Fellowships for Indigenous public servants

By The Mandarin

Monday February 18, 2019

ANZSOG and the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust are sponsoring two new Churchill Fellowships this year for Australian and New Zealand Indigenous public servants.

Set to be formally launched later this week, The Mandarin understands the fellowships will include one for Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander peoples, and one for Māori working in the Australia and New Zealand public services.

These fellowships will provide an invaluable opportunity for recipients to spend four-to-eight weeks overseas, to gain insights into the practices of their peers working in international jurisdictions, and contribute to Indigenous policy, governance and administration thinking in Australia and New Zealand upon their return.

Churchill Fellowships have opened doors for more than 400o Australians in its 54-year history. Each fellowship sponsors the recipient to travel overseas and work with leaders of influence, to research and study, and bring back their findings and share what they’ve discovered with their community. The program is intended for people with passion and determination who have reached the limits of their field in Australia or New Zealand.

The Australian fellowship will be awarded to an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person working in the public service, and on the basis that the research undertaken will contribute to improving outcomes for First Peoples of Australia and their communities, and ultimately to the wider Australian community. Applications are open now on the Australian Churchill Fellowships website and close on April 30, with information sessions to be held across Australia until late March.

“They enable recipients to create the project they wish to investigate and choose who they want to meet, to address what is important and urgent for their specific community. This often aligns with current or emerging issues of local, regional or national importance in Australia,” said Adam Davey from the Australian Churchill Trust.

The New Zealand fellowship will be awarded to a Māori public servant to pursue public sector practices leading to positive outcomes for Maori communities in New Zealand. ANZSOG are partnering with the New Zealand Churchill Trust to provide the fellowship, which is administered by the NZ Department of Internal Affairs. Applications open May 1 and close 31 July 2019 on the communitymatters.govt.nz website.

The ANZSOG Churchill Trust Fellowship will be launched at ANZSOG’s conference, Reimagining Public Administration: First Peoples, governance and new paradigms at Melbourne’s Federation Square this week.

“On returning from the Fellowship, the ANZSOG Churchill Fellows will be invited to share their findings in a variety of engagement opportunities. This may include presenting in an ANZSOG program, a forum, conference or contributing to the ANZSOG Wise Practice Case Library,” said ANZSOG Dean and chief executive, Professor Ken Smith.

Smith said that sponsoring the fellowships was part of ANZSOG’s mission to build Indigenous capacity in public services and improve outcomes for Indigenous communities. “Better representation of Indigenous people at all levels of our public services is essential if we want to include Indigenous people in policy development and incorporate Indigenous knowledge and culture into the work of government.”

Fellowship recipients will also have access to the Churchill Trust’s Learning Framework, which includes foundation skills training, ongoing support, mentoring, and financial assistance for disseminating findings when they return.

READ MORE: Joy Savage on finding a way forward for the Indigenous community and public servants

Top image: Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander and Māori public servants from all ten jurisdictions met in Canberra in December 2018 for the second ANZSOG Indigenous Public Servant Forum.

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