Social Impact Leadership Australia

Retreat #1

In late November, the VFFF team was delighted to play host to the first retreat of Social Impact Leadership Australia (SILA). 23 for-purpose CEO’s from urban, regional and rural areas in NSW and the ACT spent three days together as part of their ten month program as the inaugural SILA cohort. We greatly enjoyed the opportunity to share our workspace with this group of exceptional leaders and the delivery team from The Centre for Social Impact.

The development of SILA started back in 2018. The many delays due to COVID-19 and lockdowns really helped build both the sense of anticipation and the readiness of the CEO’s for in-person connection. The rapid development of this peer network was clearly apparent and the program founders hope that this is one of the many legacies from this investment – a connected group of diverse leaders who can support and guide each other for years to come.

Reflecting on the retreat, participating CEOs said:

“It was quite unique in its format and not like any other program or course where you sit and learn. The action and engagement of the participants was critical and so successful in my opinion. I thought the order in which the concepts and frameworks were covered was excellent. I just wanted more!”

“The opportunity to connect with peers in a safe space and to challenge my assumptions about my role as a CEO.”

“I valued it all, especially the depth of content and ability to sit with the concept for a while. I really appreciated having accommodation, it meant that I could stay in the right headspace for the retreat, I value the diversity in the group.”

The events of the last two years have made SILA even more important for the sector – providing the CEO’s and their organisations with multiple wrap around supports – including coaching, step up leader support, a capacity building fund and a three month sabbatical for participants. The sabbaticals are providing CEO’s with a timely opportunity to step away from their roles to refuel, reflect and rejuvenate – three R’s that many can relate to at this time.

In February 2022 applications will open for SILA Cohort Two – available to for-purpose CEO’s from Victoria and Tasmania.


*SILA is supported by a joint investment of $9.6 million over five years by four funding partners: The Myer Foundation, Sidney Myer Fund, Paul Ramsay Foundation and the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation.

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