Monash Minds Student Leadership Program

Monash Minds student leadership program. Thinking big.

Inspired by Sir John Monash and the Social Change Model of Leadership Development, the Monash Minds Leadership Program was established in 2014 to enhance the leadership competence and confidence of a selected cohort of first year students.

The Program is designed as a development experience for students who have a focus on excellence, a passion for learning, and a commitment to community service.

“… equip yourself for life, not solely for your own benefit, but for the benefit of the whole community.” – Sir John Monash

If you are selected for the Program, you’ll get the opportunity to develop your leadership skills so you can make a positive difference to the lives of others.


Evening Masterclasses

The Program will provide you with an opportunity to learn from highly respected community leaders from diverse professional backgrounds. Evening Masterclasses include opportunities to engage with prominent leaders, collaborate with a diverse cohort of like-minded students, and practice applying leadership skills in an interactive learning environment.

You’ll receive leadership development opportunities in areas such as:

  • critical perspectives on leadership
  • self-awareness
  • teamwork and collaboration
  • community development
  • communication and networking skills
  • social change.

You’ll also have the opportunity to develop great friendships, be mentored by a senior student, contribute to your community, and learn from the stories and experiences of incredible leaders. Speakers who have contributed to the program in previous years include:

  • Simon McKeon AO, Chancellor of Monash University, 2011 Australian of the Year
  • The Hon. Marcia Neave AO, Chair of the Royal Commission into Family Violence
  • Professor Mick Dodson AM FASSA, Aboriginal Australian barrister and academic, Northern Territory Treaty Commissioner, 2009 Australian of the Year
  • Dr Ranjana Srivastava OAM, oncologist, Fulbright Scholar and award-winning author
  • Mat Bowtell, 2018 Victorian Local Hero, engineer and prosthetic limb innovator
  • Lucy Thomas OAM, youth and anti-bullying advocate.

Service learning

During the program, you may have the opportunity to volunteer for a local community organisation. This enriches your leadership development experience through meaningful hands-on service that addresses real-life needs in the Monash University community. Volunteering enables you to enhance characteristics associated with effective leadership; such as collaboration, commitment, communication, citizenship and consciousness of self.


At the start of the program, you’ll be allocated to a mentoring group of up to twelve other program participants. The group is guided by a senior student mentor who has been trained in leadership development, mentoring and facilitation. Your mentor will support you through the program by connecting with you individually, as well as facilitating discussion and learning activities with your mentoring group.


On completion of the program, you’ll have had the opportunity to develop:

  • a sense of belonging with the Monash University community
  • essential leadership and employability skills
  • friendships with like-minded students from a range of faculties
  • your ability to effect positive social change in your community
  • a clearer understanding of your values, strengths and areas for improvement.

To receive an invitation to the Completion Ceremony and receive your Certificate of Completion, you must:

  • attend all Monash Minds events (or catch up online if you're absent)
  • complete at least four Leap into Leadership Online modules
  • engage in at least two catch ups with your assigned mentor
  • submit the end of program survey.


This leadership program is available to high-achieving and community minded students in their first year of undergraduate studies at Monash University. Each year, up to 150 students are selected to participate in the program.

Invitation to apply

Scholarships pathway

You'll be invited to apply for a place if you're a first year undergraduate and have participated in the Monash Scholars program, or you are receiving one of the following scholarships:

Sir John Monash Scholarship for Excellence

Sir John Monash Fee Scholarship

Sir John Monash Scholarship for Distinction

Achieving Potential Scholarships for Distinction

Monash Leaders Scholarship

Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship for Achievement

Faculty nomination pathway

Selected Monash faculties are able to nominate up to 50 students from their cohort to apply for Monash Minds at the request of the Program. These nominations are based on ATAR scores and are submitted only by faculties that are typically under-represented in the program. Faculties should not be contacted regarding nominations.

If you're eligible for this pathway, you’ll receive an invitation via email in February 2021, with details on how to apply for the 2021 Program.

Important dates for 2021

Tuesday 16 February 5pm Invitations open for eligible students to apply for a place in the Program
Wednesday 24 February9am Applications close
Monday 8 March 5pm Applicants notified of outcome
Wednesday 10 March  5.30–7.30pm Masterclass #1
Wednesday 31 March5.45–7.30pm Masterclass #2
Tuesday 27 April5.45–7.30pm Masterclass #3
Tuesday 18 May5.45–7.30pm Masterclass #4
Wednesday 4 August5.45–7.30pm Masterclass #5
Tuesday 24 August or
Wednesday 25 August
(to be confirmed)
5.45–7.30pmMasterclass #6
Wednesday 15 September 5.45–7.30pm Completion ceremony (invitation only)

As an applicant, you're encouraged to reserve all Program dates in your calendar at the time of application, as you will be expected to attend all Program events if you're offered a place.

Contact for enquiries


This program is proudly delivered by Career Connect.

Student testimonials

89% of students who completed the Program were satisfied with their experience, with 88% saying they would recommend it to others

"Monash Minds brought together so many people from diverse faculty backgrounds to share ideas and learn from each other. The opportunity to meet people and to share ideas has been invaluable. The guest speakers were illuminating and necessary and I am personally very grateful that I was able to hear from them."

Faculty of Law

"I did enjoy the mentor group and cohort-wide discussions that the Masterclasses were primarily based on; it was good to hear how other groups fared with the activities as well as bring together our collective knowledge. It also gave people an opportunity to step even further out of their comfort zones."

Faculty of Information Technology

"A space for supportive self development and growth as a leader within our community and on the global stage. The team-building activities and mentor one-on-one catch ups provided me with extensive insight into my own leadership abilities and understanding of leadership."

Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

"The interaction between bright students with a variety of backgrounds and interests made conversations enlightening and questioned predispositions to believing stereotypes. This was great because it provoked deep thought even outside of the Masterclasses themselves."

Faculty of Engineering

"My mentor was easily the best part of the Program. They were engaging, authentic and clear and helped to create an informal environment where everyone was comfortable to share. Being a student himself, my mentor offered a new perspective to the lessons taught in the main cohort discussion, which resonated with me as a student. The catch-ups were both valuable and insightful."

Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Mentor testimonials

“The best thing about being a mentor was the opportunity to work with, be inspired by and facilitate the development of such inspiring and aspiring young people. Watching my mentor group go from friendly strangers to close friends was really heartwarming! It was a privilege to be part of their journey.”

Jack Higgins
Bachelor of Science Advanced - Research (Honours)
2020 Monash Minds Mentor

“To encourage people to get out of their comfort zone, it’s amazing for them and feels extremely rewarding when they do. I loved the Program!”

Laura Schmidt
Bachelor of Media Communication
2020 Monash Minds Mentor

“The best thing about being a mentor was getting to know a group of motivated first year students who grew in their abilities to think and express themselves, as well as in their teamwork and understanding as a group.”

Jun Kim
Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine
2019 Monash Minds Mentor