FAQ and Glossary

Please see below for FAQs and glossary of commonly used terms. If your question is not answered then please send an email to sila@unsw.edu.au.


What happens if COVID19 restrictions impact my ability to participate? SILA is incorporating the necessary considerations when planning for possible COVID-19 implications to the delivery of the program. If COVID-19 poses significant risks to program delivery, the delivery mechanism may be changed in consideration to government advice and restrictions.

Am I eligible for this program if my organisation only runs programs internationally? Yes, SILA strives to recruit a cohort of CEOs whose organisations work across a spread of geographic regions.

Can I join the program if I don’t live in NSW or ACT? The SILA program will be rolled out over the next 5 years across Australia. Our first cohort commencing in 2021 is only available for participants living in NSW and ACT. The program will open up to applicants of VIC and TAS in 2022. Subscribe to our mailing list to know when SILA will reach your state.

How much does the program cost? Will my organisation have to fund my participation? The SILA program is fully funded by our four philanthropic partners. Participant travel and accommodation is covered during the retreats, and with the organisational capacity fund ($30,000) additional support needs for the organisation can be paid for from this fund. This may include professional development courses or additional duties payment for the step-up leader.

What happens if I can’t attend one of the retreats? By agreeing to participant in the SILA program, you are committing to attending all three retreats and participating in the sabbatical. If you know that one of the retreat dates will not work for you at the time of application, then you should not apply for the program.

We understand that there may be emergency situations that arise at the time of the retreat and these will be discussed with the SILA team at the time. However the expectation is that all participants who apply for the program and who are selected have the time available and are committed to all aspects of the program.

What are the accessibility considerations for the program? We are committed to ensuring that all participants who are selected on the program are able to fully participate in all aspects of the program. If you live in a regional or rural area, then we will cover all costs for your attendance. If you are living with a disability, we will ensure that all aspects of the program are accessible to you. If you need additional support for child care, we have a fund set up to enable your participation in the program.

My financial accounts are commercial in confidence and I don’t have any audited accounts. How should I proceed? Contact us at sila@unsw.edu.au to discuss.


  • Capacity fund – Each organisation of the participating CEO will receive up to $30,000 capacity funding. The funding received remains untied and is intended to support the participating CEO to partake in SILA, including but not limited to; capacity building programs and covering additional salary costs for the duration of the program. While the funds are untied, organisations will be required to produce a statement of intent for the use of the funds.
  • For-Purpose organisation – Your organisation’s reason for being must be to advance a charitable purpose as outlined here but is not limited by your business model, tax, or legal status. We welcome applications from CEOs from any of the following (but not limited to): charities, not-for-profits, social enterprises, commercial for-purpose businesses, Aboriginal community controlled organisations, and other community organisations. All decisions on eligibility and shortlisting are final, and at the discretion of the SILA Selection Committee.
  • Step-Up leader – The CEO’s second-in-command. Someone who will act as CEO during the three multi-day retreats and the three-month sabbatical period, supporting the CEO to participate in SILA and build the capacity of the organisation. The Step-Up Leader will be supported throughout the program with executive coaching and personalised leadership assessments.