McKinsey Academy – Young Leaders Forum Scholarships – Round 2, 2021

McKinsey Academy – Young Leaders Forum Scholarships – Round 2, 2021

Round 2, 2021

Australian Scholarships Foundation, Australia

Program Overview: Young Leaders Forum

A foundational leadership program designed to accelerate the development of emerging leaders

Emerging leaders are operating within an increasingly complex and ambiguous context. Leadership teams know that great leadership talent is scarce. It is great leaders at all levels of an organisation – more than rewards, job opportunities, and the company itself – that drive distinctive outcomes and engagement at scale. With a focus on strengths and stretch, the Young Leaders Forum (YLF) develops unique, inspirational, and supportive leaders through the layers of your organisation.

The YLF curriculum develops emerging leaders to lead themselves and their teams more effectively. It equips participants with foundational leadership skills and ways of thinking to thrive as a rising leader in the age of disruption.

Designed for high potential future leaders who are ready to further their leadership skills, the program focuses on experiential learning with group discussions, and empowers participants to coach each other so they can reproduce the exercises in their teams.

The Experience:

Participants will join a large cross-industry cohort of ~250 rising leaders for a 6-week blended program. Participants will:

  • Attend a 4-day (in-person or virtual) event to explore their personal leadership through building on personal strengths and influencing others
  • Explore concepts in small groups of participants and create an external support network for ongoing peercoaching and support
  • Complete a digital course on the principles of leading teams; including building alignment and engagement, feedback models, and coaching techniques

The Young Leaders Forum spans several weeks and is predominantly completed remotely via e-Learning components and peer-coaching over the phone apart from the (in-person or virtual) workshop in August 2021. Successful applicants should allow approx. 1-2 hours per week to complete the required work.


The Young Leaders Forum is an opportunity to take a step back from the everyday pressures of work to think a bit more strategically about what motivates you, how and where you can best make a contribution, and what type of approach and skillset you need to get there. This is the type of reflection that helps you rediscover those early, unadulterated ambitions that are truly worthy of guiding your work, and that then helps you build a plan to realise them.”

Alan Wu, Member of the Board at Oxfam Australia



The health and wellbeing of our scholars remains our utmost priority, as do our efforts in protecting our broader community. McKinsey Academy are monitoring this situation very closely and will ensure all course activities adhere to current government guidelines.

Should COVID-19 affect the program dates, delivery mode or scholarship availability, all attendees will be notified immediately and every effort will be made to limit the impact on our scholarship recipients. If you have any questions or concerns prior to submitting your application, please contact ASF .

2021 Course Dates

From early July* – Attendees may be required to complete some online pre-course activities leading up to the workshop (maximum 1-2 hour commitment per week). Successful applicants will be provided more details closer to the program.

Tuesday 17 August – Attend an informal not-for-profit networking lunch to meet other NFP participants before joining the wider cross-industry cohort.

Tuesday 17 – Friday 20 August – Attend the (in-person or virtual) workshop in Sydney CBD**. Participants will need to be available for this entire period and allow for the possibility of evening activities. More details will be provided to scholarship recipients.

September/October* – Two peer ‘mini board’ sessions lasting approximately 90 minutes each via VC or phone, and scheduled within these recommended timeframes.

*Course dates and online activities either side of the workshop event will be advised as soon as more details are available.

**The workshop event will either be delivered in person or virtually, depending on the current COVID-19 guidelines. Successful applicants will be advised closer to the program.

Who Should Apply

The Young Leaders Forum (YLF) is designed to benefit high potential future leaders with typically 7-12 years of work experience (please note, this is a general guide and does not exclude those with a little more or less experience). Participants are typically making the transition into people leader roles and ‘stepping up’ to take on greater degrees of responsibility for driving business unit strategy and execution.


I can honestly say that I have been blown away by the whole experience. McKinsey Academy fostered such a powerful atmosphere of trust and sharing during the forum that we were and still are having very meaningful and vulnerable conversations and really tackling our own development areas in a supportive yet challenging group. The calibre of guests speakers and topics open for discussion was also exceptional and unlike anything else I have seen.

