Testimonials from ASF Scholars PDF Print E-mail

David Ireland, Adjunct Professor, University of Queensland Business School and Chief Innovation Officer, ThinkPlace, Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership (2018)
David Ireland

"The Fulbright scholarship opens doors; doors to people, doors to amazing insights, and even a door that creates the time and space for you to explore a topic deeply. Even if I had managed to give myself four months of time to work on my topic, I would never have access to the same calibre of people. Everyone knows the Fulbright brand and they go out of their way to help you. With this opportunity, Fulbright let’s you build your skills and networks so you can come back and have the impact you want in the communities you work in."

Gordon Duff, General Manager, Sector Development and Research for National Disability Services, Fulbright Professional Scholarship in Non-Profit Leadership (2018)
Gordon Duff

"Australia is prioritising policy reforms in the ‘personalisation’ and ‘marketisation’ of social care as means to develop a contemporary disability service system. A coherent, appropriately funded national disability research and innovation agenda is required – one that generates new insights that are effectively mobilised to a range of stakeholders. This Scholarship has the potential to significantly and positively impact proposals for the establishment of a national disability research and innovation agency in Australia. It will provide the opportunity to further marshal the arguments and evidence for a National Disability Research Partnership, informing its vision, mission and values, together with strategy, organisational design, and work programme.

The Fulbright scholarship provides an incredible opportunity to inform my work on developing policy and research that stimulates and rewards innovation in the context of current reforms to the Australian disability sector. I will be gathering insights from US agencies that demonstrate thought leadership and global best practice in the facilitation of research based innovation in disability services, and forming new strategic international relationships that will facilitate future information exchanges."

Luisa Diaz-Zeledon, Regional Accountant at Anglicare Victoria, Scholarship for CPA Australia - CPA Program (2018)
Luisa Diaz-Zeledon

"Getting the scholarship was one of the most exciting things to happen to me in years. Every subject, every module enriches my knowledge and I can see how it can be applied to my day-to-day work. I can definitely see the difference in my decision-making process and the way I see accounting practice now.

The fact that CPA is flexible allows me to use a self-paced approach which has helped me maintain a balance between my personal, work and academic life; being able to be a mum, worker and student all at the same time - who would have thought this would be possible?

I’m looking forward to the next subject and being challenged with the other modules CPA has to offer. I’m extremely grateful for CPA and ASF giving me the opportunity to expand my horizons and help people through my work."

Annie Harris, Finance Coordinator/Manager at Brisbane Youth Service, Scholarship for CPA Australia - CPA Program (2018)
Annie Harris

"I was so delighted when I was accepted in the CPA scholarship program because it is such as valuable opportunity. I have been in the industry over 10 years and this CPA scholarship program is enabling me to continue to my studies and achieve my professional goals. The professional knowledge and accounting skills from CPA program have assisted me to be a well-equipped Finance Manager and handle various challenging issues in the sector.

My current employer, Brisbane Youth Service, provide a wide range of support services to vulnerable young people in wide Brisbane areas. The services are; Housing, Health, Youth advocacy, Emergency relief and Support for young women and young families. As Finance Manager, I not only utilise a high level of accounting knowledge and skills from the CPA program in my daily work, but also apply management and analytical skills to lead the Finance Team to produce high quality financial reports that respond to the industry specific needs. I am passionate about working in not-for-profit sector and the CPA scholarship program has successfully provided me the essential skills to be able to perform and contribute to the sector."

Jeremy Bonken, Senior Manager HR, ICT & Compliance at Prahran Mission, Scholarship for Kaplan Business School - Master of Business Administration (2018)

"The Australian Scholarships Foundation and Kaplan Business School have been beyond terrific. It’s been a very well-organised process. Nothing has been too much trouble and through the efforts of ASF and KBS - I have been able to commence this course of study with great confidence in both organisations.

The course content is interesting and very educative - available online and well in advance of workshops which are facilitated by excellent academics.

The NFP sector is being fundamentally revolutionised with the continuing rollout of NDIS along with the quickening pace of evolution within the NFP sector itself - including continued growth in the area of compliance with a myriad of standards and government legislation.

The knowledge, skill and qualifications gained from studying via an MBA Scholarship will further equip leaders within the NFP sector to realise the continuing goals of remaining compassionate, competitive and excellent ‘providers of choice’. This has a direct and enduring impact on the lives of those who have benefitted and will benefit from the client-first focus of NFPs for many years to come.

Kaplan have been very professional, well-organised and so very helpful. My comments about feeling assured are linked to the fact that help is available if I need it. Just knowing that Kaplan want you to get the very best out of the course is incredibly engaging. Thanks to ASF and KBS, I have access to tremendous learning and growth."

