AusAID – ALA: Leadership for Development Program


Every year AusAID, a federal government department responsible for the provision of aid and support to other countries, awards up to 200 leadership-based scholarships to emerging leaders from more than 100 developing nations.

The scholars come to Australia to study for Master’s and Doctorates qualifications as well as completing a Leadership for Development Program (LDP). The LDP is set in cross cultural leadership development via multiple learning modes. The intention is that the scholars return to their home country with increased capacity to create positive change.

My involvement with this program came through working with Teamworks Development Australia when I was living in Perth. Teamworks run experiential learning programs and also provide this part of the LDP for Curtin University, who ran the overall program for AusAID.


“This coaching is the most useful and effective activity of capacity building I have ever participated in. My own sessions were designed on the basis of my own contexts, interest, experiences and vision. Mr Barrow was a tremendous coach to lead me to engage in developing my leadership capability through my own efforts, rather than imposing certain ready-made tips.” 

Sindhu Dhungana
Australian Leadership Award Scholar –  Leadership for Development Program, PhD Candidate
Ministry of Forests & Soil Conservation, District Forest Officer (Under Secretary) - Nepal


My role, from July 2010 to January 2012, was coach and facilitator. I worked at the national conferences, the workshops, and in the leadership coaching program:

  • At the conference I acted as a scholar liaison and built relationships for the following workshops and coaching later in the year.
  • At the workshops, I was part of a team that ran experiential learning activities, coached individual scholars, and facilitated application of leadership based learning to universal and culturally specific contexts.
  • In the coaching module I worked individually with scholars in a longer term relationship to develop resourcefulness to assist them in their leadership journey.


“The depth, consideration and holism that Scott brings to his coaching and facilitation work ensures that those fortunate to work with him benefit across both their personal and professional spheres.  Individuals gain a sense of surety about their life journey, as Scott guides them through relevant and engaging exercises to optimise their learning.  A coach who I would describe as having focused insight into his own abilities and life path, Scott challenges and inspires those he works with to achieve their aspirations. Practical and pragmatic in his approach Scott is someone who will help you realise your performance targets – and you’ll have fun reaching them!”

Claire Bean
Program Manager
Australian Leadership Awards –  Leadership for Development Program


During my time in the LDP, the results were outstanding, both individually and collectively. Via the program’s monitoring and evaluation department, extremely high (98% in 2010, 100% in 2011) scholar satisfaction and positive feedback was been received for the conference, workshop & coaching modules. More directly, some of my other achievements were:

  • Extremely positive feedback from the scholars I coached one on one
  • a rapid integration and successful working relationships with other program staff despite little face to face preparation and no previous time spent with staff.
  • an offer overall program manager of an expanded program and further coaching work with scholars, based on my impact and performance at the 2010 workshops (my first time working in the LDP)


I loved working in this program. The staff were great people and worked really well as a large interdependent team. The scholars were super bright, caring and humble, and a joy to work with. To work on a program designed to develop people as leaders, to create positive change for the lives of others in their home countries, is very grounding, rewarding and satisfying.


“Scott has been an amazing coach encouraging me to explore and challenge my perception and understanding of myself. I have learnt much from him through our sessions, learning about my own strengths and weaknesses and working with it to bring improvement in my life and my leadership qualities….”
Sonam Deki
Australian Leadership Award Scholar –  Leadership for Development Program, Masters Candidate
Department of Disaster Management, Ministry of Home & Cultural Affairs
Royal Government of Bhutan