Vice-Chancellor's Student Leadership Program

Program for undergraduate students
Semester 2, 2018

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

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.

There are eighteen places in the group. Applications close date EXTENDED to 9am on Monday 18th June.

Program sessions

The program includes:

  • five 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 7 August (5.30pm - 8.30pm)
One-day workshop Saturday 18 August (10am - 4pm)
Evening workshop Tuesday 28 August (5.30pm - 8.30pm)
Teaching break
Evening workshop Tuesday 18 September (5.30pm - 8.30pm)
One-day workshop Saturday 29 Sept (10am - 4pm)
Evening workshop Tuesday 9 October (5.30pm - 8.30pm)
Evening workshop Tuesday 16 October (5.30pm - 8.30pm)
Certificate presentation TBA

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 with or without formal leadership roles, in one-to-one interactions, 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
  • understanding your leadership strengths and growing edges
  • developing a range of leadership styles and approaches, aligned to your values and to your capabilities & personal qualities
  • mindfully choosing the best approach for the particular situation and challenge
  • using self-management and self-leadership skills to ensure that you are at your best as a leader.

Topics covered in previous programs have included the following:


  • Values-based leadership
  • Visionary and inspirational leadership
  • Emotionally intelligent leadership
  • Strengths-focused leadership
  • Distributed leadership - enabling and empowering others to share leadership
  • Leading by asking questions: the leader as coach
  • Connective leadership - working through relationships and dialogue
  • Adaptive leadership - responding to complex problems by mobilising the collective intelligence of the group
  • Servant leadership 


  • Presentation and persuasive skills
  • The use of questions & active listening to influence & motivate others
  • Empathy - the challenges of understanding others' perspectives and experience from the inside
  • Building high quality relationships
  • Ethical and effective ways of using sources of power to influence
  • Challenging conversations - responding constructively to pushback, defensiveness & resistance
  • Coaching & mentoring to enable and empower
  • Motivating & influencing in groups and teams


  • Envisioning & goal-setting for your leadership & your leadership development
  • Self-coaching to ensure that you are at your best
  • 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 will:

  • share, explore and clarify their ideas about leadership
  • practice a range of leadership skills.

    During each session, participants will be encouraged to frame 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.

Please note that:

  • The project needs to be aimed at bringing about a positive change or development and not just on getting a better understanding of a need or issue.
  • The project goal needs to focus on bringing about a positive change within the ANU or the Canberra community.
  • Your leadership role in the project involves motivating others to help bring about this change.

Some seed funding may 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 availability of this funding recognises the amount of work required to make these projects viable and the value of the projects themselves. Details of way to apply for funding will be made available during the Program.

It is a requirement for completing the Leadership Program that participants make significant headway in their project within the timespan of the Program, but project completion by the end of the Program is not required.

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.


Send applications to Lily Matthews

Applicants must submit:

  • a 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:

  • Topic
  • Project Proposal - what you intend to do, and who you will be working with in the project
  • Project Objectives - both 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: