This Executive Education course has been postponed, due to circumstances beyond our control, until April 2024.

This tailored Executive Education course is recommended for anyone interested in increasing their knowledge and skills in Indigenous Diplomacy.

It is particularly recommended for those working in the Australian Government to deliver its Indigenous Diplomacy program, and will be useful to anyone working in or with First Nations communities.

The weaving of the mat is symbolic and identifies …. the preparation of a coming together of different people and communities. You have to weave the mat before you can sit on it. You have to make the relationships.
- Uncle Gabriel Bani, Wagadagam Elder

Course details

Dates: Mon 13 - Fri 17 November 2023.
Cost:  $3,650 per participant.
Deadline: Registrations close Tues 31 October 2023. Early bird registrations close Wed 11 October 2023.

This 5-day intensive course provides participants with opportunities to listen and learn from Indigenous Elders and authorities from a range of nations – Kaurareg (Thursday Island), Mawng (South Goulburn Island, NT), Ngambri (Canberra), Wiradyuri (Central New South Wales) and Yolngu (East Arnhem Land).

The participatory and immersive workshop is a unique opportunity to learn about the traditions and ongoing life of Indigenous sovereignties in Australia and their distinct ways of making diplomacy. The workshop includes extended sessions on diplomacy from each group of Elders, a session on Indigenous Youth Perspectives on Diplomacy, and seminars delivered by academics and experts on:

  • Indigenous Rights at the UN
  • Indigenous Trade & Investment
  • Indigenous Development and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The program also features a range of out-of-the-classroom learning activities: a public roundtable debate on The Voice; a trip to sites of significance to local Indigenous communities; a film screening; and social events.

See draft program pdf, in the attachments in the right column, and also at the bottom of this page.

Participants will be supported in translating their knowledge back to the workplace and sharing it with others. They will be asked to present short reflection notes at the end of the workshop.

Dhuwal workshop bukmakku limurruŋ Yolŋuw ga Balandaw. Ga limurr dhu marŋgithirr rrambaŋi dhiyakiyi yäkuw workshop-ku yurru Diplomacy-w. Yolŋu walal ga marrtji beŋur Thursday Island-ŋur, Canberra-ŋur, South Goulburn Island-ŋur ga beŋur East Arnhem Land-ŋur. Napurr dhu nhumalaŋgal melkum Yolŋuw dhukarr ga limurr dhu maḻŋ’maram rrambaŋin dhukarrnydja ga melgurrupan märrma’lil world-lil ga rrambaŋi djäma guŋga’yunamirr bawala’mirriŋur.

This workshop is for everyone. All of us learn together about Indigenous diplomacy in both traditional and contemporary platforms. The traditional owners of Thursday Island, Canberra, South Goulburn Island, and
East Arnhem Land will come to deliver the workshop. We will show you the ways in which two different worlds - Indigenous and non-Indigenous - work and help each other in many places.
- Aunty Joy Bulkanhawuy, Yolŋu Elder


Hero image: Yannima Pikarli Tommy Watson, Untitled, 2016. acrylic on Belgian linen, 151 x 244 cm. ANU Art Collection. Donated through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program by Craig Edwards in memory of Edmund Charles Edwards and Alan Edmund Edwards, teachers, 2018. Photo by Rob Little. Courtesy the artist and Yanda Art, Alice Springs.

Penny Wong with the 2022 cohort of Indigenous Diplomacy students.
Penny Wong with the 2022 cohort of Indigenous Diplomacy students.
Indigenous Diplomacy course 2022 - Welcome to Country
Indigenous Diplomacy course 2022 - Welcome to Country

DRAFT Program

Day 1 - Monday 13 November

Read more

8.30am - Gathering

9.00am - Welcome to Country

9.45am - Introduction to workshop

10.45am - Session 1 - Knowing each other well

12.00pm - Lunch

1.00pm - Session 2 - Indigenous Diplomacy, Ngambri Team

2.30pm - Afternoon tea

3.00pm - Session 3 - Indigenous rights at the UN

4.45pm - End of Day 1 teaching

7.00pm - The Voice: What next? (public event)

8.30pm - End of Day 1


Day 2 - Tuesday 14 November

Read more

8.45am - Gathering

9.00am - Session 4 - Indigenous Diplomacy, Yolngu team

10.30am - Morning Tea

11.00am - Session 5 - Indigenous Diplomacy, Yolngu team

12.00pm - Lunch

1.00pm - Session 6 - Indigenous Diplomacy, Mawng team

2.30pm - Afternoon tea

3.00pm - Session 7 - Indigenous trade & investment

4.00pm - Session 8 - Young Australians in International Affairs

5.30pm - End of Day 2

Day 3 - Wed 15 November

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8.45am - Gathering

9.00am - Session 9 - Indigenous Diplomacy, Kaurareg team

12.00pm - Lunch

12.30pm - Bus tour - visit to local Indigenous sites

5.00pm - Return to Canberra

7.00pm - Social event (tbc)

