Melbourne Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Executive Scholarship

Aunty Eunice Inaugural Recipient Indigenous Scholarship
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community leaders play a vital role in our society, behind closed doors are delighted to invite respected leaders to join our Executive membership in Melbourne.

Applications are now open two fully-funded 12-month BCD Executive Memberships valued at $7,500 +GST each to award.

Executive membership will allow access to build networks of influence outside of your community in a way that will expand and challenge their current leadership and business practices to further enhance the economic, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing of our society and their community.

The scholarship will provide a 12-month fully funded membership to behind closed doors Executive membership.  A year of professional development, peer-to-peer mentoring and networking opportunities to take your career, and your organisation, to the next level.

BCD’s Scholarship program is not an Award for the best, most accomplished and impressive business woman, but rather a scholarship to provide an opportunity to a female looking for a challenge and avenue to grow and develop herself and her fellow members.

The scholarships take the form of an annual membership in the behind closed doors Melbourne Executive membership valued at $7,500 plus GST. Thanks to the support of the Australian Government, in 2017 we are offering two x 12-month fully funded memberships.

behind closed doors awarded the first Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarship in Adelaide to Aunty Eunice Aston.

What is behind closed doors Executive Membership?

Established in July 2008, the behind closed doors Executive Membership is exclusively for high level businesswomen to expand their knowledge and to share their vast amount of business experience within their peer group. The Executive Membership was formed for executive women and business owners so that members could speak openly and honestly about current and emerging issues businesswomen are faced with every day, with a group of like-minded women.

The membership aims to:

•  Provide a confidential businesswomen’s support network
•  Mentor peers to accept greater professional challenges
•  Provide an avenue for appropriate, challenging, executive and board level, cross industry, experiential learning from a group of outstanding business people
•  Create a virtual board scenario where issues/challenges can be tabled with a high calibre, invaluable and diverse sounding board, in a strictly confidential environment
•  Deliver professional development sessions to extend members personally and professionally
•  Keep abreast of legislation, executive and directors issues and challenges, governance and best practice

The recipients of the Executive scholarships will be assigned to a behind closed doors Executive group in Melbourne. The Executive groups are facilitated by high level, experienced Executives and Board Directors. The groups meet 11 times a year and each session runs for three hours in a Boardroom located in the CBD.

The recipient of the behind closed doors Executive scholarships will also receive:

•  A professional sounding board in a safe environment to speak openly and honestly about their challenges, strategies and issues
•  Access to a select executive women’s network and referral sources
•  Professional and personal development in a stimulating environment
•  Exposure and introductions to senior people in business and government
•  Private sessions with local identities and guest speakers
•  Invitations to Businesswomen’s Connexions (network) functions
•  Opportunities for Board Directorships

Visit our Executive Membership page for further details.

Scholarship Process


The behind closed doors Executive membership is designed for high level businesswomen and leaders.  To be eligible, you must be an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander female currently in an executive leadership role (i.e. CEO, Managing Director, General Manager) and can demonstrate:

•  Innovative and progressive leadership
•  A high level of integrity and positive value
•  Why the scholarship will benefit you
•  How the scholarship will benefit your organisation


To apply for the behind closed doors Executive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander scholarship you must submit:

  • in 1,000 words or less, an application addressing the above eligibility criteria
  • a one-page curriculum vitae and
  • a high resolution head and shoulders professional photo of yourself that can be used on our website/social media and in any media announcements relating to the Behind Closed Doors Scholarship.  By submitting your photograph, you agree to grant Behind Closed Doors a perpetual, royalty-free, non exclusive right to use, reproduce, publish, distribute, make available to the public and exercise all copyright and publicity rights with respect to your photograph worldwide.

Applications must be emailed to by 5pm Monday 10 July.   Please title your email Melbourne Executive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarship Application.


If you would like to nominate a business woman who would benefit from a behind closed doors scholarship, please provide their name, business and contact details.  Submit your nomination via email to Please title your email Melbourne Executive Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Scholarship Nomination.

Judging Process

Upon receipt of written applications, a shortlist of finalists will be invited to attend a 30 minute panel interview in the CBD.  Finalists will be scheduled an interview time either Tuesday 18 July or Wednesday 19 July, 2017.

The finalists will then be invited to attend the behind closed doors Connexions event to be held Tuesday August 8 from 5:30pm – 7:30pm. The recipient of the scholarship will be announced publicly at this event.

Finalists must be

  • Open to receiving publicity for participating in/receiving the Scholarship
  • Available for finalist interviews to be held Tuesday 18 July or Wednesday 19 July.
  • Available to attend the announcement networking event to be held 5:30pm Tuesday 8 August 2017.
  • Based in Melbourne and able to attend monthly meetings based in the city/city fringe

Key Dates

  • Monday 10 July 5pm, Applications Close
  • 18 or 19 July 2017, Finalist Panel Interviews
  • Tuesday 8 August 5:30pm, Winner Announced at Connexions Networking Event


Kristy Ashton, behind closed doors

For scholarship enquiries, please contact Kristy Ashton, behind closed doors Scholarship Manager on 08 8333 4303 or email

For enquiries of how you can obtain an Executive membership, please contact behind closed doors on 08 8333 4303 or email

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