Women leading and influencing

Women's Developmental Leadership Program


Each year, up to 30 Pacific women Australia Awards scholars are selected to participate in the Women’s Developmental Leadership Program.

Over 18 months, participants establish the foundations of developmental leadership, develop their own leadership style, and foster regional and country-based connections to drive lasting change. 

Core activities include experiential-based residential intensives to build connection, bespoke individual and collective ontological coaching, the exploration of Pacific development issues and priorities, pathways and processes to lead and influence change, and engagement and learning with LeadershipConnect. 

Bespoke coaching 

Participants are offered one-on-one issues-based and collective ontological coaching sessions with the Women Leading and Influencing coach. These sessions give participants a safe space to work through the barriers holding them back from achieving their full leadership potential. 

Residential intensives 

Participants undertake two week-long residential leadership intensives. During these two intensives, participants build deep connections, engage in learning sessions with prominent Pacific and Australian women and men, and test their understandings of, and approaches to, leadership and what this means in their personal contexts. 

Real issue challenges 

Participants identify and take on an initiative that addresses an actual developmental issue in their community, country or region. By tackling this issue, they are able to embed their leadership learning, test their skills and challenge themselves in a real-life scenario. 

Participants work closely with theWomen Leading and Influencing team and their own communities to address issues that will represent real change for them. If needed, participants can apply for funding to implement their project through the Leadership Fund. 

Workplace internships 

Selected participants and alumni are supported to design, seek and secure work placements and internships that build skills and networks and readiness to take on take on leadership roles on their return home. Participants are placed within Australian and Pacific Islands organisations depending on their industry and career objectives. 

Leadership is about continuously adapting and reinventing yourself to be relevant to any calling; women's leadership reflects that best.

Eselealofa Apinelu (Tuvalu) 2019 Alumni

Key program dates

28 September 2022 Applications open
13 November 2022 Applications close at 11:59PM (Australian Eastern Daylight Time)
November 2022 Shortlisting, interviews, reference checks
28 November 2022 Successful applicants notified
12 - 17 February 2023 First residential intensive: Outward Bound, Tharwa, ACT
February - August 2023 Ongoing mentoring, coaching and tailored support to develop your leadership skills
24 - 30 September 2023 Second residential intensive: Clear Mountain Lodge, Clear Mountain, QLD
February 2023 - August 2024 Ongoing coaching and tailored support to develop your leadership skills, knowledge and networks

Eligibility Requirements

All Pacific Australia Awards scholars who identify as women and are enrolled at an Australian university/ tertiary institution for the first semester of the calendar year are eligible to apply. 

Applicants must be available to commence the program in Australia in February 2023 and available to travel again in the last week of September 2023. Participants will be required to commit up to 15 days’ face-to-face contact in two residential intensives (February and September). 

Women from traditionally under-represented groups are encouraged to apply, including women with disabilities, women from small island states, women with diverse sexual orientation and gender identities. 

Some learning modules will be delivered between residential intensives. These are flexible but require internet access. 

We encourage applications from women citizens of any of the following Pacific Island countries:

Cook Islands Nauru Solomon Islands
Federated States of Micronesia Niue Tokelau
Fiji Palau Tonga
French Polynesia Papua New Guinea Tuvalu
Kiribati Republic of Marshall Islands Vanuatu
New Caledonia Samoa Wallis and Futuna