Leaders of the future

Westpac Scholars

One of the unique offerings of the Westpac Scholars program is our focus on developing the leaders of the future. 


Our five leadership programs tailored to each scholarship stream aim to help scholars develop their soft skills in leadership, communication, pitching, cultural competence, self-awareness and people management, all of which are vital for successful careers in industry and academia. 


The programs, four of which include week-long residential programs with full agendas, also aim to strengthen relationships within the W100 Network, fostering meaningful connections between scholars who are ordinarily geographically displaced from one another, in turn creating more opportunities for collaborative impact.


For many of our scholars, a core element of their award is the opportunity to develop their knowledge and leadership through tailored programs which see them connecting with thought leaders and institutions around the globe. 


For some, it’s to attend educational or leadership courses; for others it’s to undertake internships with organisations having impact in their area; while others undertake study tours, using the opportunity as a door-opener to meetings with highly respected relevant global innovation leaders.


But don’t take it from us, here are some firsthand accounts from our scholars about their leadership experiences, and how they have been pivotal in their development journeys.


Megan Maack, 2022 Westpac Social Change Fellow


Founder of the Childhood Dementia Initiative, Megan was supported by her 2022 Westpac Social Change Fellowship to travel to the UK and Europe to connect with other leaders dedicated to progressing dementia research and care, including at the Alzheimer Europe Conference, Alzheimer’s Disease International and Alzheimer Scotland. 


“Throughout this trip, I established a network of connections including with the CEO of the global peak body for dementia. As a result, we are working on joint-advocacy to position dementia as a lifespan condition that will see the research, work and care provided in the adult population extended to children. The work we will do together has the potential to improve the lives of millions of children around the world for years to come.”


Indigo Strudwicke, 2023 Westpac Future Leader


A PhD student at The Australian National University with an interest in the use of science in democratic decision-making, Indigo was supported by her 2023 Future Leader Scholarship to travel to Europe to attend the Public Communication of Science and Technology conference in Rotterdam, Netherlands followed by a writing collaboration with the International Science Council. 


“I spent a week in Leiden in the Netherlands collaborating on a report on science, trust and multilateral policy-making for the International Science Council’s Public Value of Science forum. It was a bit of a pinch-me moment to be one of five authors in the room as it wouldn’t have been possible without the scholarship.”


Lauren Rice, 2021 Westpac Research Fellow


Dr Lauren Rice, a Research Fellow at The University of Sydney with an interest in improving the health and wellbeing of people living in remote Aboriginal communities, was supported by her 2021 Research Fellowship to live in the very remote Fitzroy Valley in WA for three years and work with an Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation on the Bigiswun Kid (Kimberley Kriol for adolescent) Project. 


“The Fellowship allowed me to work alongside and learn from senior and emerging First Nation leaders who are driving change for their communities. The research resulted in establishing a new state-funded Social and Emotional Wellbeing Service for young adults in the Fitzroy Valley.”


Hear from more scholars about their leadership development experiences in our 2023 Impact Report.


Published 8 March 2024

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