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 fewer 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 15 full-fee scholarships to undertake either the AICD Company Directors Course or the AICD Foundations of Directorship program in 2024. 

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 in 2024 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. 

Applicants will have an opportunity to communicate any accessibility or adjustment needs they have when confirming their acceptance to this Scholarship Program.

Option 1: AICD Company Directors Course 

The AICD Company Directors Course gives you an in-depth look at the responsibilities and expectations of directors. It explores issues and trends facing today’s boards and business.

The course will help you to:

  • Gain clarity around a director’s role, legal responsibilities and community expectations.
  • Improve financial literacy and understanding of the strategic and financial levers that can help drive performance and sustainable value in your organisation.
  • Explore the tensions between short and long-term priorities and diverse stakeholder interests.
  • Enhance future strategic discussions with the knowledge and tools needed to improve your organisation’s performance and evaluate risks effectively.
  • Identify how you can make your board more effective and streamline board processes.
  • Enhance judgement and decision-making skills.
  • Improve performance as a director and deepen your understanding of boardroom dynamics.
  • Put learnings into practice through activities, real-world case studies and a boardroom simulation alongside peers.

This course is right for you if you are: 

  • A new director
  • An experienced director 
  • A senior executive reporting to boards (minimum 3 years’ experience)
  • A business owner 

Course delivery format: The face-to-face AICD Company Directors Course sessions are facilitated over five consecutive days. Each day usually starts promptly at 8:45 am and concludes at 4:30 pm.  The online AICD Company Directors Course sessions are held one day per week over 5 weeks. Each day usually starts at 11:00 am and concludes at 5:30 pm AEST.

Time commitment: The full course duration is 19 weeks which includes approximately 80 hours of pre-reading (available from 4-6 weeks prior to course commencement), 5 days of facilitated sessions, and an optional 3-month assessment period.

It is recommended to have completed the AICD Foundations of Directorship program or have equivalent professional experience before enrolling. 

Option 2: AICD Foundations of Directorship program 

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

This course is suitable for:

  • directors newly appointed to boards
  • anyone who might be interested in pursuing a career as a director
  • executives and managers who would like a better understanding of board processes

Course delivery format: The face-to-face AICD Foundations of Directorship sessions are held over three consecutive days. Each day usually starts promptly at 9:00 am and concludes at 4:30 pm.  The online AICD Foundations of Directorship sessions are held one day per week over three weeks. Each day usually starts at 11:00 am and concludes at 5:30 pm AEST.

Time commitment: The full program duration is 16 weeks which includes approximately 50 hours of pre-reading (available from 2-4 weeks prior to course commencement), 3 days of facilitated sessions, and an optional 3-month assessment period. 


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 all of 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, arrange and pay for your own transport and travel. Reimbursement will be made upon receipt of a valid reimbursement form on course completion (pre-approval required).

The Australian Scholarships Foundation is pleased to work with Australian Network on Disability and Australian Institute of Company Directors 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.  

What will applicants be assessed on? 

Scholarship applicants will be evaluated on the following criteria: 

  • Alignment of the program with the applicant’s director journey, highlighting development benefits.
  • Applicant’s potential for leadership and impact on community.
  • Applicant’s financial literacy and directorship/executive experience. 

Course dates and locations

Successful applicants will be provided with a number of course dates throughout 2024 from which to choose. Courses are available in all states and territories. 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. Mentoring can be undertaken virtually; however, we will work with the successful applicants on their preference and requirements.   

Scholarship Timeline 

Monday, September 4, 2023Applications Open
Sunday, October 1, 2023Applications Close at 11.59 pm AEDT
Late November 2023All applicants are notified of their scholarship outcome
Early 2024Courses commence
Early 2024Mentoring
Dates may be subject to change

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. 

Session One

Session Two

Supporting documentation

As part of the application process, you must upload a copy of your up-to-date resume. Please limit this resume to a maximum of three pages.

If you are applying for the Company Directors Course, you are also required to provide an endorsement letter written by your organisation, i.e. the CEO (or member of the Board if you are the CEO of your organisation). If you are a non-executive director, you may obtain a letter from a fellow board member (ideally the Chair) or the CEO of the organisation. If you are unable to obtain an endorsement letter from your organisation, please contact the Australian Scholarships Foundation to discuss your options.

Please see #3 of our FAQ’s for some tips on what to include in the endorsement letter. 

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 application form and upload supporting material.
  1. 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 provides, please visit the Australian Network on Disability website

Applications for the 2024 Directing Change Scholarship close at 11.59 pm (AEDT) on Sunday, October 1, 2023.