2014 Alumni

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Emma Ashcroft 

Emma graduated from Curtin University in 2011 with a First Class Honours degree in Occupational Therapy. Emma’s Honours project was two years of research in the disability, aged care, and mental health sectors. Upon graduation she commenced work for Disability Services Commission as a Local Area Coordinator based in the northern suburbs of Perth. This role involves interfacing with a number of different agencies and stakeholders in order to support planning for a good life with individuals and their families.

Emma has been a volunteer with the social enterprise Befriend Inc for two years, where she work alongside other volunteers in a community development capacity to initiate inclusive social opportunities for people living in the Perth metropolitan area. Emma is passionate about her involvement in the community sector and her goal is to continue to develop her experience in order to become a progressive leader in this area.

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Kirsty Augustson

Kirsty’s current role is of Tax and Business Services Manager at Butler Settineri Chartered Accountants. Kirsty has been working in the Accounting industry for 7 years. Within her current managerial role she prepares annual financial reports for many not-for-profit entities and is looking to expand her knowledge to the inner workings of community and aged care boards. She also assists a client in the aged care (home service) sector with their internal management and tax planning. Kirsty also holds the role of treasurer of the West Australian Rowing Club and has been privy to the financial dealings and strategic planning of a community association.

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Mariska Button

Mariska is a senior manager in the Private Clients department of Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) Perth. She has been the senior trusted business advisor for a not-for-profit private hospital and aged care group in Australia for a number of years. As a team leader and first point of contact, she has provided a number of services and taken responsibility for leading several consulting teams and as an audit team leader has attended several not-for-profit board, finance and audit committee meetings to present on audit matters, accounting matters and controls findings.

Mariska’s involvement in the industry has awakened a genuine interest and she wants to use her experience, skills and education to give back to the greater community while participating in an industry of real importance to her and one that she genuinely feels very passionate about. She acknowledges the great work current board committees are doing and believes additional input from younger generations could provide different insights as a result of different perspectives and views on our ever-changing economy. Mariska believes her participation in consulting for the aged care industry will give her the background knowledge to have meaningful participation in the program that will enable her to participate on not-for-profit boards.

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Divya Bhardwaj

Divya is currently a part of Graduate Management Association (GMA) at the University of Western Australia. She is a current Student Council member as well as the Council Marketing Coordinator. Divya is also part of Bindaas Beats, a Bollywood dance group and a volunteer for the “Be the change” organisation whose aim is to educate, inspire and empower individuals on the path to a sustainable future.

Divya’s community sector experience includes Toastmasters (non-for profit) in Canada, where she was elected to become an executive leader of the Suncor Toastmasters Association – an organisation focused on the development of leadership and communication skills in individuals. As well as stewarding and delivering speeches, Divya encouraged new employees, especially those just beginning their careers to join the association and benefit from it. Her efforts were instrumental in ensuring increased attendance and increased popularity of the association, which eventually helped build key skills and talent within the organisation. Divya also particpates and support the Cancer Council Relay for Life.

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Catherine Chakulunta 

Catherine is a highly talented and dedicated Community Development Officer, with an obvious commitment to Social Justice and improving the wellbeing of the people around her and in the wider community.

Originally from Zambia, Catherine has experienced various issues relating to disadvantaged and vulnerable people, including those from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) backgrounds living in WA. The strengths of her convictions and empathy for those needing assistance led her to holding a number of roles and career experiences. Her experiences in developing and implementing structures and programs to contribute to community development in enabling people who experience discrimination or disadvantage in different cohorts, are made easy by her talent, compassion and respect for other human beings. In addition, she has held a few leadership roles including, but not limited to, Chairperson and Coordinator for the Community Development Committee of an organization. Catherine also loves to share a light moment with people around her, as her greatest interest is ‘Human-ness’.

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Julian Clark 

Julian is a community minded individual with a passion for helping others. He has spent a number of years on volunteer boards with the Australian Computer Society and Australian Computer Society Foundation, representing the interests of IT students and young IT professionals and helping them develop their careers.

Julian has a long history with the not for profit sector and is currently working with a Disability Employment Service finding and creating roles for people with barriers to employment.

