First Nations Director Scholarship Program - applications close 3 December


    The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) is inviting applications for the First Nations Director Scholarship Program, a program aimed at developing a cohort of First Nations directors to contribute to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous boards across Australia.

    The program is funded by the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) and will see 135 governance scholarships delivered over a three-year period.

    The AICD is partnering with the Australian Indigenous Governance Institute (AIGI) to deliver the inaugural round of the program. It will provide 45 full-fee scholarships to directors and leaders reporting to the boards of First Nations peak organisations.

    • Applications open: Monday, 23 October 2023
    • Applications close: Sunday, 3 December 2023

    Scholarship overview and inclusions

    Participants will gain access to world-class governance education as well as culturally inclusive mentoring and workshop program to build their network and professional skills as a director.

    Each scholarship runs for 12 months and includes:

    • The AICD Foundations of Directorship™ for Indigenous Organisations course (three days) and an additional day-long workshop facilitated by AIGI
    • Accommodation to attend the course in a capital city
    • Reimbursement of travel costs up to $500 (exc. GST) to attend the course in a capital city
    • Mentoring with seasoned First Nations company directors
    • Industry workshops with a focus on cultural empowerment and governance ecosystem awareness
    • Facilitated peer learning and networking opportunities
    • One year’s membership to the AICD

    Key program components

    Governance education: Scholars undertake the three-day AICD Foundations of Directorship™ for Indigenous Organisations course which provides foundational knowledge of the duties and responsibilities of boards and directors.

    Workshop and cohort activities: Facilitated by AIGI, scholars participate in face to face and online workshops that are culturally relevant and community informed, including a day-long workshop run alongside the AICD course.

    Mentoring: AIGI pairs scholars with seasoned company directors for an enriching 12-month journey featuring at least 8 meetings.

    Delivery dates for the four-day in-person program are as follows:

    Monday 25 – Thursday 28 March 2024 (Sydney or Adelaide - to be confirmed)

    Monday 15 – Thursday 18 April 2024 in Brisbane

    Monday 20 – Thursday 23 May 2024 in Melbourne

    Applicants are asked to indicate their preferred course dates and every effort will be made to accommodate these preferences.


    Round one of the program is open to First Nations leaders of peak organisations. To be eligible to apply for the First Nations Director Scholarship (the Scholarship) you must:

    • currently sit on a board or committee of a member (or subsidiary member) organisation of the Coalition of Peaks;
    • be a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander descent, and
    • be accepted as such by the community in which you live;
    • be aged 18 years old or over;
    • be an Australian Citizen or permanent resident;
    • have never been disqualified from being a director of a corporation or organisation;
    • agree to the Scholarship timings and commitments (see FAQ Document).
    • provide with your application a letter of support from your organisation signed by the Chair, Board Member, CEO or Officer with authority to sign on behalf of the Board and/or CEO.
    • provide supporting documentation to substantiate any responses in your Application, and/or any other verification required by the AICD in respect of your application;
    • agree to the AICD’s Privacy Policy;
    • agree to the AICD Public Course Enrolment Terms and Conditions (Global T&Cs); and
    • agrees to the AICD Scholarship terms.

    Applications are submitted via an online form, an offline version of the form can be downloaded from the application portal.

    Supporting documentation

    Applicants are required toupload a Letter of Support from their organisation endorsing the applicant’s participation in the program and agreeing to fund travel costs incurred in excess of $500 (excl GST).

    The letter can be signed by the Chair, Board Member, CEO or Officer with authority to sign on behalf of the Board and/or CEO. A sample letter of support can be found here.

    If you need assistance with submitting a Letter of Support, please contact the AICD Scholarships Team at

    Selection Criteria

    Applicants will be evaluated on the following criteria:

    (a) Alignment of the Scholarship with your governance journey and development as a director;

    (b) Your potential for leadership and impact on your organisation and broader community; and

    (c) Any existing barriers to your participation in leadership and education

    Scholarship timeline

    Applications open: Monday 23 October 2023

    Applications close: Sunday 3 December 2023

    Applicants notified: Mid-late January 2024

    Mentoring commences: February 2024 (TBC)

    AICD Course delivery: March-May 2024

    Information sessions

    More information can be found in our FAQs. Virtual information sessions will be scheduled for anyone interested in hearing more about the program.

    These sessions will be facilitated by AICD and AIGI. Applicants can dial in to learn and ask questions about the scholarship opportunity, the application and selection process. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions of the team running the program.

    Email to register for one of the below information sessions:

    • Monday 6 November from 3.30 pm – 4.30 pm AEDT
    • Wednesday 8 November 2.00 pm – 3.00 pm AEDT

    How to apply

    • From Monday, 23 October 2023, click APPLY NOW and follow the prompts to create a profile.
    • Complete an online application form and upload supporting material.

    If you have any adjustment requests or accessibility requirements to complete this application form, please contact the AICD Scholarships Team at

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