Social Impact Leadership Australia (SILA) is a ground-breaking national capacity building and leadership program designed specifically for CEOs of Australian for-purpose organisations. 

Over five years, SILA will be offered to for-purpose leaders from all states and territories in Australia. Current participants in Cohort One (2021-2022) are based in NSW and the ACT and applications are now open for Cohort Two, for CEOs based in VIC and TAS (2022-2023).

The SILA Program’s funders, The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund, the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation and the Paul Ramsay Foundation, are united in their vision to unlock the potential of the for-purpose sector in Australia and improve the wellbeing of Australians through their charitable giving and philanthropic endeavours. 

SILA is delivered by the Centre for Social Impact, a world leader in social impact education, research and leadership.

What to expect

The 10-month SILA Program has been designed and developed to allow for 24 for-purpose CEO participants in each cohort.

Cohort One (2021-2022) was for participants in NSW and ACT and Cohort Two will run from July 2022 – May 2023 for participants from VIC and TAS. Future locations will be announced in coming years.

SILA focuses on leadership development and capacity building for CEOs of for-purpose organisations in Australia with the aim of disrupting common ideas of leadership, to ultimately create greater social impact across Australia.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible for participation in the SILA Program, the following criteria must be met:

  1. You are the CEO of a for-purpose organisation ( i.e. a not-for-profit, charity or social enterprise). 
  2. You have demonstrable senior management experience in the for-purpose sector and have been in your current CEO role for a minimum of one year.
  3. Your organisation has an annual revenue greater than $1 million.
    *Medium sized organisations in regional and rural areas with sufficient capacity to participate in the program may combine revenue and in-kind support to reach the $1m threshold.
  4. You are an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident and you are personally based in VIC or TAS.
  5. You are available for the entire duration of the program and have your organisation’s support (including from your Board Chair) to attend on the program dates published, including a 3-month sabbatical.
  6. You have an identified 2IC or Step-Up Leader, who will work in the CEO role when you are participating in the SILA retreats and sabbatical period.

Course dates and locations

The 2022-2023 SILA Program has three in-person retreats held over 10-months, each for three days. The first and third retreats will be held in a location in or close to Melbourne, with the second retreat held in Tasmania.

In between the retreats participants will engage with their Learning Circles online, and will review and engage with resources to support their learning.

All costs, including transport, accommodation and meals for the program retreats are fully-funded by the program, and additional travel funds will be provided to regional and rural attendees, as required, to support their participation.

Key Dates (Cohort Two)

  • Applications open: 3 February 2022
  • Applications close: 15 April 2022 
  • Shortlisted candidate interviews: Mid-June 2022 
  • Offers made: Late-June 2022 
  • Program starts: July 2022 
  • Retreat One: 14-16 Sept 2022
  • Retreat Two: 23-25 Nov 2022
  • Sabbatical period (3 months): November 2022 – April 2023
  • Retreat Three: 3-5 May 2023

Please note: Due to COVID-19, some elements of the program may take place online and dates may be modified. SILA will do their best to work with the cohort to identify the most appropriate means of delivery, and ensure minimal disruption to the program as much as possible.

How to apply

To apply for Cohort Two of SILA (for CEOs in VIC and TAS), you will need to meet SILA’s eligibility criteria and submit an application form. 

SILA strongly encourage participants who live in, and/or lead, organisations with programs serving regional and rural areas to apply. 

SILA also have a fund to support people from diverse backgrounds to participate in the program, and will provide travel assistance to those coming from regional and rural areas.

More information

For more information please visit the SILA website by clicking here

If you’re not yet eligible for SILA, but looking for social impact specific scholarships, the Centre for Social Impact has a number of scholarship opportunities available through their various university partners. Full details can be found here.