Board member training scholarships now available for women who identify as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or Culturally and Linguistically Diverse

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ASTI) and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) women are encouraged to apply for a scholarship to undertake the Emerging Leaders in Governance Program, powered by Southcare. 

Applications are now open for 20 women aged under 40 from ASTI and CALD backgrounds who want to contribute positively to the aged care and community services sectors. 

Southcare Chief Executive Officer Dr Nicky Howe said the scholarships would offer participants a life-changing opportunity to learn about board governance, the not-for-profit sector and how their own diverse uniqueness can be an asset to a board or committee. 

“This is a program about developing women’s governance and leadership skills to increase diversity on boards and thanks to Federal Government funding, the opportunity is completely free to the 20 successful applicants”. 

“Participants will work on a group project to enhance their knowledge and understanding of board governance as well as board finances, legal obligations, culture, risk and strategy, preparing them for their first board role via a networking path that supports them to secure a board position within two years of graduating. They will have direct access to Board Chairs, CEOs and trusted mentors from up to 45 different not-for-profit groups.  

“Minority groups often have to fight for inclusion and overcome barriers that might not be there for others, so this is a clear way for us to lead by example by offering these scholarships,” Dr Howe said. 

The Emerging Leaders in Governance Program has been running for 9 years and continues to go from strength to strength forging opportunities to foster diversity on boards in the not-for-profit sector and highly transferable workplace skills. 

The current scholarships will particularly benefit ASTI and CALD women who: 

  • have a strong interest in volunteering and serving on a community board after the program. 
  • have diverse skill sets and experience that can contribute to a board. 
  • are ready to commit 100% to the program by completing all aspects of the program and become a great ambassador for future participants.  
  • are a good learner, open to new ideas and able to implement what they learn. 

“If this is You or you know someone who is keen to be a board director of a community organisation and meet the criteria, please encourage them to reach out and apply,” Dr Howe said. 

Applications must be completed online at Application forms can be completed online here. 

Applications for the current scholarships close on 4 July.   

The program will again be expanded over the next two years, offering scholarships for women who identify as LGBTI in 2022 and for women with disabilities in 2023. 

Since it started, the program has offered 180 scholarships and seen 173 young professionals graduate with 115 Board Director placements, 39 Board traineeship positions, 21 Committee positions as well as garner support from 45 organisations in aged care, health, mental health, disability, drug, alcohol, education and training. 

Any questions about the program or the current application process should be directed to Alicia Curtis at 

Southcare has supported this program as the major partner since 2013 as part of its purpose to be a proactive carer, connector and contributor in the community. 

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