Media Release – 5 December 2023

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. As the largest provider of free and subsidised leadership training opportunities in the for-purpose sector, the foundation is now expanding to launch the Australian Leadership Hub as a nexus for educators, executives, funders and alumni.

For over 14 years, the Australian Scholarships Foundation has played a pivotal role in building leadership capacity in the for-purpose sector through scholarships and professional development opportunities. More than 5,000 people from diverse organisations have benefited from programs worth an impressive $17.2 million. Surveys indicate that 90 per cent of recipients would not have been able to access training without a scholarship. This underscores just how pressing the demand is, with four applicants vying for each available opportunity.

Vision and expansion

The Australian Leadership Hub envisions expanding these programs and magnifying their impact. While scholarships remain central, the Hub has introduced Leadership Awards, Education Programs and Events tailored for board directors, leaders and emerging leaders, including those from marginalised backgrounds. Collective partnerships and an enhanced market presence will facilitate the delivery of more training and career development opportunities at scale.

Addressing sector challenges

Australia’s not-for-profit sector, which constitutes almost a tenth of the economy, relies on the commitment of dedicated leaders, who are grappling with challenges such as climate emergencies, homelessness and mental health crises. The Australian Leadership Hub addresses these challenges by cultivating a community of leaders, education providers, funders and supporters who prioritise leadership development. Through quality education and the celebration of best-practice leadership, the Hub aims to fortify the sector against complexities, uncertainties, increasing service demand and workforce and resourcing challenges.

Louisa Graham, chief executive officer of the Australian Leadership Hub, said: “The case for expanding to become the Australian Leadership Hub is compelling. The 2010 Productivity Commission report on the for-purpose sector encouraged professional development. The 2015 Learning for Purpose research documented the value of professional development. We now have the confluence of Pay What It Takes and McKinsey’s Organisational Health Index study, all of which point to the need for greater professional development in the sector. More than ever, these leaders need to be equipped to navigate complexity and uncertainty, increasing demand, and workforce and resourcing challenges – all while delivering quality services to communities.”

Ben Vasiliou, chief executive officer of Youth Projects, who was awarded the Stanford Foundation of Australia scholarship through the Australian Scholarships Foundation, said: “A big thank you for all that you do! Amplifying, developing and celebrating leaders, your work has increased the value of skills and talent in the third sector and improves organisations.”

CEO Youth Projects support for Australian Leadership Hub

Dr Rachel Coghlan, board member of Palliative Care Australia and recipient of the Fulbright Professional Scholarship in NonProfit Leadership, said: “I have genuinely been able to shape the thinking of others and make an impact, and have grown significantly in confidence as a leader.”

The Australian Scholarships Foundation has been an important link in the sector, ensuring sector leaders have access to high-quality learning opportunities.

The Hon Dr Andrew Leigh MP, the Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, recently acknowledged the importance of this intermediary work. “I want to congratulate Louisa Graham and the team at the Australian Scholarships Foundation for the remarkable work you’ve done over the last 14 years,” Dr Leigh said. “You’ve partnered with organisations to deliver more than 5,000 scholarships, changing lives and inspiring minds.”

The Australian Leadership Hub is poised to be a transformative force in the future of leadership in the for-purpose sector, fostering a stronger, more effective community dedicated to addressing key societal challenges.


Media enquiries 

For media inquiries, please contact:
Leona Spencer, GM Engagement & Communications: [email protected] 0419 167 946