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Dr John Yu Fellowship

Become a leader in cultural diversity
In a global world defined by diversity, organisations need leaders who know how to get the most out of diverse talents.

Australia’s multicultural success is not yet fully reflected in our organisations and institutions. This program is for leaders and organisations who want to excel at cultural diversity and inclusion.

Over three days, we’ll bring together a cohort of leaders from business, government and not-for-profit organisations. As a participant, you will learn leadership skills, meet leaders, and hear about how cultural diversity has shaped their leadership story.

This program is the first of its kind in Australia to address the gap in training for high-achieving multicultural leaders, and for organisations who want to take their diversity and inclusion to the next level.

Learn about diversity and inclusion best practice. Develop skills for leading cross-cultural teams. Develop strategies for building influence and setting the agenda. And, find out how to negotiate diversity challenges in the public eye.

Why is this needed? 

Cultural diversity remains strikingly under-represented in senior leadership of Australian organisations. According to research the University of Sydney Business School conducted with the Australian Human Rights Commission in 2018, an estimated 24 per cent of the Australian population have a non-European or Indigenous cultural background. Yet, fewer than 5 per cent of senior leaders in business, politics, government and higher education have such a background.

We believe that getting more out of our cultural diversity will require sustained efforts, including targeted leadership development.

Who should attend? 

Participants in the Fellowship will be high-achieving leaders who have approximately 15 years of experience in the workforce. They will come from a culturally diverse background or have an interest in growing cultural diversity in Australia's leadership.

In 2017, a number of organisations participated in a pilot of this program, including:

  • ABC
  • Attorney General's Department
  • CBA
  • Chartered Accountants ANZ
  • Clayton Utz
  • Corrs Chambers Westgarth
  • Deloitte 
  • EY 
  • Herbert Smith Freehills
  • iCare
  • King and Wood Mallesons
  • KPMG
  • NSW Police 
  • QLD Police
  • RBA
  • Thermo Fisher
  • Westpac
  • Woolworths

What's in the program? 

Our three-day intensive program aims to enhance strategic awareness of cultural diversity and leadership. It will help participants build a network for leadership on cultural diversity.

Participants will be encouraged to return to their organisations and put their learning into practice. In early 2020, the cohort will re-convene, allowing participant organisations to share their experiences following on from the program.

Key themes in the three-day workshop component include:

  1. Making the case for diversity and inclusion
  2. Diversity and inclusion best practice
  3. Leading cross-cultural teams
  4. Policy and agenda setting
  5. Managing hard conversations
  6. Dealing with diversity issues in the public domain

The curriculum will draw upon leading academics, as well as senior leaders from various fields. Fellows will also take part in reflection and innovative modes of learning.

More information

The 2020 fellowship will be held in Melbourne. Please email diversity-fellowship.program@sydney.edu.au for more information.

Program Directors

Professor Tim Soutphommasane

Tim Soutphommasane is Professor of Practice (Sociology and Political Theory). He is a political theorist and human rights advocate.

From 2013 to 2018 he was Australia’s Race Discrimination Commissioner. His thinking on patriotism, multiculturalism and national identity has been influential in debates in Australia and Britain.


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Professor Clinton Free

Professor Clinton Free was appointed Academic Director of Executive Education and Global Executive MBA Program Director at the University of Sydney Business School in 2019.

He brings a wealth of international experience to the role, previously teaching MBA programs at Oxford University, Cornell University and the Queen’s School of Business.

Contact us

Ana Judge

Business Development Coordinator, Executive Education