Brett Tillotson, Finance Officer at Melbourne Legacy, Scholarship for CPA Australia - CPA Program (2018)
Brett Tillotson

"I have now finished 3 of the required 6 subjects (providing I pass the exam I just did today) and have found the program extremely beneficial to my career and more importantly to my current job at Melbourne Legacy where reporting on more than just financial numbers in an annual report is required. I have been able to provide feedback to management and engage in conversation with them around providing more valuable reporting on our social initiatives and the social impact of our services to our stakeholders.

The scholarship awarded to me by ASF and CPA has allowed me the opportunity to grow both professionally and personally, I have gained confidence in my professional capabilities and in my ability to provide more valuable skills to my employer. The financial value of my scholarship is also saving Melbourne Legacy close to $10,000 which can be redirected to our most financially distressed clients. The benefit is both financial and in terms of the quality of my work.

I look forward to successfully completing the remaining 3 subjects of my CPA program thanks to ASF and CPA, the scholarship really is very much appreciated."

Coralia Mielczarek, Management Accountant at STREAT, Scholarship for CPA Australia - National Not-for-Profit Conference (2018)

"As a result of attending the CPA National NFP Conference, I was able to bring back a refreshed view on how to best assist STREAT in becoming a more sustainable and innovative NFP and hospitality business. I learned how to maintain a clear mission and stay aligned to the ultimate goal (both internally and externally in the business), how to create an innovative NFP and increase social impact & awareness, how the use of appropriate technology can greatly increase a NFP’s efficiency and revenue, and how a NFP can build business models for financial resilience and social impact."

Jessica Blaxland Ashby, Business Manager at Marian St Theatre for Young People, Scholarship for HerBusiness - Get the Email Marketing Edge and Offers That Sell (2017)
Jessica Blaxland Ashby

"I was very generously given the course on a scholarship, which has already given me so much. As an organisation over 45 years old, we're notoriously quite set in our ways. However, over the past year we have transitioned hugely, including taking payments online (gasp!), redesigning the website, changing ticketing agents and...as of yesterday, fully implementing a new CRM software. I couldn't have done this recent transition without you, and already the organisation is seeing big benefits, including enabling an employee to return to work now she has a new baby - this just happened today!!

This year we saw a growth of 30-50% in the drama school through marketing and through a more online approach. Next year, I hope we'll sell out the drama school through the techniques I've been learning. This will enable us to become an organisation that is no longer reliant on the whims and mercy of our local council... I'm very aware of the enormous privilege it is to gain from the vast experience of the others in the room, as well as the incredible expertise from HerBusiness.

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed the courses and am so in awe of the other women in the room. It really is a powerhouse, and extraordinary community that you should be so proud of creating."

James Cameron, Finance Manager at Surf Life Saving Australia, Scholarship for CPA Australia - CPA Program Scholarship (2016)
James Cameron

"The first year of my study with CPA Australia has been extremely rewarding. Already I have increased my knowledge in key areas that have helped me in my role as Finance Manager at Surf Life Saving Australia. I am looking forward to continuing with the program which will bring long term benefits to both me and SLSA. I am grateful to the Australian Scholarships Foundation for their support."

Inesha Dassanayaka, Accountant at Fronditha Care, Scholarship for CPA Australia - CPA Program Scholarship (2016)

"The CPA program and subjects that I have undertaken this year have really widened my knowledge in principals of financing and its applications. I am able to see many different aspects and follow through with my tasks confidently to make financial services more coherent and efficient at work. I feel I am better equipped and more confident and enthusiastic than ever."

John Dorrian, National Board Member at Australian Red Cross Society, Scholarship for AICD - Advanced NFP Governance (February 2016)

"The Advanced Not For Profit Governance course provided valuable insights for directors in driving and monitoring the performance and sustainability of NFP organisations in Australia. The role of the Australian Scholarships Foundation in supporting the development of directors in the NFP sector is invaluable."

Tracy Hocking, Communications Coordinator at Cystic Fibrosis Victoria, Scholarship for Australian Businesswomen's Network - Fire Up Your Facebook Results Webinar (October 2014)
Tracy Hocking

"Marketing in the social media era relies heavily on building community. Using Facebook to strengthen this community, as outlined in this high quality webinar presented by the Australian Businesswomen’s Network Webinar, is highly beneficial for small businesses with limited budget.  Tips and techniques on advertising on Facebook have reaped wonderful results for us."

