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Leadership Excellence with John Bertrand AO

Leadership Excellence with John Bertrand AO



Leadership Excellence with John Bertrand

A message from John Bertrand AO

John Bertrand

"I am delighted to collaborate with Monash University and host this exciting program.

Leadership is a fundamental part of life, the essence of progress. From my perspective, leadership is about an exciting vision, of strong cultural values and of team building. Teams that achieve great things are driven, challenged and motivated to succeed.

This leadership program gives you the chance to develop your leadership skills through interactions with community leaders, distinguished alumni, Monash staff, and your fellow students. You will learn things that you will draw upon again and again throughout your career and your life.

I wholeheartedly recommend this leadership excellence program to ambitious students who seek to equip themselves with the skills and confidence to create amazing social change."

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About the program

Our unique program aims to provide you with the opportunity to develop the skills and confidence to create positive social change in your community. You'll partner with some of Australia's finest leaders and high-achieving members of the Monash alumni to solve a real-world problem for a well-known community organisation.


Over the course of the program, you'll be involved in series of exceptional opportunities.

A two-day residential, led by senior Monash academics and distinguished leaders from politics, commerce, the military, sport, and the arts. You'll attend workshops and hear from keynote speakers and panellists to improve your understanding of how to enhance your employability skills.

Complete a service learning project working in multidisciplinary teams of five. You'll partner with and solve a real-world problem for a community organisation, while being mentored by a member of the Monash alumni.

Present your project outcomes to all program participants and Monash community.

Clearly articulate the employability skills you've developed, using Student Futures.


By participating in this program you will:

  1. gain knowledge and understanding of complex issues relating to leadership in the 21st century
  2. work in a multidisciplinary team to deliver a service learning project
  3. facilitate positive social change in the wider community
  4. optimise your employability
  5. develop key employability skills:
  • communication
  • creativity and innovation
  • initiative and enterprise
  • professionalism
  • planning and organisation
  • problem identification and solution
  • intercultural competence
  • teamwork
  • use of tools and technology.

How to apply


There are 50 positions available for students in their third year or higher during 2017.

Positions are open only to students enrolled at a Monash University Victorian campus.

As the application process takes place the year before, at the time of application you must be either:

  • a current, second-year (or higher) undergraduate student
  • a current Masters or PhD student

Indigenous students

Please contact the Yulendj Unit for advice on preparing your application.

Eligibility for alumni

Alumni participants must commit to the role of mentoring a student service learning project team. There are 10 positions available for alumni who have demonstrated excellence in their chosen field.

Compulsory involvement

If successful, you must be available to participate in the compulsory elements of the program in 2017.

Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 April Program Residential
April to September Service learning project
(a minimum of 30 hours)
Thursday 28 September Presentation Ceremony
7 - 9pm

How to apply

Applications for the 2017 program are now closed. For students who have already applied, you have until 30 November to submit your references.

What you need to provide

The online application will ask for:

  • your personal and study information
  • your background, interests and achievements - academic achievement, employment history, involvement in extracurricular activities such as community service, sport, music, drama, public speaking, and fine arts, as well as evidence of high levels of achievement in these areas
  • short-answer responses to five questions
  • contact details for two referees, one must be a current Monash staff member. Both referees will be asked to comment on your suitability for the program.

Dates and contacts

Important dates


Tuesday 18 October Program information session - Clayton
1 - 2pm

Program information session - Caulfield
10 - 11am
Friday 25 November Applications close at 5pm
Mid-December Applicants advised of outcome


Wednesday 19 April Program Residential Day 1
9am - 5pm
Thursday 20 April Program Residential Day 2
9am - 5pm
Thursday 28 September Presentation Ceremony
7 - 9pm

Contact for enquiries

Phone: 9905 3151

This program is proudly delivered by Careers, Leadership and Volunteering.

Past speakers

John Bertrand

John Bertrand, AO

1983 America's Cup winning captain

John Bertrand, AO, is an international sportsman, businessman and philanthropist. He is the Australian who skippered the winged-keel Australia II to victory over Dennis Connor's Liberty to win the 1983 America's Cup, breaking 132 years of American domination — the longest-running record in the history of modern sport.

The Confederation of Australian Sport voted the victory the 'greatest team performance in 200 years of Australian sport'.

A world champion and Olympic bronze medallist, John represented Australia in five America's Cups and two Olympic Games.

Within the world of the America's Cup, he was involved in all areas of activity from skipper of Australia II to chairman of One Australia.

John is both a successful businessman and philanthropist.

Over his business career, he established successful businesses in the marine, property and digital media industries.

He is chairman of the Prime Minister's Alannah and Madeline Foundation. The Foundation is a world leader in anti-bullying and cyber-safety programs within Australian schools.

John is also chairman of the Sport Australia Hall of Fame, whose inductees include Sir Don Bradman, Herb Elliot, Dawn Fraser, and Rod Laver. In 2008, John was named Melbournian of the Year, and in 2011 he received Monash University's Distinguished Alumni Lifetime Achievement Award. Both awards were received for his philanthropic and community leadership.

