22 March 2021

$9 million Social Impact Leadership program targets regional not-for-profits

| Hannah Sparks
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The new Social Impact Leadership Australia program will cover course fees and travel expenses. Photo: Andreas Klassen.

A new five-year, $9 million program is investing in the professional development of not-for-profit executives and is aimed at those based in regional and rural Australia.

The Myer Foundation, Sidney Myer Fund, Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation and Paul Ramsay Foundation have collaborated to fund the Social Impact Leadership Australia program which will be delivered by the Centre for Social Impact (CSI).

And a large portion of that funding has been allocated to rural and regional participants to cover their course fees and travel expenses.

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What’s more, the program is launching in the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales before other states which means leaders working for not-for-profit organisations in Canberra and south-east NSW have a head start applying.

“For too long, rural and regional parts of Australia have been under-recognised in such space,” the Centre for Social Impact said.

“CSI is excited to ensure that leaders from rural and regional areas are adequately represented in the sector and that the impacts of their work are amplified on a national level.”

Evidence shows the not-for-profit sector is one of Australia’s largest employers and contributors to public, social and cultural good, yet there is little investment in the development of the people at the face of those organisations.

Meanwhile, evidence also shows that corporate CEOs dedicate 30 to 50 per cent of their time to professional development.

A core component of the program is a three-month sabbatical which aims to give participants the time to reflect on, discuss and apply learnings from the program while a ‘step-up leader’ manages the role. This also gives the step-up leader the opportunity to develop their skills.

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Centre for Social Impact CEO, Professor Kristy Muir, described the program as “visionary”.

“We know that people are an organisation’s most important asset and we know that there is persistent underinvestment in the professional development of for-purpose leaders,” she said.

“This program helps change that.”

For more information, click here.

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