For-purpose leaders from SA and WA latest to get SILA boost 

Fri, 28 Jul 2023

The third cohort of for-purpose CEOs chosen to take part in the outstanding Social Impact Leadership Australia Program (SILA) have been announced. The fully funded professional development program is delivered by the Centre for Social Impact and valued at more than $80,000 per delegate.  

The course is designed specifically for CEOs of Australian for-purpose organisations and provides exclusive access to executive coaching, group learning retreats, and a tailored three-month sabbatical. 

Now in its third year, the ground-breaking 10-month course is being delivered to leaders in South Australia and Western Australia this time, following overwhelming success across NSW, the ACT, Victoria and Tasmania, where the course has been completed by almost 50 social purpose leaders in two years.  

Jointly funded by four of Australia’s major foundations – The Myer Foundation, the Sidney Myer Fund, the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation and the Paul Ramsay Foundation – the $9.8 million SILA program aims to strengthen the for-purpose sector by enhancing the wellbeing and effectiveness of CEOs, advancing organisational capability and building a network of systems leaders. 

Leonard Vary, CEO of The Myer Foundation and Sidney Myer Fund, said: “The deep understanding these leaders have of the local context, coupled with their impressive track records as CEOs, positions them as powerful agents of change within their communities. 

“We look forward to supporting a third cohort on their leadership journey as they tackle the unique challenges and opportunities in the Western and South Australian regions.”  

SILA was established in 2020 through a collective desire to address the chronic underinvestment in professional development and leadership training in the for-purpose sector.  

In an independent evaluation of SILA, the program received a world-class Net Promoter Score of 86 out of 100, with 95% of participants saying they could draw upon what they learned in the program to make a difference in their organisations and across the sector. 

Arminé Nalbandian, CEO of the Centre for Social Impact, said: “The 50 CEOs who have been through the program have already had an incredible ripple effect across their organisations, networks and sectors. 

 “As Australia’s leader in social impact education, the Centre for Social Impact is proud to be delivering this flagship for-purpose executive leadership program to CEOs in SA and WA.” 

The non-profit sector plays a significant economic role in both South Australia and Western Australia, employing more than 200,000 people, according to the 8th edition of the Australian Charities Report.i Research shows that for each dollar spent on capacity building in the for-purpose sector, an average positive return of about six dollars can be attributed to the training and the resulting behaviours, decisions and flow-on effects.ii 

Andrea Creado, CEO of Ishar Multicultural Women’s Health Services in WA, one of the SILA Cohort Three participants, applauds the program for its network-based and tailored approach to leadership development. 

“Having started at Ishar as a volunteer over 20 years ago, I understand the impact strong leadership has through an entire organisation,” she said. “Yet the tight resource constraints felt across our business means, as leaders, we rarely get an opportunity to step away and develop those capabilities, which are unique in our sector. 

“SILA offers that extraordinary chance to pause and develop our voice as leaders, while establishing a strong network across the state we operate in, which undoubtedly will lead to greater impact for the communities we serve.” 

The SILA Program will be offered to for-purpose CEOs in Queensland and the Northern Territory in 2024, and the Centre for Social Impact is exploring ways to boost First Nations participation. 

The SILA Program’s Cohort Three participants are: 

South Australia  

Western Australia