Influential Writing for Government

This short course covers how influential and effective writing can generate a range of positive outcomes for government. Using a workshop format, it covers proven, practical techniques needed by government employees at all levels.


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Overview - learning


This short course covers how influential and effective writing can generate a range of positive outcomes for government, including improved productivity, lower costs, operational savings, enhanced reputation and better decisions. 

This workshop covers proven, practical techniques needed by government employees at all levels to yield these benefits and maximise the returns of influential and impactful government writing for you; your team; your organisation and the broader community.

Participants will gain valuable knowledge and learn new writing techniques based on leading Australian and international research in the areas of neuroscience, the science of persuasion, audience engagement and adopting a growth mindset.

To optimise your learning experience, and accommodate for busy schedules, this course has been divided into two half-day workshops with an experiential learning opportunity in between.

Facilitated by

James Fletcher

James Fletcher

James Fletcher is Managing Director of Alta Pete Consulting – a consultancy specialising in public sector leadership development, training workshops and executive coaching. James has designed and delivered highly successful writing for government programs for public sector audiences. 

James’ extensive practical industry experience includes:

  • Senior Executive Service manager of a legal branch; and
  • Extensive consulting experience in executive coaching; facilitation and training as well as mediation and workplace dispute resolution. 

James holds a range of legal, executive coaching, training, and leadership qualifications.

Course Content

This workshop is structured around the best practices for influential writing in a government context. These practices draw upon the collective experience of what actually works for senior professionals, including current and former senior executives from the public service and private sector, combined with expertise from within UNSW.

  • Why effective writing in government matters and how to maximise the benefits of influential government writing for you, your team, your organisation and your community.
  • The core skills of effective writing in government, including practical frameworks used by senior executives for understanding your audience, engaging with stakeholders and planning and drafting government documents for maximum influence and impact.
  • An overview of the key types of government writing, including Ministerial and Agency Head-level briefs, Ministerial correspondence, government reports, speeches, minutes, and internal documents.
  • Participants will benefit from the highly interactive workshop design features, drawing upon the rich knowledge contained within each cohort’s professional experiences, including:
    • A highly practical experiential learning opportunity which takes place between the two half-day workshops.
    • The opportunity to record and apply workshop learnings, then reflect on the benefits of doing so; and peer-to-peer learning frameworks and activities – which double as a valuable network-building opportunity.
Course Content - Writing
Learning Outcomes - Writing

Learning Outcomes

Skills/competencies/knowledge that would be gained through this course:

This course will cover:

  • The best practice frameworks for all forms of government writing.
  • Afford an opportunity to apply those best practices in the context of a real, relevant, and current piece of written work that is relevant for your role.
  • Provide high-level guidance on some of the main forms of government writing together with further reading and reference material for situations where this information will be helpful.

By completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the importance of effective writing in the Australian government context.
  • Understand and apply the core skills required to write influentially and impactfully for government.
  • Explain the role of neuroscience and the principles of persuasion in attaining optimal audience impact.
  • Outline frameworks for understanding one’s government audience and techniques for planning and delivering influential written work.
  • Identify the key types of government writing and how to apply the core skills to each type of document.
  • Understand the importance of adopting a learning mindset and principles of deliberative practice and apply the core skills of effective government writing in a range of contexts.
  • Implement the benefit of practical experiences gained during the workshops, including a highly practical experiential learning opportunity, reflective practice frameworks as well as peer-to-peer learning activities.

In addition to a highly engaging, expertly facilitated workshop experience, attendees will receive:

  • A detailed participant handbook containing valuable reference materials.
  • An individual action planner, to record actionable insights for use in the workplace.
  • A highly relevant pre-reading resource on influential writing to help set learning objectives ahead of the first half-day workshop.

Who should attend

The workshop content and activities have been designed primarily for a public sector audience (especially for those working in the Commonwealth and ACT public sectors).


No prerequisites

Who Should Attend - Writing