What makes a future leader? In our eyes, you’re an exceptional thinker and highly ambitious. You are a natural collaborator with big ideas. And you're driven by a desire to bring positive change to the world.
These are the attributes we celebrate with our Westpac Future Leaders Scholarships – designed in conjunction with Australia’s leading universities to be a truly life-changing experience.
“This scholarship has been the single most transformative educational experience I’ve had. It has impacted my path enormously and I cannot emphasise how thankful I am to have had the opportunity, support and backing of Westpac Scholars to pursue my dreams.” - 2016 Westpac Future Leaders Scholar, Alex Schumann-Gillett.
Westpac Future Leaders Scholarships are among the most powerful development scholarships in Australia. As well as investing up to $120,000 over 2-3 years into your postgraduate studies, the Scholarship will also shape your leadership skills far and above your expectations.
Exceptional scholarships for exceptional people.
The scholarship supports individuals who are undertaking post-graduate study that will ultimately make a difference to Australia in one of three areas; technology and innovation, fostering Australian-Asian ties, and enabling positive social change. As well as your studies, the scholarship provides a nine-month Leadership Development Program which will build on your personal strengths and give you the insights, learning and inspiration you need to make your mark on the world.
From Australia, to beyond.
Naturally, good ideas deserve to go global. So we’ll encourage you to open up your mind to new experiences by heading overseas for up to six months to study. Whether it be at a world class university, an NGO or with a private organisation, you’re guaranteed to make valuable international connections and discover new insights to bring your vision to life.
We’ve already done the networking
As a Westpac Future Leaders Scholar, you’ll become a part of the Westpac 100 Scholars Network. Lifelong membership to this network gives you access to one of Australia’s most diverse meetings of like-minds. Drawing on the Scholars’ strong sense of purpose and desire to collaborate, the network is designed to be inspiring, influential and a life-long learning experience.
What’s does it take to be a Westpac
Future Leaders Scholar?
First, you’ll have exceptional ideas. Second, you’ll have the ambition and drive to bring those ideas to life. And above all else, you’ll have a generosity of spirit. Ultimately it’s this that fuels your desire to do great work. We’re offering 17 scholarships in 2020 to support your Masters or PhD studies, and are looking for switched-on, curious thinkers who have the inspiration, drive and ideas to change Australia – and potentially the world – for the better.
Ready to play your role in shaping the future of Australia? Start here.
“There are many different academic scholarships for a PhD out there, but none give access to such a diverse range of peoples and passions as the W100 network. With the spice of five unique scholar streams, the W100 network is a melting pot of ideas and opportunities.”
18 June 2019: Applications open
7 August 2019: Information webinar - access the recording here
4 September 2019: Applications close (11:59pm, AEST)
9-10 December 2019: National Assessment Centre in Sydney
December 2019: Notification of outcome
16-21 February 2020: Leadership Development Program: Sydney Residential
2-3 April 2020: Westpac Scholars Summit
We're looking for Australia's best and brightest
Your ability matches your drive - giving you the potential to make a lasting difference to Australia's future. We want to help you realise this potential.
Who can apply?
Open to scholars who have:
- Who have demonstrated academic excellence and are eager to undertake a PhD or full time Masters at one of nine universities, in a field of well above world standard.
- Passionate about strengthening Australia's ties with Asia, driving technology and innovation or enabling positive social change.
- With a bold vision to contribute to the growth and prosperity of Australia who can articulate this vision and how postgraduate study will help make it real.
- Possessing a desire and potential to lead.
- Keen to be inspired by others, build networks and collaborate across diverse disciplines.
- Confident in taking on challenges.
- A desire to be part of and contribute to the Westpac 100 Scholars Network.
- You are an Australian citizen or permanent resident (NZ citizens who are not also Australian citizens are not eligible).
- You have completed your first undergraduate degree after 1 September 2014, OR will complete by 31 December 2019.
- You have achieved or are on track to achieve an average result of H1 or H2A equivalent (approx. 75 WAM).
- You have chosen to undertake a full-time Masters by coursework or research or a PhD at one of our nine participating universities.
- You have chosen a field of study which, for PhD and Masters by research applicants has an ERA four digit FOR rating of "well above world standard" in the ERA 2018 exercise and for Masters by coursework applicants, must be in area of world-class standing.
- You must commence study in 2020 (Jan - Dec 2020), not before.
