Governance Institute awards scholarships to three high-achievers

Governance Institute of Australia has awarded the 2016 Leonard Watson Chant Legacy postgraduate governance scholarship to three outstanding professionals. 

The scholarship covers the fees for each student’s preferred governance course, up to a maximum of AUD$13,038. 

The 2016 winners are:

  • Alison Lee (VIC), manager governance, policy and planning, National Gallery of Victoria
  • Penelope Wakefield (WA), company secretary, Therapy Focus
  • Joshua Chikuse (VIC), manager park planning, Parks Victoria

“The calibre of winners is outstanding and testament to a growing recognition that good governance is the hallmark of a successful organisation”, said Governance Institute chief executive Steven Burrell. “Each of the winners has their own career aims for pursuing their studies, but they all share a recognition that good governance improves the performance of any organisation and are eager to use their knowledge and skills to lift standards in the communities and sectors in which they operate.”

Penelope Wakefield made the point “it is essential for leaders in the community services sector not only to be passionate and dedicated, but also to have the skills and knowledge to govern organisations to ensure they meet their purpose. Winning the Chant Legacy gives me the opportunity to complete the Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance with Governance Institute, which I am confident will provide me with the tools, knowledge and networks necessary to build on my existing qualifications in science and business and take my career to the next level. I am committed to using this opportunity to enable community organisations, often with limited resources, to develop and embed strategies and structures that they need to achieve good governance and make a difference.”

According to Alison Lee, working in state art museums has enabled her to witness first-hand how good corporate governance contributes to an organisation’s efficiency, reputation and success. “While I have learnt a lot about good governance on the job, as a 2016 Chant Legacy winner I now have the opportunity to consolidate these skills and be at the forefront of good governance through studying the Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance. She added, “I have no doubt that the knowledge I will gain will benefit my organisation and also be shared with colleagues in the sector.”

When Joshua Chikuse began participating in senior management forums in his current job role, he found governance was almost always on the agenda, giving him clear insight into the need to have the right checks and balances, strategies and frameworks in place that hold a company to account. “Good governance demands transparency, accountability and alignment with the business goals and culture of the organisation,” said Joshua. 

“I needed a technically robust and practical postgraduate governance qualification that would give me a solid understanding and knowledge of good governance, which in turn will ensure I make better and informed decisions. Not only that, completing the Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance will emphasise my commitment to good governance and establish a solid foundation for managing governance risks. Importantly, I look forward to maintaining the high standards of Governance Institute,” Joshua concluded.

Mr Burrell said, “I congratulate the three winners and commend them for their talent, their passion for governance excellence and their desire to make a positive difference in their organisations. I wish them the very best with their studies and future endeavours. I am confident they will go on to achieve great things in their careers and in the public sphere.”    

“Penelope, Alison and Joshua were entitled to pursue any governance course from an accredited institution anywhere in the world. Yet all chose to study with Governance Institute. This is a great endorsement of our world-class qualification,” he added.

In the four years since the scholarship was established in 2013, Governance Institute has awarded a total of 29 scholarships. “We are very pleased the annual scholarship has encouraged so many passionate and talented professionals to hone their governance skills and to become instrumental in driving a whole-of-organisation governance culture in their organisations.

“As trustees of the Chant Legacy Scholarship, we are pleased to be able to encourage outstanding corporate governance students to further their professional qualifications and careers,” Mr Burrell said.

The call for the next round of scholarships will be advertised in August 2017.

For further information contact Viv Hardy on 0411 208 951or Steven Burrell on (02) 9223 5744 or 0407 708 485.

Notes to editor

Background on the Chant Legacy Scholarship

Applications were judged by an independent committee of widely respected governance and educational professionals, comprised of:

  • Professor Thomas Clarke, Director of the UTS Centre for Corporate Governance
  • Ms Julie Hare, higher education editor at News Limited, and
  • Ms Trisha Mok, Executive Director Legal Compliance, Scentia.

Scholarships are available to applicants seeking to pursue postgraduate governance studies at any government-accredited tertiary institution anywhere in the world and are based on merit and financial need.

Successful applicants receive payments to cover course fees of up to AUD$2,173 per subject, to a maximum of AUD$13,038 for the whole course. All of the 2016 winners nominated a graduate course offered by Governance Institute of Australia.

About Governance Institute of Australia

Governance Institute of Australia is the only independent professional association with a sole focus on whole-of-organisation governance. Our education, support and networking opportunities for directors, company secretaries, governance professionals and risk managers are unrivalled.


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