Image – Kaplan Business School MBA 2023 recipients; L to R, Samantha Payne, Craig Petty, Jess McGrath, Louise Beames and Nicki Dyson.

Scholarship recipient announcement

This year the Australian Scholarships Foundation and Kaplan Business School are delighted to award five 100% scholarships to not-for-profit leaders following a strong cohort of applicants. The Kaplan Business School MBA 2023 recipients include Louise Beames, Environs Kimberley; Nicki Dyson working at Interchange WA ; Jess McGrath from Exodus Foundation; Samantha Payne from The Pink Elephants Support Network; and Craig Petty who works with Compassion Australia.

The Kaplan Business School MBA studies will equip these for-purpose leaders with valuable, practical skills to allow them to excel in their ever-changing environments to become more effective leaders.

The Pink Elephants Support Network provides the latest resources, information and peer support for anyone impacted by early pregnancy loss. “This scholarship will empower The Pink Elephants by gifting it a leader that has the business acumen and skills to take our growing organisation to the next level of sustainability and impact for our community of bereaved parents this means we’ll be one step closer to ensuring no one walks the journey of early pregnancy loss alone,” said The Pink Elephants Support Network, CEO and Co-Founder, Samantha Payne and recipient of 2023 Kaplan Business School MBA scholarship.

Samantha Payne
Recipient organisation The Pink Elephants Support Network

Scholarship winner, Louise Beames, Projects Director at Environs Kimberley (EK), is leading the development of social enterprises and cultivating local, accessible, and sustainable economies for Kimberley people. Since 2015 Louise has led the development of Nature Projects Australia (NPA), EK’s not-for-profit consultancy which assists First Nations groups to design, fund and implement projects that meet their healthy Country, cultural, environmental, and economic priorities. She shares that “the generosity of ASF in providing an MBA scholarship opens a world of further study that would ordinarily be inaccessible for a working mother and not-for-profit employee”.

Jess McGrath, Head of Programs with Rev. Bill Crews, The Exodus Foundation and Kaplan MBA recipient, is responsible for providing program management, technical expertise and administrative oversight to Exodus Foundation’s front-line staff and programs ranging from community development, welfare and education programs and medical clinics. Upon receiving the scholarship, Jess shares that “An MBA has been a professional development dream of mine for a while, so I’m indebted to the Australian Scholarship Foundation for this incredible opportunity. I’m eager for networking, learn with like-minded peers, and provide better-informed leadership for my Foundation and its community”.

Rev. Bill Crew, The Exodus Foundation
Jess McGrath

Having worked in the not-for-profit sector for more than two decades, Nicki Dyson has devoted her career to challenging inequity and making a difference in the lives of vulnerable people. From lobbying, campaigning, and operations management, Nicki has held a number of senior leadership positions for community-focused organisations achieving incredible results in areas such as Cancer Support, Alzheimers, Aged Care, Disability, and Mental Health.

Since 2018, Nicki has been Chief Operating Officer for InterchangeWA, a medium-sized not-for-profit delivering individualised community services to help people with disability live a good life. Nicki shares “I am incredibly grateful for being selected as a recipient of the MBA scholarship. This will provide me with the opportunity to gain new insight, broaden my horizon and enhance my leadership to impact social change. I hope also through this to inspire other merging female leaders to develop and grow”.

Scholarship recipient Craig Petty is a Team Manager with Compassion Australia and has over 20 years of experience in community-based organisations and is currently leading a fundraising team focused on releasing vulnerable children from poverty through Compassion’s holistic child development program. While he has lots of experience in leading staff and volunteer teams, Craig is grateful for this scholarship which will enable him to increase his skills in business, marketing and analytics. Ultimately, this will enable him to bring clearer leadership and a greater impact.

Kaplan’s founder, Stanley Kaplan, spent his whole life opening up access to education to help transform individuals’ lives for the better. In turn, these people used their education to benefit the communities they serve. Kaplan Business School believe that granting these to not-for-profit leaders will continue the wonderful tradition of their founder.

Kaplan Business School has been a proud partner of the Australian Scholarships Foundation since 2014, and during that time Kaplan has offered dozens of Master of Business Administration Scholarships to current and future leaders in the not-for-profit and charity sectors.

“Supporting these emerging and team leaders to build their management skills and networks is imperative to continuing talent growth in the sector”, says CEO of the Australian Scholarships Foundation, Louisa Graham.

“We wholeheartedly thank the Kaplan Business School for contributing these scholarships to these not-for-profit staff who can benefit from studying online from locations across Australia,” says Ms Graham.

Australian Scholarships Foundation is a charity focused on delivering training and professional development opportunities to the nation’s charities and not-for-profits.


Media enquiries 

Please contact Australian Scholarships Foundation, Leona Spencer at [email protected]

You can find information about the Australian Scholarships Foundation’s aims and impact here.

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