Overview the Future Leaders Scholarship
Do you have the drive to make a difference?
Whether your focus is Asia, new technology or social change we're offering postgraduate study for talented individuals at Australia's leading universities. Scholars will be exceptional people, chosen for their potential to make a difference to Australia's future in one of our three focus areas:
1. Technology and innovation
2. Strengthening Australia-Asia ties
3. Enabling positive social change
Valued at up to $120,000 over, typically, 2-3 years, scholarships will be awarded annually for research or coursework studies at graduate level.
Leadership development beyond the classroom
A key feature of the Future Leaders Scholarship is the Leadership Development Program, developed specifically for our Scholars.
You'll experience leadership development beyond the classroom. This nine-month program supports you to build on your strengths, develop targeted leadership capabilities, create career pathways and succeed in your field.
The Leadership Development program provides relevant experiences, exposure to global thought leaders and explores key topics related to our focus areas.
The Leadership Development Program was created in collaboration with recognised experts in leadership excellence, including several leading Australian universities.
Gain global experience
Leadership demands an ability to interrogate situations and circumstances from a variety of different perspectives. This scholarship gives you the chance to add a global context to your education, with tailored international experiences of up to six months.
Earning a Scholarship is just the beginning
Our Westpac Scholars Alumni program offers more than just membership of a network that will help your career. It's an incredible platform for surrounding yourself with a diverse group of other inspiring leaders.
Growing by 100 scholars a year across our five scholarship programs, this network will connect those with bold ideas to build a better future for all Australians.
“This scholarship has changed my life. Without a doubt, the Leadership Development Program has been the best experience. That week has made such a lasting impact on my drive, determination, and self-confidence.”
15 June 2017: Applications open
11 August 2017: Information webinar
5 September 2017: Applications close
12-13 December 2017: National Assessment Centre in Sydney
20 Dec 2017: Notification of outcome
18-23 February 2018: Leadership Development Program: Sydney Residential
11-12 April 2018: Westpac Scholars’ Summit
August 2018: Leadership Development Program: Canberra Residential
We're looking for Australia's best and brightest
Your ability matches your drive - giving you the potential to make a lasting difference to Australia's future. We want to help you realise this potential.
Who can apply?
Open to scholars who have:
- Who have demonstrated academic excellence and are eager to undertake a PhD or full time Masters at one of nine universities, in a field of world class standing.
- Passionate about strengthening Australia's ties with Asia, driving technology and innovation or enabling positive social change.
- With a bold vision to contribute to the growth and prosperity of Australia who can articulate this vision and how postgraduate study will help make it real.
- Possessing a desire and potential to lead.
- Keen to be inspired by others, build networks and collaborate across diverse disciplines.
- Confident in taking on challenges.
Scholars applicants must be:
- You are an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
- You have completed an undergraduate degree after 1 September 2012, OR will complete an undergraduate degree in the year of application.
- You have achieved or are on track to achieve an average result of H1 or H2A equivalent (approx. 75%).
- You have chosen to undertake a full-time Masters by coursework or research of a PhD at one of our nine participating universities with demonstrated world-class capability in the proposed area of study.
- You must commence study in the following year of the application (Jan - Dec).
- Your proposed program of study:
- Can be in any field and must be relevant to the Foundation's focus areas
- Include international opportunities, such as a period of study at an overseas university, an invited presentation at a conference significant to the discipline, or a period of internship or placement at an overseas organisation, which will develop your leadership skills and global networks
- Underpin a worthy and viable post-study plan that benefits Australia
- Funding requests for the purpose of medical research as defined in the ARC Medical Research Policy available on the Australian Research Council website will not be considered; MD programs or equivalent are also excluded.
Our Partner Universities
We have partnered with nine leading Australian universities to deliver the Future Leaders Scholarship. Scholarship recipients must undertake their postgraduate studies at one of the following nine universities, in a field of world-class standing:
- The University of Adelaide
- The Australian National University
- The University of Melbourne
- Monash University
- The University of Queensland
- The University of Sydney
- University of Tasmania
- University of New South Wales
- University of Western Australia
“Being a Westpac Scholar makes me incredibly humbled, proud and excited. Humbled by the fantastic and talented people around me, proud of the community I’m part of, and excited all of our future individual and collaborative contributions to the world.”
