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ANU Crawford School of Public Policy

Public sector writing skills

One-day short course


6th September 2016


ANU Crawford School of Public Policy



This course will cover the rules of English usage, the principles of style, commonly misused words and skills in the valuable art of communicating succinctly.

Course overview

What you write can make a lasting first impression. If your communication is riddled with spelling or grammatical mistakes, or you laden it with unnecessary adjectives, people will judge your work harshly. Even quick emails can end up in front of senior APS officers, clients and stakeholders. Written materials can also become a record of communication and may be kept and referred to in the future for a variety of reasons including contractual negotiations, Freedom of Information (FoI) requests, or even for legal matters.

Plain English writing is a skill which needs to be developed and honed over time. Finessing our writing to remove ‘purple’ prose, jargon, unnecessary acronyms and achieving the right tone increases the chances your message will be successfully communicated.

This half-day course is practical and hands-on. Topics covered include writing succinctly and persuasively, the structure and format of public sector documents, basic grammar and reviewing documents.

This workshop is designed for staff of all levels who wish to enhance their ability to produce high quality written material in order to communicate effectively and successfully. It may be of particular relevance to new recruits to the public sector.

Course convenor

Ms Kristen Connell

Kristen Connell is a communications skills specialist and trainer. Her training focuses on topics including written communication skills, media management and negotiation skills. Kristen holds a BA in Journalism and tertiary qualifications in business management. She worked as a journalist for nearly seven years, including five years in the Press Gallery at Parliament House in Canberra.

Kristen has provided media advice to Federal and State politicians during two election campaigns. In addition, Kristen has spent nearly a decade undertaking public relations, media management, strategic planning, workshop facilitation, lobbying, policy development and project management for high profile national organisations and government departments.

Course date:9.30am–4.30pm 6 September 2016
Venue: Crawford School, ANU
Enrol: T 02 6125 2154 E
Cost: $1,100 GST incl; Group discounts applicable

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