AICD disability scholarship winners

Tuesday, 30 May 2023

The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) in partnership with Australian Network on Disability congratulates the successful candidates in the 2023 Disability Leadership Scholarship program.

One hundred and eight talented recipients have been awarded full-fee places to participate in the AICD’s national governance education program, as part of the Disability Leadership Scholarship initiative funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said, “I’m so pleased to announce the awarding of a further 108 scholarships under the Disability Leadership Program, taking the total number of scholarships awarded to 208.

“This is eight above our original target of 200, reflecting the strong interest amongst leaders with disability to progress into more senior positions, including onto boards.

“I’m particularly pleased 70 of these scholarships are being provided to women leaders with disability.”

This is the second round of scholarships to be awarded in the two-year program. All 2023 winners have the opportunity to undertake one of three directorship courses offered by the AICD: either the Company Directors CourseTM, Foundations of Directorship CourseTM or Governance Foundations for Not-for-profit Directors.

The scholarships maximise board career opportunities for leaders with disability, providing a structured environment for connecting with current Australian directors to build disability confidence and increase understanding of the barriers faced across business and the community through leader-to-leader dialogue.

The program is designed to encourage a mutual exchange, with educators, coordinators and experienced directors gaining insights into the lived experiences of people with disability in the workplace and on Boards.

The scholarship includes an annual AICD membership and Directorship Opportunities subscription.

AICD Managing Director and CEO Mark Rigotti acknowledged the achievements of the first round graduates and welcomed the next intake of recipients on board.

“The feedback we’ve received is very encouraging and as the program goes into its second year, we’re looking forward to these scholarships having a real impact, both for the participants and across the wider director community.

“The AICD is proud to be partnering again with Australian Network on Disability and working together to ensure that the wealth of talent and knowledge among leaders living with disability is recognised, built upon and becomes a greater presence in the boardrooms of Australia.”  

Australian Network on Disability CEO Corene Strauss said boardrooms that are inclusive better represent their staff and the communities and customers they serve.

“The Disability Leadership Scholarship program gives people with disability the skills and opportunities to advance their board careers while also helping existing directors to develop disability confidence.

“We are delighted to be working with the AICD to increase the representation of leaders with disability on Australian boards.”

The Disability Leadership Program is expected to run until June 2024 and is targeted at leaders with disability who are over 18 years of age, particularly women, First Nations people and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Scholarship applications were administered by the Australian Scholarships Foundation.

The scholarships are funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services. Go to for more information.

Download the media release here.

Media Contacts

  • AICD: Jane Braslin 0439 167 567
  • Australian Network on Disability: Megan Jones 0405 014 271

The Australian Institute of Company Directors is committed to strengthening society through world-class governance. We aim to be the independent and trusted voice of governance, building the capability of a community of leaders for the benefit of society. Our membership of 50,000 includes directors and senior leaders from business, government and the not-for-profit sectors.

Australian Network on Disability is the peak body for employers, government and industry bodies towards the equitable inclusion of people with disability. Through education and guidance Australian Network on Disability helps organisations identify unintentional barriers and develop systematic changes, resulting in a more disability confident Australia.  

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