Centre for Local Government
The University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Centre for Local Government is the leading university-based centre in Australia delivering an extensive program of local government research, teaching and specialist consulting services. The Centre is part of the UTS Institute for Public Policy and Governance.
It is an independent, cross-faculty centre within UTS and commenced operation in 1991 to support the advancement of Australian local government. It is now the largest centre of its kind in Australia.
The UTS Centre for Local Government promotes a cooperative approach and maintains close ties with a large number of local government associations, professional institutes and academic bodies in Australia, the Asia-Pacific and globally. The Centre also works closely with local, state and federal government organisations.
The Centre for Local Government’s activities are diverse and include:
- trans-disciplinary and comparative research about local government and local governance
- a PhD program to support an on-going stream of contemporary research on key sectoral issues
- postgraduate education including a Master of Local Government, a Graduate Diploma in Local Government Management and a number of Graduate Certificate courses
- professional development, short courses and accreditation programs for local government professionals
- specialist consultancy services for councils, government agencies and associated industry and professional bodies
- international programs and development projects.
Learn more about the Master of Local Government from some of our recent graduates. Hear about the many personal and professional benefits of studying at UTS and how the Master of Local Government contributes to the development of professionals working in the local government sector.
UTS Master of Local Government
4min 22 sec
I think Local Government is really important because, it is that level of government that’s closest to the people and so for me I’ve Always been fascinated. I think some of the most innovative ideas come from local government.
There’s no other organization in our society that does as many services as a Local Government organisation. So that means working for them gives you a tremendous amount of opportunity and variety in terms of what you want to explore.
Studying Local Government at UTS is unique because at the Centre for Local Government here we are the only place where you have a dedicated program to Local Government in the country, we’ve existed for over two decades, our teaching program is backed by excellence in research and we are also extremely heavily engaged with the sector at a number of different levels.
I had decided that I was going to do the post-graduate degree and I really wanted a mix of strategic policy, planning, a political element to it you know, and when I looked at the course content for the Masters in Local Government it really filled the bill.
Well I think as a Counsellor, even though I’ve been there over 40 years, to be an effective Counsellor you really have to be up there knowing what it’s all about; and this course has certainly helped me know more. A good example of one course I did was Social Planning and Development, and up on that stage in our council, and I think it was indicative of all councils, the requirement to do a social plan was something they just did to tick the box and as a requirement. But when I did the course I really realized that, you know, that Social Planning was really important as far as council development and planning went.
Really after a number of years in Local Government it really brought together the practical experiences that I’d had and made me really get a much more solid and complete understanding of the third tier of government.
One of the ways that we make our subjects and our courses and our offerings accessible is to offer them online. For us that’s extremely important because it speaks to UTS’s focus on equity and the fact that Local Government is everywhere. So if you’re living in the middle of Australia, if you’re living in metropolitan Brisbane, if you’re down there in Tasmania, you still have access to all of these offerings, and that was a very, very important driver of how we refreshed the teaching offerings at UTS.
So I’m a Development Contributions Planner in a regional council. Before commencing here at UTS I’d completed a TAFE Advanced Diploma but hadn’t studied at University before. There was a lot of help both through the lecturers and through the online UTS Library that assisted me in learning how to do assignments, how to research and I was able then to adapt to the university style of study.
The piece of advice I’d give future students is to really embrace that opportunity for establishing those peer to peer relationships, you will learn so much by talking to the people that you’re studying with. So, it’s not only just the academic staff, it’s the people that you’re sitting next to learning with every day.
The UTS course would definitely assist anyone considering a future career, because it’s going to really set you up with a big picture understanding of the way that the sector works. So, contextualizing your own experience within the bigger organisation and within the bigger sector itself is very, very worthwhile.
If I had to sum up studying here at UTS in one word I would use the word accomplished. I feel very accomplished now that I have completed the Master of Local Government and I look back on the 6 years that I was here studying and I can see both a personal and professional growth that I was able to do through my studies here at UTS.
I would encourage you know any elected members out there to do the course, even whether it’s just part of the course or the whole course. But I certainly think they would find much benefit in coming down to UTS and doing some study in Local Government.
From 2009 to 2015 the UTS Centre for Local Government hosted the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) as part of a consortium that included the Commonwealth Government, University of Canberra, the Australia and New Zealand School of Government, Local Government Managers Australia, the Institute of Public Works Engineering Australia, and program partners Charles Darwin University and Edith Cowan University. ACELG enjoyed significant success in advancing best practice in local government and encouraging the adoption of innovative practices and solutions. At the end of 2015 the Centre for Excellence came to a close, although a small number of ACELG projects were implemented throughout 2016 and 2017. ACELG project outcomes, relevant information and toolkits are hosted by UTS.
Reports and manuals
UTS Centre for Local Government and UTS Institute for Public Policy & Governance reports and manuals are available here.
Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance
A peer-reviewed journal that aims to strengthen the research voice of local government in the Commonwealth by providing a forum for researchers and practitioners interested in local government ideas and practices. Its overall focus is upon improving local governance and supporting local government as an agent of development. The journal is auspiced by the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (UK), edited by Cardiff University (UK), and published by the UTS Centre for Local Government. Access »
Centre for Local Government consultancy services
The UTS Centre for Local Government is established as a specialist consulting service with a high standard of professional consulting practice. The Centre consultancy is renowned for understanding the needs of local government and local communities across a range of complex strategic, planning and policy issues.
Our areas of expertise include:
- Governance and Leadership
- Service Delivery
- Community Engagement
- Rural-remote and Indigenous local government
- International Alliances
- Social Planning
- Service Delivery Reviews
- Environmental Management
- Asset and Infrastructure Management
- Corporate Strategic Planning
- Workforce Development
- Social Research
Centre for Local Government/ Institute for Public Policy and Governance
University of Technology Sydney
PO Box 123
Broadway NSW 2007
UTS Tower Building, Level 21
Ultimo NSW 2007
Tel: +61 2 9514 7884