Scholarship recipient organisations (L to R): Sarah Harris, Disaster Relief Australia; photo from the recent flood recovery operation in Northern Rivers NSW.

Ninety-one scholarships have been awarded this year to not-for-profit leaders to join the McKinsey Young 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 opportunity allows them to create an external support network for ongoing peer coaching and support. 

The Young 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. 

Sarah Fitzharris (main image) is the General Manager, Marketing & Communications at Disaster Relief Australia. Disaster Relief Australia was founded in 2016 with the goal of quickly responding to large-scale disasters, Disaster Relief Australia has deployed hundreds of volunteers across Australia and the world to provide relief to communities in need.

Sarah shares, “As part of the McKinsey Young Leaders Forum, my aim is to develop my leadership skills to build the Marketing and Communications team, while learning how best I can apply what I learn to manage and lead in a fast-paced evolving environment. This scholarship will help to better equip me with the knowledge, advice and expertise to support this.”

Scholarship recipient Rani Pramesti is a proud Peranakan-Hokkien-Javanese person living and creating across Kulin Country (Melbourne, Australia) and Indonesia.

Rani is currently the Senior Project Officer for NETFA (the National Education Toolkit on Female Genital Mutilation / Cutting Awareness) at the Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health (MCWH), where she designed and delivered the inaugural national NETFA leadership program. MCWH is a not-for-profit organisation making women’s health work for migrant and refugee women.

For the past ten years, Rani has devoted herself to working with First Nations, Black and People of Colour, as well as Deaf and/or Disabled communities. They design and deliver programs and services to grow the next generation of creative leaders, visionaries, thinkers, and makers.

Rani shares, “My principal career goal is to serve as a bridge across First Nations, Black and People of Colour communities so that I can channel resources to our communities. I am committed to doing this so that our communities can live spiritually, materially, physically, and mentally healthy lives. Attending the McKinsey Young Leaders Forum will enable me to grow relationships with future leaders in diverse Not-For-Profit sectors, for the benefit of our communities.”

“Attending the McKinsey Young Leaders Forum will enable me to grow relationships with future leaders in diverse Not-For-Profit sectors, for the benefit of our communities.”

Rani Pramesti, Senior Project Officer for NETFA (the National Education Toolkit on Female Genital Mutilation / Cutting Awareness), THE Multicultural Centre for Women’s Health

Scholarship recipient in 2022 Balbeer Sidhu, Practice Lead for Financial Wellbeing Services at Uniting WA in Perth, moved to Australia from Malaysia in 2009. He currently leads a team of 12 staff overseeing its financial counselling, emergency relief and the delivery of financial literacy workshops. Also, jointly overseeing the delivery of the Escaping Violence Payment program for all of Western Australia.

Balbeer shares, “I wish to develop my capacity to take on greater responsibility and leadership.  I believe the McKinsey Young Leaders Forum will present opportunities for me to observe and learn so that I may:  develop skills, increase knowledge, broaden networks, and enhance my understanding of leadership styles and strengths.  It will facilitate the beginnings of new relationships with like-minded people who are also keen to make the most of themselves and contribute to the utmost.”

Elizabeth Early is a Senior Program Manager at Lung Foundation Australia. She works as the Project Manager for the design and co-creation of the National Silicosis Prevention Strategy (NSPS) and accompanying National Action Plan on behalf of the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care. This national health strategy is a recommendation of the National Dust Disease Taskforce, which was established to respond to the alarming resurgence of silicosis cases, particularly within the engineered stone benchtop industry.

Elizabeth is also responsible for the delivery of the Government funded Priority Populations grant, which includes resources and campaigns designed to educate people who are at greater risk of developing a lung disease, such as First Nations people and those working in hazardous environments.

Elizabeth shares, “I am an emerging leader within Lung Foundation Australia, and through this course, I am hoping to enhance my leadership skills to gain more confidence to lead my team, so they thrive both personally and professionally.”

“I believe the connections I will make from this course will be invaluable to my professional career as I will have a ‘bank’ of like-minded individuals I can collaborate with and call upon where needed.”

Elizabeth Early, Senior Program Manager at Lung Foundation Australia

The McKinsey Young Leaders Forum runs from midday, Tuesday, 25 October – midday, Friday, 28 October 2022. Read the full winners list here.

Girl jumping with umbrella front yellow brick wall

Congrats to all our scholarship recipients in 2022

Read about all our winners to date this year.