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, 3.30pm AEST: 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 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.
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 Larissa Behrendt (2016)
Professor of Indigenous Research and Director of Research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology – Academic category
Prof. Larissa Behrendt is a Eualeyai/Kamillaroi woman. She is the Professor of Law and Director of Research at the Jumbunna Indigenous House of Learning at the University of Technology, Sydney. She is admitted to the Supreme Court of the ACT and NSW as a barrister.
Larissa is a Land Commissioner at the Land and Environment Court and the Alternate Chair of the Serious Offenders Review Board, a member of the Academy of Social Sciences of Australia and a founding member of the Australian Academy of Law. She is the Chair of the Humanities and Creative Arts panel of the Australian Research Council College of Experts.
She is the author of several books on Indigenous legal issues. She won the 2002 David Uniapon Award and a 2005 Commonwealth Writers Prize for her novel Home. Her latest novel, Legacy, is due for release in October this year. Larissa is a Board Member of the Museum of Contemporary Art, a Board Member of Tranby Aboriginal College and a Director of the Bangarra Dance Theatre. She was named as 2009 NAIDOC Person of the Year.
Professor Aidan Byrne (2016)
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)
Deputy CEO, Westpac Banking Corporation
Philip was appointed as the inaugural Chairman of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation in April 2014. He has also held the role of Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Westpac Group 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 is 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.
Professor Suzanne Cory (2015, 2016)
Laboratory Head, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute
Professor Suzanne Cory is one of Australia's most distinguished molecular biologists. She was Director of The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and Professor of Medical Biology of The University of Melbourne from 1996 to 2009. She is currently a Research Professor in the Molecular Genetics of Cancer Division at The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute and a Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow of The University of Melbourne.
Suzanne Cory was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 1986, a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1992, a Foreign Member of the US National Academy of Sciences of the US in 1997, a Foreign Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2001, an Associate Foreign Member of the French Academy of Sciences in 2002 and an Academician of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in 2004 and an Associate Member of the European Molecular Biology Organization in 2007. In 2013 she was honoured through election as an Honorary Member of The Japan Academy and election as a Fellow of the Inaugural Class of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Academy. Her scientific achievements have attracted numerous honours and awards, including the Burnet Medal of the Australian Academy of Science in 1997, the Australia Prize (joint recipient) in 1998, the Charles S. Mott Prize (joint recipient) of the General Motors Cancer Research Foundation in 1998, a L'Oréal-UNESCO Women in Science Award in 2001, the Royal Medal of The Royal Society in 2002 and the Pearl Meister Greengard Prize in 2009. In 1999 she was appointed Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia and in 2009 she was awarded the French decoration of Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur.
In 2010 Suzanne Cory became President of the Australian Academy of Science – the first woman to be elected to the position that she held for four years to 2014. In July 2011 Suzanne Cory was awarded the 2011 Colin Thomson Medal for her contributions to cancer research. In August 2012 Suzanne Cory was awarded the Eureka Prize for Leadership in Science. Suzanne is currently a member of the ANU Council and is well recognised for work in both the university and industry sectors.
Dr Nicholas Farrelly
Deputy Director, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Australian National University
Nicholas is the Ambassador for the Westpac Research Fellowship program.
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 convenes the elite undergraduate PhB program in Asia-Pacific Studies and is an active mentor to students passionate about studying this region. He currently supervises seven PhD students and a number of Masters and Honours projects. At the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Nicholas is the Deputy Director responsible for impact and engagement. 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 focussed on a major research project dealing with Myanmar’s new political cultures. He also writes a weekly newspaper column for The Myanmar Times.
Helen Lynch AM (2015, 2016)
Director, Westpac Bicentennial Foundation
Helen is one of the founding directors of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation, and has been involved with Westpac for almost all of her career since 1959, when she joined the staff of the Bank of New South Wales at Charleville Branch. Over this time her roles have included senior executive, Non-Executive-Director, Chairman of the Westpac Foundation and Chairman of the Westpac Staff Superannuation Fund.
In addition to Westpac Banking Corporation, Helen has served as a Non-Executive Director of the following public listed companies; Coles Myer Limited, OPSM Group (Chairman), Pacific Brands Limited (Deputy Chairman) and Southcorp Limited.
She has always been committed to the community, and has served as a director of a number of arts, charitable and government organisations.
Helen is a former Chairman of each of The Sydney Symphony Orchestra and Funds SA, as well as being a founding member and former President of Chief Executive Women.
Her other current pro bono activities include Council of Sydney Symphony Orchestra and the Advisory Board of Playwriting Australia.
In 1994, Helen was awarded as a Member of The Order of Australia for services to the banking and finance industry. In 2003 she was awarded The Centenary Medal for her contribution to business leadership and to the community, and in 2005 Griffith University conferred an honorary Doctorate, D. Uni (Griffith).
Professor Tessa Morris Suzuki (2015, 2016)
Professor of Japanese History, School of Culture, History and Language, Australian National University
Professor Morris-Suzuki is a historian of modern Japan and Korea. She is Distinguished Professor and Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow in the School of Culture, History and Language, College of Asia and the Pacific, ANU. She is also a coordinator of an open access journal AsiaRights, and has served as president of the Asian Studies Association of Australia. She was the winner of the Academic Prize of the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prize in 2013.
Tessa was awarded her PhD in Economic History, focusing on Japan’s relations with Indonesia, from the University of Bath, United Kingdom in 1980. She lectured at The University of New England before taking up an appointment at The Australian National University in 1992.