He holds a mechanical engineering degree from Monash University and a Master of Science from MIT in Boston. He is a Vice-Chancellor's Professorial Fellow of Monash University.

John was chairman of selectors of the #1 world ranked Australian Olympic sailing team for London. He mentors many aspiring young Olympians.

John continues to compete at the highest levels in sailing, including winning the 2010 World Etchells Class sailing championship.

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The Hon John Winston Howard, OM, AC

The Hon John Winston Howard, OM, AC

Former Prime Minister of Australia

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John Winston Howard, born 26 July 1939, served as Australia's Prime Minister between March 1996 and November 2007. He is the nation's second longest serving Prime Minister, was a Member of Parliament for 33 years, and was Treasurer in an earlier government.

Under his leadership Australia enjoyed continued economic growth averaging 3.6% per annum. His government delivered major economic reform in the areas of taxation, workplace relations, privatisation, and welfare. $96 billion of government debt was repaid during the time in office of the Howard Government. When it left office in November 2007 the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia had no net debt, and its budget was in surplus. This strong fiscal position was a major reason why Australia suffered relatively few consequences from the global financial crisis.

Under John Howard's leadership, Australia strongly supported the United States and other nations in the fight against terrorism. Australia contributed military forces to operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Australia also led the United Nations sanctioned Interfet force following East Timor's vote for independence. The Howard government strengthened bilateral ties between Australia and many nations in Asia. During Mr Howard's time as Prime Minister, China became Australia's largest export destination.

Mr Howard is a Companion of the Order of Australia and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States by President George W Bush. In January 2012 Queen Elizabeth II appointed Mr Howard to the Order of Merit. In 2013, on the recommendation of the Japanese Government, he was awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun.

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Li Cunxin

Li Cunxin

Artistic Director of the Queensland Ballet

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Li Cunxin's journey is simply remarkable. He was born into utter poverty in Mao's Communist China. At a very young age he was selected to train at Madame Mao's Beijing Dance Academy. So began Li's journey. The seven years of harsh training regime at the Beijing Dance Academy taught him discipline, resilience, determination and perseverance. Li's astounding drive and relentless work made him one of the best dancers in the world.

Li then made a successful career transition from ballet into finance. He was a senior manager at one of the largest stockbroking firms in Australia. Li served on the boards of the Bionics Institute, The Australian Ballet and as Councillor of the Australian Council for the Arts. He was awarded a doctorate by the Australian Catholic University for his contribution in dance and literature, he was named 2009 Australian Father of the Year. Li was recently awarded Queensland Australian of The Year in 2014. Li is the Artistic Director of Queensland Ballet.

The inspirational story of Li's life is recounted in his memoir Mao's Last Dancer, which quickly rose to number one on the Australian bestseller list, won the Book of the Year Award in Australia and received the Christopher Award for literature in the USA. It went on to become an international bestseller. It's in the 52nd reprint. Mao's Last Dancer is now a blockbuster film.

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Elizabeth Broderick

Elizabeth Broderick

Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner

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Elizabeth Broderick was appointed for a five-year term as Sex Discrimination Commissioner in September 2007. The term has been extended to September 2015. She was also the Commissioner responsible for Age Discrimination from September 2007 until July 2011.

During her term, Elizabeth has been committed to improving gender equality through her advocacy in preventing violence and sexual harassment against women, improving lifetime economic security for women, balancing paid work and unpaid caring responsibilities, promoting women's representation in leadership, and strengthening gender equality laws and agencies.

Elizabeth has been a key advocate for Australia's national paid parental leave scheme and domestic violence reform. She has championed the changes to the ASX Corporate Governance Principles to increase the number of women at decision-making level. She has developed the Male Champions of Change strategy and worked with the Australian Government to strengthen gender equality laws and agencies.

In April 2011, the Government appointed Elizabeth, as Australia's Sex Discrimination Commissioner, to lead the Commission's Review into the Treatment of Women in the Australian Defence Force. Four reports on the Review were tabled in Australia's Parliament and the Review concluded in March 2014. Elizabeth now leads the Commission's collaborative work with the Australian Defence Force on embedding cultural change across Navy, Army, and Air Force.

Elizabeth is Global Co-Chair of the Women's Empowerment Principles Leadership Group, a joint initiative of the UN Global Compact and UN Women; a member of the World Bank's Advisory Council on Gender and Development, and member of the Australian Defence Force Gender Equality Advisory Board and Supply Nation. Elizabeth is an Ambassador for the Foundation to Prevent Violence Against Women and their Children and the overall winner of the 100 Women of Influence Awards for 2014.

Prior to her appointment, Elizabeth was a partner and board member at law firm Blake Dawson (now Ashurst).

Elizabeth is married and has two teenage children.

