ANZSOG Deputy Dean (Teaching and Learning) Professor Catherine Althaus has been named an Extraordinary Professor at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, in addition to her roles as co-leader of ANZSOG’s Executive Fellows Program, and ANZSOG Chair of Public Service Leadership and Reform at the University of New South Wales in Canberra.
Professor Althaus described the appointment as a “great honour”, and she is looking forward to continuing her research on Indigenous concepts of public sector leadership.
“The University of Pretoria takes pride in producing 'socially impactful research to find solutions for the world's most pressing issues’,” Professor Althaus said.
“That's a cause that I am committed to meeting with my new colleagues at the School of Public Management and Administration in their Faculty of Economic and Management Science.”
The three-year renewable appointment will see Professor Althaus map out a program of activities with the school, including research, student advice, supervision and support, and collaborations with faculty colleagues.
“I will also act as something of an ambassador for the University of Pretoria, finding ways to promote the great work they do in the South African context and beyond, and securing connection points with relevant bodies in the Trans-Tasman region,” she said.
Professor Althaus said her work on Indigenous concepts in public leadership and administration, something she has pursued in her ANZSOG roles, was of particular interest to the University of Pretoria.
“I know I share a passion and interest in this work that focuses on the huge benefits of (re)introducing the wisdom of ancient and ever-flourishing Indigenous civilisations to the traditionally western form of bureaucracy,” she said.
“I know we have particularly important opportunities to explore in Australia and Aotearoa-New Zealand to bring the depth of experience and innovation into policymaking processes and public sector institutions that come from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and Māori.
“Meanwhile the University of Pretoria is committed to capability building and encouraging research and practical support for unique South African forms of leadership, turning to ideas of ubuntu.
“These are momentous times for public services and the leadership they exercise in our communities. Being able to work in the global community to reform and make positive change to embrace the contributions of all members of society is an incredible opportunity and one that I am proud to be part of.”
Professor Althaus’ recent work includes a comparative study of indigenous public service leadership, Leading from Between; an article exploring ways to embrace and honour Indigenous knowledge, published by the Australian Journal of Public Administration; and a chapter for the Palgrave Handbook of the Public Servant entitled, ‘Cultural fluency training for the twenty-first-century public servant’.
Professor Althaus is the co-director of ANZSOG’s Executive Fellows Program (EFP) which challenges senior public sector executives to develop new leadership perspectives in a highly interactive online setting while exploring contemporary issues, such as the COVID-19 crisis response and recovery strategies, Black Lives Matter, the impact of climate change and the #metoo movement.
The EFP will be run online in the second half of 2021. Express your interest in the EFP here.