Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship

This financial support is not administered by the University.


This scholarship was established by the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation as part of Westpac's 200th anniversary celebrations, which was officially commemorated in 2017.
The scholarship is awarded to postgraduate students who are undertaking a Master by coursework or research or a PhD at one of nine participating world-class universities - which include ANU.  In addition to demonstrating academic excellence in their own field of study, Westpac Future Leader Scholars will have the desire and potential to become leaders, inspire others and build collaborative networks across disciplines, and have a vision to contribute to the growth and prosperity of Australia.

Scholars will be exceptional people, chosen for their potential to make a difference to Australia's future in one of the Foundation's three focus areas:

  • Technology and innovation
  • Strengthening Australia-Asia ties
  • Enabling positive social change

There are two scholarships available to prospective ANU students.


To be eligible for a Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship, you must:

  • Be an Australian citizen or permanent resident (New Zealand citizens who are not also Australian citizens are not eligible to apply);
  • Have completed an undergraduate degree within the last five years, or will complete in the year of application;
  • Have achieved or are on track to achieve an average result of H1 or H2A (or equivalent);
  • Have chosen to undertake a Master by coursework or research or a PhD at the ANU with demonstrated world-class capability in the proposed area of study;
  • If undertaking a research program, the proposed area of  research must be in a field of research with an Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) four digit Field of Research (FOR) rating of 5.
  • Commence study in the year following the year of application;
  • Whose proposed program of study and post-study plan must contribute to the future of Australia in at least one of the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation's priority funding areas;
    • Technology and innovation
    • Strengthening the ties between Australia and Asia
    • Enabling positive social change;
  • Include international opportunities, such as a period of study at an overseas university, a presentation at a conference significant to the discipline, or an internship or placement at an overseas organisation which will develop your leadership skills and global networks; and
  • Underpin a worthy and viable post-study plan that benefits Australia

Selection Criteria

Selection will be based on a candidate's academic achievements, world-class program of study, and focus on one or more of the Foundation's priority areas. Successful candidates will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Academic excellence and are eager to undertake a PhD or full-time Master by coursework or research at ANU, in a field of world class standing;
  • Passionate about strengthening Australia's ties with Asia, driving technology and innovation or enabling positive social change;
  • A bold vision to contribute to the growth and prosperity of Australia who can articulate this vision and how postgraduate study will help make it real;
  • Possessing a desire and potential to lead;
  • Keen to be inspired by others, build networks and collaborate across diverse disciplines; and
  • Confident in taking on challenges.


The Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship provides the following benefits:

  • • Up to $120,000 over 2-3 years to cover the cost of study (e.g. course fees, living allowance, travel and conference attendance).
    • Enrolment in a nine-month bespoke Leadership Development Program with a week-long residential in Sydney.
    • Opportunity to add a global context to your education, with tailored international experiences of up to six months (when possible).
    • Lifelong membership to the Westpac 100 Scholars Network.
    • Attendance at the Westpac Scholars Summit in Sydney.

How to apply

 Applications for the 2021 Westpac Future Leaders Program open on Wednesday 17 June 2020 and will close on Wednesday 2 September 2020.

All applications must be submitted through Westpac Bicentennial Foundation's online application system. Supporting documentation required as part of the online application:

  • A CV of no more than two pages of 10 point Arial fontand line spacing 1.5;
  • A photo (headshot) of the applicant;
  • (For PhD or Master by Research applicants only): A letter of support from the applicant's prospective ANU Research School stating that they are eligible to apply for entry into a PhD or Master by Research program, and including the name of the Research Supervisor;
  • Certified copy of all university academic transcripts;
  • Two references are required using the reference templates which are located on the Westpac Bicentennial website.  The referees selected should be people who consent to being contacted by the Foundation:
    • The first is an Academic Reference and needs to be completed by a person who is familiar with the applicant's academic record and understands the importance of their study program.
    • The second is a Personal Reference and needs to be completed by a person who can demonstrate that the applicant has the attributes of a Westpac Scholar.  This can be a previous work colleague or manager, however, should not be a family member or a person who currently or previously reported directly to the applicant;

Applicants may be required to present proof of citizenship or permanent residency at any time during the selection process. Applications received without the above-mentioned documentation will not be considered by the Foundation. Templates for the supporting documents are available on the Westpac Bicentennial Foundation Website.

If you would like more information about preparing your application, please contact Philanthropic.Scholarships@anu.edu.au to speak with a Westpac Future Leaders Scholarship Awardee. 

Please note:  Intending applicants should also lodge an application for admission to a HDR program at ANU including identification of a potential supervisor to be considered for award of this Scholarship.

Key dates:



17 June 2020


21 July 2020

Applications open


Westpac Future Leaders Information Session

2 Sept 2020

Applications close (11:59pm, AEST)

8-9 Dec 2020

National Assessment Centre in Sydney

December 2020

Notification of outcome

14-19 Feb 2021 Leadership Development Program: Sydney Residential
TBC Westpac Scholars Summit

Further information

For more information about this scholarship, please email Philanthropic.Scholarships@anu.edu.au or click on the "visit our website" link below.