World-class leadership program now open for social purpose CEOs in Queensland and the Northern Territory

A new opportunity has arrived to support and enhance the capabilities of for-purpose organisations in Queensland and the Northern Territory, with applications now open for CEOs to join Australia’s most comprehensive leadership program for the for-purpose sector.

The Social Impact Leadership Australia (SILA) program is a world-class leadership and capacity-building program specifically designed for for-purpose organisations to increase their impact through specialised professional development for CEOs, coupled with support for their organisation.

For-purpose leaders from Queensland and the Northern Territory are now invited to join SILA for the first time. Delivered by the Centre for Social Impact, SILA is a $9.8 million collaboration between four of Australia’s major foundations: The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund, the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation and the Paul Ramsay Foundation.

The fully-funded leadership program aims to empower for-purpose CEOs to create greater social impact across Australia. Over 10 months, 24 leaders from Queensland and Northern Territory will participate in a tailored program of executive education, including a funded sabbatical, one-on-one coaching and dedicated capacity-building for their organisation. 

An independent evaluation by Nous Group found the SILA program delivers high levels of impact for participating CEOs, their organisation and the broader social purpose ecosystem. In a post-program survey, 100% of participants agreed their organisations has, or is likely to experience, tangible improvements due to the SILA program. A further 95% said it has enhanced their organisation’s capability and culture.

The Centre for Social Impact is the leading provider of social impact education across Australia. Acting CEO Lyndsey McKee said leaders of for-purpose organisations need programs such as SILA now more than ever.

“In light of the significant challenges confronting not-for-profits and social purpose organisations in Queensland, the Northern Territory and nationwide – from surging service demands to dwindling volunteer participation and constrained funding landscapes – there’s a growing need to provide our leaders with the necessary support to drive enhanced outcomes for the individuals and communities they serve.  Helping leaders come together, to share and learn as a network, bolstered by the guidance of the country’s top facilitators and coaches, as well as capacity funding for their organisation, presents an incredible opportunity.”

Jenny Wheatley, CEO of the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, said SILA offered a top-level investment that was critical to ensuring long-term impact for for-purpose organisations.

“Too many for-purpose CEOs sacrifice investment in their professional development,” she said. “The SILA Program gives not-for-profit leaders the permission, and the funds, they need to grow both themselves and, in turn, their organisation’s impact. Perhaps even more important, each SILA cohort becomes a vital support network of leaders that can sustain one another throughout their leadership journeys.”

Enrolment in the course would normally cost more than $80,000 per delegate, including over $30,000 of untied capacity funding provided to each CEO to meet the needs of their organisation.

The SILA Program welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds and is committed to ensuring all selected CEOs can fully participate in the program, with a dedicated fund to overcome potential barriers to participation including travel, experiencing disability or caring commitments.

Cohort Two participant James Hattam, CEO of the Tasmanian Land Conservancy, said SILA had helped him develop stronger leadership skills and build a broader culture of leadership within his organisation.

“SILA was a gamechanger for me. I benefited hugely from having a personal coach who was so invested in me and my development, and I came back from my sabbatical with a much deeper knowledge of conservation and a clearer vision of how to lead in such a vital space.”