- Your proposed program of study:
- Can be in any field and must be relevant to the Trust's focus areas
- Include international opportunities, such as a period of study at an overseas university, an invited presentation at a conference significant to the discipline, or a period of internship or placement at an overseas organisation, which will develop your leadership skills and global networks
- Underpin a worthy and viable post-study plan that benefits Australia
- Funding requests for the purpose of medical research as defined in the ARC Medical Research Policy available on the Australian Research Council website will not be considered; MD, juris doctor programs or equivalent are also excluded.
- Masters by coursework programs must be completed within two years.
- You are able to supply two letters of reference - one academic reference and one personal reference.
- For PhD and Masters by Research applicants, you must also supply one letter of support from either your supervisor, dean of the faculty or head of school or equivalent.
Our Partner Universities
We have partnered with eight leading Australian universities to deliver the Future Leaders Scholarship. Scholarship recipients must undertake their postgraduate studies at one of the following eight universities, in a field of world-class standing:
- The University of Adelaide
- The Australian National University
- The University of Melbourne
- Monash University
- The University of Queensland
- The University of Sydney
- University of New South Wales
- University of Western Australia
“Being a Westpac Scholar makes me incredibly humbled, proud and excited. Humbled by the fantastic and talented people around me, proud of the community I’m part of, and excited by all of our future individual and collaborative contributions to the world.”
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.
Professor Aidan Byrne (2016 - 2019)
Provost and Senior Vice President, The University of Queensland
Professor Aidan Byrne was recently appointed Provost at the University of Queensland. He was previously the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Australian Research Council from 2012 to 2016. Prior to this, Professor Byrne was the 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.
Philip Coffey (2015 - 2019)
NED - Lendlease, Macquarie Group and Clean Energy Finance Corporation
Philip was appointed as the inaugural Chairman of the Westpac Scholars Trust in April 2014. He is currently an independent non-executive director of Lendlease, Macquarie Group and Clean Energy Finance Corporation. He retired from the role of Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Westpac Group in 2017 which he held since April 2014 with responsibility for overseeing Westpac’s contribution and response to the Federal Government’s Financial System Inquiry and supporting relationships with key stakeholders including industry groups, regulators, customers and government.
Philip was responsible for the Group’s strategy and mergers and acquisitions function. Prior to this appointment, Philip held the role of Chief Financial Officer from December 2005. Before this, he was Group Executive, Westpac Institutional Bank, having been appointed to that position in 2002. Philip first joined Westpac in 1996 as Head of Foreign Exchange.
He has extensive experience in financial markets, funds management and finance. He began his career at the Reserve Bank of Australia before moving to Citicorp and AIDC Limited. He has also held roles in the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Philip has an honours degree in Economics from the University of Adelaide and has completed the Executive Programme at Stanford University Business School.
Dr Nicholas Farrelly (2015 - 2019)
Associate Dean, Development and Impact, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University
After graduating from the ANU in 2003 with First Class Honours and the University Medal, Nicholas completed his MPhil and DPhil at Balliol College, University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. As Associate Dean, Nicholas is responsible for College of Asia and the Pacific engagement with a range of government, business and civil society organisations. Nicholas has previously held other positions in the College, including as Deputy Director of the Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, founding Director of the ANU Myanmar Research Centre and convenor of the PhB in Asia-Pacific Studies. His own research deals with political, economic and cultural change across Asia. Nicholas has published widely on Myanmar and Thailand, and the adjacent borderlands of Bangladesh, India and China. He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. In January 2020, Nicholas commences as Professor and Head of Social Sciences at the University of Tasmania.
Dr Heather Smith (2016 - 2019)
Secretary of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Australian Government
Dr Heather Smith was appointed Secretary of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science in September 2017. Heather has had 18 years’ experience in the Australian Public Service at senior levels, with responsibility for a number of significant government policies and programs covering economic, foreign affairs and intelligence matters. Prior to her current appointment Heather was Secretary of the Department of Communications and the Arts (2016-2017). She has served as Deputy Secretary in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (2013-2016) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (2010-2013). In October 2013 she was appointed by Prime Minister Abbott as Australia’s G20 Sherpa, a role she held during Australia’s Presidency.
Heather has also held senior roles with the Office of National Assessments (Deputy Director-General, 2005-2010) and (2000-2003) and the Australian Treasury (2003-2005). Before joining the public service Heather was an academic working on North Asia at the Australian National University (1994-2000). She also worked at the Reserve Bank of Australia (1988-1990). Heather was awarded a Public Service Medal in the Queen’s Birthday 2015 Honours for her outstanding public service as Australia’s G20 Sherpa in 2014.
Heather holds a Bachelor of Economics (First Class Honours) from the University of Queensland and a Masters and PhD in Economics from the Australian National University. She has been a visiting scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. In 2012, Heather completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School. She was the recipient of the University of Queensland's Colleges' Alumni Award in 2016. Heather is a member of the United States Studies Centre Board of Directors and a member of Chief Executive Women.
