This year marks 50 years since the 1967 referendum resulted in the Commonwealth gaining national responsibilities for the administration of Indigenous affairs. This is a shared responsibility with state and territory administrations.

In partnership, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC), the University of Sydney, and the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZSOG) are holding an international conference that questions the impact of the past 50 years of public administration and raise issues for the next 50 years in this important nation building area. 

DPMC is seeking to build and foster a public canon of knowledge to open the history of Indigenous policy and administrative practice to greater scrutiny and discussion.

The Indigenous Affairs and Public Administration Conference: Can’t we do better? will be attended by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives, other Indigenous peoples, public servants from state and federal governments, and the academic community. The conference will feature a range of guest presenters, including Australia’s Chris Sarra, Andrea Mason and Martin Nakata, New Zealand’s Arapata Hakiwai and Geraint Martin, as well as other international speakers.


2017 Indigenous Affairs and Public Administration Conference: Can’t we do better?

October 9-10
The Refectory, University of Sydney
[Driving and parking instructions, PDF 271KB]

October 9, 6:00pm - 9:30pm: Pre-conference dinner
October 10, 8:30am - 5:00pm: Conference


Tickets: $250
Full time PhD student concession tickets: $25

ANZSOG and the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet are providing travel support and waiving conference fees for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community leaders attending the conference from remote locations.

To enquire about your eligibility, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Conference partners



"Timeless" artwork by: Jordan Roser