What is the Future Leaders Scholarship?


The Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship is all about supporting everyday people with big ideas looking to pursue postgraduate research or coursework in areas related to sustainability, technology and innovation, social change or Australia’s relationship with Asia. Our aim is to empower these individuals to become leaders in their field, helping them to drive positive change and create a brighter tomorrow for Australia.


Our Future Leaders Scholars receive funding for their postgraduate study and living expenses, gain access to leadership and mentorship programs, have the opportunity to undertake overseas travel and participate in networking experiences with like-minded individuals, senior business leaders and industry-based experts.


Scholars must be intending to commence a postgraduate degree at one of our nine partner universities across Australia. 


Here’s what you’ll get 

Up to 17 Future Leader scholarships are awarded every year. 
Should you be chosen, you’ll get access to:

Generous funding

Receive fully flexible financial support for your postgraduate studies and living expenses with up to $120,000 provided over 2-3 years.

Leadership development

Build the solid foundations of a leader with our bespoke nine-month course and personal development program. 

Overseas experiences

Spend up to six months abroad as part of your studies to gain a global perspective and connect with industry leaders around the world. 

Become a Westpac Future Leader

 Applications are now open!

Ready to take the next step in your academic journey? Register your interest or apply. Applications close at 5:00pm AEST on Thursday 29 August. 


Westpac Scholar walks down university pathway

Key dates

2025 applications open

Thursday 4 July 2024

Online information session 

1.30pm AEST, Wednesday 7 August 2024. Register now. 

2025 applications close

5:00pm AEST, Thursday 29 August 2024

National Assessment Centre in Sydney

4-5 December 2024

Notification of outcome

December 2024

Leadership Development Program Residential

Mid-February 2025 

Scholars Summit

7-8 April 2025

Eligibility requirements, funding guidelines and FAQs

Who can apply?

We’re looking for Australia’s best and brightest. To be eligible to apply you must:


  1. Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
  2. Have completed your first undergraduate degree from 2019, or will complete your degree by 31 December 2024.
  3. Have achieved, or are on track to achieve, an average result of H1 or H2A equivalent or approx 75 WAM.
  4. Have chosen to undertake a full-time Masters by Coursework or Research or a PhD at one of our participating university partners.
  5. Must commence study in 2025. Current postgraduate students are not eligible. MD and Juris Doctor programs or any Masters by Coursework program longer than 2 years are also excluded.
  6. Study in an area that will contribute to the future of Australia in one of the Trust’s priority funding areas: Australia in Asia, Thriving Tech Sector, An Inclusive Australia and Sustainable Futures.
  7. Include in your proposed program of study international opportunities which will develop your leadership skills and global networks, such as study tours for the purpose of research, attending a short course or conference, a period of internship or volunteering.
  8. Have a worthy and viable post-study plan that benefits Australia.
  9. Supply two letters of reference, one academic reference and one personal reference. Please refer to the reference templates.
  10. Be able to attend the National Assessment Centre in Sydney on 4-5 December 2024.
  11. Be able to attend the Future Leaders Scholars Leadership Development Program in Sydney in mid-February and another date, to be confirmed, in August.
  12. Be able to attend the Westpac Scholars Summit on 7-8 April 2025.

How you’ll be selected

Your application will be reviewed by Westpac Scholars Trust to ensure you meet our eligibility criteria. You will then be asked to complete an online assessment which will be sent to your home university alongside your completed application.


Your intended university will select top candidates to be shortlisted. Up to 34 scholars are then invited to attend our National Assessment Centre held in December in Sydney. This event is chaired by our National Selection Panel, made up of dedicated senior industry and academic leaders who will decide on the final selection of Westpac Future Leaders through a rigorous selection process.

Future Leaders Selection Panel

The National Selection Panel comprises senior industry and academic leaders responsible for the final selection of Westpac Research Fellows and Future Leader Scholars. Through the rigorous selection process, the panel is dedicated to recruiting Australia's best and brightest leaders, innovators and pioneers from all walks of life.


Provost, The University of Queensland

Professor Aidan Byrne was appointed Provost at the University of Queensland in 2016. He was previously the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Australian Research Council from 2012 to 2016. Prior to this, Professor Byrne was the Dean of Science and the Director of the Australian National University (ANU) College of Physical and Mathematical Sciences. He has a wealth of industry knowledge and expertise particularly in the Physical and Mathematical Sciences and Engineering.


Professor Byrne completed a BSc and MSc degrees at the University of Auckland before commencing a PhD degree at the ANU in 1981. Following the completion of his degree at the Department of Nuclear Physics, he held positions with the University of Melbourne and spent over two years in Bonn, Germany as a von Humboldt fellow. He returned to the ANU in 1989 as a Research Fellow and in 1991 commenced a joint appointment between the Department of Physics, in the Faculty of Science and the Department of Nuclear Physics, Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering. He was Head of the Department of Physics from 2003 to 2007. His research interests involve the use of gamma-rays as probes to determine the structure of heavy nuclei and the examination of the atomic level structure of materials (especially semiconductors). He has published over 200 papers.

Our partner universities

The Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship is offered at nine leading Australian universities:

  • Australian National University
  • Monash University
  • The University of Adelaide
  • The University of Melbourne
  • The University of Queensland
  • The University of Sydney
  • University of New South Wales
  • The University of Western Australia
  • University of Tasmania

Your proposed program of study can be in any field of world class standing at one of our nine partner universities, however, it must be relevant to the Trust’s focus areas: Australia in Asia, Thriving Tech Sector, an Inclusive Australia and Sustainable Futures.

Dr Roshini Balasooriya, Westpac Scholar

"The Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship has provided me with a myriad of opportunities to complement my career journey, including leadership residential programs that impel me to consciously shine a spotlight on growing as a leader, and acquire new skills and perspectives."

My favourite aspect of the scholarship so far has been the community it has afforded me, from the ever-supportive Westpac Scholars Trust leadership team, to my brilliant peers in the scholarship program who are striving to make much-needed change."

Dr Roshini Balasooriya

2023 Westpac Scholar

Meet some of our Future Leaders Scholars

Brianna Kerr

Future Leaders Scholar |  2020
The University of Sydney
Scholar profile

Jake Louthean

Future Leaders Scholar  |  2021
The University of Melbourne
Scholar profile

Alexandra Procter

Future Leaders Scholar  |  2019
The University of Adelaide
Scholar profile