Joint media release with the Australian Network on Disability and The AICD

Wednesday, 13 April 2022

The Australian Network on Disability and the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) in association with Australian Scholarships Foundation, are proud to announce after a thorough and lengthy review of over 200 applications, the 22 successful scholars.

These leaders with disability shone in their aptitude and ambition towards executive and board leadership roles.  Applicants were selected on their leadership aspirations and the value they would bring to the Australian workforce as future directors. The overall calibre of applicants was well above what was imagined, meaning the review process conducted by a panel of independent assessors was incredibly difficult.

The 22 scholars earned their place with full-fee scholarships to undertake either the Foundations of Directorship program or the Company Directors Course at the AICD and membership to the AICD. As well as, eight months of mentoring with an Australian business leader to help participants maximise their board career opportunities. 

Australian Network on Disability CEO Corene Strauss, said “The interest and quality of applications by leaders with disability, shows the importance of this program.  The need to remove the barriers faced by people with disability to ensure there is true representation on Australian Boards and Executive teams is evident.  This scholarship, along with the disability confidence training we are providing Australian board members, is a step towards a more equitable future.”

AICD Managing Director and CEO Angus Armour, said, “The AICD is proud to partner with the Australian Network on Disability to provide these scholarships and excited to welcome these 22 scholarship winners to the Institute.

“The Directing Change Scholarships will support leaders with disability to increase their governance knowledge and through that we hope access to board positions, as well as build the awareness and disability confidence generally of Australian board directors.”

Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to all recipients of the Directing Change Scholarship 2022. Winners include:

  • Alice Anderson
  • Ben Aldridge
  • Cameron Roles
  • Christopher Burrows
  • Dominique Evele
  • Fifi Rashando
  • George Taleporos (Dr)
  • Justin Lokhorst
  • Megan Spindler-Smith
  • Meryl Zweck
  • Priscilla Brice
  • Ross CHAPLIN
  • Sarah Fowler
  • Sarah Stewart
  • Yhana Lucas

Direct Change Scholarship 

On January 17, 2022, Australian Network on Disability in partnership with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) announced a scholarship for leaders with disability.

The historic opportunity supports leaders with disability to increase their governance knowledge and access to board positions.  Alongside building the disability confidence of existing Australian board members.

The scholarship was to provide 15 positions, however due to the overwhelming response and the strength of applicants, it was extended to 22.

The scholarship is a full fee-paying opportunity to attend either the Company Directors Course or the Foundations of Directorship program, both ran by the AICD.  Participants will also gain:

  • one-year membership to the AICD
  • a subscription to the AICD’s Directorship Opportunities service
  • 8 months of mentoring with an Australian business leader.
  • Tailored leadership workshops to support career and leadership progression

Building disability confident board members 

Australian Network on Disability is also building the awareness and disability confidence of Australian board directors, providing them the capability to welcome people with disability. 

With support from the AICD, and communications through their membership, there has been a massive response from Australian board members wishing to participate as a mentor.  

Thanks to our delivery partner, the Australian Scholarships Foundation who administered the scholarship application process. 

Australian Network on Disability and AICD are excited to see this program develop and grow and will shortly be announcing further opportunities to continue building the capability, connections, and confidence of more emerging leaders with disability’


1 in 5 people in Australia have a disability, however, this number is far from represented at executive and board level positions.  

Inclusion, diversity, and equity cannot be met if people with disability are not part of decision making across business.  Without Board and Executive representation, businesses are not making informed decisions with true market representation.

Low awareness, confidence and capability of Directors to welcome and include people with disability on Boards; along with less opportunities for leaders with disability to access learning and networking; are the main cause of this discrepancy.

Media Contact: Maegen Sykes 0439 167 567

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