Meet our 2021 Westpac Social Change Fellows

Collage of 2021 Westpac Social Change Fellows

Westpac Scholars Trust today announced its 2021 Westpac Social Change Fellows, recognising 10 outstanding individuals from across the country who are tackling social issues from youth homelessness and suicide to disability and regional disadvantage. 


Valued at up to $50,000 each, the fellowship will give recipients the chance to turn their attention to themselves, spending the next 12 months focused on their own personal and professional development to enhance their leadership capabilities.   


Among the 2021 recipients is Ed Johnson, a speech pathologist who provides allied health services to rural and remote communities through his social enterprise Umbo. Johnson says the program will enable him to continue providing support for those who need it most.


“Sadly, there are a number of regions in the bush that have little or no access to allied health services, and the support of Westpac Scholars Trust will give Umbo the chance to reach more of these communities.


“It means I can help these people in some small way to find their voice and spread the word that there really is support out there for them,” he said.


Johnson and his fellow recipients will design their own leadership development plan, giving them the chance to connect and learn from leading experts and entrepreneurs locally and internationally.


They will also take part in a bespoke Leadership Development Program to strengthen their networks and help them become more adaptive leaders.


2021 recipient Ingrid Sealey, Founder and Director of Teach Well says, “The Fellowship will allow me to develop my knowledge of best practice, form closer relationships with international experts, and ensure we're always working at the horizon of pushing Western Australian (and Australia, in turn) towards a more prosperous future.”


“It promises to be a life-changing opportunity where I have the opportunity to dream big,” said Sealey.


The 10 Social Change Fellows will also become lifelong members of the program’s alumni, the Westpac 100 Scholars Network (W100).


Growing by up to 100 Westpac Scholars every year, the W100 brings together people from all walks of life and provides access to professional development and inspiring networks. Engagement is led and driven by the Scholars, with the support of the Trust.


According to Susan Bannigan, CEO, Westpac Scholars Trust, “For many Westpac Scholars, the W100 is the best part of the program, with many forming lasting friendships and connections. It’s a trusted space for individuals to connect and collaborate, share ideas and support each other as they pursue their goals.”


“This year we will celebrate a special milestone, reaching our first 500 Westpac Scholars. Seeing how far people have come and the impact they’re having gives me great hope for the future.” she added.


Westpac Scholars Trust was established in 2014 with a $100 million gift from Westpac to help support individuals with the drive and ideas to help shape the future of Australia. Since its inception, more than $24 million has been awarded through 470 scholarships.


Congratulations to our 2021 Westpac Social Change Fellows :

  • Max Burt

  • Ed Johnson

  • Dr Marilyn Metta

  • Nick Pearce

  • Sally Quinn

  • Ingrid Sealey

  • Marion Wands

  • Dr Nat Ware

  • Robert Wood

  • Zali Yager

Published 3 March 2021

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