Born to lead? Scholarships for non-profits

The Benevolent Society is offering $16,500 scholarships to a lucky leader in the NSW not-for-profit health and ageing sector, to join a year-long leadership course.

Above: Sydney Leadership 2009 alumni, Simon Sheikh, now the executive director of grass-roots lobby group, Get Up!

By Stephen Easton

The Benevolent Society’s non-profit leadership training centre, Social Leadership Australia, will award a full scholarship for a prestigious year-long leadership training course, Sydney Leadership 2012, to a passionate visionary from the NSW not-for-profit health services sector.

The $16,500 scholarship, funded by Johnson & Johnson Medical, will allow an established leader, or a rising star, from a non-profit health or ageing organisation to participate in the prestigious year-long program, together with participants from the government and corporate sectors.

The leadership training provider is encouraging leaders from organisations that provide vital health services to apply, including “practitioners, advocates, administrators and service providers”.

Social Leadership Australia’s development manager, Kyrstie Dunn, said previous alumni from the non-profit health services sector had included a GP working in an aboriginal health service and a senior executive from the Spinal Injuries Association.

“Its really targeting those people holding strategic decision making positions in organisations,” Ms Dunn said. “It doesn’t have to be the CEO, but would most likely be someone who reports to the CEO, or someone heading up a particularly innovative project in that sector; someone with experience in an authority role.

“The program is designed to build the group’s leadership capabilities so they can have greater social impact in the work they’re doing, based on a leadership model called the adaptive leadership model, which comes out of the Harvard Business School.”

The Sydney Leadership 2012 program takes place at various locations around NSW throughout the year, which could include prisons, remote communities or public housing estates, and always includes a study tour to Canberra, the nation’s centre of political leadership.

“So if we went into a prison we might hear from the superintendent, the guards and the prisoners as well as NGOs who work with prisoners to help them back into the community, to help understand the leadership principles in that context,” Ms Dunn said.

One activity undertaken by the 2011 group was a trip to Tamworth, to learn about the impact of coal seam gas extraction, by listening to the perspectives of energy companies, Indigenous Elders and the regional development authority, as well as the local federal Member of Parliament, Tony Windsor.

“We’re trying to look at the issue from every different stakeholder’s perspective – what’s working and what’s not working – to get an understanding of how complex these issues are. We’re trying to understand there might be ten agendas in the room, and that to make progress on an issue, people have to work together.”

Johnson and Johnson Medical, Ms Dunn said, sponsored the scholarship because they are interested in working with leaders in the health sector who can help them have a greater social impact in their work.

“They’re interested in working in a collaborative way across the sector, with their counterparts in the not-for-profit sector, so they can have greater impact in the work they’re doing.”

Social Leadership Australia also offers a similar program north of the border called Queensland Leadership, as well as a range of other shorter intensive leadership courses and customised programs.

* To find out about the $16,500 scholarship, please call Kyrstie Dunn on 9339 9313 *

A free information session will be held on Tuesday, 11 October, from 6:30-8:30pm at:

The Benevolent Society, Level 1, 188 Oxford Street, Paddington

Tags: benevolent-society, executive, leadership, non-profit, not-for-profit, social-and-community-service,

3 thoughts on “Born to lead? Scholarships for non-profits

  1. Social Leadership Australia expects to be in a position to offer scholarships for participants from the not-for-profit sector in both its Sydney and Queensland Leadership programs in 2012-13. Sign up to our e-news at to be informed when applications are open or call us on 02 9339 8090 and we will add you to our mailing list.

  2. Social Leadership Australia expects to be able to offer scholarships in both in Queensland and Sydney Leadership programs in 2012-13. Sign up to our e-news at or call us on 02 9339 8090 or 07 3170 4618 and we’ll add you to our mailing list.

  3. dear sir,
    i want to know that is this scholarship available for engineering…???please reply

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