Perpetual / Australian Institute of Company Directors - Company Directors Course for Indigenous Business Leaders - 2021



Perpetual, the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and Australian Scholarships Foundation (ASF) are pleased to make 17 scholarships available for Indigenous leaders to attend the AICD's Company Directors Course for Indigenous Business Leaders in Perth in April 2021. The scholarships are focused exclusively on supporting Indigenous communities and will be funded by the Fred P Archer Charitable Trust (managed by Perpetual) and the AICD, administered by the ASF and delivered by the AICD.



Program Overview:

Company Directors Course for Indigenous Business Leaders and Assessment Preparation Workshop - 2021

The Company Directors Course™, first run in 1975, is the most established director program in the world and has played a vital role in founding director knowledge and governance standards in Australia. With an average 4,000 participants each year, this is your opportunity to join a community of directors that is shaping the future of governance in Australia.

The Company Directors Course will provide you with frameworks that can be immediately applied to improve board performance and decision making. Over five days plus a half day Assessment Preparation Workshop you will develop your skills by exploring the director's role and responsibilities. You will embark on interactive working sessions through sector-specific case studies to apply and reinforce your knowledge. After completing the course, you should not only understand the roles and responsibilities of directors, but also improve your contributions to board performance.


This program includes a complimentary Assessment Preparation Workshop to prepare you for the assessment leading to the award of Graduate Member (GAICD).


Course outline:


The Company Directors Course comprises five days:

  1. The Role of the Board and the Practice of Directorship
  2. Decision Making
  3. The Directors’ Duties and Responsibilities
  4. The Board’s Legal Environment
  5. Risk: Issues for Boards
  6. Strategy: The Board’s Role
  7. Financial Literacy for Directors
  8. Driving Financial Performance
  9. Achieving Board Effectiveness
  10. Learning into Practice

Why apply for the Company Directors Course for Indigenous Business Leaders?

  • Improve your effectiveness as a director
  • Make a lasting contribution to your board
  • Boost the performance of your organisation 
  • Develop networks to strengthen your director portfolio
  • Make confident business decisions
  • Safeguard your liability position
  • Influence the Australian governance landscape
  • Gain credibility with use of the GAICD post nominals


Program format and dates:

The Company Directors Course for Indigenous Business Leaders will run over 5 days plus a half day Assessment Preparation Workshop face-to-face in Perth in June 2021. There is also approximately 60-80 hours of pre-reading required before the course takes place (beginning March 2021).

Course dates: Monday 7 June - Saturday 12 June 2021


  • Monday - Friday: (arrival time 8:45am) 9am – 4:30pm AWST
  • Saturday: (arrival time 8:45am) 9am - 12:30pm AWST

Venue: Perpetual Offices: Level 29, Exchange Tower 2, The Esplanade, Perth WA 



"AICD’s Indigenous business leaders CDC training was outstanding, tailored to meet the needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders with relevant culturally appropriate case studies, delivered by knowledgeable, informed and friendly business managers and experienced company director practitioners with real world experience. The course helped me develop my career as a member of advisory boards and as a senior leader of research programs. It has provided the knowledge and knowhow required to effectively and efficiently participate in the operations of such facilities to benefit stakeholder, partners and community. I would unreservedly recommend this course to any and all aspiring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander leaders."

Prof. Stephen van Leeuwen, BHP Curtin Indigenous Chair - Biodiversity & Environmental Science, School of Molecular & Life Science at Curtin University



The health and wellbeing of our scholars remains our utmost priority, as do our efforts in protecting our broader community. The AICD is monitoring the COVID-19 situation and taking reasonable measures to adhere to relevant current government guidelines. 

*Please note due to the fluid nature of the COVID-19 situation and the varying State requirements, the AICD may have to change the Program details such as dates or delivery mode in line with relevant State requirements. Should COVID-19 affect the program dates or delivery mode, all attendees will be notified as soon as reasonably possible, and reasonable efforts will be made to limit the impact on scholarship recipients. If you have any questions or concerns prior to submitting your application, please contact ASF.



Who Should Apply


The program is at postgraduate level and is tailored to experienced directors and those wishing to take their performance to the next level, as well as executives who need to understand governance issues in depth.


The Company Directors Course is essential for the professional development of anyone who wants to further their directorship skills and knowledge. Participants include executive and non-executive directors, CEOs and senior executives who report to boards. It is recommended that participants have appropriate professional experience in reporting to or being on a board before applying. The Company Directors Course award is recognised for advanced standing by 18 universities and institutions.


See "Eligibility Criteria" below for more details.




Scholarship Inclusions


Scholarship recipients will be entitled to attend the full Company Directors Course for Indigenous Business Leaders, as well as a complimentary Assessment Preparation Workshop, spanning 5.5 days in total. 


There are 17 full and partial scholarships available to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander directors, public officials or senior executives reporting to a board in Western Australia and/or nationwide, as follows:

  • full scholarships, each valued at $7,600 +GST. Full scholarships cover 100% of the associated course fees. 
  • 13 partial scholarships, each valued at $3,040 + GST. Partial scholarships cover 40% of the associated course fees. Recipients or their employer will be required to fund the remaining 60% course fees totalling $4,560.


