Professional development for Australian Members of Parliament

Programs open to all federal, state & territory MPs

Who we are

Learn more about our founders

Four key attributes underpin our programs:

Non Partisan

We seek equal participation from the major parties and are non-partisan in all our activities.

Relevant

Our programs and activities are practical, relevant and valuable to participants.

Robust

We deliver practical and best in class programs, utilising engaging delivery methods. We draw on the experience of respected elders of Australian politics and other experts.

Agile

We experiment, evaluate and adapt our programs in response to participant feedback, and current national and world events.

Discover our professional development programs for members of parliament.

We offer unique courses that are especially developed for MPs. They combine the best of academia with practical knowledge and insights shared by those who have done the job before. This creates a stimulating and challenging experience for MPs. We use preparatory interviews and reading; guest speakers; one-on-one and group work with colleagues and facilitators, and reflection activities to foster insight.

Advanced Political Leadership

2022 PROGRAM UPDATE
The McKinnon Institute would like to congratulate the 2022 cohort on their selection. See the class of 2022 here.

APL is Australia’s first advanced leadership course for members of parliament who are potential ministers in the short to medium term.

APL is a selective, cohort-based program that supports participants to reflect on the role of ministers in our governance, their personal leadership needs and challenges, and the strategic policy challenges they and Australia will face over the decade ahead.

Applicants are selected by an independent panel, and the cohort participates in four workshops and a five day residential intensive.

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Political Leadership Program

Political Leadership is an online professional development course for state MPs. It gives MPs the tools and insights they need, based on experience from those who have led before. Content is based on real life examples and practical case studies. Sessions run for an hour and a half and are delivered via Zoom. As well as hearing from expert speakers there will be ample opportunity for interaction and discussion. MPs will also receive supporting references, case studies and short videos.

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What our graduates say about us

The programs of the McKinnon Institute are professional, engaging and targeted to parliamentarians wanting to undertake professional development. Through undertaking relevant courses, colleagues have better equipped themselves to meet the challenges of political leadership, whilst also enhancing their promotion prospects. I thoroughly recommend MPs personally invest in a McKinnon program.

Hon Jonathan O’Dea MP
Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Member for Davidson
Political Leadership for 2021

I was honoured and excited to be selected for the inaugural McKinnon Institute Australian Political Leadership Program. The sessions were well presented covering both theoretical as well as real world experience. Working with a cross-partisan cohort from State and Federal jurisdictions ensured we didn’t get mired down in policy conversations but focused on the “how” of delivering on policies. I definitely think that through this Program…I will be better prepared to navigate the system, work with the bureaucracy and deliver effective programs.

Senator Perin Davey
Senator for New South Wales
Advanced Political Leadership 2021

I enjoyed getting different perspectives from other MP’s and political people from around the country about topical issues particularly COVID-19 and the response.

Shane King MP
Member for Kurwongbah, Queensland Parliament
Political Leadership for 2021

Managing your own well-being and the ethical leadership aspect of the course stood out for me. In high pressure roles if one’s mental and emotional health is compromised then this can affect a person’s decision-making ability. Therefore learning to look after self is imperative. The 10 commandments that we discussed from the ethical decision making program provided a valuable step by step process in understanding how to make the best ethical decisions.

Hon Russell Northe MP
Member for Morwell, Victorian Parliament
Political Leadership for 2021

APL was a fantastic program. It provided me with the tools and insights to be effectively prepared to become a Minister. I found the speakers engaging and content incredibly useful. I cannot recommend the course highly enough to other Parliamentarians.

Hon James Griffin MP
Minister for Environment and Heritage & Member for Manly
Advanced Political Leadership 2021

Ministers play a central role in the Westminster system. Many who take on this role do so after having gained some experience as a backbencher. However, there are qualitative differences in the role of being a minister that many are unprepared for: making decisions as part of a team and then collectively owning those decisions; working directly with the public service; crafting and seeking the passage of legislation; and assuming responsibility for the messy implementation of agreed policy in the real world. The Advanced Political Leadership course fills a gap by offering early and mid-career politicians aspiring to become a minister with both the theoretical and practical tools to be better prepared should a future opportunity arise. It is wide in scope yet uniformly exceptional in both the quality of course content and the standard of high-profile expert presenters. Participating in the course was extremely useful in helping me to think about the longer term needs of my electorate and society more generally.

Dr Daniel Mulino MP
Member for Fraser
Advanced Political Leadership 2021

When I was first asked to be a part of this course, I thought two things — firstly, do I really need to do this, and secondly, do I have time for this?

Well, the answer to the first question was yes — I absolutely needed to do this, and the answer to the second part of the question — I have to find time to do this, there's no excuse. We've never experienced a situation like COVID-19, whether as a Member of Parliament and as a member of the community. It's something that we are learning to deal with.

So what the McKinnon Institute team are doing is absolutely brilliant and we need you to keep doing it, and we need to be encouraging our colleagues to attend more of your courses. So, thank you for putting this all together.

John Ajaka
Former President of the NSW Legislative Council
Political Leadership for 2020 Graduate

In a year of so many obstacles and unprecedented events such as drought, bushfires and of course the COVID-19 pandemic, the course provided a unique environment to help shape our approach and objective thinking, as we are tasked with responding to these crises.

The expert guest speakers across the various panels and modules of the course were brilliantly diverse and well versed in their fields. They provided excellent first-hand experience, advice and challenges for us to consider, for which I am grateful.

Please know that I shall have no hesitation in commending the course to colleagues and political affiliates considering undertaking professional development. Raising the standard for our civic leaders is vital and the opportunity to participate in such a forum is most worthwhile.

The Hon. Natalie Ward MLC
Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney General
Parliament of New South Wales
Political Leadership for 2020 Graduate

If you’d like to know more, we’d love to hear from you.

If you would like to get involved and find out more about our upcoming courses,
please get in touch with our team who can assist you.

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