Jon Nicholson (2016 - 2019)
Director, Westpac Scholars Trust
Jon has had a long career in banking and finance. He was most recently a senior executive in Westpac for eight years and a senior partner in Boston Consulting Group, responsible for financial services across Asia. As well as serving on the Westpac Scholars Ltd Board, Jon also chairs the Westpac Foundation Board. Jon has a deep commitment to the social sector and to creating greater opportunities for the less privileged and more marginalised members of the Australian community. Jon is a director of the Cape York Partnership and of Quintessence Laboratories and remains an advisor to Boston Consulting Group.
Professor Edwina Cornish AO (2016, 2019)
Former Provost and Senior Vice-President, Monash University
Professor Edwina Cornish AO FTSE obtained her PhD for research undertaken in the Biochemistry and Microbiology departments of the University of Melbourne. After working as a post-doctoral fellow in the Botany School of the University of Melbourne she joined the newly established plant biotechnology company Calgene Pacific (later named Florigene). She spent 11 years with the company in various leadership roles including Research Director and Managing Director. Over this period the company developed and commercialised the world’s first genetically engineered flowers.
In 2000 Edwina moved to the University of Adelaide as Deputy Vice Chancellor Research and in 2004 she was appointed to the same role at Monash University. In 2012 Edwina was appointed Monash’s inaugural Provost and Senior Vice-President a position she held until her retirement in 2016.
Edwina has extensive experience at the interface between government, research, industry and the higher education sector, and has held numerous board positions. She is currently a member of the Board of CSIRO, the Council of La Trobe University and is a Director of the Biosciences Research Centre. In 2018, The University of Melbourne awarded Edwina an Honorary Doctor of Science (honoris causa) in recognition of her achievements
Professor Marnie Hughes-Warrington (2019)
Professor of History, the Australian National University
Marnie Hughes-Warrington is professor of history at the Australian National University. She held the position of Deputy Vice Chancellor at ANU from 2012 to 2018. Professor Hughes-Warrington has a global profile in history theory, particularly for her work on wonder, the historical imagination, historical films, and hate histories. She has been awarded $18 million in grants, and is the author of seven books, including Fifty Key Thinkers on History (3 editions), Revisionist Histories (2013) and (History as Wonder, 2018) and is currently writing a book on the ethics of history for the twenty-first century. Her next book, under contract, is on machine-made histories.
Professor Veena Sahajwalla (2019)
Founding Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) at UNSW
Australian Research Council (ARC) Laureate Professor Veena Sahajwalla is an internationally recognised materials scientist, engineer and inventor revolutionising recycling science. She is renowned for pioneering the high temperature transformation of waste in the production of a new generation of ‘green materials.’ In 2018 Veena launched the world's first e-waste microfactory. As the founding Director of the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, she is producing a new generation of green materials and products made entirely, or primarily, from waste. Veena also heads the ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub for ‘green manufacturing’, a leading national research centre that works in collaboration with industry to ensure new recycling science is translated into real world environmental and economic benefits. In 2019 she was appointed inaugural Director of the Circular Economy Innovation Network by the NSW Government through its Office of Chief Scientist and Engineer. In 2018 she was elected as Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science. In 2016, Veena was named one of Australia’s Most Innovative Engineers and in 2015, Veena named Australia’s 100 Most Influential Engineers, both by Engineers Australia. In 2013, Veena received the ‘Howe Memorial Lecture Award’, Pittsburgh, USA in appreciation for her lecture on ‘The Power of Steelmaking – harnessing high temperature reactions to transform waste into raw material resources’.
Dave Curran (2018, 2019)
Chairman, Westpac Scholars Trust
Dave was the Chief Information Officer of the Westpac Group from 2014 to 2018, where he was responsible for technology strategy and its implementation across the Group. Dave has 30 years of global experience, including proven expertise in IT and financial services and the implementation of large, complex projects. Before joining Westpac, Dave spent ten years in senior roles at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and 16 years at Accenture, where he was a Partner, primarily consulting on financial services. Dave has a deep commitment to cancer research and education, which is exemplified by his long-term involvement in the Tour de Cure charity organisation. He is also passionate about working with the government, industry and community to inspire the next generation of Australia’s technologists. Dave was appointed as a Trustee of the Westpac Scholars Trust in 2015 and was appointed Chairman in April 2019.
Applications for the 2020 Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship are now closed.
Applications for the 2021 round will open in June 2020.
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