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How to strengthen the public sector of the future

31 August 2021

News and media


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Public sector leaders have always needed to think creatively to solve complex problems and deliver public value to their communities. Now, as governments work through the ongoing impacts of the COVID-19 crisis in an increasingly ambiguous environment, it is even more important for current and emerging leaders to have the knowledge, creativity and confidence required to provide informed and timely advice, and lead others through change.

But to do this, an understanding of the broader context of the environment, ability to tackle complex problems and the nous to think strategically about the future is vital.

ANZSOG’s Future public sector leaders’ series (FPSL) is designed to inspire and educate hard-working and passionate emerging leaders, providing an invaluable opportunity for self-reflection and professional growth in an online environment.

FPSL is a ‘choose-your-own adventure’ style series which puts Australian and Aotearoa-New Zealand participants in control of their online learning experience and provides them with an opportunity to strengthen their skills at a time when governments are grappling with the shift to a post-pandemic world.

Participants can choose from various packages which feature highly engaging masterclasses from the successful inaugural series in 2020/21 and new masterclasses led by domestic and international thinkers on public management and leadership.

The series was developed in 2020 as part of ANZSOG’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to provide public sector leaders with the latest thinking from leading academics and practitioners.

ANZSOG Dean and CEO Professor Ken Smith AO said that public sector leaders needed to be able to respond to the complexities and uncertainties of today while keeping an eye on the challenges of tomorrow.

“The leaders that will thrive in this environment will be those who can think creatively and collaboratively, and who understand how their work fits into the ever-changing bigger picture.

“The COVID crisis is an opportunity for governments to reinvent themselves and good public sector leaders will take a greater role in driving that change. To do that they will need confidence, creativity and passion, as well as exposure to new thinking.

“Our Future public sector leaders’ series brings together academic and practitioners to share ideas about how governments can work better in the future. Importantly, the series will challenge participants to think more deeply about what they are doing and why through a unique mix of inspiration and practical tools.

“This series lays the foundation for them to become the creative and innovative leaders the public sector needs now and into the future.”

 Leading academics and practitioners

Surveys of participants in the inaugural series revealed high levels of satisfaction with the program, with 90 per cent agreeing topics were contemporary and relevant to their work, and 85 per cent agreeing that the packages provided the flexibility they were looking for.

The 2021/22 series begins on 23 September 2021 but participants can register for masterclasses anytime throughout the series which ends in March 2022.

Masterclasses include:

Leading with Integrity with Dana Born
Applying systems thinking to public problems with Nick Fleming
Growing policy capability with Sally Washington
Using adaptive leadership in the face of adversity with Robin Ryde
Forming public policy in a complex, crisis driven authorising environment with David Bartlett
Bridging the gap between policy and implementation with Anne Tiernan
Strengthening Treaty/Indigenous partnerships and the opportunity for public servants with Lil Anderson
Creating change through systems leadership with Michael Hogan
Ensuring a culture of integrity with Nik Kirby and Simone Webb
Managing public sector diversity with Victor Sojo
Digital governance and agility with Ines Mergel

Find more details on masterclasses and pricing here.

Professor Smith said that the mix of presenters would give participants insights into global developments in areas such as building an integrity culture, systems leadership, digital governance, policy implementation, and how to work effectively in a complex environment.

“This program is designed to support new and emerging leaders and give them the tools to make decisions under pressure, as well as benefit more experienced leaders working in the new environment.”

Register now: Future public sector leaders’ (FPSL) series

An exclusive online leadership series for the public sector leaders of the future working in today’s volatile and uncertain times.

Two-hour online masterclasses, choose up to 11
Masterclasses begin on 23 September and run to March 2022
Participants can register anytime throughout the series

Find more details on masterclasses and pricing here.

Why should you choose FPSL?
Engaging and relevant

Masterclass numbers are strictly limited to foster an intimate and highly interactive environment, which focuses specifically on challenges of direct relevance to public servants in Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand today and into the future, including integrity, diversity, Treaty, digital governance and agility, systems thinking and leadership, and policy capability, creation and implementation. Ninety per cent of previous FPSL participants agreed topics were contemporary and relevant to their work.


The series has been designed to provide you with the flexibility to choose to ensure they get the most out of your ANZSOG experience. Select a package, then choose the masterclasses which will help you strengthen the areas of most relevance to them. Eighty-five per cent of previous FPSL participants agreed that the packages provided the flexibility they were looking for.

See the package details below. View masterclass details here.

Work/life balance

The masterclasses are online and limited to two hours to positively impact work/life balance. We also have an option to register for a morning or afternoon session for each masterclass.

Network building

The Future public sector leaders’ series, like all ANZSOG programs, puts participants in the (virtual) room with other colleagues from across agencies and jurisdictions, strengthening networks and broadening horizons.

Highly reputable

ANZSOG is not just any education provider. We are owned by and work for the governments of Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand, and develop our programs in close consultation with our government owners and university partners. Everything we do is aimed at strengthening and enriching public sector leadership, and inspiring and connecting public sector leaders. FPSL is led by former CEOs and senior public administrators, premiers, politicians and academics and presenters in ANZSOG’s renowned Executive Master of Public Administration and Executive Fellows Program.

Find out more and register for the Future public sector leaders’ series now.

Early bird offer: Register for the Gold package (ten masterclasses) and receive an 11th masterclass option for free if you book before 22 September 2021.

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