Tessa is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and has been the International Secretary of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and President of the Asian Studies Association of Australia.
Her research has incorporated issues of citizenship, human rights, frontiers and historical memory and helped to transform understandings of the modern social history of Japan and the Northeast Asian region.
Professor John Shine AC (2015, 2016)
Professor of Medicine and Professor of Molecular Biology, University of NSW, and Chairman, CSL Limited
Professor Shine was appointed to the CSL Board in June 2006 and became Chairman in October 2011. He is Professor of Molecular Biology and Professor of Medicine at the University of NSW, and a Director of many scientific research and medical bodies throughout Australia. Professor Shine was formerly President of the Museum of Applied Arts and Science (Powerhouse Museum and Sydney Observatory) and also Executive Director of the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. He was also formerly Chairman of the National Health and Medical Research Council and a Member of the Prime Minister’s Science, Engineering and Innovation Council. In November 2010, he was awarded the 2010 Prime Minister’s Prize for Science.
David Thodey AO (2015, 2016)
Chairman, CSIRO and Chair of Jobs NSW
David is Chairman of CSIRO; a five year term, commencing October 2015. He is also Chair of Jobs NSW, tasked with creating another 150,000 jobs in NSW over the next 4 years. Previously, David was Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Executive Director of Telstra from May 2009 to April 2015.
David joined Telstra in April 2001 as Group Managing Director of Telstra Mobiles and in 2002 was appointed Group Managing Director Telstra Enterprise and Government. In this role, he was responsible for the company's corporate, government and large business customers in Australia and internationally. Before joining Telstra, David’s 22 year career at IBM comprised a number of senior marketing and sales positions including Chief Executive Officer of IBM Australia/New Zealand.
He is an experienced board chairman and director. In January 2013, David joined the Board of the GSM Association, the global body of carriers and related companies that supports the standardisation and deployment of mobile technology around the world. Former board memberships include co-chair of the Infrastructure and Investment Taskforce of the B20 leadership group, and Chairman of IBM ANZ, TelstraClear, Information Technology (IT) Skills Hub, Industry Groups and Basketball Australia.
David has extensive information and communications technology (ICT), digital business and data services experience. ICT and digital services are relevant to enabling all the Industry Growth Centres. David’s over 20 years’ experience working in Asia is pertinent to both CSIRO and the Industry Growth Centres.
David holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and English from Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand. He attended the Kellogg School of Management postgraduate General Management Program at Northwestern University in Chicago, USA. He has taken part in a number of Harvard Education programs and IBM Executive Education program.
Dr Angie Kings-Lynne (2016)
Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship Program Ambassador
Angie undertook her PhD in the field of artificial vision systems, then moved onto developing robotics to improve safety and efficiency in mining. This work has led to the development of the engineering control system, “Rocklogic” - which has been deployed in mining, and has won numerous innovation awards.
Angie is a passionate advocate for science. Angie graduated from University of Western Australia (UWA) in 2001, with a double degree in Science and Engineering. During her undergraduate years, she was awarded a number of prizes and scholarships including:
- Clough Scholarship;
- Outstanding Woman of the Year in a Non-Traditional Area for Higher Education;
- Institute of Engineers Australia Engineering Heroes Award; and
- Robert Holmes à Court Flying Scholarship.
Following graduation, Angie completed her PhD doctorate at UWA, and enjoyed extended stints at both Oxford and the Australian National University (ANU).
Angie spent a few years working in genetic epidemiology (disease origin and spread), before returning to the field of robotics. She led a team to develop rock breaking mining robots - robots as large as 16m in length. These robots make mining safer and have won numerous technology and innovation awards. She headed up the technological development of the robots as well as the marketing, sales and business development. Throughout her career, Angie has been passionate about science communication. She is a ScienceNetwork WA Ambassador for Science, and was a theatre presenter at Scitech, where she performed the "High Voltage" show every Sunday morning for four years. Angie has two young daughters and now consults to Transmin – continuing to provide strategic vision and supporting the implementation of the systems required to scale Rocklogic internationally.
Dr Heather Smith (2016)
Secretary of the Department of Communications and the Arts, Australian Government
Dr Heather Smith was appointed Secretary of the Department of Communications and the Arts in January 2016. She previously 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)
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 Edwina Cornish (2016)
Provost and Senior Vice-President, Monash University
Professor Edwina Cornish is inaugural Provost at Monash University. As the chief academic officer the Provost and Senior Vice-President is responsible for:
- setting the University's academic strategy and priorities with a view to improving education, research and the financial performance of the University;
- oversight of faculties, academic related portfolios and University-wide centres and institutes;
- leading academic staffing strategies, including recruitment, probation, performance management, promotion, reward and recognition; and
- fostering interdisciplinary areas of excellence and collaboration.
Professor Cornish was appointed to the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) at Monash University in February 2004. In August 2009 she also appointed Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor. In 2012 she was appointed to the role of Provost and Senior Vice-President of the University. Professor Cornish has a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry and a PhD in Microbiology from the University of Melbourne. She played a key role in building one of Australia's first biotechnology companies, Florigene Limited. Under her leadership, the company established global research and development and marketing operations and successfully commercialised the world's first genetically modified flowers. Professor Cornish is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering.
We will be awarding 17 Westpac Future Leaders Scholarships in 2017.
Applications are open 15 June to 5 September 2017.
Click here to apply.
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