Aboriginal artwork by Emma Bamblett

First Peoples, governance and new paradigms conference. February 2019.

Reimagining Public Administration: First Peoples, governance and new paradigms

20-21 February 2019
Federation Square, Melbourne

Register now

The Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) with the support of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) will hold its second Indigenous affairs conference, Reimagining Public Administration: First Peoples, governance and new paradigms at Melbourne’s Federation Square on 20-21 February 2019. 

Public sector leaders, not-for-profits, academics and Indigenous community organisations from across Australia and New Zealand are invited to explore new ideas and discuss better ways of engaging with Indigenous communities including Indigenous knowledge and culture in public service practice. 

The #FirstPeoples2019 conference will also look at the relations between the New Zealand government and Māori people, what Australia can learn from the New Zealand experience, and how we can build stronger links between the two nations’ First Peoples.


Woman at Indigenous conference 2017

This year’s conference will feature a mixture of interactive breakout sessions and plenaries, exploring topics such as: 

  • policy specific workshops on justice, education, health and the arts
  • the role of self-determination in future government – First People’s relations
  • Indigenous knowledge and practice in public administration and public sector leadership

Plenaries will be held at Deakin Edge, with breakout sessions occurring at National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) Australia and Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), all located within Federation Square. 

A full conference program will be released soon. 


marcia langton inpage

  • Professor Marcia Langton AM, Associate Provost and Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne 
  • Professor Ian Anderson AO, Deputy Secretary for Indigenous Affairs at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet 
  • Dr Stephen Arnott PSM, First Assistant Secretary for the Arts Division, Department of Communications and the Arts 

  • Lil Anderson, Deputy Secretary Crown/ Māori Relations, Ministry of Justice (New Zealand)
  • Dr Morgan Brigg, Poche Centre for Indigenous Health, The University of Queensland

  • Professor Glyn Davis AC, Distinguished Professor, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University and Chair, ANZSOG Research Committee
  • Dr Karen Diver, inaugural Faculty Fellow for Inclusive Excellence for Native American Affairs at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota; former Special Assistant for Native-American Affairs during the Obama Administration
  • Adam Goodes, former AFL footballer, Co-founder, GO Foundation and CEO & Director, Indigenous Defence Consortium (IDC) - Reception plenary speaker  
  • Andrew Jackomos PSM, Special Advisor for Aboriginal Self-Determination, Department of Premier and Cabinet, Victoria

  • Dr Miriam Jorgensen, Research Director, University of Arizona Native Nations Institute & the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development

  • Associate Professor Sarah Maddison, Indigenous-Settler Relations Collaboration, University of Melbourne 

  • Lydia Miller, Executive Director, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts

  • Romlie Mokak, CEO, The Lowitja Institute

  • Dr Sana Nakata, ARC Discovery Research Fellow, University of Melbourne 

  • Craig Ritchie, CEO, The Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS)

  • Josh Smith, Executive Director, Aboriginal Victoria 

  • Maggie Walter, Professor of Sociology and Pro Vice-Chancellor of Aboriginal Research and Leadership at the University of Tasmania

More speakers to be confirmed.


Located in the heart of Melbourne, Federation Square is close to public transport and city accommodation providers. 

ANZSOG can provide transport and accommodation assistance for eligible delegates from the Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori community service sector and controlled organisations. Prioritisation will be given to delegates from remote locations. To apply, please complete the pdf Travel bursary application form (272 KB) and email through to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Applications are due by 5pm AEDT, Sunday 2 December 2018.


Register before Friday 16 November to take advantage of early bird prices.

Register now


*Prices are in Australian dollars (AUD) and exclude GST. 



Early bird* 

Full delegate (conference plus reception)



Conference registration



Indigenous community service sector full delegate (conference plus reception)



Indigenous community service sector registration




This year we will recognise Indigenous leadership in the public purpose sector with two excellence awards. They will be awarded for video entries showcasing an initiative, policy, program or personal story that demonstrates Indigenous strength and leadership in public administration in Australia and New Zealand.

All jurisdictions across Australia and New Zealand are invited submit a three-minute video, which will be judged by a panel, and premiered at the conference dinner to an audience of hundreds of Indigenous public sector and community leaders. 

The two winners of the competition will receive AUD$5,000 each to be donated to a community, organisation or initiative of their choice. We encourage all entrants and those featured in the video to attend the conference, and we will be providing the two award winners with financial assistance for up to three people to attend the conference for free.    

The videos will form a pivotal component of another new ANZSOG initiative designed to feature content produced directly by and with Indigenous peoples. The Indigenous Wise Practice stream, which will become a part of our renowned Case Library, will showcase strengths-based Indigenous initiatives and Indigenous leadership exemplars to bring the wise, resilient and innovative ideas and practices of Indigenous peoples to centre-stage attention. Cases will be freely available as an online resource for practitioners and scholars for use in public administration teaching and practice.


Submissions deadline: 31 January, 2019.

Eligibility: Entrants must be from a public sector or not-for-profit organisation in Australia or New Zealand. There is no restriction on size or scope of the organisation. The team submitting the video should include members of Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander or Māori heritage.

How to enter: Send a three-minute private or password-protected YouTube or Vimeo link to Louise Joel at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  We would prefer the videos to be premiered at the ANZSOG Indigenous Affairs conference. Include a brief cover letter detailing who is responsible for the initiative depicted in the video, what it is, why it is important, and contact details. The video should showcase an initiative, policy, program or personal story that demonstrates Indigenous strength and leadership in public administration in your jurisdiction or community. We encourage participants to feature Indigenous languages in their videos, and can make arrangement for English subtitling.

Details: Every submission will be featured in the new Indigenous Wise Practice stream of ANZSOG’s Case Library. By submitting your video, you grant ANZSOG a non-exclusive licence to copy or reproduce materials in its Case Library, website and marketing materials, including social media. 


For any enquiries about the 2019 Indigenous conference, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Conference Coordinator. 


About the artist 

Artwork by Emma Bamblett


ANZSOG commissioned an artwork from local Indigenous painter Emma Bamblett for the conference. A proud Wemba Wemba woman, born and raised in Echuca on the Murray River, Emma has found inspiration and motivation from the arts community in Melbourne as well as working in the Aboriginal child and family welfare sector. "Journey" represents coming together, journey and connection - all tenets behind Reimagining Public AdministrationRead more about Emma and the meaning behind her artwork, in her own words. 

Indigenous Affairs and Public Administration: Can’t we do better?

Timeless Jordan Roser

At the 2017 conference, held at the University of Sydney, ANZSOG with the key support of PM&C looked back over the 50 years of public administration of Indigenous affairs since the 1967 referendum and asked the question, Can’t we do better?

At the 2019 conference delegates will look forward 50 years, and explore what needs to change for public administration in Australia to live up to its responsibility to meet the aspirations of First Peoples and support positive outcomes for Indigenous communities. 

For more information, including a recap and post-conference report, see the 2017 Indigenous conference page.