What is this program about?

    The First Nations Director Scholarship Program is aimed at building the capability of First Nations directors in the community-controlled sector to be able to contribute to First Nations and non-First Nations boards.

    Funded by the National Indigenous Australian Agency (NIAA), the program supports the National Agreement on Closing the Gap Priority Reform Two and the Government’s commitment to building a strong and sustainable First Nations sector that delivers high quality services to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country.

    Who can apply?

    The first round of the program will provide 45 full-fee scholarships to leaders currently sitting on boards or committees of First Nations peak organisations. Full eligibility criteria can be found on the AICD website.

    When will scholarships open?

    The first round will open for applications on Monday 23 October 2023.

    What is included in the scholarship?

    Each scholarship will include enrolment in a face-to-face course delivery of the AICD Foundations of Directorship™ for Indigenous Organisations, one-year AICD Membership, and participation in a program of culturally relevant and community-informed mentoring and workshops led by the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute (AIGI).

    The scholarship provides reimbursement of travel costs up to $500 (excl GST) for participants who live outside the course delivery city and are required to travel to attend the course. Reimbursements will be paid upon completion of the course, subject to receipt of valid tax invoices/receipts. Accommodation for the course and workshop delivery will be arranged and paid for by AICD.

    What should be included in a Letter of Support?

    Applicants must upload a letter of support from their organisation, signed by the Chair, Board Member, CEO or Officer with authority to sign on behalf of the Board and/or CEO.

    The letter should contain:

    • Brief overview of the organisation, including the number of employees.
    • Organisation's reasons for supporting your application.
    • Expected benefit to your organisation and/or community if you were successful.
    • Agreement to support your participation in the program and fund transport costs incurred beyond the AICD reimbursement.
    • The signatory's job title and contact details.

    The letter of support should be on the organisation’s letterhead and an A4 page in length. A sample letter of support is available here .

    Can I select when and where to undertake the course?

    Applicants are asked to select all course delivery dates/locations they would be able to attend in person. Every effort will be made to accommodate these preferences.

    What are the scholarship timings and commitments?

    The four-day program will be delivered face-to-face in a group setting in an Australian capital city. Other scholarship recipients will be undertaking the same course with you. Each group will consist of 12-20 scholars.

    Commitments include:

    • Pre-reading: You will have access to the course materials from 4 weeks prior to your course delivery and will need to complete the pre-reading which is estimated to take around 40 hours.
    • Course delivery: Attendance in person at your allocated delivery of the AICD Foundations of Directorship for Indigenous Organisations program. Each day will start promptly at 9:00 am and conclude at 4:30 pm.
    • AIGI workshop: The second day of the course delivery will include immersive workshops to empower participants with governance wisdom that's culturally relevant and community informed, facilitated by Australian Indigenous Governance Institute (AIGI).
    • Travel: You or your organisation will arrange transport to attend your allocated course. AICD will reimburse up to $500 + GST for your transportation to the course delivery location.  Reimbursements will be paid upon completion of the course, subject to receiving valid tax invoices/receipts from the Scholar. AICD will arrange and pay for your accommodation for the duration of the course delivery.
    • Assessment: Although optional, you will be prepared for and encouraged to undertake the assessment element of the course, which should be completed within 3 months of the course delivery.
    • Mentoring: Participation in all mentoring and group sessions facilitated by AIGI. These will take place online or in person.

    The scholarship program will run over several months, a Program Schedule will be provided with your Letter of Offer if you are successful.

    Do I have to be a member of the AICD to apply?

    No. The First Nations Director Scholarship Program is open to both members and non-members of the AICD. Each scholarship will include a one-year membership to the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

    I missed the application deadline – can I still apply

    No. Unfortunately, late applications cannot be accepted.

    How can I get more information?

    Please send all enquiries to

    How can I learn about future scholarships?

    AICD Scholarship Programs are advertised on our Scholarships page. If you would like to receive an email from us when a new Scholarship Program opens, please register for our Notifications List here..

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