The Institute was awarded special University Research Centre status in January 2012 to deliver on the following mission: “ to create and sustain an international class research institution for the study and practice of governance encompassing public policy and public management themes.”

With this mission at the forefront of our thinking, the Institute has established three ‘pillars’ of activity - research and research training, education and thought leadership and engagement.


In 2013, the Institute generated close to $3 million in research related income in its areas of expertise – public sector design and innovation, democracy, citizenship and participation, and urban and regional governance and policy. This has included (amongst many others) research on: “Women and Leadership” for the Commonwealth Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet; “Social Participation in Brazil” for the Office of the Presidency funded by the European Union; “Co-design and Social Inclusion Interventions” for the ACT government; “Migration and Australian Cities” funded by the Commonwealth Department of Immigration and Citizenship, “Performance Management in the Australian Public Service” for the Australian Public Service Commission, “Building Sustainable and Resilience Communities in the Murray Darling Basin” funded through the Collaborative Research Network on Murray Darling Basin Futures; and, an ARC funded project on “Youth Participation in Australia”.

In keeping with the Institute’s core mission, many of these research projects have led to changes in policy and have experienced significant policy impact. Moreover, our engagement program has proved particularly successful in promoting our research findings and heightening public policy debate on critical governance issues; all of our 2013 Parliamentary Triangle Seminars were televised on the ABC’s “Big Ideas” Programme. In addition, the Institute launched the first Australian Survey of Political Engagement in partnership with the Centre of Citizenship, Globalization and Governance at the University of Southampton and the Museum of Australian Democracy at Parliament House and has delivered several funded projects as a core partner in the Australian Centre of Excellence in Local Government on issues of localism, sustainable development, and innovation. We have also set up a new Collaborative Centre for Post crisis Leadership and Development with the Post-war Reconstruction and Development Unit at the University of York which has already led to the capture of World Bank funding for research on community-driven development in Afghanistan and the Middle-East.

In the area of research training, the Institute has launched a Flagship Research Training Program in Governance and Public Policy and is already host to 45 PhD students. In addition, we deliver a range of postgraduate and professional development programs for Commonwealth and State jurisdictions on governance, leadership and public policy themes and several leadership programmes for overseas governments including China, Singapore, the UK and Vietnam. Last year 141 Commonwealth and State public servants graduated from our postgraduate programmes. 

II. EDUCATION AND Professional Development

IGPA offers a range of bespoke graduate training programs to meet the needs of public servants at all stages in their careers, including the Graduate Certificate in Public Administration and Graduate Certificate in Statistics for new graduate entrants, as well as various short course programs and master classes. A distinctive feature of the programs that we deliver is the provision of core professional skills in policy and public management that have been developed in response to the professional development priorities outlined in the Australian Government’s, Ahead of the Game, report. We achieve this by combining the experience of leading academics and senior practitioners at the highest levels of government who are involved in both the theory and practice of public sector management, public policy and governance.


IGPA provides a neutral space for experts from academia, the public sector and the private and third sectors to meet together in order to develop solutions to critical governance problems. This reflects a major objective of the Institute which is to be a trusted knowledge broker. We achieve this by delivering a multifaceted program of seminars, workshops and events in which we engage our network of researchers, practitioners and the wider public in discussions that are located at the nexus of research and practice.