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Sharon Dann

Sharon’s has a strong interest in Indigenous Affairs that she has maintained throughout her career which has inlcuded Small Business ownership, University Studies, Mentoring on an Aboriginal Prisoner Rehabilitation program, tutoring Aboriginal teens and she is currently working in an Aboriginal Health Care Centre. She has always maintained a strong link with her community, volunteering with organisations including the Cancer Council’s Relay for life, Peel Aboriginal Early Childhood Committee, Sporting Clubs, School P&F’s and most recently with the Peel Community Development Group.

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Matthew Horgan

Matthew is excited to be part of the 2014 Young Leaders on Community Boards program. Matthew has an engineering background, having graduated with a Chemical and Process Engineering degree from the University of Canterbury, New Zealand in 2007, and currently work at Alcoa of Australia, who are a prominent part of the Western Australian mining sector. He is also currently studying a Masters of Business Administration at University of Western Australia part-time.

Having immigrated to Perth for his role at Alcoa three years ago he has a strong desire to give back to the community that has provided him with fantastic career opportunities and looks forward to learning how to be an effective board member within a community group.

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Peter Klauz

Peter is a Senior Medical Imaging Technologist with the WA Country Health Service based at Northam Regional Hospital. His passion for rural and remote communities has taken him to more than 20 rural and remote health service centres. With the assistance of this program Peter hopes to extend his rural and remote community and aged care contributions to the rural and remote community sector while becoming an advocate for young leaders in regional Western Australia.

Peter has a passion for sporting and outdoor activities when he is not busy studying. He is a member on the Wheatbelt Rural Clinical School Local Advisory Group, a volunteer surf life saver at Swanbourne Nedlands Surf Life Saving Club and currently Chair of the Wheatbelt Medical Imaging Service Delivery Committee. Peter endeavours to live every moment following words of Mahatma Gandhi, “Learn as if you were going to live forever. Live as if you were going to die tomorrow.”

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Emer Long 

Emer graduated from St. Patrick’s College in Ireland with a B.A. (hons) in Business, Religion and Education in 2009. Her experience allowed her to work as a teaching assistant for children with special needs, which inspired her interest in education and community services. Since immigrating to Australia in 2010, Emer’s diverse involvement in direct care, training and management have provided her with a broader understanding of the aged and community care industry. Currently she works for CommunityWest as a Training and Workforce Development Consultant.

Emer enjoys working in consultation with the aged care sector to ensure that clients receive the best possible support, which enables them to maintain their independence. She is excited about the challenges, opportunities and impact that a move to consumer directed care will bring. She is looking forward to participating in the Young Leaders Program and hopes to apply her knowledge of the industry coupled with her business acumen, to move the sector forward and ensure its sustainability.

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Sarah Marshman

Sarah, 20, is a driven young woman with diverse experiences. She is a penultimate year Law/Arts student at the University of Notre Dame Australia, which has enhanced her interest in advocacy, governance and health law. She has direct experience on a variety of committees and in mentoring roles. Sarah is a former state gymnast and currently coaches the state team.

Sarah fills in her time through independent music and arts along with her love of languages and travel.

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Lauren Muir

Lauren, 30 is from country Victoria.She’s been working in the Aged Care Industry for 11 years in a range of capacities, starting as a Personal Care Attendant whilst studying my Bachelor of Nursing. After a 12 month stint in Acute Nursing Hospitals working as a Registered Nurse, she did not feel the commitment and passion to nursing that she felt when working with the Elderly.

For the past 5 years she has worked in Management within Aged Care and prides herself on being part of a leadership team that promotes quality of life outcomes for Residents whilst supporting their loved ones through the transition into the Aged Care sector. Lauren aims to become an influential leader within the Aged Care Industry for many years to

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Bianca Padbury

Bianca has 16 years experience working in the Community Service Sector – this includes work within Aged Care and Disability within the NGO sector, Government and Local Government organisations. She has worked in direct service provision, packaged and brokered care, service coordination, management of service agreements, program funding, submission and tender writing, with carers and currently in the area of community development.

In addition, Bianca has been a teacher in the adult education sector. Bianca is highly passionate about community care across a range of program areas and is seeking to develop her skills further from a governance and strategic perspective as a young leader of the future.

