The Women's Leadership Initiative Program 2021

The Women’s Leadership Initiative is skilling up emerging Pacific leaders to strengthen networks and coalitions of change across the Pacific. Launched in June 2016, the Women’s Leadership Initiative is a five year, $5.4 million initiative of Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade committed to Pacific women’s leadership through learning, networking, and mentoring.

The Initiative is a targeted and coordinated approach to see women’s leadership flourish and to consolidate people-to-people links in the region. Through a range of individual and team activities, women and their male colleagues are challenged to consider gender and development while consolidating their personal and collective skills and ambitions.

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Each year, up to 35 Pacific women scholars are selected to participate in the Women’s Leadership Initiative’s Leadership & Mentoring program. Participants represent a group of high-calibre women with a shared vision for positive reform and a demonstrated capacity for developmental leadership.

Over 18 months, each participant is supported to develop their own leadership style and to effectively exercise leadership in the Pacific. This is achieved through a carefully tailored program that includes two residential intensives, professional coaching, analysis of real-life scenarios and challenges, and mentoring by influential Australian women.

Within months of being on the program, participants notice improved confidence and leadership capabilities, identify areas to apply their leadership tools, and enjoy extended networks and enduring links.


The Women’s Leadership Initiative is delivered in three tiers, allowing scholars to engage at a level that suits their individual interests and availability.

  • Tier 1 – Learning & Networking:
    Events and online learning modules create a shared vision for women’s leadership – including an emphasis on male champions of change – for men and women.
  • Tier 2 – Leadership & Mentoring:
    Residential leadership intensives, mentoring, bespoke programs, and real-life leadership coaching.
  • Tier 3 – Workplace Internships:
    Selected participants of the Leadership & Mentoring program are placed in Australian or Pacific organizations to gain experience and build professional networks.


  • All Pacific women Australia Awards scholars who will be enrolled at an Australian university / tertiary institution for the first semester of 2021 are eligible to apply.
  • Applicants must be available to commence the program in Australia in February 2021 and available to travel again in the last week of September 2021.
  • They encourage applications from women who are citizens from any the Pacific Island countries.
Eligible Regions: Cook Islands, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Niue, Tokelau, Fiji, Palau, Tonga, French Polynesia, Papua New Guinea, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Republic of Marshall Islands, Vanuatu New Caledonia, Samoa, Wallis & Futuna

Application Process

Apply through the given link.

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Application Deadline: October 18, 2020

Application ClosedOfficial link
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