Eligibility Criteria and Selection Process

:: Applications for 2021 have now closed. Subscribe for updates on future cohorts ::

The SILA program is welcoming participants in year one (2021-2022) who live in NSW and ACT, and in 2022 SILA will be offered to for-purpose CEOs in Victoria and Tasmania. In following years SILA will be offered to for-purpose leaders and organisations across Australia.

For each of our cohorts we are looking for leaders who are ready to be challenged, to create new peer networks and who are ready for time to rejuvenate and reflect.

We are committed to encouraging diversity of the cohorts and will ensure that the program is accessible across the diversity spectrum including gender, culture and ethnicity and for those with a disability. Additionally, we will ensure that one third of participants work for an organisation that services regional and rural areas, or reside in those areas.


In order to be eligible for participation in the SILA program, the following criteria must be met:

  1. You are the CEO of a for-purpose organisation (for e.g. a not-for-profit, charity or social enterprise).
  2. You have demonstrable senior management experience in the for-purpose sector and have been in your current CEO role for a minimum of one year.
  3. Your organisation has an annual revenue greater than $1m.
  4. You are an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident and you are personally based in NSW or the ACT.
  5. You are available and have your organisation’s support (including from your Board Chair) to attend on the program dates published, including a three-month sabbatical.
  6. You have a 2IC or step-up leader/s in place.


Candidates will be required to submit their application addressing the Eligibility Criteria and Selection Questions, as well as their CV and a letter of support from their Board Chair, via an online application process. The selection committee will review all applications and determine a shortlist. Shortlisted applicants will be required to undertake an interview with the selection committee either in person or online, as outlined in the timeline below.

Candidate assessment is based on the quality of their application and the dynamic of the cohort as a whole. All decisions on eligibility and shortlisting are final, and at the discretion of the SILA Candidate Selection Committee.

Selection Questions (Please limit to 200 words per question)

  1. What about the SILA program specifically interests you and what do you personally hope to gain from the experience? 
  2. Why is this the right time for you to participate in this leadership program?
  3. How do you integrate diversity of thought into your work and how would you bring this into the SILA program?
  4. What are your views on the value of continuous learning for executive leaders and have you benefited from any other leadership coaching, mentoring or professional development opportunities in the past?
  5. What leadership style do you employ when facing and adapting to challenges in your role? Can you give us an example?
  6. How do you see yourself engaging with the SILA program’s peer-to-peer environment and what do you bring to that network of social impact leaders?
  7. Describe how your organisation will benefit from your attendance at this program
  8. What might this program do to advance your contribution to the social purpose ecosystem?
  9. How do you intend to expend the organisational capacity funding?

Key dates

:: Applications for 2021 have now closed. Subscribe for updates on future cohorts ::

  • Applications open: 5 February 2021
  • Applications close: 7 May 2021 
  • Shortlisted candidate interviews: 1 – 8 June 2021 
  • Offers made: 21 June 2021 
  • Program starts: 1 July 2021 
  • Retreat one: 1 – 3 September 2021 
  • Retreat two: 24 – 26 November 2021 
  • Sabbatical period (3 months): November 2021 – April 2022
  • Retreat three: 6 – 8 April 2022