Increasing board and executive representation

A woman looks happy and confident as she leads a group discussion at her place of work. She is a wheelchair user and has Muscular Dystrophy.

Inclusion, diversity and equity cannot be met if people with disability are not part of decision making across business.  Without Board and Executive representation, businesses are not making informed decisions with true market representation.

The Australian Network on Disability is pleased to be partnering with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) to provide a series of opportunities to increase the representation of people with disability in executive and board leadership positions.

The Scholarships will provide leaders with disability training and coaching to increase their governance knowledge and access to board positions.

Additionally, Australian Network on Disability will also build the awareness and disability confidence of Australian board directors, providing them the capability to welcome people with disability.

Directing Change Scholarship

15 full-fee scholarships are provided to people who identify as a person with disability, mental health condition or chronic illness (including physical, intellectual, sensory, neurological, psychological, or immunological) and are a practicing director or senior executive reporting to boards with a minimum 3 years’ experience (Company Directors Course) or a new director, senior executive, or manager (Foundations of Directorship program).

The scholarship provides the opportunity to attend either the Company Directors Course or the Foundations of Directorship program, both ran by the AICD .  Participants will also gain:

  • one-year membership to the AICD
  • a subscription to the AICD’s Directorship Opportunities service
  • 8 months of mentoring with an Australian business leader.
  • Tailored leadership workshops to support career and leadership progression

2022 Directing Change Scholarship applications are currently closed.  Watch out for our 2023 cohort opening in January 2023.

Disability Leadership Program

In the first round of the national Disability Leadership Program, 85 full-fee scholarships are being funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services. 

Scholarship recipients will undertake the Company Directors Course or the Foundations of Directorship course at AICD. 

 In addition to the course, scholarship holders will  receive a complimentary one-year: 

  • AICD membership  
  • Directorship Opportunities subscription, Australia’s foremost listing platform which provides the widest choices for directorship positions  

To help maximise board career opportunities, the program will also work with existing directors to build disability confidence through Leader-to-Leader Conversations facilitated by Australian Network on Disability.  

Applications are open until 24 July 2022.The Australian Scholarships Foundation (ASF) are our facilitating partners for the scholarship applications.

To find our more information or to apply visit the ASF website.


Disability Confidence for board and executives members

Low awareness, confidence and capability of Directors to welcome and include people with disability on Boards is one of the main barriers to representation.  Build your disability confidence by becoming a mentor to a leader with disability.

Become a mentor

As a mentor, you will be connected to an emerging leader with disability and support them in developing their governance knowledge. You will build your understanding of the barriers experienced by people with disability in the workforce and increase your confidence in ensuring Australian boardrooms are accessible and inclusive to all leaders.

To be a mentor you must a) currently be or have previously been on a board and b) (preferably) completed a course through the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

As a mentor you will receive Disability Confidence & Awareness Training from the Australian Network on Disability, as well as resources and regular support throughout the program.

Mentors will need to commit 1-2 hours each month from April – December to catch up with their mentee.

2022 Directing Change mentor applications are currently closed.  Watch out for our 2023 cohort opening in February 2023

Join a Leader to Leader Conversation

Conversations will be facilitated discussions to help assist Directors to understand their role in creating an enabling and inclusive environment.  Each session run for 90 minutes with five speakers presenting for 5 – 10 minutes each, followed by questions from the Board Directors (listeners).  

All sessions will be guided by an experienced independent external facilitator from the Australian Network on Disability. Following the sessions, each group will be provided with deidentified findings which can be used by Directors to take back to their Boards to help set priorities for disability inclusion. 

More information on how to get involved coming soon.