Becoming a Westpac Future Leaders Scholar

By Jake Louthean, Westpac Scholar, 2021 Future Leader, and proud Noongar man


I had no business applying for the Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship.

It was obvious as soon as I read the past scholars’ profiles. This was a collection of the best. The smartest of the smart, the “goodest” of the good. The problems these people were tackling, and solving, made even my greatest achievements look childish in comparison.

In my mind, I was most certainly not one of these people.

Looking back, had I not applied despite my short-comings, I would have been right in thinking I wasn’t worthy. And yet, I did apply. I saw problems in my community that needed fixing, and a way to fix them. That was what mattered to me. Not being rejected by a selection panel. Or feeling silly that someone like me would dare apply.

And wouldn’t you know it, I wasn’t rejected. I made it through to the National Assessment Centre, which I was sure would be my undoing. I was certain that in these interviews they would pick me to pieces.

But they didn’t. The selection panel were interested in my upbringing. They asked about my fondest memories and biggest failures. I walked away from the interview a better person. They were among the best experiences of my life. They asked about my passion and vision. And they got it.

And I got it. The Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship isn’t about prestige or excellence. It’s about being good, doing good and spreading good in the world.

As I got to meet the other recipients, I realised this to be true. Each of the scholars have a passion for driving positive change. They are dedicated to their cause. They live it by putting their feet on the ground. They understand the problems they are working to fix because they are right there in the trenches. They would be doing this even without the scholarship. Such was their vision.

Being a Westpac Future Leader is a commitment. To make an impact for good.

So, who is a future leader really? He’s the introverted intellect. She’s the daring world traveller. They’re the creative business leader. Or the shy researcher. Or the versatile activist. They come from bustling cities, sleepy country towns and remote communities. They care. They do the work. They want to help. And most importantly, they’re willing to take a chance on themselves for the good of others.

So, what’s a Westpac Future Leader really?



For more information, to nominate or apply for a Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship, visit the Westpac Scholars website