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

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Diversity and Inclusion

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

In 2018, IPAA Victoria has introduced a unique full-day course for principled public sector leaders and employees who want to make discrimination a thing of the past.

While the Victorian public sector is generally supportive of diversity and inclusion, there is no doubt that much more needs to be done to make everyone feel at home in our workplaces – and to ensure that we reflect and respect the community we’re working for. In 2018, IPAA Victoria has teamed up with the leadership development experts at Polykala to offer a uniquely experiential workshop that will help public sector employees feelthe tangible benefits of gender, racial and cultural diversity – and give them the tools to be a power for good in their workplaces.

Our Diversity and inclusion workshop distils the lessons of seven years of consultation and collaboration between Polykala and government and not-for-profit organisations across Victoria. The course uses a unique combination of ‘forum theatre’ exercises, which present real-life situations to inspire honest discussion about discrimination and other contemporary challenges facing our sector. Each session also creates the space for individual participants to share their personal challenges and skills – ensuring the training holds direct relevance for every person in the room.

What will you learn?

By the end of the course, you will have gained:

  • A fuller appreciation of the different nature and impacts of discrimination

  • Awareness of the barriers to bystander intervention

  • Practical strategies and language skills to take safe and constructive action against discrimination

  • Recognition of the potential for social leadership to create inclusive norms for all people.

What should you expect?

You won’t find any PowerPoints or over-complicated theories on this course. Instead, Polykala will have you on your feet – learning by doing and reflecting in real time as you explore complex challenges, learn leadership skills, and build greater self-awareness. The day is divided into three modules: personal reflection of structural and interpersonal discrimination; tools and strategies to cultivate a culture of diversity and respect; and theatre-based learning to implement the core skills and concepts in real time.

Who is the facilitator?

Ananth Gopal and Tom Henderson are both founding directors of Polykala, which has gained a reputation for stimulating and highly practical diversity training – and has won awards for its ‘Say No to Racism’ and ‘Working with Pride’ programs.

Ananth is an associate artist with the Melbourne Playback Theatre Company and teaches cultural geography at the Universities of Melbourne and Wollongong. He is a doctoral student at the Australian Centre of Cultural Environmental Research and has completed the Art and Practice of Leadership Development course at the J.F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

Tom is a Harvard-trained facilitator and graduate of the Groupwork Institute of Australia’s Advanced Diploma of Group Facilitation. He combines a decade of professional experience in media associations, politics and community organisations, and is highly regarded for his ability to distil ideas and enable participants to take meaningful action.



  • Non-Member $1,118.00

  • Personal Member $894.40

  • Fellow $670.80


  • Bronze $894.40

  • Silver $838.50

  • Gold $782.60

  • Platinum $670.80

All prices are GST inclusive

Who Should Attend?

This course is designed for public sector managers and employees who want to build their awareness of diversity and inclusion and its importance for organisational culture. The training equips them with practical tools and language to take safe and constructive action if they witness discrimination in their workplace. It holds special relevance for individuals who want to be proactive in setting organisational culture and gain tools to have difficult conversations that generate goodwill and catalyse learning.


Contact us for more information.

Earlier Event: 11 June
Get to the Point
Later Event: 13 June
Write Right