Vice-Chancellor's Student Leadership Program

Program for undergraduate students: Semester 2, 2017

The Vice-Chancellor's Undergraduate Student Leadership Program will be presented in Semester 2. The Program provides professional development and mentoring in leadership capabilities.

Undergraduate students who are in, or about to take up, leadership positions in ANU student organisations such as ANUSA, Senior Residents, Residents Committees and student clubs and societies are strongly encouraged to apply. All applicants must have a sound academic record and be currently enrolled at the time of application and during the program.

There are 18 places in the group. Applications close at midday on Friday 26 May 2017.

Program sessions

The program includes:

  • six evening workshops on Tuesdays, 5.30 - 8.30 p.m. (dinner included)
  • two one-day workshops on Saturdays, 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. (lunch included)
  • an evening meeting at which completion certificates will be presented to participants by the Vice-Chancellor.

Evening workshop

Tuesday 8 August (5.30pm - 8.30pm)

One-day workshop

Saturday 12 August (10am - 4pm)

Evening workshop

Tuesday 22 August (5.30pm - 8.30pm)

Evening workshop

Tuesday 29 August (5.30pm - 8.30pm)

Teaching break

Evening workshop

Tuesday 19 September (5.30pm - 8.30pm)

Evening workshop

Tuesday 3 October (5.30pm - 8.30pm)

One-day workshop

Saturday 7 October (10am - 4pm)

Evening workshop

Tuesday 17 October October (5.30pm - 8.30pm)

Certificate presentation


Please note that attendance at all sessions is a requirement for completing the Program.

Program content

The program defines leadership very broadly to include a wide range of different ways of energising, enabling, influencing and motivating people to pursue collective goals. On this broad definition, leadership can be exercised by people without formal leadership roles, one-to-one and in small groups & teams, and (in terms of organisational structures) upwards, downwards and sideways.

Workshops are tailored to the needs of each year's intake and designed to facilitate the development of participants' leadership capabilities. Central themes are the importance of:

  • clarifying your guiding values and purposes as a leader
  • developing your own styles of leadership - ones that are aligned with your values and with your strengths and personal qualities
  • developing a range of leadership styles and approaches, and the situational judgement to choose the best approach for particular circumstances.

Topics covered in previous programs have included the following:


  • Emotional intelligence, including the ability to understand others' perspectives
  • Communicating to motivate & influence, including the use of questions & active listening, and persuasion & advocacy
  • Relationship building
  • Sources of power to influence - the ethics and pragmatics of power
  • Motivating & building engagement for change
  • Presentation skills
  • Coaching & mentoring to enable and empower
  • Approaches to challenging conversations (including giving constructive feedback)
  • The conflict competent leader
  • Team leadership


  • Visionary and inspirational leadership
  • Resonant leadership - the use of emotional intelligence in leadership
  • Strengths-focused leadership
  • Values-based leadership (including the contribution of character to leadership)
  • Distributed leadership - enabling and empowering others to share leadership
  • Leading by asking questions: the leader as coach and process facilitator
  • Connective leadership - working through relationships and dialogue
  • Adaptive leadership - responding to complex problems by mobilising the collective intelligence of the group


  • Self-leadership - envisioning & goal-setting, finding and expressing your own voice
  • Self-coaching to ensure that your mindset is enabling rather than restrictive
  • Energy and time management
  • Building resilience & self-confidence
  • Managing your performance
  • Managing your emotions
  • Guiding your leadership development

Learning processes

The program will introduce a systematic, mindful, action learning approach to leadership development.

Each session will comprise a series of interactive activities in which participants explore and clarify their ideas about leadership and practice a range of leadership skills. Participants will be encouraged to translate their reflections into action-plans for developing their leadership capabilities and to implement these plans between sessions.

Notes and readings will be provided for each session.


Students are assigned a senior member of staff of the university as a mentor.

Attending at least three meetings with the assigned mentor is a requirement for completing the Program.

Leadership project

Each participant will devise and conduct a leadership project in which they will play a leadership role in motivating a group to work together towards a positive change or development:

  • in the ANU - within a particular area of the university (e.g. their course, a Residential Hall or Academic College, a club or society) or across the University
  • or within the Canberra community

In 2017 some seed funding will be available to support some projects. PARSA and ANUSA will be administrating a pilot fund, similar to the Student Extracurricular Enrichment Fund (SEEF). Only participants in the Vice-Chancellor's Student Leadership Program will be able to apply for this funding. The introduction of this funding recognises the amount of work required to make these projects viable and the value of the projects themselves. 

It is a requirement for completing the Program that participants make significant headway in their project, but not necessarily complete it, within the timespan of the Program

Participants will be asked to present a brief account of their planned leadership project early in the Program and to report on their progress in the project towards the end of the Program.


Applicants must submit:

  • a short CV, which includes includes information about education, employment, and positions of responsibility
  • a brief project proposal (300 words).

The project proposal should contain the following three headings:

  • Proposed topic
  • Project Proposal (what you intend to do, and who you will be working with in the project)
  • Project Objectives: indicate the overall objectives of the project and what you aim to achieve within the timescale of the Leadership Program.

To get ideas for projects applicants should contact one of the following four key people:

Applications close midday Friday 26 May, 2017

Selection finalised and applicants notified by Thursday 8 June, 2017

Applications to be sent to:

Ms Gina Diamond

Office of the Vice-Chancellor