International Leadership Program: Indo-Pacific

Traditional Kattaikuttu performances in villages near Chennai, India to destigmatise COVID-19 and spread vaccine awareness. Credit: Sangeeta Isavaran.

The International Leadership Program is for arts professionals from eligible Indo-Pacific countries to join the Future Leaders or Arts Leaders Program in Australia.

Apply for a fully funded scholarship in one of our programs to transform your leadership and create impact for your organisation, practice or community.


International Leadership Program Information Sessions

Session 1: Open to applicants from all eligible countries

Wednesday 3 November

2.30-4.00pm AEDT

Registrations are now closed for session 1.

Join international alumni to hear about their experience of the program and to ask any questions you have. The session will be co-hosted by Australia Council staff and program facilitators, in conversation with the alumni.

This session is open to all international applicants from any of the nine eligible counties: China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Samoa, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.


Session 2: Open to applicants from all eligible countries

Wednesday 3 November

6.30-8.00pm AEDT

Register

Join international alumni to hear about their experience of the program and to ask any questions you have. The session will be co-hosted by Australia Council staff and program facilitators, in conversation with the alumni.

This session is open to all international applicants from any of the nine eligible counties: China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Samoa, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

Please note: It is a requirement of the program that you have functional English to be able to participate in the info session and program activity.


Session 3: Open to applicants from the Pacific Islands – Fiji, Samoa and Papua New Guinea

Tuesday 9 November

2.30-4.00pm AEDT

Register

Join Fijian-based program participant Venasio Komai, Australia Council staff and program facilitators to learn more about the 2022 Leadership Program.

We have developed this session specifically for interested applicants from Fiji, Samoa and Papua New Guinea.

Both sessions will be held on Zoom and you will receive a meeting link after you have registered.

Please note: It is a requirement of the program that you have functional English to be able to participate in the info session and program activity.


About the International Leadership Program

In partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the International Leadership Program invites applicants from nine eligible Indo-Pacific countries to apply for the Arts Leaders or Future Leaders programs in Australia.

The International Leadership Program supports you to form new connections and relationships with peers from across our region to explore creative leadership through a different lens.

Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, the International Leadership Program will take place online until international borders re-open and travel is possible. We anticipate that participants may be able to travel by the second or third residentials.

Visit our Arts Leaders and Future Leaders program pages to find out which program is right for you, including key dates and requirements.

Eligible countries

China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Samoa, Fiji and Papua New Guinea

Secondment

Extend your learning by developing your leadership with a placement in
Australia after your final residential, or when international travel restrictions permit.

For more informational please refer to the International Leadership FAQ.

“The Leadership Program allowed me to reconstruct my understanding of leadership and it came in especially useful when navigating through times of crisis in the arts sector due to the pandemic. But even more so were the network of art leaders I’ve met through the program. In these unprecedented times, and with no government support for the arts sector, international collaborations and solidarity have been instrumental for our survival.”

International Future Leaders (Indonesia) 2018 cohort

Contact

Frances Robinson,
Manager Capacity Building
leadershipprogram@australiacouncil.gov.au
+61 2 9215 9058

The Arts Leaders Program is for mid-career to established arts leaders with over ten years’ experience in the sector. The Future Leaders Program is for emerging arts leaders within the first ten years of their career. Both programs are open to artists and arts workers within organisations, working independently or in community. Please select the program that best suits your career stage.

International applicants must be based in one of the nine eligible countries to apply. If you are unsure of your eligibility, please get in touch.

We are looking for applications from across the cultural and creative industry, both in Australia and selected countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

You can submit your application via our online application system. If you have access requirements, please let us know how we can support you.

Your application should include a short introductory video, five written responses to the questions as well as your CV as support material. Please refer to our FAQ section below for more information.

Video response

  • Introduce yourself and tell us why you do what you do
    We’d like to get to know you! Submit a short video message (up to 3-minutes max) to tell us about yourself. What has been your journey? Why are you passionate about the cultural and creative industry? What are your aspirations for the future? Or anything else you’d like to share.