Kelly Eather, Communications and Development Specialist at The Greater Charitable Foundation, Scholarship for Australian Businesswomen's Network - Fire Up Your Facebook Results Webinar (October 2014)
Kelly Eather

"The ‘Fire Up Your Facebook Results’ webinar was fantastic. It shared both practical tips and insightful data regarding Facebook and other social media channels. This range of information was beneficial in allowing me to build a stronger social media strategy and emphasised what I needed to do to re-target our communications to be more effective."

Ian Davis, Chair, ANZUP Cancer Trials Group, Scholarship for AICD's Not-for-Profit Chairman Course (2015)

"I was fortunate enough to be awarded a scholarship from ASF to attend the Australian Institute of Company Directors “The Not-for-Profit Chairman Course” held in Melbourne on 11 February 2015.

This one-day course was very valuable. It has given me a great deal to think about in my role as chair of a not-for-profit company, ANZUP Cancer Trials Group, which also provided me with very substantial resources to improve my practice in this role. The course was pitched very appropriately and the facilitator was outstanding. The case studies were highly relevant and challenging. I also found it very valuable to meet with other people in similar situations to mine but with distinct issues and different approaches. The day also included a great presentation from a senior Perpetual director who is also involved in NFP enterprises.

I would like to express my gratitude to ASF as well as to Perpetual, the JS Love Trust, and the Australian Institute of Company Directors for this opportunity and this valuable support. I am sure that ANZUP Cancer Trials Group and the other NFPs represented on the day will be stronger and more effective as a result."

Lynda Close, Brisbane Team Leader, Hear and Say - Centre for Deaf Children, Scholarship for University of Melbourne - Positive Leadership Development (2014)
Lynda Close

"Attendance at this course has been beneficial on both a personal and professional level in my role at Hear and Say as the Brisbane Team Leader. The things I learnt through the 2 day course have been shared with colleagues and we have plans to discuss and implement different aspects of the course at an organisational level.

The exceptional course, put together by Dr Adam Barsky and Associate Professor Lea Waters, covered a broad spectrum of practical positive leadership strategies and covered the underpinning evidence for succession the workplace when implementing these strategies. It was truly a pleasure to attend the 2 day course and I have in turn learnt a lot about my leadership strengths and style. I now have a number of different ways to approach my role as a team leader and enhance leadership throughout my team. Without this scholarship support, I would not have been able to attend this wonderful course."

Wendy Warren, Chief Executive, EBL Disability Services, Scholarship for Elkiem - Meikle Files Black Leadership Program (2013-2014)
Wendy Warren
"For many years I have searched to find a personal development program that truly inspired me as a NFP leader. Meikle Files Black Leadership Program is the one! Program creator and facilitator, Andrew Meikle is an insightful person who stimulated and challenged my thinking from the very beginning. We examined concepts of leadership and high performing cultures in a way that helped me understand the true impacts of my behaviours on the team. Throughout the program we explored the psyche of world leaders and high performers which opened my mind to so many more possibilities. I now feel better equipped to steer our team toward success through radical sector change. If you have a chance to be part of this exceptional program, do whatever it takes!"

Jessica Redwood, Deputy Director (Business Development), International Social Service Australia, Scholarship for Deakin University - MBA Residential Units (2013)

"This course has been very valuable in understanding and expanding on key financial skills. Times are changing to see not-for-profit organisations requiring the same level of financial capability and accountability as corporates and this course has been key to me understanding how to be more financially business minded and make strategic financial decisions so that my organisation can have the finances to do what it does best, help others and make positive change."

Ekaterina Kullengren, Operations Manager, Social Leadership Australia - Benevolent Society, Scholarship for University of Melbourne - Strategic Financial Analysis (March, 2013)
Ekaterina Kullengren
"This course has been very valuable in understanding and expanding on key financial skills. Times are changing to see not-for-profit organisations requiring the same level of financial capability and accountability as corporates and this course has been key to me understanding how to be more financially business minded and make strategic financial decisions so that my organisation can have the finances to do what it does best, help others and make positive change."

Gael Evans-Barr, Public Health Coordinator, Cancer Council Queensland, Scholarship for Deakin University - MBA Residential Units (2012)
Gael Evans Barr
"Thank you ASF and supporters, your hard work and ongoing support is making a dramatic difference to many organisations and employees in this much needed sector.Being awarded a scholarship to attend a Deakin Residential Unit in order to aid the completion of my MBA, specialising in Health and Human Services, was a wonderful opportunity. One that both my employer and I would not have been able to deem financially viable in ordinary circumstances.I would like to sincerely thank ASF for their work supporting those employed in the not-for-profit sector."