Sally Davies, Project Manager – CCHL People, Culture and Transition at Royal Far West.


Scholarship Inclusions

There are 18 scholarships available to staff of charitable not-for-profit organisations Australia-wide thanks to McKinsey Academy’s generous contribution and commitment to not-for-profit development. Each scholarship is valued at $4,000 and will grant recipients full access to the Young Leaders Forum workshop and program.

Employer Contribution

This scholarship requires an Employer Contribution of $800 from each recipient’s supporting not-for-profit organisation. This amount is payable to ASF by Tuesday 6 April 2021 (following written acceptance from the scholarship recipient and upon receipt of an invoice).

What is the Employer Contribution? The Employer Contribution is paid directly to ASF and allows us to expand the number of high-quality programs we can provide, assists with service delivery costs and enables us to invest in research and development that strengthens the NFP sector. The Employer Contribution is a way for not-for-profits to facilitate learning and development for their organisation via a small contribution to any scholarships ASF awards to their employees. McKinsey Academy does not receive any portion of this contribution. 

Click here to find out more about the Employer Contribution and which NFPs are eligible to apply for a waiver.

Travel / Accommodation

Travel and/or accommodation (if necessary) are to be covered by the successful candidates or their supporting NFP organisation to attend the 4-day workshop in Sydney should the event be held in-person. We estimate this cost at $0-$2,000 depending on your location and travel needs.

Key Scholarship Dates

Applications open Wednesday 10 March 2021
Applications close Tuesday 13 April 2021
Scholarships awarded by Wednesday 19 May 2021
Written acceptance from scholarship recipients by Wednesday 26 May 2021
Employer Contributions due by Friday 25 June 2021
Course begins from early July 2021 onwards

Please reserve these important dates in your calendar. For more program dates, see the “Course Dates” section above.

Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must:

  • currently work for an Australian charitable not-for-profit organisation or *social enterprise
  • have approximately 7 – 12 years** of work experience
  • be an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident
  • fulfil ASF’s general eligibility requirements available on our FAQs page

*Check our FAQs page for guidance on eligible social enterprises.

**Please note, this is a general guide and does not exclude those with a little more or less experience.


“I had always wanted to access a program like what’s offered by McKinsey Academy and accessing the ASF scholarship allowed me to not only improve as leader, but meet and be part of a group of likeminded individuals who, regardless of industry or background, have the same passion for growth, innovation and opportunity as I do.”

Ryan Kiddle, Senior Manager – Social & Community Groups at The Disability Trust. Click here  to read his Scholar Profile.


Scholar Surveys & Feedback

All applicants (regardless of the outcome of their application) will be asked to complete a series of surveys about their expected and realised learnings (once before and twice after the course). Your survey responses will help us to quantify the impact of our scholarships and will help attract funding for education and training for the NFP sector in the future. Your feedback is extremely valuable to the work we do and by completing these surveys you’ll be making an important contribution to the future of ASF and the NFP sector overall.

How to Apply


To apply, simply click ‘


‘ and follow the prompts to create (or log into) your profile page, upload an endorsement letter and complete an online scholarship application.


For tips on what to include in your endorsement letter and who should write it, please see #12 of our FAQs .

Need help completing your online application? Download instructions for Creating a Profile Page  and Making an Application .

More Information

For more information about the program, please click here  or download the program brochure here .

Have questions? Check our FAQs page  for answers to the most common questions. If you need assistance with the scholarship application process, please contact ASF via .

Round 2 applications for the 2021 McKinsey Academy Young Leaders Forum scholarships close Tuesday 13 April 2021 at 5pm AEST.


About McKinsey Academy 

The mission of McKinsey Academy is to accelerate transformations of individuals, companies and countries by unlocking the potential of people. They work closely with human resource and business leaders to reimagine their approach to developing leaders and building capabilities across an organisation. Their combination of business and learning expertise uniquely positions them to support both private and public-sector clients.

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