Why you should apply for the Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship

Make a difference to Australia's future and gain global experience
Applications are now open the Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship. If you’re starting a postgrad degree next year, Sydney Uni student and 2017 recipient Emily Sisson shares four reasons to convince you to apply.

1.  The people you will meet

"The people who make up the Westpac Scholars community are, in my opinion, the best and most invaluable component of this scholarship. From access to leaders across all industries to your fellow Westpac Scholars – the people you meet will support you but they will also push you and inspire you to grow.

In my cohort there is an architect, a human rights lawyer, biochemists, physicists, a psychologist and doctors – but the common thread of authenticity, drive and passion persists through each individual. As a Westpac Scholar, I am also part of the Westpac 100 Scholars Network for life, which is a community of all past and present Westpac Scholars – this will be an invaluable network as I move forward in life and my career."

2. “But I’m not a leader” – that’s okay, you’ll become one

"Don’t worry, I didn’t consider myself a leader either when I applied. But as the Westpac Leadership Development Program will teach you, there are many different models of leadership. Far from the extroverted, charismatic persona you may conjure up when you think of the word “leader”, we were encouraged to consider that leadership can take many forms. The program empowers you to the develop skills required to be a “leader” – whatever that may mean to you and your field.

As long as you are driven and have a genuine passion to contribute to society, then you can consider yourself a future leader and are an excellent candidate."

3. Academic opportunities at the University of Sydney

"In Australia and many other countries, the government is the key funder, regulator and provider of the health system. The University of Sydney recognises this and has created a Master of Health Policy program taught by academics and policy practitioners – we had lectures from people in the Federal and State Departments of Health, and consumer and non-governmental health organisations.  

As the oldest university in Australia, the University of Sydney has well-developed academic and extra-curricular programs, as well as established relationships with industry and government, meaning you will be taught by leaders in each field. And, importantly for me, opportunities to translate what you learn into practical settings."

4. Exposure to a diverse range of people and ideas

"Let’s face it – in the context of increasing complexity, the solution to some of societies’ most pressing challenges are going to come from a multi-sectorial approaches. Westpac recognises this and facilitates many opportunities to encounter new and different ideas across a range of fields. For example, the Leadership Development Program involved extensive upskilling on international relations and foreign policy (an area completely new to me) taught by leaders in the field such as Hugh White, Michael Wesley, and a keynote by Penny Wong.

It’s this exposure to different disciplines, perspectives and ways of thinking that we can bring back and apply to our own disciplines to help us find new ways of thinking about old problems and truly enable us to be leaders in our respective fields."

20 August 2018

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