AMANDA ALLEN, Projects Manager and Quality Assurance, Alzheimer's Australia, Scholarship for AIM Diploma of Project Management
Amanda Allen
"I would like to thank the Australian Scholarship Foundation for the opportunity to complete the Diploma of Project Management. As with any charity, my employer is challenged by the need to develop the capacity of staff at minimal cost so the scholarship was greatly appreciated. This course increased my skills in Project Management and as a result I am more confident in managing them more efficiently and effectively and have been able to develop a range of resources to support the better management of projects within the organisation. The course itself was very well run and was a great combination of classroom study, self-paced learning and practical application."

KATE O’REILLY, Treasurer/Board Member, UN Women, Scholarship for AICD Company Directors Course
Kate O'Reilly
"The opportunity to study the Company Director's course with the Australian Institute of Company Director's has been invaluable. Being able to join a diverse group of public and private sector Directors, CEOs and CFOs to discuss the critical areas of risk and strategy for Boards has provided me with so many new insights and practical tools to help me manage risk and liabilities in my organisations. The course has also given me a much greater confidence in my financial management and governance skills. Thanks so much to the Australian Scholarships Foundation and the Australian Institute of Company Director's for this opportunity."

TRACIE SANIM, Acting Operations Manager Parenting, Cape York Partnerships, Scholarship for Australian Institute of Management - Diploma of Project Management
Tracie Sanim

"I was awarded a scholarship via your organisation to undertake the Australian Institute of Management’s Diploma of Project Management. Last week I attended the Sydney venue to undertake the first component of this Diploma. I would like to provide you with some feedback in relation to the time I spent beginning this work. It has been several years since I have undertaken any form of study and I was somewhat apprehensive in relation to my ability to effectively participate within this arena. However my experience with AIM was well beyond anything I could have hoped for.
The facilitator – Celestine Michel – was logical, inclusive and very knowledgeable. Consistently she provided relevant and valuable examples to bring to life the concepts and processes she was describing. Her presentation skills are among the best I have encountered. I was surprised at how much I actually did know – this work was invaluable in assisting me place an “order” and framework around my daily work requirements. I have been extolling the value and relevance of this course to all my work colleagues since my return.

As a result of my experiences last week (aside from the shocking flight home to Cairns) I am immensely excited about the next phase of this opportunity. Since then I have found myself scouring the AIM course guide and am even planning beyond completion of this diploma – now that the AIM classroom has been demystified and is not as formidable as I thought!"

MIKE MEYER, Managing Director, Inspire Community Services, Scholarship for UTS NFP Management Development Program, April 2011

"Thanks so much for the opportunity to attend this fabulous workshop.The information, the group involvement and the networking was sensational."

ROWAN WOOD, Program Manager, River Recovery, Greening Australia, Scholarship for UTS Accounting for Non-Accountants, February 2010

"Recently I was lucky enough to gain a full ASF scholarship to attend the Accounting for Non-Accountants course through UTS, and found the course to be extremely rewarding. This course has given me a far greater understanding of the processes behind accountancy, which while  not core to my role is an area I need to understand. Scholarships such as this are very important to the NPF sector, often we find our budgets are stretched and being able to increase the skills and capacity of staff through formal training can be pushed to sideline even though it is essential to increasing our ability to make a difference in our respective fields. I am extremely glad I applied for a scholarship, and believe ASF program is a valuable resource that more NFPs should utilise."

REBECCA SOBCZAK, Senior Program/Policy Analyst, The Smith Family, Scholarship for Australian Institute of Management - Assertiveness Techniques, 2010

"Thanks for the opportunity to attend AIM's Assertiveness Techniques course at the end of 2010. The trainer - Robbie Singleton - was exceptional and facilitated an excellent blend of theory and practice. There were plenty of opportunities to role play hypothetical situations as well as offering real life examples - and the chance to work through them - if you were comfortable doing this. I learnt new ways to approach challenging conversations that will enrich my professional and personal life. "

KERRIE NOONAN, Program Manager, Home Hospice, Scholarship for Social Media Marketing Practice, UTS, September 2009

"As a result of attending the course we are looking at how social networking can support our volunteers, and have reviewed some of our social marketing practices.
I think the possibilities are endless. There are many ways we can utilise social media to tell stories and provide information to caregivers at end-of-life.  
Like many not for profits, our organisation is reliant on a very small paid team and a large number of volunteers, so allocating resources towards training can be challenging. I see training and development as essential to the NFP sector, and the courses that the ASF offer enable people in the NFP sector access to programs that may not otherwise be there. Thank you for this opportunity."

