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Australia’s oldest charity leads a movement for social change

< 1 min read

Since its establishment in 1813, the Benevolent Society has been responsible for many groundbreaking initiatives. Rather than simply providing “band-aid assistance”, the charity is today leading a wave of social change.

The Benevolent Society, inspired to proactively promote change at the cause of social issues, established the Sydney Leadership Program (SLP) as a catalyst for developing social leadership for social change.

The SLP is one of the only organisations in Australia to make use of the adaptive leadership model developed at the Harvard Business School. It challenges participants to clarify their sense of purpose by confronting the way they identify as members of society, both personally and professionally.

The SLP applies the notion that leadership across the sectors can take on similar modes. As Gary Moore, a Sydney Leadership participant in 2000, reflected, “Working collaboratively across sectors to tackle key contemporary social issues in an innovative manner can play an important part in achieving greater social justice.

“Since doing Sydney Leadership and in work with the alumni network, my experience has been rewarding and effective in teaming up with colleagues in the private and public sectors to genuinely engage in making a difference to social justice issues.”

The SLP challenges managers to try out at new methods of leadership. It pushes participants to adopt a new culture of leadership.

The program focuses on promoting leadership as an action rather than a position or title. It advocates that individuals can lead without formal authority.

The program caters for senior decision-makers from a range of sectors, including corporations, governments, public institutions and not-for-profit organisations. A limited number of scholarships are available.

With the establishment of the Queensland Leadership Program, the Benevolent Society is expanding its scope for fostering social change, broadening its efforts to establish a “network of change agents.”

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