Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the deadline for 2020 applications? 

A. Applications closed midnight (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on Sunday 13 October 2019.

Q. When do 2021 applications open? 

A. Applications for the 2021 Leadership & Mentoring program are likely to open in September 2020, and follow a similar timetable to the 2020 application process - refer to the table on the information page.

Q. Am I eligible to apply? 

A. If you are a Pacific woman on an Australia Award who will be enrolled at an Australian university / tertiary institution for the first semester of 2021, you are eligible to apply. If you do not meet these criteria, you are not eligible and your application will be disqualified at the initial screening stage without review. 

Q. I am a Pacific woman on-award but I graduate at the end of the year. I will have returned home and be an alumna when the program starts. Am I eligible to apply?

A. Unfortunately, the program is not open to Australia Awards alumnae. All candidates must have at least one semester remaining of their tertiary course (at least until Semester 1 of the program year) in order to apply.

Q. Can I see the longform questions before I start the online application?

A. Yes! You will find these on the Requirements page.

We strongly encourage applicants to have read and drafted 200-word answers (in a separate document) to the application’s longform questions before you start the online application. These questions are your opportunity to show us who you are, how you stand out, what areas of leadership interest and excite you, and why you would be a star participant on the program.

Q. What is the word limit on the longform questions?

A. There is a word limit of 200 words on each longform question. To review these questions before you start your application, please read the Requirements page.

Q. I have submitted my application form. What’s next?

A. Please be patient once you have submitted your application form. The program receives a high volume of applications and the team takes time to carefully consider each application thoroughly and fairly. The applications are screened to ensure they are complete and that all applicants are eligible for the program.

The applications are then scored against predetermined criteria and a shortlist of applicants are invited to phone interviews with a team member during October. Shortlisted applicants' references and Student Contact Officers are contacted to verify application details.

In approximately mid-November, successful applicants will be contacted and offered a place on the program.

Q. What does it cost to participate on the program?

A. All costs associated with your participation will be covered by the Australia Awards Women’s Leadership Initiative. This includes accommodation, meals and travel from your place of study to the intensive program locations, access to mentors, leadership coaching, academics and subject matter experts.

In return, the program asks participants to make the necessary arrangements to ensure that you are able to participate in all activities, including the two residential intensives and monthly mentoring sessions.

Q. Will the two week-long residential intensives be taking place in 2021? What impact has COVID-19 had on the program?  


A. At the opening of the Call for Applications for 2021 (September), all WLI face-to-face and residential programs are on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions, with program activities currently being delivered online. We will continue to monitor this situation into 2021 and update all successful applicants on any changes to the program. 

Q. I’ve hit a technical problem with the online application form. Help!

A. Please contact us.

We are watching our messages carefully over this time in case any applicant has a problem with the application form, and we will respond to you as soon as possible.

Q. I still have questions!

A. If you have read all the information on this page, as well as on the ‘requirements’, ‘how to apply’ and the ‘Leadership & Mentoring’ page and still have questions, please contact us.

We are watching our messages carefully over this time for applicants’ questions, and we will respond as soon as possible.