Developing Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander leaders   

“It really does accelerate your career and your understanding of where you want to take your career as a leader, whatever part of the creative industry you’re in.” - Solomon Booth, 2013 recipient 

ACCELERATE is a tailored leadership programme designed to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with the skills and networks to generate, take up and excel in leadership positions within the creative industries.

Including leadership development training, industry mentorship and a fully funded trip to the UK, ACCELERATE offers recipients a chance to fast-track their careers and develop as leaders in their field.

ACCELERATE is open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from across Australia with at least five years' experience in the creative industries, who have a bold vision for where they want to take their career and their community.

Applications for ACCELERATE 2014 are now closed. 


The 2014 ACCELERATE programme is made up of two events; the Australian Leadership Intensive and the UK Programme.

Leadership Intensive - Friday 5  - Sunday 7 September, 2014

Following the announcement event on September 4, the final four participants will attend a Leadership Intensive in Victoria to develop their understanding of leadership and to expand ideas for their individual UK programmes.

Over the weekend, participants will undertake facilitated workshops that will explore what leadership means in UK and Australian contexts, and discuss what it means to be a leader within the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community. Participants will also gain practical leadership skills that will help them to analyse the strengths and weaknesses of their own personal leadership styles, outline sustainable and ambitious career pathways and identify the personal and professional obstacles to achieving them.

Sessions will be led by with Mark Wright from People Create, British Council staff and ACCELERATE Alumni who will share their experience, advice and support.

UK Programme - November 14 – December 6, 2014

The UK Programme provides an opportunity for recipients to make international connections, to observe different leadership styles and structures and to gain broader insight into their own field and professional practice.

In 2014, the ACCELERATE UK Programme will be made up of the following:

  • 1 week professional placement with company/organisation
  • 1 week additional leadership development with Mark Wright (People Create) and Surya Turner (Action Learning)
  • 1 week group and individual meetings, including one-on-one mentorship

Individual programmes will be developed in consultation with each recipient in response to the vision outlined in their application. Applicants will need to provide a vision for their time in the UK by researching organisations and individuals of interest and articulating what they hope to achieve from meeting with and spending time with them.

“ACCELERATE is definitely a life-changing experience for someone wanting to take the opportunity it offers. I’d highly recommend it. You have to put in the effort – it’s a working program, so you have to want it, and be looking for change.” - 2013 Recipient


Applicants will be required to complete a written application (download link at the bottom of this page), where they will need to outline their experience, leadership goals and vision for their UK programme. From these applications, a shortlist will be drawn. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed by a panel consisting of British Council staff, a representative from the Australia Council, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts Board, and the relevant state funding body. Once the interviews are completed the final recipients will be selected.

Both the written application and the interview will be assessed on the following selection criteria: 

  • LEADERSHIP - understanding of leadership, reflection and analysis of your own leadership experience. (Q1 & Q2)
  • VISION – clarity of vision for your development in short to mid-term, and your capacity to achieve it. (Q3) 
  • COMMUNITY – articulation of your leadership role within your community / sector and your vision for the development of this role.(Q4)
  • DEVELOPMENT – practical understanding of how you need to grow your leadership skills, and the importance of a UK experience in relation to this growth. (Q5a & Q5b)
  • TIMELINESS – articulation of how this opportunity will further your vision, and the importance of the opportunity at this point in your career? (Q6) 

In 2014, four participants will be chosen, one each from New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia and nationally.

Who can apply?

ACCELERATE is a programme designed and managed specifically for Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander applicants. Australian Indigenaity is a genuine qualification for this award and is authorised by Section 14 of the Anti-Discrimination Act, 1977.

The British Council Australia definition of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander is a person of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent who identifies as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander and is accepted as such by the community in which he or she lives. Successful applicants will be required to provide a letter of confirmation of Indigenaity on notification of their selection.

There is no formal age limit for applicants.



How to apply?

Applicants need to download and complete the application form below and email it to by midnight, 6 July, 2014.

In addition to the completed application form, applicants will also need to attach the following:

-     500-word biography

-     headshot for publicity purposes (no larger than 1MB)

Interested applicants are encouraged to contact one of the ACCELERATE Alumni to discuss the programme and their application. Information about the Alumni and their contact details can be found on the Advice and FAQs page (link below).

Applicants should note that all British Council email accounts are only able to accept messages of 8MB or under. If you are experiencing difficulty emailing your support material to us, please upload your material to a file-sharing service such as Hightail and send the share link to us

Please be sure to identify your files by including your full name in the file name. 


** Applicants must be available to travel/attend events on the below dates:

  • Public Announcement - Thursday 4 September
  • Leadership Intensive - Friday 5 – Sunday 7 September
  • Farewell Event - Thursday 13 November
  • UK Programme - Friday 14 November – Sunday 6 December (arriving in Australia on the 8th)


For further details please see the Advice for Applicants or contact us ( with any questions.