Teaching leadership for politicians

La Trobe University is part of an Australian-first initiative that has seen the creation of a leadership program specifically for Federal politicians.

The program has been developed in collaboration with La Trobe, the Australian Futures Project and Trinity College at Melbourne University.

La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar said the leadership program was an exciting initiative that was part of La Trobe's charter.

"In an increasingly complex world, the challenges facing our political leaders are becoming greater. Our business leaders often go back to University to learn more, through studies such as an MBA. There is no reason our political leaders shouldn't do the same," he said.

"La Trobe University's vision is to be known for excellence and innovation in relation to the big issues of our time and for our enthusiasm to make a difference.  I'm proud that La Trobe University is part of this ground-breaking initiative to support our parliamentarians in the difficult tasks ahead."

The leadership program was created in response to requests by parliamentarians from both ends of political spectrum for ongoing professional development which could help them govern in the 21st century.

Participants will receive an Executive Certificate in Parliamentary Leadership from La Trobe University and credit towards a number of post-graduate courses.

The inaugural program will be offered in Melbourne in February 2015 to a maximum of twenty Federal Senators and Members of Parliament. It will feature a mix of men and women, major and minor parties and independents, Members of the House of Representatives and Senators, and city, regional, rural, and remote representatives.

Founder and Director of the non-profit, non-partisan Australian Futures Project, Ralph Ashton, said he  was thrilled to announce the launch of this new Leadership Program.

"This is the first ever program of its kind in Australia. It responds to requests from parliamentarians themselves, has been designed with their input, and has bipartisan support," he said.

The course draws on international best practice from the Harvard Kennedy School in the USA, the Institute for Government in the UK, Boston Consulting Group's work with presidential appointees in the USA, and corporate leadership programs at the likes of AT Kearney, IBM, and Toyota.

Development funding was provided by philanthropic supporters of the Australian Futures Project, which is a is a multi-sector, non-profit, and non-partisan initiative hosted by La Trobe University to  find, test, and roll out improvements to Australia's decision-making system.

Visit the Australian Futures website for more information. 

Media contact:

Tim Mitchell, Media and Communications

M: 0437 457 780