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Cettina Raccuia 

Cettina is a board member for a startup not for profit organisation, CLiCK, who endeavours to improve accessibility to technology for those in need. She also volunteered as an adviser to the Board for Emergen, an organisation that provides a collaborative community for young leaders. Cettina has also worked within the vocational education and health sectors, and continues to aspire to positively contribute to her community with the view of making this life a better one.

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Lisa Rynne 

Lisa has an extensive background in the mining and finance industry, having worked for Sentry Group Pty Ltd for many years. Out of a strong desire to work in an industry that fits her morals and ethics she moved to work in the aged care sector in 2011. During this time Lisa has learnt much from her current role at Brightwater Care Group and is continuously gaining more knowledge of the sector. Lisa strives to provide as much support and assistance as possible to the aged care industry and has also for the past five years been heavily involved with the Make a Wish foundation and was acting treasurer for two of those years.

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Sankari Sivaramalingam

Sankari was born in India, raised in the Seychelles and has lived in Australia since 2002. She works as a fundraising and alumni database analyst and trainer at the University of Western Australia. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, a Master’s degree in Electronic Commerce and has completed programs in leadership development and training delivery. Sankari is an active OXFAM Australia volunteer and is currently the Co-Chair of the Oxfam WA State Committee.”

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Sean Thorpe 

Sean is a manager with Pricewaterhouse Coopers Private Clients group (“PwC”) and has been with PwC for 7 years. During this time he has worked with many not-for-profit aged care organisations at various stages in their life cycles, providing assurance and consulting services to management and various boards and committees. Through these interactions Sean has come to appreciate the dedication that the board, management and other employees bring to these organisations and it’s become something that he wants to contribute to and be part of.

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Emily Scarff 

Emily is a young leader who is passionate about equal opportunity and believes strongly in the influence that human connection has on enriching lives and increasing well-being. Since graduating as an Occupational Therapist from Curtin University in 2011 Emily has worked within the aged, community and disability sectors in a variety of roles including her position as Occupational Therapist with Brightwater Care Group and Local Area Coordinator with Disability Services Commission.

Emily is most proud of her role in developing the eFriends Project, a social enterprise initiative of Befriend Inc. Emily has been actively involved with eFriends since 2011, starting her journey with the project as an eFriends trainer, in 2012 Emily was offered a position as program manager and has been instrumental in developing eFriends into an exciting and innovative solution to social isolation in the Perth community.

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Victoria Van

Victoria is a graduate occupational therapist with an interest in strengthening and innovating the aged care sector. Prior to this she worked as a research assistant in NMAHS organising and promoting osteoporosis exercise classes and early detection for the aged population in conjunction with the Arthritis Association WA, Curtin University and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. She has also worked with Befriend Inc as an eFriends trainer promoting social inclusion and independence through the use of technology for general members of the community.

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Tim Smith

Tim is currently a Finance and Administration Officer at Braemar Presbyterian Care. In 2013 he made a conscious decision to leave the commercial industry to work in the not-for-profit sector, as he felt that he wanted to bring his skills and experience to make a real difference in the non-profit sector and to ultimately benefit the community as a whole.

Tim has always had the greater community in mind, and a passion to help others. He regularly volunteers in his local church and is always willing and keen to help others in need. In 1999 he immigrated with his whole family to live in Sri Lanka for 5 years to undertake community work. Tim has extensive experience working as an accountant in the mining equipment, retail, farming and hospitality industries over the past 5 years. He obtained a Bachelor of Commerce in Professional Accounting in 2008, and is currently studying a Masters of Commerce. He hopes to use all of his skills, experience and a passion to make a difference to become a very effective board member of a non-profit organization.

Emerging Leaders in Governance Program – Women only cohort (August – November 2021)

In 2021, we are hosting a second Emerging Leaders in Governance Program (ELGP) cohort with support from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Office for Women and our Community Partners. 

We are opening applications specifically for young women (40 years and under) from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young women to participate.  Young women from CaLD and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds with disabilities are also strongly encouraged to apply.  

Click to read the program prospectus here.

