Leaders with Disability: Directing Change Mentorship Program

About the program

The Directing Change Mentoring Program has been developed to address the underrepresentation of people with disability in Australian boardrooms.

You will have the unique opportunity to be mentored by an experienced company director so you can gain governance knowledge, boardroom confidence and professional board networks.

The Program has been designed as a professional development opportunity that will support your personal career aspirations and your organisation’s broader disability-inclusive goals.

Applications for this program have now closed.

As a mentee you will:

  • gain tailored career advice from an experienced company director over eight months, through eight one-on-one mentoring sessions;
  • learn how to secure board positions and be an effective new board member;
  • increase your governance knowledge;
  • gain practical advice to confidently tackle boardroom situations;
  • establish professional networks with disability aware board directors;
  • connect to a peer group of leaders with disability who are on the same journey as you;
  • access expert mentoring resources and support provided by Australian Disability Network.

By supporting you to participate in this program, your organisation will be taking practical steps towards showing leadership in areas such as:

  • incorporating authentic learning to enrich a leader’s professional development plan;
  • raising the profile of people with disability who are in leadership roles;
  • advancing career development for people with disability;
  • supporting environmental, social, governance goals;
  • improving results on access and inclusion indices, and
  • advancing inclusion in boardrooms.

Key dates

  • Applications open: Tuesday, 13 June 2023
  • Applications close: Sunday, 30 July 2023 at midnight (AEST)
  • Applicants advised of outcomes: Week commencing Monday, 14 August 2023
  • Payments due: Friday, 8 September 2023
  • Program briefing session for mentees: September 2023
  • Program duration: September 2023 to April 2024

Contact us

If you would like to speak to someone about the program and/or the application process please contact Dragan Tomic, Directing Change Project Officer via email or call 03 7032 3527 

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: Why choose to be mentored through the Australian Disability Network?

Answer 1: The Australian Disability Network has over 20 years of expertise in guiding organisations on their disability inclusion journey. We offer a range of mentoring programs including PACE Mentoring which has been successfully completed by over 2,000 people with disability. 92% of our PACE mentees stated they will stay in touch with their mentor. Through our membership base of more than 450 organisations we are able connect our mentees with qualified directors who are keen to make their boards more inclusive for people with disability and share their expert governance knowledge.

Question 2: How are the mentoring pairs matched? 

Answer 2: The matching process is based on several factors such as career goals, industry, background and location. Matches may be cross industry. Our experience with mentor matching has shown that the same industry is not vital and often cross industry matching generates positive outcomes.

Question 3: What will be my time commitment for this program? 

Answer 3: Mentor and mentee pairs will meet 8 times over the 8 months of the program, with the opportunity to work through a range of activities such as career development, boardroom insights, professional networking, and confidence building.

Each meeting can be between 1-2 hours long, with the mentor and mentor agreeing on what works best for them. These meetings can be face-to-face, which we recommend where possible, or online. At the commencement of the program, there will be a 90-minute briefing for all mentees.

Question 4: How will we support you? 

Answer 4: Prior to commencing your program you will be invited with other mentees to attend a briefing session. This briefing will outline the goals of the program, set up some guidelines to navigate the conversations with your mentors andgive you the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the program.

Both mentors and mentees will be given a Directing Change Mentoring handbook and there will be a mechanism in place for regular check-ins with the AND team throughout the program.

We will support participants with disability to ensure required adjustment and accessibility requirements are implemented as needed.

Question 5: Do I need to be currently employed? 

Answer 5: Yes you will need to be currently employed for this program as the employer’s organisation pays for this opportunity.

Question 6: Is this a scholarship? 

Answer 6: This program is paid for by the mentor and mentee and is not considered a scholarship.  From our experience, this program is usually supported financially by the participants employer as a professional development opportunity.

Question 7: Does my organisation need to be an Australian Disability Network member?

 Answer 7: No. This program is open to all organisations who want to support their leaders with disability who meet the program eligibility requirements.