Global Leadership Academy launches successful pilot program

The Global Leadership Academy (GLA) launched as a collaborative pilot program between Monash University and the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) in the USA, resulting in a two-and-a-half-day, weekend workshop in June 2019.

The GLA is based on a successful existing Penn State initiative known as the Global Engagement and Leadership Experience (GELE). As part of a wider collaboration between Monash University and Penn State, the GELE framework was infused with curriculum from the Monash Intercultural Lab, resulting in the newly minted Global Leadership Academy.  The GLA’s curriculum took a linear, experiential approach in developing intercultural competence and global leadership skills.

The program began on the Clayton Campus with a Smoking Ceremony followed by a Welcome to Country. The group proceeded to board a bus and drive to a lodge in Kalorama (Dandenong Ranges) for the rest of the weekend. On arrival, the group undertook a series of cross-cultural simulation exercises, which served as the foundation for the rest of the program. Students then advanced throughout the weekend into self-exploration work on identity, Cultural Quotient (CQ) review, unconscious-bias and perspective taking, and global leadership and team building exercises.

Student participants

The cohort was composed of a diverse group of student leaders from a broad range of disciplines from Penn State and Monash. The aim was to foster an appreciation for, and application of leadership skills in an intercultural context.

This uniquely interdisciplinary, intercultural unique collaboration provided a transformative learning experience to students as evidenced from the comments below:

“I think that the GLA is an outstanding program, and for so many reasons. I was awestruck by the support of the facilitators and the engagement of the students. As an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary program, it captured the complexities of leadership for students of diverse educational and personal backgrounds. […] Knowing that Penn State and Monash University are investing in the future of leadership fills me with hope that we have the tools and the understanding to instigate positive change in the world, on the local and global scale.”

“I really enjoyed this weekend and am incredibly grateful for this opportunity to learn more about myself as well as others who are just as passionate as myself in developing cultural competence, so that we can lead effectively in a global context.”

“The GLA is without a doubt one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had in my lifetime. I know this because I feel I have experienced so much personal and professional growth in the short period of time since the GLA started, and even more since it ended. I have been able to apply some of the main thematic messages delivered at the weekend in my own personal life.”

“GLA was an eye-opening and rewarding experience that enabled me to connect with a diverse array of students on a level I didn't expect.”

In addition to the invaluable collaboration with Penn State, a number of Monash units supported and contributed to the delivery of the GLA:

  • Monash Intercultural Lab
  • Monash Abroad
  • Yulendj Indigenous Engagement Unit
  • Portfolio of the DVC-Education
  • Faculty of Arts and Monash Business School

Watch the video here.