The Program runs from August to November. It is delivered by experienced leadership development trainer, Alicia Curtis, with Dr. Nicky Howe CEO of Southcare Inc. Read about them here. Places on the program are sponsored by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Office for Women and our Community Partners

Commitment to attending all components of the program is vital. The time commitment is approximately 100 hours including workshops, site visits, a weekend retreat, pre-reading and leadership challenges including a group project.  Read here about what previous graduates had to say about the ELGP.

Applications open on the 16 June 2021 and an information evening (DATE – 15 June 2021) is held to provide those interested with an opportunity to find out more about the program and the responsibilities and opportunities for participants.  If you can’t make the information evening, please read the program prospectus carefully and direct any questions to Alicia Curtis at alicia@alyceum.com.au.

Applications are available here and close on 4 July.

Emerging Leaders in Governance Program (ELGP)

The Emerging Leaders in Governance Program (ELGP) develops young professionals (under 40 years of age) for Board leadership in the aged care and community sector. The Program uses action and experiential learning methods and a range of tools and media aimed at developing your leadership and governance skills for a Board position within the aged care and community sector. The Program focuses on the following:

  • You as a Leader – On a dedicated (weekend) Leadership Retreat and through learning activities throughout the Program, you will be assisted to identify and evaluate your personal leadership style and strengths, your leadership goals and aspirations and opportunities to develop these.
  • Board Governance – During the Program you will learn about the role of Boards, the roles and responsibilities of Directors; as well as Board dynamics, etiquette and processes, including Board papers; – at learning sessions, a Board Observation opportunity for each participant and at Unconventions and other events.
  • Aged Care and Community Sector Knowledge – The Program includes site visits to aged care and community organisations and formal and informal presentations and conversations at Unconventions, one-to-one mentoring sessions (one for each participant) and networking opportunities, for you to gain exposure to Community leaders and current themes within the sector
  • You in a Team – You will be required to complete a group project with 3 or 4 other participants. The project has genuine business value for the sector and will be added to the online Resource Toolkit on the website here. See resources entitled “ELGP Project” for previous projects produced by our Alumni.
  • Community Support for Your Leadership Journey – Throughout the Program you are supported by the aged care and community sector. Community Leaders (from Community Partner and other organisations), share their insights and are mentors and speakers at events and learning sessions. They may offer Board traineeships or Board positions near graduation time. You also have free access to Unconventions as an ELGP participant and alumni.

You can read the 2022 Program Prospectus here!

** Application forms for the 2022 program are available from 2 November and will close on 29 November 2021.

The application link will be available here on the 2 November 2021.

The Program runs from late January to May each year. It is delivered by experienced leadership development trainer, Alicia Curtis, with Dr. Nicky Howe CEO of Southcare Inc. Read about them here. Places on the program are sponsored by Community Partners. Successful applicants are required to make a small financial contribution of $500 to demonstrate commitment to the Program. We also encourage applicants to discuss their application with their employee to determine the financial support available to you to contribute to the program cost.  Read here about what previous graduates had to say about the ELGP.

Applications open in November of the year before and an information evening (DATE – 1 November 2021) is held in the same month to provide those interested with an opportunity to find out more about the program and the responsibilities and opportunities for participants. Subscribe with your email (right column) to be notified when enrollments open or contact us us below for other enquiries.


Who Should Apply

Each year up to 20 talented individuals of diverse age, professions, industries, occupations and experience are accepted into the Emerging Leaders in Governance Program (ELGP) Entry to the Program is competitive. The following qualities will enhance your application:

  • A desire to be a Board member of an Aged Care or Community Organisation. The ELGP is sponsored by aged care and community organisations who are committed to developing young leaders to succeed on Boards. Whilst this Program does not offer you a Board position, it is anticipated that you are similarly keen to give back to the aged care and community sector at a Board level.
  • A Business, Professional, Community and/or Entrepreneurial Skill, Interest or Value that you could contribute in a voluntary capacity on a Board of Governance.
  • Leadership and Community Experience – You may already be a thought or action leader in a specified community (eg youth, rights, ethnic) and/or you may volunteer or participate in community events, for a community organisation, for a particular cause or on a committee.

Read the profiles here of some of candidates who have been selected for the Program in previous years.

