Why the leaders of the future should look to philanthropy
30 April 2019 at 5:29 pm
Philanthropy has a responsibility to invest in developing the capability of business leadership to better serve the needs of the community, a sector leader believes.
Perpetual’s general manager of community and social investment, Caitriona Fay, spoke to Pro Bono News after the organisation announced the recipients of 17 scholarships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander business leaders.
The scholarships were financed by The Norman H Johns Trust and E B Myer Charity Fund, which is managed by Perpetual.
Fay said the scholarships were broadly a reflection of Perpetual’s commitment to Indigenous business leadership as a response to the multiple challenges these communities were facing.
She said philanthropy had a role to play in developing leadership, adding this was not necessarily specific to Indigenous leaders.
“I think philanthropy has a responsibility to be investing in the core capability of leadership,” Fay said.
“Really well led and really well governed organisations produce better outcomes for communities that they’re working with.
“So we need to find ways to continue to make investments into the leaders whose responsibility is to guide the strategy and impact of those organisations working with the community.”
The scholarship winners take part in a Company Directors Course for Indigenous Business Leaders led by the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD).
The course aims to help the leaders – who all work closely alongside or in organisations supporting Indigenous communities – affect positive and sustainable change for the people they serve.
Fay said it was important to create workshops that worked specifically for underrepresented communities.
“This is as true for Indigenous leaders as it might be for women leaders or for LGBTQI+ leaders. There’s a real opportunity to build leadership capability by specifically focusing in on the needs of those groups,” she said.
AICD’s managing director and CEO Angus Armour said the institute was proud to partner with Perpetual on the program.
“The recipients of the scholarships are all outstanding leaders of their organisations. The Company Directors Course will build their capability to deliver good governance for their organisations and help them effectively serve their stakeholders,” Armour said.
The Australian Scholarships Foundation (ASF) selected the successful candidates, and ASF CEO Sam Sayers said the partnership with Perpetual and AICD was helping to provide the Indigenous community with access to further opportunities.
“The calibre of applicants was extremely high. The selection panel recognised standout leadership qualities and high potential in the scholarship recipients, and we believe they will benefit first-hand from the course,” Sayers said.