  • By applying for this program, you acknowledge you will be considered for either a full or partial scholarship at the discretion and final decision of the scholarship assessment panel. You need to be prepared to fund the remaining course fees if you are awarded a partial scholarship.
  • Partial scholarship recipients will be required to accept the scholarship offer in writing by Thursday 18 March 2021.
  • If you have been awarded and accepted a partial scholarship, your remaining course fees will be due by Monday 19 April 2021. You will be invoiced by AICD for this amount following the award of your scholarship.
  • Scholarship recipients will be encouraged to sit for the assessment leading to the award of Graduate Member of Company Directors and will be required to attend all five days and the half day Assessment Preparation Workshop of the course in person on the dates advertised.
  • Travel and/or accommodation expenses (if necessary) are to be covered by the successful candidates or their supporting organisation.


Key Scholarship Dates

Applications open Tuesday 15 December 2020
Applications close Wednesday 3 Friday 5 February 2021
Scholarships awarded Thursday 11 March 2021
Written acceptance due from partial scholarship holders By Thursday 18 March 2021
Payment due from partial scholarship holders By Monday 19 April 2021
All scholarship holders begin course pre-readings From Monday 26 April 2021 (6 weeks)
Course dates in Perth Monday 7 - Saturday 12 June 2021 (5.5 days)


Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must:

  • identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander;
  • be an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident;
  • be a new or existing director, public official or senior executive reporting to a board; and
  • meet the AICD’s program criteria for the Company Directors Course (see above at "Who should apply").

The assessment panel will also consider the following factors in their decision:

  • support from the applicant's organisation(s) via an endorsement letter;
  • the applicant's commitment to their organisation and/or the Indigenous sector;
  • the applicant's community involvement and leadership potential; and
  • the expected impact of the program on the applicant and their role / organisation.

While this course is held in Perth WA, candidates from other states of Australia are welcome to apply provided they are able to fund their own travel and accommodation costs.

The scholarships are awarded jointly by ASF, the AICD and Perpetual to applicants who fulfil the eligibility criteria and whose completion of the program would, in their view, benefit the individual and their organisation. Selection is based on the applicant meeting AICD entry requirements for the nominated program and written endorsement from the applicant's organisation.


“The program was beyond expectation – I didn’t think it would be so rich in information and application to everything we do. I thought it would be a hard slog, but the facilitators brought it to life. It was an amazing opportunity to meet Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people working across all sectors; high achievers and inspirational. The exam prep day was excellent and gave us the opportunity to ask questions. There is definitely a need for this program as there is an expectation from our own organisations and an emphasis from private and government organisations to have Indigenous directors. Indigenous people sit on Advisory Boards (which is what I did) then once you get enough experience, you are asked to sit on a board. The course organisation was fantastic and the online portal excellent and we were all treated professionally by Perpetual and AICD. It was heaps of fun."

Dr. Odette Pearson, Senior Research Fellow at Wardliparingga Aboriginal Health Equity, SAHMRI and Adjunct Senior Fellow at Adelaide Medical School


Scholar Surveys & Feedback

All applicants (regardless of the outcome of their application) will be asked to complete a series of surveys about their expected and realised learnings (once before and twice after the course). Your survey responses will help us to quantify the impact of our scholarships and will help attract funding for education and training for the NFP sector in the future. Your feedback is extremely valuable to the work we do and by completing these surveys you'll be making an important contribution to the future of ASF and the NFP sector overall.


How to Apply

To apply, simply click 'APPLY NOW' and follow the prompts to create (or log into) your profile page, upload an endorsement letter written by your supporting organisation and complete an online scholarship application.

For tips on what to include in your endorsement letter and who should write it, please see #12 of our FAQs.

Need help completing your online application? Download instructions for Creating a Profile Page and Making an Application.


More Information

For more information about the program, please click here. For program queries, please contact the AICD's WA office directly.

Get inspired by hearing about the experience from two past scholarship recipients in this short video.

Have questions? Check our FAQs page for answers to the most common questions. If you need assistance with the scholarship application process, please contact ASF via prior to the application deadline.


DEADLINE EXTENDED: applications for the 2021 Company Directors Course for Indigenous Business Leaders scholarships will close Friday 5 February 2021 at 5pm AWST (Perth time).



About Perpetual Philanthropic Services

Perpetual is one of Australia’s largest managers and distributors of philanthropic funds with $2.6 billion in funds under advice (as at 30 June 2020). Perpetual is trustee for many charitable trusts and endowments and provides individuals and families with advice on establishing charitable foundations and structured giving programs. Perpetual also assists charities and not-for-profit organisations with investment advice and management.

About the Australian Institute of Company Directors

The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) is Australia's largest membership institute for directors, committed to strengthening society through world-class governance. They aim to be the independent and trusted voice of governance, building the capability of a community of leaders for the benefit of society. Their membership includes directors and senior leaders from business, government and the not-for-profit sectors.

Closing Date : 05/02/2021
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