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Commitment to the entire 4 month Program is vital, therefore if you apply and are chosen, you are agreeing to attend the whole Program (Dates will be provided at application time). The commitment of this Program is not to be taken lightly. There are Wednesday sessions (either breakfast or evening sessions) every week, 2 Saturday sessions, team project work and a weekend retreat (Friday night to Sunday afternoon). All sessions are held outside of normal working hours. All sessions are compulsory as part of the Program.

Networking and Connectivity

A distinguishing feature of the Emerging Leaders in Governance Program (ELGP) is to connect emerging leaders with each other and with senior community leaders so that you can establish continuing support, connectivity and opportunities to succeed in your leadership and governance journey.

As a participant of the ELGP you will have the opportunity to connect with peers in your graduate group and the Alumni Network.

You will also be able to expand your networks in the aged care sector and community sector at learning sessions, Board observations, Unconventions and other such events with networking opportunities.

Over 41 Community Partner organisations provide speakers, leadership mentors and Board observations for the ELGP in areas such as aged care, health, drug and alcohol, LGBTI rights, advocacy, community services, community housing and disability. You will have opportunities to engage with senior leaders from some of these organisations to exchange ideas, gain insights and establish contacts. Many participants, especially those who are not from the aged care or community sector find these networking opportunities invaluable.

Board Opportunities

The Emerging Leaders Governance Program gives you individual training, current insights and access to aged care and community contacts to enhance your leadership and governance aspirations. The Program does not offer Board positions.

Periodically some of our Community Partners offer Board Traineeships at graduation time. In 2015, Southcare Inc, Starick Inc, Swancare, Melville Cares and CommunityWest made Board traineeships available to ELP graduates. After completing traineeships, many graduates have gone on to accept full board positions.

After graduation, some participants have also been “headhunted” by aged care and community Boards for full or temporary Board positions.

Board Positions


Accountant – CPA 

Palmerston Association Inc is a leading and respected specialist not for profit provider of alcohol and other drug services in Western Australia. Operating for almost 40 years, Palmerston supports individuals, families and communities affected by alcohol and other drug issues through a range of services including counselling, group and family support, residential rehabilitation and educational initiatives in the community. We are located in Perth metropolitan, Peel, the South West and Great Southern regions of Western Australia.

The Corporate office is located in Subiaco.

Role Description:
Palmerston is seeking expressions of interest from a certified practising accountant to lend their skills and experience to contribute to the effective governance and financial oversight of the organisation. As a Board member, you will be a Member of the Finance Committee with a view to nominating for the Treasurer once familiar with the business of the organisation.

The primary responsibility of the Board is to guide and monitor the business and affairs of the organisation, including compliance with the organisation’s corporate governance objectives and setting the strategic directions of the organisation.

The Board Members of Palmerston Association will have empathy with the purpose and values of the organisation. They will have the abilities and skills which will be of use in the leadership of the Association and its ongoing growth and development.

Board meetings are held at the Subiaco office on the last Tuesday of each month from 5.15pm – 7.15pm (approx.). Finance Committee meetings are generally held every two months or as needed.

Membership of the Board is of a voluntary capacity.

How to Apply:
Please contact the CEO, Emma Jarvis for initial discussions. T: 6389 6600 or E: ejarvis@palmerston.org.au


My Care My Choice

Board Director

This is a social enterprise supporting aged care, disability and mental health services. New and growing business.

(You may want to chat with the GM about membership too, it starts at around $500 pa and has a good reach for new customers)

They are seeking a new Board Director to become Chairperson.

For more information please download the advertisement.


Anglicare WA

Non Executive Director

Our Vision:
We believe in a just and fair Western Australia where everyone can thrive.

The Role:

Board Members will be expected to have knowledge and expertise in a number (but not all) of the following areas:

Values: Ability to support the Vision, Purpose and Values of Anglicare WA, including its relationship with the Anglican Church.

Governance: Understanding and experience of Governance in general, specifically within the charitable sector.

Sector Knowledge: Understanding of / background in social and community services.

Management: Understanding of contemporary management, preferably as a CEO.

Strategic Thinking: Strategy & Corporate Planning capability and thinking, including Board reporting mechanisms.

Financial: Business Development / Financial Management Experience.

Fundraising: Marketing and Fundraising experience.