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Lieutenant General D.L. Morrison, AO

Lieutenant General D.L. Morrison, AO

Chief of Army (Australia)

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Lieutenant General David Morrison joined the Army in 1979, after completing a BA at the Australian National University. He graduated from the Officer Cadet School, Portsea to the Royal Australian Infantry Corps and between 1980 and 1991 he held a variety of regimental positions, from Lieutenant to Major, in Brisbane, Singleton and Newcastle. He was also the Australian Instructor at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst UK in the period 1987 to 1988.

After attending Army Command and Staff College in 1992, he was appointed as the Brigade Major of the 3rd Brigade, deploying in that role to Bougainville as part of Operation Lagoon in 1994, and following his promotion to Lieutenant Colonel in 1994 he spent two years at Army Headquarters as the Director of Preparedness and Mobilisation.

He was the Commanding Officer of the Second Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment in 1997 and 1998. Lieutenant General Morrison was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in 1999 for his services as Brigade Major, Director of Preparedness and Mobilisation and as CO 2RAR.

He was promoted to Colonel in October 1999 and took up the position of Colonel Operations, Headquarters International Force East Timor (INTERFET). On his return to Australia, he was posted to the Deployable Joint Force Headquarters as Chief of Staff. In 2001 he attended the Centre for Defence and Strategic Studies, Canberra, graduating with an MA in Strategic Studies. He was promoted to Brigadier in November 2002 and commanded the 3rd Brigade from December 2002 until December 2004. He was then appointed as Director-General Preparedness and Plans - Army and held that position until his promotion to Major General in December 2005.

He became Commander of the Australian Defence Colleges in January 2006 and during that year led a review into Defence's joint education and training system. In April 2007, he was appointed Head Military Strategic Commitments where he served for eleven months before becoming the Deputy Chief of Army in early 2008. During that year he led a review into Army's command and control structure which resulted in the Adaptive Army initiative which had, as one of its key outcomes, the proposed creation of Army's largest command - Forces Command, responsible for force generation and, through the oversight of the Army's Training Continuum, the development of a modern foundation warfighting capability. He was appointed as Land Commander Australia in December 2008 and became Army's first Forces Commander on 1 July 2009. On 24 June 2011, he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General and on 27 June 2011 he assumed his current appointment of Chief of Army.

For his service to the Australian Army in the fields of training and education, military strategic commitments and force structure and capability; in particular, as Commander Australian Defence College, Head Military Strategic Commitments and Deputy Chief of Army he was appointed as an Officer in the Order of Australia in the 2010 Australia Day Honours list.

His hobbies include remembering when he used to play golf, staying fit, cooking and reading. He is married to Gayle and has three adult sons from a previous marriage.

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Nathan Buckley

Nathan Buckley

Senior Coach, Collingwood Football Club

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Without doubt one of the greatest players to don the Collingwood guernsey, Nathan Buckley redefined the meaning of passion and commitment during a 280-game career that saw him receive a multitude of awards and earn recognition as one of the AFL's greats.

In 1993 Buckley was drafted by Brisbane and played 20 games for the club, winning the AFL's rising star award before moving to his beloved Magpies in 1994.

Throughout his famous career Buckley won Collingwood club's best and fairest award, the prestigious Copeland Trophy, a record six times in 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999 2000 and 2003.

He was club captain from 1999 until 2007, proving to be a natural leader, always leading from the front and by example.

He won the AFL's Brownlow Medal in 2003, sharing the win with fellow greats Adam Goodes and Mark Ricciuto, and played in Collingwood's 2002 and 2003 grand final teams, winning the Norm Smith Medal in the 2002 game, despite being on the losing side.

Buckley was named an AFL All Australian seven times in 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2003; a year that also saw him named the AFL Coaches Association Player of the Year.

In 1997 Buckley was named in Collingwood's Team of the Century and in 2011 was inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame.

Retiring in 2007 he rejoined Collingwood as an assistant coach in 2010, a year that saw the Pies win the flag, and in 2012 became senior coach.

2015 will be Buckley's fourth year as senior coach of the Magpies, having coached 70 games to date.

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Rosie Batty

Rosie Batty

Australian of the Year 2015

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Family violence campaigner Rosie Batty is the 2015 Australian of the Year and the Pride of Australia's National Courage Medal recipient.

Rosie is a leader in the crusade against domestic violence and has turned her personal tragedy into a fight to help others. Rosie's name became synonymous with the words courage and resilience. Only hours after her son's life was tragically taken, Rosie gave voice to many thousands of victims of domestic violence who had, until then, remained unheard.

Rosie Batty rose above her personal tragedy and the great loss of her 11 year-old son, Luke, who was the victim of domestic violence at the hands of his father in a very public assault. Rosie's ability to articulate the train of events that had led to this tragedy, has demonstrated the wider implications of her experience.

Rosie continues to champion efforts in the fight against domestic violence and along with the former Victorian Police Chief, Ken Lay, Rosie has been named as the founding members of an advisory panel on preventing violence against women.

Her public speaking appearances are a remarkable story of resilience, courage, inspiration, and making a difference.

Rosie's incredible strength and selfless efforts are an inspiration to many people.

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