Future Leaders Scholarship

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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.”

Key dates


15 June 2017: Applications open

5 September 2017: Applications close

12-13 December 2017: National Assessment Centre in Sydney

20 Dec 2017: Notification of outcome


19-23 February 2018: Leadership Development Program: Sydney Residential

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. Scholarships are open to those:

  • 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.


  • 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.

 More Questions? Go to our FAQs.

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

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

Professor Aidan Byrne (2016)

Provost and Senior Vice President, The University of Queensland

Philip Coffey (2015, 2016)

Deputy CEO, Westpac Banking Corporation

Professor Suzanne Cory (2015, 2016)

Laboratory Head, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute

Professor Andy Dong (2015)

Warren Centre Chair for Engineering Innovation, Faculty of Engineering and IT, University of Sydney

Dr Nicholas Farrelly

Deputy Director, Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, Australian National University

Professor Sandra Harding (2015)

Vice Chancellor and President, James Cook University

Professor G.Q. Max Lu (2015)

Provost and Senior Vice President, The University of Queensland

Helen Lynch AM (2015, 2016)

Director, Westpac Bicentennial Foundation

Professor Tessa Morris Suzuki (2015, 2016)

Professor of Japanese History, School of Culture, History and Language, Australian National University

Professor John Shine AO (2015, 2016)

Professor of Medicine and Professor of Molecular Biology, University of NSW, and Chairman, CSL Limited

David Thodey AO (2015, 2016)

Chairman, CSIRO and Chair of Jobs NSW

Dr Angie Kings-Lynne (2016)

Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship Program Ambassador

Dr Heather Smith (2016)

Secretary of the Department of Communications and the Arts, Australian Government

Jon Nicholson (2016)

Director, Westpac Bicentennial Foundation

Professor Edwina Cornish (2016)

Provost and Senior Vice-President, Monash University

Enquire now

Applications for the 2017 Westpac Future Leaders Scholarships will open 15 June 2017.

In the meantime, you can contact us at westpacscholars@westpac.com.au.

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