ANZSOG’s Towards Strategic Leadership program uncovers the potential strengths in public service leaders and encourages them to overcome personal obstacles and think more strategically about their everyday practices.


Applications are now closed. Click on the "express your interest" button to leave your details and we will contact you once applications are open for the next iteration of Towards Strategic Leadership.

“The best online course I have done.” – 2020 TSL participant.

ANZSOG’s Towards Strategic Leadership is a unique program tailored to prepare leaders for the exceptional challenges facing the public sector today. Public sector leaders will develop the qualities needed to thrive in volatile and uncertain times across eight weeks. Participants walk away with a renewed strategic outlook, political astuteness, personal resilience and the capacity to reflect, collaborate, lead and learn continuously.


Frequently asked questions Express your interest

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image of Nicole Opie
"We had a diverse cohort of people from across Australia and New Zealand, each bringing their own experiences to the group. It had been great to know that there are people experiencing the same issues. " Nicole Opie Assistant Director, Asset Planning Department of Health and Human Services, Victoria
image of Tom McGregor
"TSL has given me a better understanding of who I am as a leader and my strengths, as well as some of my blind spots. " Tom McGregor Executive Director Department of Justice and Community Safety, Victoria


TSL is delivered online across 8 x half-day sessions plus orientation, and features:

  • asynchronous online learning: Individual and team tasks – analytical and reflective
  • synchronous online learning: Combination of half day sessions, shorter modules and offline group consultations.
  • There will also be 6 hours of offline leadership consultation group work.

Module details:

  • Orientation: Tuesday, April 5, 2022 (3:30pm – 4:30pm)
  • Module 1: Tuesday, April 12, 2022 (Session: 2:30pm – 6:00pm)
  • Module 2: Tuesday, April 26, 2022 (Leadership Challenge groups: 1:30pm – 2:30pm, Session: 2:30pm – 6:00pm)
  • Module 3: Tuesday 3 May 2022 (Leadership Challenge groups: 1:30pm – 2:30pm Session: 2:30pm – 6:00pm)
  • Module 4: Friday 6 May 2022 (Leadership Challenge groups: 1:30pm – 2:30pm, Session: 2:30pm – 6:00pm)
  • Module 5: Tuesday 10 May 2022 (Leadership Challenge groups: 1:30pm – 2:30pm, Session: 2:30pm – 6:00pm)
  • Module 6: Monday, May 16, 2022 (Leadership Challenge groups: 1:30pm – 2:30pm, Session: 2:30pm – 6:00pm)
  • Module 7: Monday, May 23, 2022 (Leadership Challenge groups: 1:30pm – 2:30pm, Session: 2:30pm – 6:00pm)
  • Module 8: Friday, May 27, 2022 (2:00pm – 7:00pm)

Cost: $15,000 AUD (excluding GST)

Please note: A student may enter into a salary sacrifice arrangement with their employer to attend the program. The student's employer will be billed the program fee. This will be discussed on a case-by-case basis with the applicant's sponsoring agency.

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image of Adam Gwin
"The conversations with other participants are still ongoing now and it is incredibly valuable to be able to tap in to other people’s experiences and viewpoints. I took something out of every component of the program." Adam Gwin Chief Superintendent Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (FNQ)
image of Ilana Millar
"The TSL program was perfect to help me learn more about what I needed to build on to move into broader leadership roles. I think the program is amazing. I took away the confidence to face novel and complex problems and to deal with issues that are not in my usual comfort zone." Ilana Millar Senior Tax Counsel Australian Taxation Office



TSL participants will explore thematic thrusts, that will be interwoven in the structure of the program and both the asynchronous and live activities, including:

Strategic leadership
  • Self, role, system
  • Authority vs Leadership
  • Technical vs adaptive challenges
  • Relational work: informal authority and leadership capital
  • Identity work: navigating us and them
  • Communicative work: rhetoric, dramaturgy, symbolism
  • Political work: up, down, and out
  • Collaborative work: Leading when no one is ‘in charge’.
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Paul 't Hart

Our participants are leaders who value the importance of rising above 'fire-fighting' and relentless 'issue management' in public service life. They are keen to get ahead of the game.

Paul 't Hart

Towards strategic Leadership Co-Director

Professor of Public Administration - Utrecht University

Associate Dean - Netherlands School of Public Administration



Paul 't Hart

Professor of Public Administration at Utrecht University and Associate Dean of the Netherlands School of Public Administration in The Hague. His experience with leadership is based on extensive and close-up research, training and consulting in the Netherlands, Sweden and Australia. His work focuses on political and public service leadership, policy evaluation, public accountability and crisis management. He currently leads a program of research in what makes public policies, organisations and networks particularly successful.

Robbie Macpherson

Managing Director of Adaptable Leadership. He has extensive experience developing senior public sector leaders as well as executives in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors. He has worked in Scotland, Australia, the Netherlands, the US and South Africa.



Robbie Macpherson

It's less academic than other courses, and deliberately so. It's highly pragmatic with practical elements but is led by contemporary thinking and research about public sector leadership.

Robbie Macpherson

Towards strategic Leadership Co-Director

Managing Director, Adaptable Leadership


Key people

Paul 't Hart

  • Job Title: Professor
  • Organisation: Utrecht University and Netherlands School of Government
View Paul 't Hart's Profile
View Paul 't Hart's Profile

Robbie Macpherson

  • Job Title: Managing Director
  • Organisation: Adaptable Leadership
View Robbie Macpherson's Profile
View Robbie Macpherson's Profile