• Understanding what is ‘political nous’, and how it can help shape and improve your policy skills and knowledge
  • Differentiate political nous from ‘politicisation’, and how nous is useful in the Westminister tradition
  • Understand the range of political forces that shapes the agendas of governments in liberal democracies, including the role of ideology, values, and electoral and other pressures
  • Understand the role of a range of political actors and how they can shape the policy process


  • Gain a stronger understanding of the political environment that shapes public sector organisations
  • Understand the importance of nous, and the risks of ‘politicisation’
  • Understand the broader political dynamics that influence policy outcomes

Who Should Attend

This course is pitched more senior public servants who are in mid career/senior roles, such as policy managers, senior policy advisors, and senior managers seeking to develop and improve their policy skills

Benefits to You and Your Organisation

  • Help you better understand the political drivers that shape your agency
  • Enable you to give more informed policy advice
  • Help improve the responsiveness and also effectiveness of your agency

Learn about our speakers

Dr Rob Manwaring

Senior Lecturer, College of Business, Government and Law
Flinders University

Dr Rob Manwaring is a senior lecturer in the College of Business, Law and Government. Rob's background is in public policy, and worked for the UK's Commission for Racial Equality as a senior policy adviser, and also for the South Australian Council of Social Services. Since completing his PhD at Flinders in 2010, he teaches a range of policy and politics topics, and researches into the areas of centre-left political parties, democratic politics, and public policy. Most recently, his edited collection (with Paul Kennedy from the University of Bath) 'Why the Left Loses' (Policy Press) examined the electoral fortunes of the family of centre-left political parties and the ongoing crisis of social democracy.

Tim O’Loughlin

Lecturer, College of Business, Government and Law
Flinders University

Tim's professional life started as a political staffer, culminating in his appointment as chief-of-staff to Australia's Minister for Foreign Affairs. This was followed by 15 years in commercial roles in the petroleum sector. He then worked for another 15 years in four different roles in the South Australian Government public service. The last two of these roles were as CEO of the Department of Transport and Urban Development and as Commissioner for Renewable Energy. Tim has been teaching in university public policy schools for the past 12 years.

Upcoming course availability

In person

December 2024

Wednesday, 04 December 2024

1 half-day
9:30am - 12:30pm (9:15am registration)

Workbook, morning tea and refreshments

12 Pirie Street, Adelaide SA 5000
(room location to be advised closer to date)
View map

Personal Member $355
State Govt Employee Member $390
Corporate Member $405
Non-Member $440