Each of the participants were accomplished Indigenous business leaders from a variety of fields, with representation from ASX100 organisations, large private businesses, the public sector, NFPs, SMEs and Native Title.
Julie-ann Lambourne, who is on nine boards, groups and committees, and is CEO of the education and research Not-For-Profit, enVizion Group, said one of the benefits of the course was networking with other attendees. “Being in the room with so many other indigenous leaders… I’m learning and gleaning, but I’m also imparting.”
The scholarships were funded by The Norman H Johns Trust and E B Myer Charity Fund, which are managed by Perpetual, the company which hosted the face-to-face part of the course.
With the classroom looking out over the Swan River to the Indian Ocean, attendees got to work after an Acknowledgement of Country from Perpetual’s Glen Mesch (State Manager WA/SA) and a Welcome to Country.
Reflecting on day one, Murry Saylor, the founder and Managing Director of Tagai Management Consultants, said, “The challenge for us as directors is keeping our professional development current, (and) being open and being exposed to other communities and cultures in the context of the environment that we work in.
“What I found as part of our course today, along with directors that are mentors to me and some of other directors …it’s always about saying, ‘What if...’”
By completing the course, candidates can use learnings to drive sustainable change for their organisations – many whose purpose is to give back to the community. Perpetual’s General Manager of Community and Social Investment, Caitriona Fay, says the need for company directors to lead the way in terms of current best practice is more urgent than ever and that the funding is aimed at supporting Indigenous business leaders to navigate the current environment.