Media Release

Future 500 Leaders governance scholarship

Our Community, Trawalla Foundation offer $500,000 for better-run not-for-profits

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Up to 500 people from across Australia have the opportunity to win a part- scholarship to study for the Diploma of Business (Governance) thanks to the Trawalla Foundation and Our Community’s Institute of Community Directors Australia (ICDA).

The Future 500 Leaders governance scholarship was created to increase opportunities for the most under-represented groups in the community.

Our Community Group Managing Director Denis Moriarty said, ‘We have always been champions of diversity, but we’ve decided to dial up our efforts in 2019.  We’re encouraging applicants from the demographics which have consistently been ignored or shunned.’

‘That’s why we’ve called these scholarships the Future 500 Leaders program.’

Applicants who represent or champion the following sectors are encouraged to apply:

  • Youth
  • Women
  • The LGBTQI+ community
  • Culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) groups
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders
  • Rural and regional areas

Mr Moriarty said the need for good leaders was especially important given recent scandals and poor governance across Australia.

‘Think RSL, the Catholic Church, charity rip-offs, advocacy issues, school collapses, community radio in-fighting, sporting club scandals and failures, and political battles.

‘It’s time to shake up the archaic governance structures that are hampering genuine community progress.  What better way to do it than to provide opportunities for new blood?’

The Trawalla Foundation’s Carol Schwartz said it was proven that education is the best investment in improving governance outcomes. ‘Research shows a 6:1 return (on value) for every dollar spent on governance training’.[1]  

‘The Trawalla Foundation’s vision for the future of Australia is focused on strengthening gender equality, creativity, sustainability and social justice within our society.  These scholarships are an excellent means to further our work.’

The scholarship will provide $1000 discount on the full cost of the diploma, which is Australia's only current diploma-level qualification specialising in not-for-profit governance. The diploma is delivered by Our Community’s Institute of Community Directors Australia in alliance with Federation Training.

Applications close Wednesday, December 19. Winners will be announced in early February 2019. 

More information


[1] (Learning for Purpose, Researching the Social Return on Education and Training in the NFP Sector, Centre for Social Impact, Uni of WA, 2015).