Future Leaders Selection Panel
The National Selection Panel comprises senior industry and academic leaders responsible for the final selection of Westpac Research Fellows and Future Leader Scholars. Through the rigorous selection process, the Panel is dedicated to recruiting Australia's best and brightest leaders, innovators and pioneers from all walks of life.
Professor Aidan Byrne (2016, 2017)
Provost and Senior Vice President, The University of Queensland
Professor Aidan Byrne was recently appointed Provost at the University of Queensland. He was previously the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Australian Research Council from 2012 to 2016. Prior to this, Professor Byrne was the the Dean of Science and the Director of the Australian National University (ANU) College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, He has a wealth of industry knowledge and expertise particularly in the Physical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering.
Professor Byrne completed a BSc and MSc degrees at the University of Auckland before commencing a PhD degree at the ANU in 1981. Following the completion of his degree at the Department of Nuclear Physics he held positions with the University of Melbourne and spent over two years in Bonn, Germany as a von Humboldt fellow. He returned to the ANU in 1989 as a Research Fellow and in 1991 commenced a joint appointment between the Department of Physics, in the Faculty of Science and the Department of Nuclear Physics, Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering. He was Head of the Department of Physics from 2003 to 2007. His research interests involve the use of gamma-rays as probes to determine the structure of heavy nuclei and the examination of the atomic level structure of materials (especially semiconductors). He has published over 200 papers.
Philip Coffey (2015, 2016, 2017)
Chairman, Westpac Bicentennial Foundation
Philip was appointed as the inaugural Chairman of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation in April 2014. He is currently an independent non-executive director of Lendlease (appointed January 2017). He recently retired from the role of Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Westpac Group which he held since April 2014 with responsibility for overseeing Westpac’s contribution and response to the Federal Government’s Financial System Inquiry and supporting relationships with key stakeholders including industry groups, regulators, customers and government.
Philip was responsible for the Group’s strategy and mergers and acquisitions function. Prior to this appointment, Philip held the role of Chief Financial Officer from December 2005. Before this, he was Group Executive, Westpac Institutional Bank, having been appointed to that position in 2002. Philip first joined Westpac in 1996 as Head of Foreign Exchange.
He has extensive experience in financial markets, funds management and finance. He began his career at the Reserve Bank of Australia before moving to Citicorp and AIDC Limited. He has also held roles in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Philip has an honours degree in Economics from the University of Adelaide and has completed the Executive Programme at Stanford University Business School.
Dr Nicholas Farrelly (2015, 2016, 2017)
Associate Dean, Development and Impact, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University
After graduating from the ANU in 2003 with First Class Honours and the University Medal, Nicholas completed his doctorate at Balliol College, University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He was then appointed Postdoctoral Fellow in the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security. From 2011-2013 he was the inaugural convenor of the ANU program in Peace, Conflict and War Studies. He has also held two Australian Research Council grants.
At the ANU, Nicholas is currently responsible for College of Asia and the Pacific engagement with a range of government, business and civil society organisations. He supervises six PhD students and a number of Masters and Honours projects. He is also the Director of the ANU Myanmar Research Centre.
Through his own research, Nicholas is known for his expertise on Southeast Asian politics and security. Back in 2006 he co-founded New Mandala, a prominent academic website which offers analysis of social and political issues in Thailand, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Over the past few years, he has focused on a major research project dealing with Myanmar’s political cultures, especially in the new capital of Naypyitaw. While pursuing this research, Nicholas has continued to write and lecture about Thailand, a country at the heart of some of his oldest academic interests. His most recent publication on the country is "Thailand’s triple threat” published by the Lowy Institute earlier this year.
Professor Sandra Harding (2015, 2017)
Vice Chancellor and President, James Cook University
Professor Sandra Harding is a director of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation. She took up her appointment as Vice Chancellor and President of James Cook University Australia in January 2007. In this role, she is responsible for ensuring clear and effective leadership and management of the University across all operating sites, including campuses in Townsville, Cairns and Singapore
Professor Harding is an economic sociologist with a keen scholarly interest in markets and how they work, and organisation survey methodology. She also has a keen professional interest in education policy and management.
