ANZSOG Alumni Advisory Council working to increase Alumni engagement

ANZSOG Alumni Advisory Council members Simon Kent and Ashley Bunce
  • Published Date: 02 August 2019

ANZSOG’s Alumni Advisory Council met for the fourth time last month, continuing its mission to create new ways for alumni to get involved in ANZSOG activities.

The Council was established last year to represent the interests and views of ANZSOG’s diverse 3500-strong alumni community.

The 14-member council features public sector leaders from across Australia and New Zealand chosen to provide formal advice to the ANZSOG executive about the direction of the organisation and issues facing the modern public sector.

Alumni Council Chair Simon Kent said that the Council was working through a range of ideas to expand alumni involvement, including a more defined Alumni pathway, the potential for a revamped role of ANZSOG Alumni Ambassadors, and the feasibility of ‘tiger teams’ to tackle specific policy issues.

“We know that alumni want to stay involved, and more particularly use the skills they have gained from ANZSOG programs,” he said.

“We are working to have something concrete in place for this year’s EMPA participants, so they know what opportunities are available for them and what support they will get.”

The Council discussed the potential of ANZSOG Alumni tiger teams, which could involve a group of alumni coming together to provide their unique insights on a policy project for a government agency.

The idea is based around ANZSOG’s Work-Based Programs subject, which is a part of the Executive Master of Public Administration, however, tiger teams are potentially smaller and able to provide more immediate insights.

“We are still in the incubation stage of this project, however, we are hopeful to find an interested agency to work with for a potential pilot in the near future,” Mr Kent said. “From there we can gauge the intensity of the experience for participants and look at the feasibility of the project, including how many tiger teams could potentially work in a year, which jurisdictions and so on.”

“These teams could appeal to ANZSOG alumni who are keen to utilise the skills they learnt on ANZSOG’s programs, such as the EMPA, the Executive Fellows Program or Towards Strategic Leadership, outside of their current roles, and want to maintain or extend those skills. There are others who are always wanting the challenge of a new problem, and the chance to work with new people and build new networks.”

The Council is also looking at the role of Alumni Ambassadors, including the potential for more defined responsibilities, to increase engagement with ANZSOG after graduation. ANZSOG currently has more than 50 Alumni Ambassadors from a range of jurisdictions and programs. Mr Kent said the Council is also planning to conduct a major survey of alumni to inform its future decisions.

“We have spent time talking on what we think the opportunities are, but we need to test it with alumni – find out what people are actually interested in doing,” he said. 

He said another challenge would be for the Council to increase engagement with Alumni in their jurisdictions, which members of the Council are looking to address with increased email and social media communication. 

The inaugural Alumni Advisory Council consists of 14 members from across ANZSOG’s jurisdictions:

  • Simon Kent (Chair)
  • Jill Charker (Commonwealth)
  • Natasha Ryan (Commonwealth)
  • Alastair Shields (NT)
  • Janet Schorer (NSW)
  • Liem Ngo (NSW)
  • Jill Bond (NZ)
  • Margaret McLeod (NZ)
  • Ashley Bunce (QLD)
  • Cathy Taylor (SA)
  • Ginna Webster (TAS)
  • Paulleen Markwort (Vic)
  • Talava Tuhipa-Turner (Vic)
  • Coan Harvey (WA)  

If you are interested in contributing to the work of the Council, please contact ANZSOG at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.