This one-of-a-kind opportunity will support leaders with disability to increase their governance knowledge and access to board positions.  

Australian Network on Disability and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) are offering 15 full-fee scholarships to undertake either the Foundations of Directorship program or the Company Directors Course at AICD.  Plus, 8 months of mentoring with an Australian business leader to help winners maximise their board career opportunities. 

The Directing Change Scholarships are aimed at increasing the representation of people with disability on Australian boards by supporting emerging and experienced leaders with disability. 

1 in 5 people in Australia have a disability, however, this number is far from represented at executive and board level positions.  

Low awareness, confidence, and capability of Directors to welcome and include people with disability on Boards; along with less opportunities for leaders with disability to access learning and networking; are the main cause of this discrepancy. 

Scholarship overview and inclusions

The program is offering 15full-fee scholarships to undertake either the AICD Company Directors Course or the AICD Foundations of Directorship program in 2022. 

Each scholarship includes a one-year membership to the AICD and a subscription to the AICD’s Directorship Opportunities service, plus eight months of mentoring and coaching by an experienced company director and workshops provided by Australian Network on Disability. 

Options to attend courses either face-to-face or online are available. 

If applicants face additional barriers to attending face-to-face courses, and the online course options are not appropriate due to accessibility requirements, they may apply for subsidised travel and accommodation to the course location.  These applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis. 

Course Information

Successful applicants will be provided with a number of course dates between April 2023 – August 2023 from which to choose. Applicants should apply for either the AICD Company Directors Course or the AICD Foundations of Directorship program, depending on their level of directorship experience. 

AICD Company Directors Course 

The AICD Company Directors Course is designed for practising directors from a diverse range of industries and organisations and is ideal for those looking to understand director roles and responsibilities in-depth, take their boardroom performance to the next level and improve their impact in today’s evolving business landscape. 

This course is right for you if you are: 

  • A practising director 
  • A senior executive reporting to boards (minimum 3 years’ experience). 

The AICD Company Directors Course is held over five consecutive days for face-to-face and online is one day per week for 5 weeks. This course requires 80 hours of pre-reading and online preparation and an optional post-course assessment. It is recommended to complete the AICD Foundations of Directorship program or have equivalent professional experience before enrolling. 

AICD Foundations of Directorship program 

The AICD Foundations of Directorship program provides foundational knowledge of the duties and responsibilities of boards and directors. 

For directors newly appointed to boards, anyone who might be interested in pursuing a career as a director, or for executives and managers who would like a better understanding of board processes, the AICD Foundations of Directorship program gives you the essential information you need to know. 

The AICD Foundations of Directorship program is held over three consecutive days for face-to-face and online is one day per week for three weeks. This course requires 50 hours of pre-reading and an optional post-course assessment. 


Successful applicants will also be matched with an experienced Australian company director to mentor and coach you.  Mentoring topics may vary depending on your career stage and interests but may include: guidance on where to find board roles, how to apply for board roles, building professional connections, and general governance insight. 

Australian Network on Disability will work to match you with the best mentor for your needs and will undertake regular check-ins to ensure the match and coaching is successful.  All mentors will undertake Australian Network on Disability’s Disability Confidence and Awareness training.     

Leadership workshops 

To support learnings throughout the program, successful applicants will be invited to various leadership workshops. 

  • Workshop 1 – My Leadership, My Story, My Brand – Building confidence and comfort in developing your individual brand and sharing your story 
  • Workshop 2 – Practical session on tips and tools for applying for board roles 
  • Workshop 3 – Networking with industry leaders to expand your professional connections 

Eligibility requirements 

To be eligible for the Directing Change Scholarship, you need to meet the following criteria: 

  • Identify as a person with disability, mental health condition, or chronic illness (including physical, intellectual, sensory, neurological, learning disability Psychological or immunological), as defined by the Disability Discrimination Act 1992
  • Have never been, nor are you currently, disqualified from being a director of a corporation or organisation 
  • Meet the entry requirements for either the AICD Foundations of Directorship program, or the AICD Company Directors Course (see above for details) 
  • Agree to course and mentoring time and deadline commitments 
  • Be able to attend and participate in the course selected. If applicable, own transport and travel need to be arranged and costs covered until reimbursement on course completion (pre-approval required)*   

The Australian Scholarships Foundation is pleased to work with Australian Network on Disability and AICD to administer these scholarships, to contribute to and strengthen capability building in underrepresented areas of leadership. As such, the general eligibility requirements of our not-for-profit scholarships do not apply. 

*See Scholarship overview and inclusions for details. 

What will applicants be assessed on? 

Applicants will be evaluated on the following criteria: 

  • Alignment with the candidate’s director journey, highlighting development benefits
  • Candidate’s potential for leadership and impact on community 
  • Financial literacy and directorship/executive experience. 

Course dates and locations 

Successful applicants will be provided with a number of course dates between April 2023 – August 2023 from which to choose. Courses are available in all states and territories, although not all locations will be running face-to-face courses. Mentoring can be undertaken virtually; however, we will work with the successful applicants on their preference and requirements.   Applicants are encouraged to apply for face-to-face courses in their state or territory of residence. Online course dates will also be offered as part of this program. 

Scholarship timeline 

Monday October 24, 2022Applications open 
Sunday November 20, 2022 Applications close 
Wednesday January 25, 2023 All scholarship applicants are notified of the selection outcomes 
Monday March 20, 2023 First FOD commences 
Monday April 3, 2023 First CDC commences 
April 2023 Mentoring 

Information sessions

The Directing Change Scholarship information sessions are for anyone interested in hearing more about the program. These sessions will be facilitated by Australian Network on Disability, so dial in to hear further details of what the scholarship provides, the applications and selection process and how you will be supported throughout. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions of the team running the program. 

Information session #2 
Wednesday November 2, 2022 AEDT from 2.30pm – 3.30pm CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

Information session #2 
Tuesday November 8, 2022 AEDT from 3.30pm – 4.30pm CLICK HERE TO REGISTER

If you have any adjustment requests or accessibility requirements to join this session, please do not hesitate to contact [email protected] or call 03 7032 3527. Live captioning can be arranged with 72 hours’ notice. 

Information sessions will be recorded. If you are unable to attend either of the above sessions, please register for a session and we will send you a copy of the recording. 

How to apply 

To apply for a scholarship, please complete the following steps: 

  1. Click ‘APPLY NOW’ and follow the prompts to create a profile 
  1. Complete an online Australian Scholarships Foundation scholarship application form and upload a resume
  1. A letter of endorsement from your employer is required for those who apply for the AICD Company Directors Course. More information on what should be included in an endorsement letter can be found under #12 of the FAQ’s

If you have any adjustment requests or accessibility requirements to complete this application form, please do not hesitate to contact [email protected] or call 1300 248 675 

More information 

For further information on the scholarship contact Australian Scholarships Foundation via [email protected] or call 1300 248 675 

For further information on AICD courses and membership please contact 1300 739 119 or visit the AICD website

For further information on the services the Australian Network on Disability provide, please visit the Australian Network on Disability website

Applications for the 2023 Directing Change Scholarship close at 11.59pm (AEDT) on Sunday November 20, 2022