Scholarship recipient organisations and the causes they support (Bottom left clockwise): Musica Viva Australia, SMART Recovery, ygap, Women’s and Girls’ Emergency Centre and Cerebral Palsy Alliance.

Seventy-nine scholarships have been awarded this year to not-for-profit leaders to join the 2023 McKinsey Rising Leaders Forum. The participants will attend a 3-day virtual event to explore their personal leadership and the foundations of leading high-performing teams. This forum allows participants to explore concepts in small not-for-profit emerging leaders groups and create an external support network for ongoing peer coaching and support.

The Rising Leaders Forum is designed to benefit high-potential future leaders with approximately 7-12 years of work experience. Participants are typically making the transition into people leader roles and ‘stepping up’ to take on greater degrees of responsibility for driving business unit strategy and execution.

Mark Harwood, CEO of ygap an international organisation that supports early-stage social impact ventures with locally-led solutions to local problems. They believe in the power of entrepreneurship as an effective way to make sustainable and equitable change in the world.

After starting at ygap in March 2020 and leading the global team through a pandemic from a programming perspective as well as the complexities of fundraising and staffing that followed, Mark has learned a great deal in the past three years. However, he feels there is so much more to learn as a leader sharing there are, “many things that I will certainly do differently next time and I’d love to have the opportunity to hear and learn from experts as well as my peers on how they have successfully (or not) navigated the challenges.”

“I’d love to have the opportunity to hear and learn from experts as well as my peers on how they have successfully (or not) navigated the challenges.”

Mark Harwood, CEO of ygap

Recipient Samantha Bing is a Site Manager with Cerebral Palsy Alliance. a global centre for cerebral palsy research, advocacy, intervention and assistive technology innovation, and the world’s largest private funder of cerebral palsy research.

Samantha started with the team in 2017 as a Disability Support Practitioner since then taking on roles as Program Co-ordinator and Senior Team Lead.

On receiving this scholarship Samantha says this is an incredible opportunity to expand her leadership skills. She hopes to “increase my knowledge, engage in networks of like-minded people and therefore better enable me to make a more positive and lasting impact on the amazing work of Cerebral Palsy Alliance”.

Cerebral Palsy Alliance
Sam Bing

As a newly appointed (and first-time) Board Member, Michelle Barclay (pictured below right) supports Women’s and Girls’ Emergency Centre (WAGAE), a grassroots organisation that supports women and families in crisis and advocates for social change in the community. They are based in Redfern, Sydney and work on the lands of the Gadigal and Wangal people of the Eora Nation.

Michelle shares that this scholarship will help her, “add value to Board discussions and decisions so that WAGEC’s mission to create safe futures for women and families by ending gender-based violence in a generation can be realised.”

Recipient Jack Anderson is Co-Founder, Chief Innovation Officer and Board Member of Elucidate Education Ltd a local-based WA charity. Elucide Education aims to make education more accessible with a mission to ensure every Australian secondary student has the support they need to achieve.

On receiving this scholarship Jack said, “For my work at Elucidate Education, I look forward to developing my leadership potential, building invaluable networks, and learning how to scale the work I do across Australia. The McKinsey Rising Leaders Forum is an unparalleled opportunity to be immersed amongst emerging not-for-profit leaders with the common vision of addressing Australia’s core issues.”

SMART Recovery Australia
Daniel Raffell

Recipient Daniel Raffell is the National Engagement Manager and Trainer with SMART Recovery Australia. This not-for-profit organisation a free self-help, mutual-aid program that offers a place for people to in the community to get together and change problematic or addictive behaviours using evidence-based tools and techniques.

Daniel joined the team in 2016 as Senior Program Manager and Trainer. He says of his scholarship, “This training will support me in my journey as a National Program Manager within SMART Recovery Australia and provide me with extended learning, further my knowledge and provide me with an essential professional development opportunity that help me grow to be an even more effective leader in the sector”.

Affinity Quartet (winners of the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, which Musica Viva Australia produces) play at Parliament House. Photo credit Martin Ollman
Leah Blankendaal

Leah Blankendaal, ACT & National Public Affairs Manager, of Musica Viva Australia founded in 1945, as a single Sydney-based ensemble. Since then, they have become a national organisation delivering concerts with the highest artistic standards, education, and artist development initiatives across the country.

As scholarship recipient Leah will join the McKinsey Rising Leader Program in October. She aims to develop her understanding of leadership in a busy, not-for-profit environment through values-led management practice by attending the program.

Leah shares, “I hope to deepen my understanding of how to lead a team that is effective, flexible and focused, that delivers exceptional output underpinned by a supportive, safe and inclusive environment.”

“I hope to deepen my understanding of how to lead a team that is effective, flexible and focused, that delivers exceptional output underpinned by a supportive, safe and inclusive environment”.

Leah Blankendaal, ACT & National Public Affairs Manager, Musica Viva Australia

The McKinsey Rising Leaders Forum runs from midday, Tuesday, 24 October – Friday, 27 October 2023. Read the full winners list here.

Tailored learning offerings for not-for-profit leaders

September places are available. Read more.

Girl jumping with umbrella front yellow brick wall

Congrats to all our scholarship recipients in 2023

Read about all our winners to date this year.