Written responses

  • Why do you want to participate in this program and why now?
    What has led you to apply for this program? What is your motivation for participating? In this question, we want to know how this program connects to your personal and professional development. This is not a job application – we are looking for potential rather than assessing your achievements to date.
  • What does your leadership practice look like?
    Leadership is not just a position, but a practice. In this question, we are interested in understanding your approach and practice of leadership; in your community, in your arts practice, in your organisation and in your daily life.
  • Tell us about a time that you worked collectively with others.
    Our programs bring together leaders from a diversity of artforms, cultural backgrounds and geographical locations. We create safe spaces to encourage open, generous, and collaborative approaches to learning. In this question, share your experience of a relationship or exchange that has been an important leadership moment for you.
  • Tell us about how you advocate for the cultural and creative industries.
    Strengthening the creative industry’s profile and public value is critical for the arts to not only survive, but to thrive in the current context. In this question, we encourage you to reflect on the role you play in enhancing the public value of the cultural and creative industries.
  • Share your reflections on how you have adapted to change over the past eighteen months?
    COVID-19 has undoubtably had a significant impact on the arts and cultural landscape, yet we have also seen the crucial role that creativity plays in developing new ways of adapting practices. As we are likely to continue to face disruptions, we are interested to know how you have responded and adapted to change.

Applications will be reviewed internally and alongside industry advisors. We will assess applications against the following assessment criteria, and in line with Australia Council’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

  • An active and reflective approach to leadership development.
  • Ability to engage with diverse ways of learning and connecting with others.
  • Commitment to advocacy and improving the sustainability and wellbeing of the arts sector.
  • An adaptable and open approach to managing change.

For more details about the application and selection process, please see our FAQ section

Diversity and access: leadership program


The Australia Council encourages applications from people who identify as First Nations, from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, people with disability, and people living in regional and remote areas.

We actively work with individuals to support access needs – including childcare, cultural practices, financial and/or learning access needs as required. We encourage applicants to contact us via phone or email to discuss further. Learn more about diversity in leadership.

Easy English
We have developed an Easy English Guide for our leadership programs. Easy English combines text and images to convey information simply and directly, supporting people who have difficulty reading and understanding English.

International Leadership Program FAQs

The International Leadership Program is a fully funded scholarship program for arts professionals from eligible Indo-Pacific countries to join either the Arts Leaders or Future Leaders programs. Following the final residential, International Leaders may choose to complete a 4-week secondment with an organisation of their choice in Australia, travel restrictions permitting.

The International Leadership Program invites applicants from China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Samoa, Fiji and Papua New Guinea. These countries have been identified as priority regions in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Applicants may decide to apply for either the Arts Leaders Program or Future Leaders Program, depending on their background, experience, and career stage.

All activity for the programs will be in English and participants are required to participate fully in discussions, workshops and presentations. Successful applicants will be required to satisfy ‘Functional English’ proficiency. You can read more here: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/meeting-our-requirements/english-language/functional-english

Yes, successful applicants will need to apply for a subclass 407 Training Visa. This Visa will be sponsored by the Australia Council once you have been notified that you have been selected for the program. Visa’s must be finalised within an agreed timeframe, before the start of the program, otherwise your participation in the program may be cancelled. Successful applicants will need to satisfy the eligibility of this Visa, found here: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/training-407#Eligibility

Please do not apply for a Visa until international border restrictions have been lifted. Australia Council will notify you when to apply for your visa.

A residential is a five-day intensive experience that may take place in-person, online or hybrid, depending on COVID-19 restrictions at the time of the residential. The program is designed and led by our core facilitators and responds to the needs of the group. The residentials are not a professional development conference, rather they provide time and space for the group to connect, collaborate, listen, and hear from key guest speakers. We encourage you to use the residentials as an opportunity to re-focus, invest in your development, feel nourished and plan for the future.

International applicants may choose to join the Future Leaders Program or Arts Leaders Program residentials. Please see the dates for the residentials on the relevant program page.

Travel restrictions permitting, our residentials will take place in regional Australia. We choose regional locations, primarily to spend time learning in Country with Custodians, to slow down, rest and rejuvenate and to allow for new perspectives and knowledge-sharing in a non-urban environment.

You will be notified of the first residential location shortly after you have been accepted into the program, and the second and third locations will be announced at the end of the first residential.