Innovation & Technology: Understanding and experience in innovation & technology, including enterprise wide systems and implementations, new technology solutions and innovation practices.

People & Culture: Understanding and experience in strategic people challenges including culture, talent, capability, diversity & inclusion and safety.

The Board of Anglicare WA promotes a working environment that values diversity and inclusion and we strongly encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people from culturally diverse backgrounds, people who identify as LGBTI and people with a disability. If you have any support or access requirements, we encourage you to advise us at time of application.

How to apply:

To apply, please provide your CV along with an expression of interest outlining your experience in the context of the board competencies to:
Karen Aiesi
Executive Assistant to the CEO

Board Traineeships

None at this time.


Al Louise F 1 - small“Since completing the inaugural Emerging Leaders Governance Program in 2013, I have completed a Board Director Traineeship with SwanCare Group, been appointed to the Board of MercyCare and graduated from the Australian Institute of Company Directors course in 2014.

MercyCare’s Board had a number of important projects, including a major strategic planning process, ceasing delivery of acute care services and reviewing their constitution. I also used my internal auditing skills as a member of the Board’s Risk and Audit Committee.

In 2015, I was appointed to the Palmerston Association Board. All of these incredible experiences have enabled me to develop and continue my governance journey to benefit the community sector in WA.”

Louise Forster, Experienced Business Leader,
2016 BHP Billiton Scholar and Palmerston Board Director

Board Success

In Januray 2021, 116 Board positions have been attained by ELGP graduates; and 39 Board Traineeships in aged care, health, mental health, disability, drug and alcohol, education, training and peak body groups.

Read about Ashley and Matthew’s governance journey below.



“Graduating from the inaugural Emerging Leaders in Governance Program has opened more doors for me than I thought possible. Since the completion of the program I have been fortunate enough to be appointed to two NFP boards, including my appointment to the Southcare Board as Board Secretary. The knowledge, skills and connections I made through the Program have presented opportunities that would ordinarily not be available to a young person wanting to gain Board experience, and the mentorship shown by the entire Southcare Board and leadership team has been truly invaluable”

Ashley Dawson
CPA Senior Manager and Southcare Board Director

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“Following the Emerging Leaders in Governance Program, I was fortunate to gain a year-long traineeship as a director on the Board of the SwanCare Group. At this time. I have had two board meetings and one sub-committee meeting so far and am loving every minute of it. I would strongly recommend the Program to any young professional looking to gain/learn more about directorship positions in the community sector as well as those with an interest in leadership and connecting with other like-minded, young professionals”

Matthew Horgan, Engineer

Alumni Network

The Alumni Network is a growing group of graduates of the Emerging Leaders Governance Program. The Network is a facility for graduates to stay in touch with each other and maintain links with Community Partners, events and other developments of the Engaging Young Leaders on Aged Care and Community Boards Program.

The Alumni Network has been supported by an Alumni Committee in the past, who have arranged a number of events with leaders such as George Jones, Retired Sundance Chairman and former State Attorney General, Cheryl Edwardes. More social, networking and leadership development events are planned for the future.

Most Alumni Network events are also open to other young leaders in the community who are interested in leadership and Board governance. If you would like to know more about these events, please register as a member on this website to get our news direct to your inbox.

Alumni and Participants

Our Alumni and current ELGP participants are a vibrant group of young professionals who are currently contributing on Boards of Governance and/or in the communities in which they work and live.

As well as their diverse business, professional and entrepreneurial interests, the graduates of our Program have all demonstrated a remarkable commitment and drive to make a positive impact in the aged care and community sector at a leadership level. We invite you to read the professional profiles in the following pages of the 2021 Spring, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 20172016, 2015, 2014 and 2013 participants and alumni.

The Alumni Open Reference meetings and events are an avenue for graduates to stay in touch with each other and maintain links with Community Partners, events and other developments of the Engaging Young Leaders on Aged Care and Community Boards Program.

Alumni events have included leaders such as George Jones, Retired Sundance Chairman and former State Attorney General, Cheryl Edwardes. More social, networking and leadership development events are planned for the future.

Most Alumni Network events are also open to other young leaders in the community who are interested in leadership and Board governance. If you would like to know more about these events, please register as a member on this website to get our news direct to your inbox.

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