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) in partnership with 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, Associate Provost and Foundation Chair of Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne 
  • Professor Ian Anderson, Deputy Secretary for Indigenous Affairs at the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet 
  • Lil Anderson, Deputy Secretary Crown/ Māori Relations, Ministry of Justice (New Zealand)
  • Professor Glyn Davis AC, Distinguished Professor, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University and Chair, ANZSOG Research Committee
  • 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. If you are an Indigenous community representative, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to apply or for more information. 


Register before 31 October to take advantage of early bird prices.

Register now



Early bird* 

Full delegate (conference plus reception)



Conference registration



Indigenous community service sector full delegate (conference plus reception)



Indigenous community service sector registration



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


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.