AICD Announces NFP Scholarships Across Australia
Wednesday, 20th September 2017 at 12:10 pm
Directors and governance leaders across Australia have received scholarships to enhance their leadership skills, and support the long-term governance of the not-for-profit sector.
The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) announced it was awarding 140 scholarships on Tuesday, giving winners the opportunity to undertake one of the AICD’s not-for-profit courses, which specialise in duties and responsibilities, financial literacy, and mergers and acquisitions.
The recipients were chosen based on “the expected benefits to the individual, not-for-profit organisation and wider community”.
AICD’s general manager of advocacy, Louise Petschler, said the scholarships offered not-for-profit directors and senior executives the chance to develop as leaders for the benefit of the sector.
“Two-thirds of the AICD’s 41,000-strong membership play some role in the not-for-profit sector, so improving and ensuring the long-term governance of the sector is a focus for us,” Petschler said.
“By helping enhance the skills and governance understanding among leaders in the not-for-profit sector, we can help them ensure that their not-for-profits are best supporting the community.
“Not-for-profit organisations are the lifeblood of our communities. From hospitals to disability services, from refuges to local sports, to the arts – the sector makes vital contributions in almost every area of society.
“We were overwhelmed with hundreds of impressive applications and the dedication apparent among those who are involved in the sector is inspiring. I wish the scholarship winners all the best and encourage them to share what they learn with the wider not-for-profit community.”
One scholarship winner was Wendy Mason, the general manager of the Western Research Institute in Bathurst, which works with organisations across New South Wales to secure investment in sustainable regional development.
Mason, who trained as a teacher and has spent most of her career working in the not-for-profit sector, told Pro Bono News she was “really excited” to receive the scholarship.
“I’m over the moon. I think it’s a great opportunity and will really help to further develop my governance and management skills. Also I’ll have the opportunity to have exposure to other leaders which is really beneficial,” Mason said.
“This scholarship is fantastic because it recognises that building the capacity of the sector will have all kinds of impacts for organisations operating in the third sector.”
Mason said this impact will benefit not only herself, but also others within her organisation.
“There’s an outcome for me, in terms of my own professional development which I’m really grateful for because I think in the not-for-profit sector, often getting top notch professional development can be really difficult,” she said.
“So to actually get this opportunity, and for AICD to recognise that this may be a barrier for people who are working in the not-for-profit sector is really critical.
“But I’m also hoping there will be an impact for the organisation, with the skills I bring hopefully having a trickledown effect to others I’m working with.”
Mason added that it was also critical the sector invested in people and the human capital, “especially [going forward] as our economy moves and our world moves”.
“The not-for-profit sector may not always have the resources that are available in other sectors for training development, so it is really visionary of the AICD… [to develop] capability for managers and directors which is a really important way to make a contribution to the sector in Australia,” she said.
The training provided by AICD will be well utilised by scholarship winners and will have wide ranging benefits, according to Mason.
“I’m in regional NSW and this scholarship will [benefit] not only my organisation but the wider community,” Mason said.
“As a teacher I think training is very powerful and we all need to keep learning.
“And the not-for-profit sector is really worth putting [resources towards] training because I think you get good bang for buck in the sector, because people make sure they get the most out of any opportunity that’s presented to them.”