About the Initiative

The Women's Leadership Initiative is a five year $5.4 million initiative of Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

In June 2016, the Australian Government committed to delivering a new Pacific women’s mentoring program. The Australia Awards Women's Leadership Initiative is a result of this commitment and was launched in New York on 21 September 2017 at a meeting with Pacific Islands Forum leaders.

The initiative is a targeted and coordinated approach to see women's leadership flourish. Through a range of individual and team activities, women - and their male colleagues - are challenged to consider gender and development while consolidating their personal and collective skills and ambitions. 

The objectives of the Women's Leadership Initiative are that:

  • female and male Australia Awards alumni are actively engaged in networks and coalitions that seek to achieve change in their own countries
  • female Australia Awards alumni are strengthening cooperation between Pacific countries and Australia
  • female Australia Awards alumni use their leadership skills to contribute to sustainable development outcomes for the Pacific

Women's Leadership Initiative activities are delivered through a tiered approach:

Tier 1 - Learning & Networking

Events and online learning modules create a shared vision for women’s leadership – including an emphasis on male champions of change – for men and women.

Tier 2 – Leadership & Mentoring

Residential leadership intensives, mentoring, bespoke programs and real-life leadership coaching.

Tier 3 – Workplace Internships

Selected participants of the Leadership & Mentoring program are placed in Australian or Pacific organisations to gain experience and build professional networks.