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Political Leadership For 20222022-09-07T12:33:08+10:00

Political Leadership for 2022

An online professional development course for MPs.

HomePolitical Leadership For 2022

PL2022 is an online professional development course for members of Australian parliaments (federal and state). The program is tailored each year to the current context, with this year’s theme being leading through uncertainty.

PL2022 is an interactive and participatory program. Through engagement with practitioners, researchers and peers, we will explore what is demanded of leaders today in their communities, parties and parliaments, in the context of the unique public health, economic and climate challenges we face.

PL2022 will consider how political leaders can act in a way that not only serves their communities, but also improves trust in the institutions of policy, politics and society. This will revolve around maintaining wellbeing, building quality relationships and having influence, and will be supported by leading frameworks that you can apply in your own jobs.

PL2022 is open to all federal, state and territory MPs (other than those in Victoria and New South Wales, who have upcoming elections), with a maximum of 30 participants ensuring that there is an opportunity for intimate conversation.

The program involves six workshops, all delivered online via Zoom on Friday afternoons (1.30 – 3.00pm AEDT). The total cost of PL2022 is $1,000 (plus GST). Upon registration, payment details will be arranged according to individual jurisdictions’ parliamentary processes.

The program is heavily subsidised by the philanthropy of the Susan McKinnon Foundation.


PL2022 Course Dates

Each online workshop runs for 90 minutes.

  • Workshop 1: Friday 7 October 2022
  • Workshop 2: Friday 21 October 2022
  • Workshop 3: Friday 4 November 2022
  • Workshop 4: Friday 18 November 2022
  • Workshop 5: Friday 25 November 2022
  • Workshop 6: Friday 2 December 2022

The total cost of PL2022 is $1,000 (plus GST).

Other activities


Party elders to guide and support.

Alumni Network

Enabling ongoing connections for Fellows and participants, to build the McKinnon Institute community.

Research & Publications

Curating McKinnon Institute’s unique knowledge base of political leadership.

Marketing & Events

Tailored events and communications to build participants’ networks and knowledge.


Ministers reflect

The Institute for Government in the UK is often an excellent source of insight on [...]

Find out more

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.

Enquire Now

PL2022 Course Program

The program involves six workshops, all delivered online via Zoom on Friday afternoons (1.30 – 3.00pm AEDT). The total cost of PL2022 is $1,000 (plus GST). Upon registration, payment details will be arranged according to individual jurisdictions’ parliamentary processes. The program is heavily subsidised by the philanthropy of the Susan McKinnon Foundation.


Leading through uncertainty
Friday 7 October 1:30 – 3.00PM AEDT
Engage with a reforming State Premier on the challenge of leading through uncertainty, where progress must be accelerated on issues that are high-stakes, complex and uncertain, and where the confidence of the community needs to be held throughout the process.
Hon Jay Weatherill AO – Former Premier of South Australia
Frameworks for decision-making
Friday 21 October 1:30 – 3.00PM AEDT
Politicians frequently need to make a decision that has significant impacts on the lives of others. Often these decisions must be made to tight deadlines, based on contested or uncertain evidence, and considering the reasonable but conflicting rights and interests of a range of parties. This workshop will explore different ethical frameworks and provide you with practical tools for ethical decision-making.
Peter Mares –  Lead Moderator, Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership
Keeping it real: building resilience and looking after your mental health
Friday 4 November 1:30 – 3.00PM AEDT
Explore the pressures of political life and how they can be managed better, learning from the lived experience of a leading politician and now mental health expert. Hear about techniques and tips you can use to be resilient in the face of pressure, from one of the nation’s leading elite sports mentors.
John Brogden AM – CEO, Landcom; National Board Chair, Lifeline & Former
Leader of the Opposition, New South Wales
Dr Deidre Anderson – Leading Sports Psychologist
Creating a flourishing electorate office culture
Friday 18 November 1:30 – 3.00PM AEDT
The usual stress of electorate offices is amplified by the impact of COVID, and in many electorates, prolonged fatigue and working remotely. Sue Leidler has worked with MPs and their staff over many years, and offers some practical tips to help you navigate these challenges.
Sue Leidler – Former Electorate Officer
Developing trusted policy networks: an insider’s view
Friday 25 November 1:30 – 3:00PM AEDT
Engage with one of Australia’s most experienced political advisers about the importance of preparation, planning and trusted relationships. Hear practical tips on how to build the broad policy and political networks you will need if you are to have influence and impact.
Ben Hubbard – Former Chief of Staff to Prime Minister Julia Gillard
How MPs can influence reform from the backbench
Friday 2 December 1:30 – 3:00PM AEDT
Senator Dean Smith was the 2017 McKinnon Political Leader of the Year for his role in Australia’s marriage equality debate. Through this case study, he will describe how personal commitment and a willingness to recognise diverse views can help to shape policy, political and societal change.
Senator Dean Smith – Senator for Western Australia
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