What is the Social Change Fellowship?

 

The Westpac Social Change Fellowship is an incredible opportunity for social entrepreneurs to spend time investing in their skills, leadership capabilities and networks. A truly bespoke offering, the fellowship is completely tailored to the individual and is designed to offer experiential learning opportunities that will help you drive sustainable positive change in Australia.

Our fellows receive funding to invest in their professional development not their organisation. That’s because we believe in the power of passionate individuals to drive genuine change and aim to build a community of socially responsible leaders who can create a brighter future for all.

Whether you’re looking to expand your networks, explore global best practices or build your leadership capacity, we’ll help you curate a development plan that supports you. 

Here’s what you’ll get 

Up to 10 Social Change Fellowships are awarded each year. 
Should you be chosen, you’ll get access to:
 
 

Generous personal development funding

Receive up to $50,000 for your personal development including  study tours, short courses, conferences, coaching, overseas learning experiences and more.

Leadership coaching

Accelerate your growth with our bespoke leadership program which includes a 4-day residential experience, plus online group coaching and capacity building sessions throughout the year.  

W100 Scholars Network

Connect with an inspiring network of like-minded game-changers, achievers and believers across all five Westpac scholarship streams and attend exclusive events like the Westpac Scholars Summit held in Sydney. 

Become a Westpac Social Change Fellow

Applications are now open!

Ready to invest in yourself and scale your impact? Check your eligbility and apply now. Applications close at 5:00pm AEST on 24 July 2024. 

 

Tiffany De Sousa Machado and Sarah Gun, Westpac Scholars

Key dates

2025 applications open

Wednesday 12 June 2024

Online Information Session 

12:00pm AEST, Tuesday 25 June 2024. Register now.

2025 applications close

Wednesday 24 July 2024

Regional Selection Panel 

September 2024 
(Shortlisted candidiates to submit a video pitch mid August 2024)

National Selection Panel for finalists

22-23 October 2024 in Sydney

Notification of outcome

November 2024

2025 Group Leadership Residential

February 2025 (dates and location TBC)

2025 Scholars Summit

7-8 April 2025 in Sydney

Eligibility requirements, funding guidelines and FAQs

Who can apply?

We’re looking for purpose driven individuals committed to driving positive change. To be eligible to apply you must:

  1. Be over the age of 18. 
  2. Be an Australian Citizen or Permanent Resident. 
  3. Be able to demonstrate experience initiating and leading social change.
  4. Be leading an existing social change initiative to address a clearly defined social need in an Australian community at a local, state or national level. 
  5. Be able to evidence the social impact of your current social change initiative. 
  6. Be able to demonstrate support from the community that your initiative is seeking to benefit.
  7. Be able to demonstrate how your initiative is an innovative approach to the social problem you are trying solve. 
  8. Seek funding for your personal development and learning.
  9. Be able to demonstrate that your proposed personal development will directly benefit your ability to deliver and lead your initiative.
  10. Be able to provide contact details for a community referee and an expert referee who are familiar with your work and will support your Fellowship application. 
  11. Be able to commit to and participate fully in the Fellowship program, including taking time our of your organisation/initiative, to make the most of the opportunity within the award year.

Note: only one individual per organisation can receive a Westpac Social Change Fellowship in each application year if the organisation has less than fifty employees.

How you’ll be selected

Your application will be assessed by Westpac Scholars Trust to ensure all eligibility requirements are met. Initial shortlisted candidates are then asked to submit a video interview to our Regional Panel before finalists attend an in-person interview conducted by our National Selection Panel in Sydney. 

Social Change Fellowship Selection Panel

The National Selection Panel comprises  a group of senior sector leaders and changemakers, past scholars and Westpac executives who will decide on the final selection of our Westpac Social Change Fellows through a rigorous selection process. 

 

Chair, Milkcrate Theatre and former founding Chief Executive Officer of the Westpac Scholars Trust

Susan is a well-respected leader with an executive career that has spanned over 30 years in the financial service and philanthropic industries in Europe, Pacific and Australia. She has held leading roles across finance, philanthropy, treasury and sales. Susan was formerly Chief Executive Officer of RAMS Home Loans, Chief Executive Officer of the Westpac Foundation and the founding Chief Executive Officer of the Westpac Scholars Trust.

 

Susan has held a number of Board positions and is currently the Chair of Milk Crate Theatre. She is a Chartered Accountant, member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Sydney.

Joe Kwon, Westpac Scholar

“One of the areas we focused on at my Westpac Leadership Residential was systems change and systems thinking. I thought my workmates and I were just a bunch of former inmates doing fitness and using it as a vehicle to resonate with others in prison, but we weren't really thinking about the bigger picture. I never would have expected we could have such big input into changing the justice system in Australia.” 

Joe Kwon

2022 Westpac Scholar

Meet some of our Social Change Fellows

Corey Tutt OAM

Social Change Fellow |  2023
Founder DeadlyScience
Scholar profile

Laura O'Reilly

Laura O'Reilly

Social Change Fellow  |  2018
Co-Founder Fighting Chance and Jigsaw
Scholar profile

Samantha Devlin

Samantha Devlin

Social Change Fellow |  2022
Co-Founder The Careers Department
Scholar profile