10.00pm - End of Day 3

Day 4 - Thursday 16 November

Read more

8.45am - Gathering

9.00am - Session 10 - Indigenous Women's Diplomacy

10.30am - Morning Tea

10.45am - Session 11 - Indigenous Diplomacy, Wiradyuri team

12.15 - Lunch

1.00pm - Session 12 - Indigenous Intellectual Property

2.00pm - Session 13 - Diplomacy ceremony and wrap up with elders (yarning circle)

3.00pm - Afternoon tea

3.30pm - Session 14 - Indigenous Diplomacy, Mawng team - dance

5.15pm - End of Day 4 teaching

6.30pm - Indigenous stargazing tour and talk, including BBQ at Mount Stromlo

9.30pm - End of Day 4

Day 5 - Friday 17 November

Read more

8.45am - Gathering

9.00am - Session 15 - Indigenous Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

10.30am - Morning Tea

11am - Session 16 - Translating knowledge to work

12.30 - Lunch

1.30pm - Session 17 - Presentation, course evaluation and final wrap up

3.00pm - End of the course

The Department of Pacific Affairs’ biennial State of the Pacific (SOTP) conference will take place on 4 and 5 September 2024 at The Australian National University in Canberra.

Registrations for this event will open in June.

A Pacific Research Program flagship event, the State of the Pacific Conference brings together leading academics, policymakers, business leaders, civil society representatives and the media to present on, discuss and debate current issues of interest concerning the Pacific Islands region. SOTP 2024 will involve the presentation of new research and analysis from prominent Pacific figures and scholars and others deeply interested and engaged in the Pacific. It will generate discussion on the factors shaping our collective forward-looking research agenda on the Pacific Islands region.

The Pacific's Place in the World

The countries, territories and communities of the Pacific Islands have received increased attention lately, generating interesting discussions about how the region situates itself within, and relates to, the rest of the world. The theme of this year’s conference, The Pacific’s Place in the World, seeks to engage with evolving narratives constructed both within the Pacific, and by those outside the region, in terms of its own identity and its contribution to the defining global debates of our time: self-determination and decolonisation, climate resilience, migration and integration, and the elimination of inequality. Two keynote addresses will focus on particular self-determination journeys in the Pacific: one by President Moetai Brotherson of the government of French Polynesia, and the other by Theonila Roka Matbob, one of five female members of, and a minister in, the Autonomous Bougainville Government.

Discussions will continue with two panels on self-determination, one on decolonisation and the other on processes seeking ‘external self-determination’. Two parallel streams of presentations will deal with numerous other issues, including: Pacific criminology; disability inclusion and equity; inclusive political systems; migration policy; geopolitics, one panel on external engagement and another on Pacific perceptions; AUKUS; digital connections to the world; environmental peacebuilding; education transformations; climate change mitigation; and challenges of cross-border displacement. We anticipate a focus on many different countries, territories and communities, including the Banaban and Rabi Islander communities of Kiribati and Tokelau; Bougainville; Fiji; Guam; Federated States of Micronesia; French Polynesia; Kiribati; New Caledonia; Papua New Guinea; Samoa and Solomon Islands.

Keynote Speakers

Elected by the Assembly of French Polynesia as the first Polynesian President of French Polynesia in May 2023, Moetai Brotherson grew up in French Polynesia, before gaining experience as a computer and telecommunications engineer in France, Japan, Germany and the USA. He returned to Tahiti over 20 years ago. In 2004, he joined the pro-independence Tavini Huira'atira party. From 2005 to 2008, he held the position of Head of French Polynesia’s Post and Telecommunications Department. From 2011 to 2013, he served as Chief of Staff to Vice President of French Polynesia Antony Géros. In 2014, he became a local councillor for Faa'a, the most populous district in the territory. He was elected to the National Assembly of France in 2017 and re-elected in 2022, and was also elected to the Assembly of French Polynesia in 2018 and 2023. In Paris, as a member of the National Assembly, he stood out for displaying his Polynesian language, shirts, tattoos and lavalava. When he became the youngest President of French Polynesia in May 2023, he resigned from the National Assembly. Mr Brotherson is known for his outspoken nature, consensus-building approach, listening skills, humanist values, and ‘quiet force'. He is passionate about photography, writing and new technologies, he is a chess player and a former rugby stalwart. He advocates a referendum on self-determination for French Polynesia to be held by the 2030s, for reparations to be made for nuclear testing, and for Papeete to be included in the discussions on France's Indo-Pacific strategy. He supports imposition of a moratorium being on the exploitation of the seabed of French Polynesia, and for resources to be pooled with the Oceanians.

