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.

Steven Burrell, chief executive of Governance Institute, congratulated the winners and praised their commitment to developing their governance expertise in order to effect positive changes in their own organisations and their industries more broadly.

“The calibre of our 2016 winners is exceptional. I commend them for their talent, their passion for governance excellence and their desire to make a real difference in their organisations and communities,” Mr Burrell said. 

The 2016 winners are:

  • Frieda Orr (WA), listings compliance adviser at ASX Limited
  • Suzy Watson (VIC), general counsel and company secretary at Estia Health
  • Libby Guest (NSW), board member North West Local Land Services

Frieda Orr from ASX Limited hopes her scholarship will give her the skills to transition to a company secretarial role in a start-up company. Ms Orr is also on the board of a not-for-profit community body offering mental health services to victims of childhood abuse. Her longer-term aspiration is to become a professional director and to expand the number of women in Perth’s most esteemed boardrooms.

“Western Australia trails significantly behind the eastern states when it comes to women in executive and board roles. I want to be part of the change in tide that sees more women in Perth boardrooms and executive roles, and I know a strong foundation in corporate governance knowledge will help me achieve this dream,” Ms Orr said.

Suzy Watson said that the governance scholarship would assist her to develop the skills to make a tangible contribution to her employer organisation, aged care provider Estia Health, and to the sector as a whole.

“There are numerous leadership development challenges in the aged care sector. There is an urgent need to address the quality and consistency of aged care leadership in view of rapid sector reform, workforce shortages and industry maturity. My goal is to use the skills sets from my postgraduate study to make a difference in the lives of thousands of people by developing forward-looking and innovative solutions to enrich the later years of people’s lives,” Ms Watson said.

Libby Guest was appointed in 2014 to the board of North West Local Land Services, a NSW government body, where she draws on her background as a government field veterinarian to deliver agricultural, biosecurity and natural resource management services to rural and farming communities. Ms Guest wishes to develop her governance expertise to enhance animal health policy in Australia.

“I believe that by combining my rural background, governance expertise and veterinary capabilities, I will be able to drive improvements in animal health policy through my involvement in government or industry bodies”, Ms Guest said.

Mr Burrell observed that all three scholarship recipients had chosen to undertake Governance Institute’s Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance.

“The winners 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,” Mr Burrell said.

“I wish our winners the best with their studies and am confident they will go on to achieve great things in their careers and in the public sphere”.

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 
  • Mr Douglas Gration, barrister-at-law and Victorian Council member.

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.

Applications for the next round of scholarships will open in September 2016.

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Media contact: Hannah Edwards,

About Governance Institute of Australia 

A national membership association, advocating for a community of 40,000 governance and risk management professionals from the listed, unlisted and not-for-profit sectors.  Our mission is to drive better governance in all organisations, which will in turn create a stronger, better society.


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