Te Arawhiti 
  • Rahui Papa, National Iwi Leaders Group 
  • Kirikowhai Mikaere, Lead Technical Advisor National Iwi (Tribal) Chairs Forum – Data Leadership Group 
  • Lorraine Toki, National Iwi Chairs, Pou Tangata – Lead Advisor 
  • Paul James, Secretary for Internal Affairs Chief Executive, Te Tari Taiwhenua 

The conference will examine First Nations policy through the lenses of Australia’s National Agreement on Closing the Gap commitments, particularly the four Priority Reforms, as well as the New Zealand Public Service Act 2020, which now clearly sets out the responsibility of the public service, particularly its leadership, in supporting the Crown’s relationship with Māori under the Treaty of Waitangi. 

All presenters will help conference participants explore four key themes: formal partnerships and shared decision-making, building the First Nations community-controlled sector, transforming government organisations, shared access to data and information. 


For more details about the program of speakers click here.


Attendees can also attend the Conference Dinner on Thursday, 2 March, with the theme Kanohi ki te Kanohi (Māori for ‘face to face’) in person, in the flesh – connecting, bonding, building, developing, strengthening knowledge connections and networks through korero (talking/yarning). While there will be no formal guest speaker, there will be some exciting entertainment throughout the night, including Deadly Funny Steph Tisdell, a proud Ydinji woman and accomplished truth teller through jokes, who is expected to deliver an avalanche of messages and entertainment for us all to remember.  

ANZSOG’s First Nations Senior Advisors, Sharon Nelson Kelly and Shane Hoffman said that they were excited to be able to return to an in-person conference after the success of the online Proud Partnerships in Place conference in 2021.  

“Like our previous First Nations conferences, this will be an occasion which brings together hundreds of public servants, community organisation representatives and academics to listen to many uplifting stories; and learn from and be inspired by different approaches and perspectives,” they said.  

“The huge interest we have received already means that it will be a fantastic chance for everyone to build new relationships and deepen existing ones.” A conference ‘marketplace’ will enable agencies to share information, different approaches, frameworks, successful models, and stories. Local First Nations artists will also have products and small artworks for sale. Check here if you are interested in a marketplace stall. 

“Ways of working with First Nations peoples are undergoing a transformation across Aotearoa New Zealand and Australia. Public servants working in all areas of public administration, not just those who work directly with First Nations, are being challenged to think and work differently. Bringing together attendees from across all sectors and jurisdictions, is a chance to learn what transformation can achieve and be inspired by different approaches, models, cultural frameworks and perspectives.” 

In Australia, all governments have signed up to the National Agreement on Closing the Gap. Each party’s implementation plan responds to the differing needs, priorities and circumstances of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across Australia and to act in a way that does not diminish in any way, the cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This will require them to change the way they work with First Nations communities.  

To provide more information on the National Agreement, ANZSOG, with the assistance of the Coalition of Peaks Secretariat and the Closing the Gap Secretariat have produced an Explainer ‘The National Agreement on Closing the Gap – and what it means for public servants’ which outlines in detail frameworks for action which show how public servants at all levels, and in all agencies, can work to help support the four Priority Reforms. Background information about the Treaty of Waitangi and the 2020 New Zealand Public Service Act requirements regarding progressing relationships between the Crown and Māori, are also available in our ANZSOG conference resources. 

These frameworks put the focus on public services to take a new approach and work differently, where policy-making that impacts on the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples is developed in genuine and respectful partnership, and where the voices of First Nations peoples are heard and responded to. 

ANZSOG is proud to be part of a positive change in the way that public services are working with First Nations, and this conference is a key part of our work in ensuring that First Nations knowledge and culture become part of the everyday work of the public service. 

For more information about the Conference, please visit the conference webpage FAQs and if any other queries email firstnations@anzsog.edu.au.