MEDIA RELEASE 12 December 2023

Australian Scholarships Ltd (ASL), the operating arm of the Australian Leadership Hub, is delighted to announce the appointment two new board members, Ms Diana Ferner and Dr Joost de Kock.

ASL Chair, Dr Melinda Muth, welcomed the new directors on behalf of the ASL board, saying: “The commitment of these two talented professionals will help us to substantially further our mission. Both Diana and Joost bring a wealth of diverse expertise and passion that will strengthen our governance and support ASL to thrive, especially with the launch of our new initiative, the Australian Leadership Hub.” 

Diana Ferner holds the role of Vice Chair of the Physical Disability Council of NSW, also previously working in the sector as senior executive with Mable. Ms Ferner said: “By providing quality education and recognising and celebrating best practices in leadership, the Australian Leadership Hub will equip not-for-profit board directors and leaders to better meet the challenges of today and tomorrow – an investment not just in individuals, but also in society as a whole.”

Dr Joost de kook
Dr Joost de Kock
Diana Ferner
Diana Ferner

Dr Joost de Kock has an extensive career working in private and public sectors with a focus on strategy, digital transformation and technology innovation. He has been a Non-Executive Director with Redkite since 2015.  Dr de Kock said: “I am thrilled to join the Board of Australian Scholarships Ltd, which provides free and subsidised leadership development opportunities to the not-for-profit sector and has done so for over 14 years through the Australian Scholarships Foundation.

“It is a great time to join as we launch the Australian Leadership Hub, which is focused on developing for-purpose leaders by expanding beyond scholarships to offer education programs, leadership awards and events tailored for board directors, leaders and emerging leaders in the sector.”

About the Australian Leadership Hub

The Australian Leadership Hub is the new, enhanced identity of the Australian Scholarships Foundation, a registered charity dedicated to nurturing the leaders of charities, social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations that are committed to fostering positive societal change.

We provide scholarships, leadership awards, education programs and events for board directors, leaders and emerging leaders, including those from disadvantaged communities. More than 5,000 people from a wide range of organisations have benefited from free and subsidised leadership training opportunities worth $17.2 million.

Our mission now is to expand our programs and amplify our impact. By offering quality education and peer-to-peer learning environments, and celebrating best-practice leadership, we will create a stronger, more effective sector that is better equipped to address key societal challenges.

About Diana Ferner

Ms Ferner brings extensive experience leading across corporate, for-purpose, and startup environments, both domestically and overseas. She is currently Chief Operating Officer at Safewill, Australia’s leading online will-writing platform.

Previously, Ms Ferner was a senior executive at Mable, where she helped develop and drive the delivery of a strategy that saw Mable named in the AFR Fast 100 and Deloitte Tech Fast 50 two years running. She has also driven significant million and billion-dollar growth and transformation agendas for leading non-profits and multinational companies in her roles as a partner and management consultant with Social Ventures Australia and the Boston Consulting Group.

Ms Ferner holds an undergraduate degree from Harvard University and a master’s degree from the University of Sydney. She serves as Vice Chair of the Physical Disability Council of NSW.

She is passionate about building a stronger social sector so that everyone can thrive.

About Dr Joost de Kock

Dr Joost de Kock has over 25 years of senior leadership experience in both the private and public sectors, with a focus on strategy, digital transformation and technology innovation.

As a former Managing Director and Partner at the Boston Consulting Group, Dr de Kock has led dozens of high-profile transformations for major government and ASX50 clients for over 15 years. More recently, he held several senior government roles including Deputy Secretary, Customer Strategy and Technology at Transport for NSW. There he was responsible for the development of long-term transport strategies, policies and delivery of technology-enabled services to facilitate the movement of people and freight across NSW. He was also General Manager for Enterprise Transformation at the Federal Department of Human Services. Early in his career he worked in R&D at the Sony Research Centre in Tokyo.

From a community and governance perspective, Dr de Kock is a Non-Executive Director of Redkite, a national charity supporting families facing childhood cancer. He holds a BA in Engineering from Cambridge University, a DPhil (PhD) in Medical Electronics from Oxford University and an MBA from Cranfield. He is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


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