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.


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


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.


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

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

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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