Professor Harding has extensive academic and academic leadership experience. An economic sociologist by training, her areas of enduring academic interest include work, organisation and markets and how they work. She also has a keen interest in public policy in two areas: education policy and related areas; the global Tropics, northern Australia and economic development. In addition, she has undertaken a wide variety of senior university-aligned roles as well as memberships/directorships of a variety of local, national and international Boards and Councils.
In 2003, Professor Harding was recognised as North Carolina State University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences Distinguished Alumna for that year. In 2010, she received an Honorary Doctorate for services to education from Japan’s Josai International University and in 2012, she was recognized as an Honorary Fellow of the Australian College of Educators (ACE) and was named the ACE 2012 Queensland Medallist “… in recognition of her leadership of education in the tropics that has seen a new academic emphasis on life and the people of the tropics.
Professor Harding is an Honorary Fellow of the Australian College of Educators, Fellow of the Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management.
Dr Heather Smith (2016, 2017)
Secretary of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Australian Government
Dr Heather Smith was appointed Secretary of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science in September 2017. Previously, Heather was Secretary of the Department of Communications and the Arts (appointed January 2016), and prior to that held the position of Deputy Secretary in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet since May 2013. Heather was responsible for innovation policy and public data policy and recently headed the Prime Minister's Taskforce on Innovation. In October 2013 she was appointed by Prime Minister Abbott as Australia's G20 Sherpa, a role she held during Australia's Presidency. Prior to this Heather had responsibility in the Department for economic, industry, infrastructure, environment and strategic policy matters in her role as Deputy Secretary Economic and Strategy. From August 2010 to May 2013, Heather was Deputy Secretary in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with responsibility for the Americas and Africa, North Asia, international security issues, G20 and the international economy, and information technology issues. She also served as an advisory member of then Prime Minister Gillard's Australia in the Asian Century White Paper.
Between February 2005 and August 2010, Heather was Deputy Director-General, Office of National Assessments (Australia's peak intelligence assessment agency) with responsibility, at various times, for North Asia, South Asia, the Pacific, transnational issues, international economic issues, corporate issues, and foreign intelligence coordination.
Between 2003-2005, Heather held positions at the Australian Treasury as General Manager, G20 and APEC Secretariat and General Manager, International Economy Division. From 2000-2003, she was Assistant Director-General, International Economy Branch, Office of National Assessment. Before joining the public service Heather was an academic working on North Asia at the Australian National University, holding various position from 1994-2000. She also worked at the Reserve Bank of Australia from 1988-1990. Heather holds a Bachelor of Economics (First Class Honours) from the University of Queensland and a Masters and PhD in Economics from the Australian National University. She has been a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. In 2012, Heather completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School.
Jon Nicholson (2016, 2017)
Director, Westpac Bicentennial Foundation
Jon has had a long career in banking and finance. He was most recently a senior executive in Westpac for eight years and a senior partner in Boston Consulting Group, responsible for financial services across Asia. As well as serving on the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation, Jon also chairs the Westpac Foundation board. Jon has a deep commitment to the social sector and to creating greater opportunities for the less privileged and more marginalised members of the Australian community. Jon is a director of the Cape York Partnership and of Quintessence Laboratories and remains an advisor to Boston Consulting Group.
Professor Tanya Monro (2017)
Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation, University of South Australia
Professor Tanya Monro took up the role of Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and Innovation in November 2014.
The ARC Georgina Sweet Laureate Fellow at the University of South Australia, Prof Monro was the inaugural Director of the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing (IPAS) from 2008 to 2014 and was also the inaugural Director for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics (CNBP) at the University of Adelaide. Her research is in the field of photonics, with a focus on sensing, lasers and new classes of optical fibres.
Professor Monro obtained her PhD in physics in 1998 from The University of Sydney, for which she was awarded the Bragg Gold Medal. In 2000, she received a Royal Society University Research Fellowship at the Optoelectronics Research Centre at the University of Southampton.
Prof Monro is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS) the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), the Optical Society of America (OSA) and the Australian Institute of Physics. She is a member of the Prime Minister’s Commonwealth Science Council (CSC), and a Board Member of the Commonwealth Science and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the South Australian Defence Advisory Board, and the South Australian Economic Development Board.