TIM CURRAN, CEO, CareWest, Scholarship for AICD Company Directors Course, August 2009
Tim_Curran"The CDC was tremendous. It was jam packed with information but structured in a way that enabled participants to quickly acquire a sound understanding of basic governance concepts. There are probably half a dozen simple techniques or tools that I picked up which will enhance my contribution to the organisations I work with, however it was the learning around risk management which will have the most profound impact on my approach as a director and CEO.  The vast majority of NFPs are service providers, and as service providers all of what they do is accomplished through their people. Success follows when an NFP’s staff and volunteers are engaged, knowledgeable and focussed, and these things come through training and ongoing person al and professional development."


KERRIE BARNETT, National Manager - Fundraising Support, Mission Australia, Scholarship for "Managing Customer Relationships", UTS, September 2009


"As a result of the course I was able to learn new skills related to the cost of acquisitions. I am now able to pass on to colleagues many new methods to improve response rates for acquisition campaigns and know how to compute Customer Lifetime value. I am able to understand the distinction between market & customer segmentation.
Access to quality training and development for individuals employed in the not-for-profit sector is vital for a number of reasons:
1. It helps to attract and retain staff, 2. It supports the organisation to operate at a level equal to its for-profit peers, and 3. It ensures that individuals employed in this sector are using best practise methodologies in their work with communities and governments.

MARK HOLLINGSWORTH, Director - Global Voices, Committee Member - Emerging Leaders for Social Change
Mark Hollingsworth"On Friday the 18th of March I had the pleasure of being able to complete the Project Management Training at Corrs Chambers Westgarth through a scholarship with the Australian Scholarships Foundation.

Like many attendees there, I had also run a number of projects previously but with a strong action orientated approach. The training helped reinforce some of the things I already did well while outlining the importance of planning and checking ongoing progress and milestones against planning documents and updating or distributing them when necessary. It also helped show me the importance of having one centralised project document and system that can be shared across project management teams.

I was also very impressed by the calibre of attendees at this training whom contributed a great source of knowledge throughout the course, thank you for the opportunity to attend.

JANA FAVERO, Marketing Program Manager, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Scholarship for University of Melbourne's Strategic Marketing course

"Thanks to Australian Scholarship Foundation, I was able to take part in Melbourne University's Executive Education intensive Market Leadership through Strategic Marketing program.  This program was beneficial as I am responsible for using my marketing skills to help generate income to run the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre's (ASRC) 25 programs and change community attitudes towards asylum seekers. I have already been able to use some of the practical tools and advice from the program.  I was able to refresh my marketing skills, hear new marketing innovation and meet other marketing professionals.  At the ASRC we do not have any professional development budget, therefore the only way I was able to take part in the program was thanks to ASF.  Having the opportunity to take part in the program through ASF has had a direct benefit on the impact of my work with some of our community's most vulnerable people.

Thanks and I am sure I'll be in touch again soon - especially as more Executive Education scholarships become available.

ISABEL HOHNEN, Project Administrator, Australian Alliance for Children & Youth, Scholarship for Project Management Workshop, March 2011
Isabel Hohnen
"Thanks for the opportunity to participate in the workshop – it was very informative. What I got out of it: being provided with workable project management templates that I can take back to my organisation & implement in project planning and management in the future."

BRITTA MEYER, Manager Operational Services, Identitywa, Scholarship for University of Melbourne's Executive Decision-Making course
Britta Meyer
"I would like to thank the Scholarship Foundation  for the fantastic learning opportunity. The course was worth travelling across the Nullabor. I have attended a series of professional development over the years and I must say the course was one of the best I have ever attended. It certainly will help with the negotiations with our teams and key stakeholders. I am even considering signing up with the next course in September."

KAREN KANDUR, Finance Manager, Opportunity International Australia, Scholarship for ICAA Business Forum, May 2010
Karen Kandur
"Attending the ICAA Business Forum in May 2010 benefited both myself and my employer, Opportunity Australia in a number of ways:
  • Technical sessions equipped me with invaluable knowledge about changes in financial reporting and general business principles that will effect our organisation.
  • The lunchtime panel discussion on effective corporate responsibility provided me with an insight into building effective partnerships with corporations now and in the future. I was also enthused to see how many opportunities there are for such collaborations and also that a number of larger Australian corporations are already leading the way in this area.
  • The leadership and personal development sessions were interactive and fun; I learned many practical ways to engage and influence my colleagues effectively.
Education sessions are valuable for all professionals. However, as an employee of a not-for-profit organisation it is vital to improve my skills, learn how to increase efficiency and network with industry professionals. Thank you to Amy, the Australian Scholarship Foundation and the Institute of Chartered Accountants for giving me the opportunity to attend this Forum. Without your support I would not have been able to access such vital training!"