Vice-Chancellor's Student Leadership Program

Program for undergraduate & postgraduate students: Semester 2, 2019

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

Undergraduate and postgraduate students who are in, or intend to take up in the future, leadership positions in ANU student organisations such as ANUSA, PARSA, Residents Committees, and student clubs and societies are strongly encouraged to apply.

There are eighteen places in the group. Applications close at midday on Friday, 7th June 2019. Send applications to: Dr Luby Simson, Executive Officer, Pro Vice-Chancellor (University Experience), Office of the Vice-Chancellor,

Program sessions - undergratuate

The program includes:

  • four 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 6th August (5.30pm - 8.30pm)


Evening workshop  Tuesday 13 August (5.30pm - 8.30pm)


Full-day workshop  Saturday 24 August (5.30pm - 8.30pm)


Evening workshop  Tuesday 1 October (5.30pm - 8.30pm)

Evening workshop  Tuesday 8 October (5.30pm - 8.30pm)


Full-day workshop  Sunday 20 October(10am - 4pm)


Certificate presentation TBA

Program sessions - postgraduate

The program includes:

  • four evening workshops on Wednesdays, 5.30 - 8.30 p.m. (dinner included)
  • two full-day workshops on weekends, 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  Wednesday 7th August (5.30pm - 8.30pm)


Evening workshop  Wednesday 14th August (5.30pm - 8.30pm)


Full-day workshop  Sunday 25th August (5.30pm - 8.30pm)


Evening workshop  Wednesday 2nd October (5.30pm - 8.30pm)

Evening workshop  Wednesday 9th October (5.30pm - 8.30pm)


Full-day workshop  Saturday 19th October(10am - 4pm)


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. Though you may need to do some research to get a better understanding of a need or issue, the primary goal of the project needs to on bringing about a positive change within the ANU or the Canberra community.
  • The project is one in which you play a leadership role, motivating others to help bring about this change.


Participants are also able to apply for Student Extracurricular Enrichment Fund (SEEF) to support the further development of their projects.

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 Dr Luby Simson, Executive Officer, Pro Vice-Chancellor (University Experience), Office of the Vice-Chancellor,

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:

For either undergraduate and postgraduate programs:

  • Stephen Milnes, Deputy Director Student Experience (Academic Skills and Learning Centre, Student Experience and Career Development):
  • Scott Walker, Deputy Registrar Accommodation (ANU Halls of Residence):
  • Tania Willis, Deputy Director Access, Inclusion and Wellbeing (Access and Inclusion, Counselling Centre, Health Service):
  • Sue Webeck, Manager, Respectful Relationships Unit:
  • Mark Pritchard, Facilities and Services (eg: waste management; sustainability; gardens and grounds; communications): 

Applications close midday Friday 7th June 2019

Selection finalised and applicants notified by Thursday 20th June 2019.

Applications to be sent to:

Dr Luby Simson
Executive Officer, Pro Vice-Chancellor (University Experience)
Office of the Vice-Chancellor