Tanya’s awards include: Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research, the Bragg Gold Medal (best Physics PhD in Australia), South Australia’s “Australian of the Year”, Scopus Young Researcher of the Year, South Australian Scientist of the Year, and the Prime Minister’s Malcolm McIntosh Prize for Physical Scientist of the Year.
Deena Shiff (2017)
Chairman BAI Communications
Deena is the Chairman of global wireless infrastructure company, BAI Communications. Deena is also a non executive director on the board of Appen (ASX:APX) and the Citadel Group (ASX: CGL); a director on the board of Infrastructure Australia; the Chairman of a Co-operative Research Centre into sleep health; the Chairman of the Sydney Writers’ Festival and on the board of Opera Australia. For nearly 25 years prior to becoming a full time non executive director in 2013, Deena was a senior executive in the telecommunications industry. At Telstra, Deena ran Regulatory Affairs, and then as Group Managing Director, managed the Wholesale Division, then the Business Division and was the founding CEO of Telstra’s corporate venture capital arm, Telstra Ventures. This executive career was punctuated by a period in the 1990s when she was a partner at law firm Mallesons Stephen Jacques.
Previous board directorships include: Australia’s export credit agency, EFIC; the rail operator, Freightcorp; Telstra Clear NZ, and a number of venture capital backed technology companies. In 2015 -16, Deena chaired the Australian Government’s Regional Telecommunications Independent Review Committee. She has also served on the NSW Government Digital Economy Task Force and works pro bono for Indigenous Business Australia, advising on infrastructure investment in remote Australia.
Deena has a B.Sc (Econ)Hons from the London School of Economics and a B.A.(Law)Hons from the University of Cambridge. She was admitted to the English Bar before returning to Australia to practise law and work for the Australian Government in Canberra. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Professor Judy Raper (2017)
Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation – University of Wollongong
Professor Judy Raper joined the University of Wollongong in 2008 with extensive management and research administration experience in other Australian and American universities. She has served on the ARC Engineering and Earth Sciences Professor Judy Raper joined the University of Wollongong in 2008 with extensive management and research administration experience in other Australian and American universities. She has served on the ARC Engineering and Earth Sciences Panel at the University of New South Wales, and was Division Director for Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems at the National Science Foundation in Washington, DC.
Professor Raper is a chemical engineer of 40 years standing with expertise in air and water pollution control, particle technology, research and education.
Professor Raper followed her undergraduate and PhD degrees from the University of New South Wales with postdoctoral research at the University of Cambridge in the UK, working at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment at Harwell. She taught at both the University of Newcastle and the University of New South Wales before joining the University of Sydney as Dean of Engineering where she revolutionised the undergraduate engineering programs.
Recognition of Judy's achievements includes the Shedden Pacific Award for the Young Chemical Engineer of the Year (1992), the EA Professional Engineer of the Year (1997) and the Avon Spirit of Achievement Award for Science (1998). She was elected as a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technology and as an Honorary Fellow of Engineers Australia in 2003. In 2013, Professor Raper was listed as one of Australia's most influential women, and as one of Australia's most influential engineers for three consecutive years (2013-2015). In 2017, she won the Chemeca Medal for distinguished service to the practice of Chemical Engineering.
Professor Ian Smith (2017)
Vice-Provost (Research & Research Infrastructure), Monash University
Ian is Vice-Provost (Research & Research Infrastructure) at Monash University, playing a University-wide leadership role.
Previously at Monash University, Professor Smith was a National Health and Medical Research Council-funded Professorial Fellow in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and Deputy Dean (Research) for the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences.
Ian is an accomplished medical researcher and is recognized as a leader in his field. This research has resulted in over 250 publications and many patents. Ian receives regular invitations to speak at international meetings, many as a plenary speaker. His research has had a direct impact on human health and has led to changes in clinical practice.
Ian was a co-founder of a proteomics-based, publicly listed, biotechnology company and he continues to collaborate and consult widely with the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Ian serves on six international editorial boards and over the years he has held office-bearing positions in a number of national and international societies and has had an active involvement in the organisation of numerous national and international scientific meetings. Finally, he has held and continues to hold, a variety of national and international senior government and non- government advisory board/committee memberships.
Applications are now closed for 2018 Westpac Future Leaders Scholarships.
Applications will reopen for 2019 Scholarships in June 2018.
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