An elected member, since 2020, of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) for the Ioro constituency (which includes the derelict site of the previous giant Panguna copper and gold mine), Theonila Roka Matbob has the distinction of being one of only five female members, and only two that represent any of the ABG’s 33 single-member (‘open’) constituencies, rather than one of the 3 regional constituencies each reserved for 1 female and 1 (male) former combatant representatives. Currently Minister for Community Government, she has been one of the 14 ABG ministers since her 2020 election, and in 2024 is one of 3 female Cabinet members. In her very early years, she grew up during the Bougainville conflict. Since 2020 she has been the lead complainant in an ongoing significant case initiated under an OECD treaty, with support of the Melbourne Human Rights Law Centre, against mining giant, Rio Tinto, till 2016 majority shareholder in Bougainville Copper Ltd, the operator of the Panguna mine, 1972-1989, alleging serious human rights and environmental abuses.

The 2024 SOTP will be opened by the Hon Pat Conroy MP, Minister for International Development and the Pacific.

How best should key strategic partners in Asia and Europe meet their future defence and security needs in a world that offers less policy space and more complex problems? This project examines four significant cases – Japan, Singapore, Germany, and the UK – which share many contemporary security challenges.

How best should key strategic partners in Asia and Europe meet their future defence and security needs in a world that offers less policy space and more complex problems?

This project examines four significant cases – Japan, Singapore, Germany, and the UK – which share many contemporary security challenges.

The launch event will feature a roundtable discussion with the project leads and their country rapporteurs presenting their findings about how those countries mobilise power and exercise statecraft within a world that gives them less control over the outcomes they want to achieve.


  • Professor Jochen Prantl, ANU
  • Professor Evelyn Goh, ANU
  • Professor Sven Biscop, Egmont–Royal Institute for International Relations
  • Dr. Yusuke Ishihara, National Institute for Defence Studies
  • Mr. Paul Chamberlain, ANU

Event Speakers

Jochen Prantl

Jochen Prantl joined ANU in November 2013.

Evelyn Goh

Evelyn Goh is the Shedden Professor of Strategic Policy Studies at the Australian National University, where she is also Research Director at the Strategic & Defence Studies Ce

Paul Chamberlain
PhD Scholar

Paul Chamberlain is a PhD scholar at The Australian National University, located at the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre in the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs.

Professor Sven Biscop

Professor Sven Biscop

Egmont-Royal Institute for International Relations

Yusuke Ishihara

Dr Yusuke Ishihara

Senior Fellow, Global Security Division
National Institute for Defense Studies

Does international affairs fascinate you? Gaining insights from industry representatives can help you clarify your career aspirations and make informed choices.

ANU Careers and the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs warmly invite International Relations, Diplomacy, Security Studies, Pacific Studies, and Political Science students to attend the upcoming panel discussion on future careers and meet potential employers. This is an opportunity to hear from a range of organisations (private sector, consulting, the UN and the Australian Government) so that you can better understand the job market and help you plan ahead for your career after study.

The speakers for the panel are:

*David Brown - Operations Manager at Systems Planning and Analysis

*Louisa Minney - Director in Advisory at PwC

*Maria Shumusti- Communications Officer at World Food Program (WFP), Fiji office; and

*A representative from the Australian Criminal Intelligence Agency

Gain insights from the speakers on what their organisations do and opportunities they offer students.

The ANU Careers team will also discuss how to find information about the job market and job search strategies including how to understand job advertisements.

Event Speakers

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Louisa Minney

Louisa is an experienced senior executive with over 20 years’ experience in facilitating strategic change across government, multi and bi-lateral organisations and academia in Australia and internationally.

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David Brown

David joined SPA Australia following a 24-year career as a Weapons Engineer with the Navy. David served on submarines and warships. His shore postings in capability development stimulated his interest in using operations research to provide mission-focussed, evidence-based decision support for complex and critical topics.

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Maria Shumusti

Maria finished a Master's in International Relations at ANU in 2020. Maria oversees the communications and media for WFP in the Pacific. She is currently running the Donate Responsibly campaign that informs people about why during disasters, not all goodwill does well and highlight effective and responsible ways to donate.