Eligibility Criteria and Selection Process

“I enjoyed the space I had to reflect and contemplate during the sabbatical, and I focused on three key themes during that time; learning and development, personal wellbeing and a nominated strategic project. I was equally excited about giving the Top Blokes team the opportunity to grow and lead through the experience as well.”

Melissa Abu-Gazaleh, Managing Director, Top Blokes Foundation
SILA Cohort One Participant


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

  1. You are the CEO, or hold an equivalent leadership role, of a for-purpose organisation ( i.e. a not-for-profit, charity or social enterprise, Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation or an organisation registered under the CATSI Act).
  2. You have demonstrable senior management experience in the for-purpose sector and have been in your current role for a minimum of one year.
  3. Your organisation has an annual revenue greater than $1 million.
    * Medium sized organisations in regional and rural areas with sufficient capacity to participate in the program may combine revenue and in-kind support to reach the $1m threshold. Not sure if your organisation qualifies as regional or rural? Use the Modified Monash Model and if your organisation is located, or primarily delivers services, in the range of MMM2 and above (to MMM7) then you are considered a regional or rural organisation for the purposes of this eligibility criteria.
  4. You are based in the Northern Territory or Queensland, and you are an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident.
  5. You are available for the entire duration of the program and have your organisation’s support (including from your Board Chair) to attend on the program dates published, including a 3-month sabbatical.
  6. You have an identified 2IC or Step-Up Leader, who will work in the CEO role when you are participating in the SILA retreats and sabbatical period.


Cohort Four (2024-2025) applications for QLD and NT CEOs are now closed.

Candidates will be required to submit their application addressing the Eligibility Criteria and Selection Questions, latest audited accounts from their organisation (or equivalent) as well as their CV and a letter of support from their Board Chair, via an online application process.

The SILA candidate selection committee will review all applications and determine a shortlist. Shortlisted applicants will be required to undertake an interview with the selection committee in person, as outlined in our timeline

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 selection committee.

*Please limit answers 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? What will be the biggest barrier for you?
  3. When you reflect on your leadership philosophy and approach, how would you characterise your leadership and what have you learnt in developing this?
  4. Reflecting on major and significant learnings during the development of your career, what are two key insights about yourself that you have gained?
  5. How do you approach diversity of ideas and thoughts, especially when they differ from your own?
  6. What are your visions and aspirations for broader societal and systemic change that the SILA Program will help you realise?
  7. How will this program advance your organisation’s impact and how might you use the capacity funding to achieve this?