Nominations for 2018 Future Leaders Program Open

Future Leaders Program

The Board of Canberra Business Chamber implemented its inaugural “Future Leaders Program” in 2015 in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD). This program has been designed to develop young leaders by providing them with an opportunity to develop their skills and supporting them to take up Board Directorships in the future.

In partnership with AICD and through a mentoring arrangement with an existing Board Member of the Chamber, the successful individual will undertake a program that aims to offer development in relation to board governance, processes and decision making including attending Board meetings as an observer enabling the individual to gain practical experience and apply the theoretical skills gained from the AICD program.

This program runs for a 12 month period (commencing February 2019) and it is envisaged at the end of the program you will understand the workings of a Board and have developed skills to seek a Board Directorship or undertake further training in Board Directorship should you wish to do so. Note: only one individual will be selected.

If you are an energetic and passionate business person who is keen to not only build on your own expertise but also contribute to creating an environment that enables all business across Canberra Region to be successful then this is the opportunity.

To nominate for this program:

  • You will possess solid industry experience in your area of expertise, operating your own business or holding a business leadership role.
  • You or the organisation for which you are employed will need to be a financial member of Canberra Business Chamber
  • You will need to be able to commit to approximately 10 Board Meetings each year and other activities such as business forums, taskforces and member engagement events.

To be considered for this program please provide a covering letter outlining your interest in this opportunity and the reason why you should be selected along with your resume/bio by 22 November 2018. Expressions of interest can be sent to the Secretary at either or Ground Floor, 216 Northbourne Avenue, Braddon ACT 2612.

NOMINATIONS CLOSE: 22 November 2018

Testimonial from our 2017 Future Leader, Sarah Rajic of Capital Recruit

I value the opportunity and experience of being the 2017 Future Leader with the Canberra Business Chamber and I’m an advocate for the programs continued success.  It is a great pathway program for aspiring directors.

My role as a business owner of Capital Recruit and General Manager of Staff Check led me to explore the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) Course and I became aware of the Future Leaders Program.

The criteria for selection is;

  • Solid industry experience in your area of expertise;
  • Operate your own business or hold a business leadership role; and
  • You or your organisation be a member of the Canberra Business Chamber.

I interviewed with two board members where I explained my interest in the program and heard about the board and the commitment required for the program.  I was over the moon when selected and appreciated the opportunity I had been given.

Attending monthly board meetings gave me the practical experience of being part of a board.  It showed me the structure of the board meetings; the role of the chair; the governance framework; financial oversight; strategy development; and decision making.  The meetings were formal, structured, open and inclusive.  The board made me feel comfortable to ask questions.

I identified my areas of interests and strengths and with the support of the board, I attended Finance and Audit committee meetings and joined some working groups which extended my board experience.

Politics and Business was another point of interest for me.  I knew how businesses delivered services to government and government procured services.  However, I didn’t understand how business and government work together to deliver win wins for the Canberra community, the economy, business and the government.   Also, how the three parties work in Canberra.  The future leaders program provided that understanding to me.

Through board conversations and developing relationships with the directors, I further developed my own business confidence.  The program has helped us at Capital Recruit to take bigger and bolder business steps over the past 12 months with success.

I have observed and in a small way, contributed to the fabulous work of the chamber.  The business advocacy work the board and the Chamber team do on behalf of us all, is critical in this business community.  It’s our direct link between business and government leaders.  We have a voice, we have a perspective and the Chamber is how we are heard.

The business networking opportunities, the collaboration and focus of our taskforces and our well utilised workplace relations support service are a few reasons why we all need to continue our support of the chamber through our membership, involvement with the task forces or board, feedback to the Chamber and utilising the Chamber events and training.

The future leaders program is run in partnership with AICD.  AICD providing training and future knowledge through their Foundation Modules.  As well as the AICD membership and all the benefits that provides.  Thank you Lynette Pinder and AICD for the ongoing partnership.

I see this program as a vehicle for the chamber to be a change agent.  The Chamber is investing in new and aspiring board directors to step up.  This contributes to the development of the talent pipeline for other boards of community groups, businesses and not for profits.

Diversity has been receiving much needed coverage for many years and progress has been made.  Through my time with the Chamber board and particularly my AICD studies, I know it’s not just about the surface level diversity which is often in the media but diversity in thought.  Life, background, qualifications, age, gender, occupation, etc impact on our frame of reference and thought processes.    Diversity strengthens board performance and I encourage organisations to continue to think of cognitive diversity when recruiting directors.

This is an opportunity for someone;

  • new to board positions looking to improve their directorship skills and performance;
  • someone reporting to a board;
  • someone thinking about working on boards for the first time; or
  • maybe this is for someone you know. Please spread the word.

The application process is relatively pain free, the Chamber board is inclusive, professional and a well-regarded group.

Testimonial from our 2016 Future Leader, Alicia Shepard

November 2016

Twelve months ago, a member of the Canberra Business Chamber Board (CBC), Michelle Melbourne (Intelledox), a highly respected Canberra businesswoman and mentor of mine, recommended I take the opportunity to encourage the Board of the CBC to create a specialised position for a young Canberran business person. The aim of the position was three fold: to provide valuable insight and perspective from a young business person to the Board, to raise the profile of my business (ONTHEGO Sports) within the ACT business community, and to encourage, nurture and foster my learning as an up-and-coming businesswoman in the ACT.

Recognising the benefits that a young Canberran business person, specifically selected to the Board, could achieve over 12 months, I was selected, following a thorough selection process, as the first candidate of the “Future Leadership Program”.

This year CBC has:

  • allowed me to help see and develop some fantastic projects, including Destination 2030
  • attend and contribute to the CBC Board meetings
  • grown my mentor base, as without the other Board members, I could not have achieved the successes over this year that I have
  • funded me to undertake the “Foundations of Directorship” from the Australian Institute of Company Directors


What being a member of the CBC Board has shown me, is that business boards aren’t just the domain of the established, large businesses, following the same-old ways to get organisations in the region to come together and seek the outcomes that are beneficial to them. The CBC has taken a bold step, showing they are prepared to take risks on young business people, entrepreneurs, and the “disruptors” in the market, who do things differently, take risks, question the “why”, use new mediums and reach out to be taught by ‘those in the know’. 

I’d encourage everyone, the entrepreneur and young business people, to get involved, see that you have a role to influence Canberra business and its environment, and that the CBC Board is the best way to achieve that. You’ll get great exposure, for you and your business, meet some incredible minds, and you’ll have a fantastic time!

Alicia Shepard
Operations Manager

Watch Glenn Keys (CBC Chair) interview Alicia Shepard on her experience as our inaugural Future Leader.