In 2022-23 we are planning for our leadership program residentials to take place in-person in regional Australia, however depending on travel and border restrictions, we may need to adapt the residential to an online or hybrid gathering instead.

We will provide at least 4-weeks’ notice ahead of the residential if this occurs. It is highly unlikely that we will postpone any residential dates due to COVID-19 and are confident in our ability to produce high quality, connected residentials in hybrid ways.

Travel and international border restrictions permitting, we anticipate that international participants may be able to travel to Australia for the second or third residentials, and for the secondment following the conclusion of the program.

That is completely understandable! If you have access requirements, travel concerns or another reason that means your preference is to join the residentials in a hybrid or digital way, we encourage you to reference this in your application so that we can work with you to develop alternative models of participation.

Pending international border restrictions, the Australia Council will cover the following costs for participants:

  • return economy class flights from your home city to a relevant Australian or international capital city to attend the residential workshops.
  • accommodation during residential workshops, plus up to 3 nights of accommodation in the nearest Australian capital city prior to or following each residential.
  • meals during each residential workshop.
  • per diem of AUD $80 per day towards meals and expenses for non-residential days.
  • on the ground transport in Australia, including transfers to and from residentials.
  • travel and health insurance for the length of the program.
  • course materials and access to an online learning platform.
  • flights, accommodation and per-diems during your secondment.

Should travel not be possible, the Australia Council will cover costs to support your successful participation in the program, including tech requirements, accommodation in your own city and per diems for the duration of the residential.

International applicants may choose to join the Future Leaders Program or Arts Leaders Program residentials. Please see the dates for the virtual online sessions on the relevant program page.

International participants are invited to apply for a supported secondment opportunity with an Australian arts organisation of their choice, at the end of their residential program. The secondment is a unique professional development opportunity to explore different aspects of arts leadership and to learn from others in a new working environment. The Australia Council will assist with providing introductions and financial support for up to a four-week period. Secondments may take place digitally or in-person (border and travel restrictions permitting).

You first need to select the program that you wish to apply for: Future Leaders Program or Arts Leaders Program. International applicants are invited to join one of these two programs. After this question, you will be asked if you are an Australian citizen or resident. When you answer ‘no’, it will take you to the eligibility criteria for the International program.

Future Leaders lead facilitator: Dr Ananth Gopal, Polykala 

Ananth holds a PhD in Human Geography specialising in socio-ecological adaptation. He has taught at the Universities of Wollongong and Melbourne and is an active researcher. Ananth has worked as an actor in Australia, New Zealand and the UK for the last 15 years and is an associate artist at Melbourne Playback Theatre Company. Ananth was trained by Marty Linksy and Ron Heifetz at Harvard Kennedy School in the Adaptive Leadership approach. He holds a Cert IV in adult education (TAE), BA (Hons) and a Diploma in Spanish language.

Future Leaders lead facilitator: Tom Henderson, Polykala 

Tom has a background in journalism and politics. He has trained at the Harvard Kennedy School with Marty Linksy and Ron Heifetz and holds an Advanced Diploma of Facilitation from the Groupwork Institute. His work with Polykala has included supporting the renegotiation of the Regional Forestry Agreements; delivering adaptive leadership training to LGAs in Victoria and the Northern Territory and a range of Universities and NFPs. He holds at Cert IV in adult education (TAE), a BA (Uni Melb) and is pursuing graduate study in Psychology.

Arts Leaders lead facilitator: Professor Judith McLean

Professor Judith McLean is currently Scholar-in-Residence (QPAC). She has extensive Board experience and is currently a company Director at Queensland Tourism and Events. In this role, Judith chairs the events business which focuses on sport, lifestyle, arts and cultural policy and practice (2009-). She was also on the board of Asia Pacific Screen Awards (2009-2013); Chair, Southern Cross Soloists (2009-2015); Inaugural Chair of Major Brisbane Festivals Pty Ltd  (2003-2007) and Chair & Board Member of Queensland Theatre Company (1995-2004).

Judith works in the performing arts, events and education areas as an educator, director, executive coach and company director. Over the past 13 years she has led management and executive leadership programs in corporate settings, including the health, defence, financial, media and public sectors.