ATSI Leadership Scholarship: Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide

Aunty Eunice Inaugural Recipient Indigenous Scholarship
Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) community leaders play a vital role in our society, behind closed doors are delighted to invite respected leaders to join our membership in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth and Adelaide. Recipients receive a 12-month fully funded BCD Membership valued at $7,500 +GST each.

2017 Applications are now closed. Get in touch to be notified of 2018 Scholarship opportunities. 

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

Thanks to the support of the Australian Government, in 2017 BCD was able to double it’s scholarship offering providing two x 12-month fully funded memberships in Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Adelaide.

A BCD membership will allow access to build networks of influence outside of your community in a way that will expand and challenge current leadership and business practices.

behind closed doors awarded the first ATSI Leadership Scholarship in Adelaide to Aunty Eunice Aston in 2016.

What is behind closed doors Membership?

Established in July 2008, the behind closed doors Membership is exclusively for female leaders to expand their knowledge and to share their vast amount of business experience within their peer group. The Membership was formed for female leaders 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 ATSI leadership scholarships will be assigned to a behind closed doors group in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide or Perth. The groups are facilitated by high level, experienced female leaders. The groups meet 10/11 times a year and each session runs for three hours in a Boardroom located in the CBD.

The recipient of the behind closed doors ATSI Leadership scholarship recipients 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 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 ATSI Leadership Scholarship is designed for female businesswomen and leaders.  To be eligible, you must be an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander female currently in a  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 ATSI Leadership scholarship you must complete an online application form.

Applications must be submitted online or you may request a copy of the form by emailing


If you would like to nominate an ATSI leader  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 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.

The finalists will then be invited to attend a behind closed doors Connexions event where the scholarship will be announced publicly.

Finalists must be

  • Open to receiving publicity for participating in/receiving the Scholarship
  • Available for finalist interviews
  • Available to attend the announcement networking event
  • Based in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide or Perth and able to attend monthly meetings based in the city/city fringe

Key Dates

  • 2017 Applications now closed.  Get in touch to be notified on 2018 Scholarship dates.


Tina Tutic - National Program Manager

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

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

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