ACWA Community Leadership Program

Growing Engaged, Empowering and Ethical Sector Leaders

CLP is proudly sponsored by HESTA Super Fund and Community Sector Banking.




What is the Community Leadership Program?

The Community Leadership Program is a transformative leadership development program that offers community & human services organisations a unique opportunity to develop the full potential of senior staff, and transform promising staff members into its next generation of ethical, engaged and empowering leaders. This multi-layered program focuses on developing the talents and potential leadership skills of its participants in the context of their individual workplaces as well as the community and human services sector as a whole. 

*Early bird discount valid until 31st March 2017.

Download the 2017 Prospectus

Why invest in cultivating leadership?

An effective workforce development strategy for organisations

The ACWA Community Leadership Program is an affordable opportunity to embed leadership development and succession planning into your organisation and increase retention rates of key staff. Graduates are inspired and effective leaders who have many new skills to contribute to your organisation’s sustainability and to assist in the achievement of your organisation’s goals. The workplace project carried out by participants in this program will provide an opportunity for the organization to directly benefit from the skills learnt in the program.

An opportunity for organisations to benefit from change projects undertaken by your participating staff member.

Students will be required to undertake a project within their organization, with the support of their managers, and will be receiving advice and support with this from professional coaches, experienced managers, as well as their peers.

A valuable professional development opportunity for individuals.

The programs targets new and emerging leaders and provides them with a year of deliberate focus on enhancing their leadership skills and knowledge and increasing the vision of themselves as leaders. Learning with other people in similar situations, they will benefit from the knowledge of experienced leadership facilitators and coaches who bring skills from different sectors, as well as from experienced sector manager mentors and from each other in mentoring groups.

Is this program for me or my staff?

This program is for staff who have supervisory and/or management roles, are committed to the community services sector and demonstrate the potential to develop further as leaders.

Program Components

These program components build on each other to create a complementary, multi-layered approach to developing leadership.


"This leadership program was very different from the other programs that I have attended in the past. It gave me a lot of opportunity to focus on my achievements and strengths and seeing the best in others…I have gone through a lot of growth on both a personal and professional level."

“It went beyond my expectations… it is about self reflection and opening up to my vulnerabilities as a leader, whilst maintaining professionalism and support to my staff. Leadership is a journey that never ends."

"I found the coaching extremely valuable and challenging - really stretched my brain... The work based project pushed me to explore work practices in ways that I otherwise may not have - gave me insights that helped shift my thinking and push me forward.”

Video Links

Why should organisations invest in their leaders?
What is unique about the Community Leadership Program? 
What has brain plasticity got do with leadership? 

Dates and Times

The 2017 ACWA program will run from May to November.

Topic/s 2017 Dates Presenters
Face-to-face workshop Yourself as Leader 1 May Ross Nicol
Adaptive Leadership 2-3 May Sharryn McLean
Leadership Webinar Build your Change Leadership Capacity 5 June Grace Leotta
Leadership Webinar Financial Planning for the Community Sector 29 June Community Sector Banking
Face-to-face workshop Igniting Brains for Leadership 24-26 July Maryanne Perry
Leadership Webinar Leading an Ethical Team 14 August Lesley Furneaux-Cook
Face-to-Face workshop Coaching for Performance 14 September Ross Nicol
Leadership Webinar Storytelling and Leadership 18 October Lesley Furneaux-Cook
Leadership Panel Leadership Panel & Graduation 15 November Lesley Furneaux-Cook

Individual coaching sessions are to be coordinated between participants and coaches.


All workshops and all other events will take place at the Association of Children’s Welfare Agencies office:

Level 4, 699 George St
Haymarket (Sydney) NSW 1240
Ph: (02) 9281 8822


Full registration fee: $3780
Register early and save $300

*Early bird discount valid until 31st March 2017.

View Terms and Conditions

How to Apply

Download the 2017 application form and email it to

Participants are selected via an application process and support from your manager/employer is required. 
Closing date for applications is 13th April 2017 unless all spaces fill sooner.

Any Questions

Contact the Community Leadership Program Project Manager Lesley Furneaux-Cook at