IPAA Victoria

Course and Event Calendar

Professional Development

IPAA Victoria runs a variety of professional development courses and special events that provide opportunities to learn, be inspired and network with your peers across the wider public sector.

Course and Event Calendar

Back to All Events

How Modern Government Works

  • VHA Meeting room Level 6, 136 Exhibition Street Melbourne VIC 3000 Australia (map)

You can only really understand how government operates today, if you recognise the historical processes that gave birth to our modern democratic systems.

In a world of mounting political and economic uncertainty, public administrators face an unprecedented range of challenges. Constrained budgets, shifting community expectations, increasing media scrutiny, growing demands for transparency: our fast-paced world is placing pressure on all public sector employees – and increasing our need to understand the fundamental tenets of our modern democratic systems.

For the uninitiated, there is no more qualified guide to the evolution of the Westminster system than Peter Collins. A former advisor to two federal cabinet ministers, currently Director of the Centre for Ethical Leadership, Peter has coached executive and leadership teams across corporate Australia and the Victorian, Federal and NSW governments. In this unique workshop, he brings his boundless insights to bear on some of the most urgent challenges facing our public sector today. Participants are in for an intellectual treat – and lifelong lessons in being a better public servant.

What will you learn?

This interactive course will help improve the quality of your work by unlocking the codes and conventions of our Westminster system, and helping you understand how we work – and are expected to work – in policy development and service delivery. It includes a visit to Parliament House, which will contextualise how the political and administrative worlds come together.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • Understand the fundamentals of modern government – including the roles of Parliament and Cabinet, and the relationships between Commonwealth, state and local governments;

  • Develop a deeper understanding of the role of government departments and statutory authorities, and how they ‘fit’ into the broader government context;

  • Appreciate the roles of key agencies of integrity and accountability, and the importance of working with integrity in government;

  • Hear from senior public sector leaders about differences between public administration theory and practice – as well as particular challenges facing government leaders.

What should you expect?

This course uses presentations, ‘live’ case studies and open discussions, as well as a tour of Parliament House to embed the learning.

Who is the facilitator?

Over the past 20 years, Peter Collins has worked as an executive coach with the leaders of numerous ASX 100 companies, as well as several Victorian Government departments – including the Departments of Premier and Cabinet, Health and Human Services, Justice and Regulation, and Education and Training.

Formerly a consultant at McKinsey & Company, Peter served as a senior advisor and speechwriter to two senior Federal Cabinet ministers in the late 1990s, and also worked as a radio commentator and a columnist for the Herald Sun and the Sydney Morning Herald. He is currently Director of the Centre for Ethical Leadership at Ormond College, part of the University of Melbourne.


Non Members - $1,140.00

Personal Members

  • Early Career - $912.00

  • Fellow - $684.00

  • Fellow (Retired) - $684.00

  • Retired - $912.00

  • Professional - $912.00

  • Student - $912.00

  • Reciprocal - $912.00

Staff of Organisation Members

  • Silver (Small) - $912.00

  • Silver - $855.00

  • Gold - $798.00

  • Platinum - $684.00

All prices are GST inclusive

Check your organisation’s membership level here.

Who Should Attend?

This full-day course aims to equip participants with the knowledge and perspective to work more effectively in government. It holds something of relevance for employees at all levels of the public sector – and has been successfully delivered to people in their first days in government, through to Deputy Secretaries and Executive Directors.

Contact us for more information.

Earlier Event: 29 August
Project Management
Later Event: 3 September
Stakeholder Engagement