CEO End of year message

10 Dec 2018


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It has been a great year for the Trust, we have introduced many new initiatives  including those designed to increase the levels of engagement, development and support provided to Churchill Fellows directly by the Trust. These new initiatives have been extremely well received and are in keeping with the Trust’s strategic direction statement in action.

Two priority areas that we have been giving equal attention to are positioning the Trust and Churchill Fellowships for the future; and maximising the opportunities for impact through our Churchill Fellows.

The sustained success of Churchill Fellowships has and will continue to rely on the energy and efforts of members of our Churchill Fellows Associations (CFAs) who provide invaluable advocacy and support for the Trust and Churchill Fellows alike through their collective experience and passion. Similarly, we thrive on the generosity and insights of our volunteer selection committee members.

For more than fifty years Churchill Fellowships have been an investment in knowledge and skills acquisition to benefit individuals and the Australian community. By awarding over 100 Fellowships each year we have a reliable pipeline of switched on people travelling overseas and bringing back contemporary and innovative practices and ideas that can benefit Australia.

As an organisation that invests in an extremely diverse range of people and their ideas, we thrive on Fellows’ success stories and recognise the importance of providing ongoing engagement and support that can often be missing with scholarships and similar programs.

Each of our new initiatives has been designed to build capabilities, focus and opportunity at all touch points of the Fellowship journey and to support Fellows to share their findings and have impact.

Supporting capability and focus starts for all Churchill Fellows as soon as they are awarded. Working with CFAs we have formalised and evolved induction sessions to include strategic communication training in addition to administrative information about the Fellowship and insights from Churchill Fellows. Feedback from new Churchill Fellowship recipients has been overwhelmingly positive with many participants appreciating the opportunity to think critically about how they will communicate their Fellowship to maximise impact. 

Specific support is now being provided by the Trust to all Churchill Fellows to help them disseminate their Fellowship report findings. Churchill Fellows have been assisted to travel to speak about their Fellowship at conferences, produce documentaries and engaging video content, design and produce publications and host events to promote their Fellowship findings within their industry or sector. The level of interest and creativity from Fellows seeking to disseminate their findings has been impressive and is increasing.

We have had great success collaborating with a few Australian Government Departments to provide Churchill Fellows the opportunity to travel to Canberra to share their knowledge, insights and experience policymakers. National dissemination and engagement opportunities and partnerships will continue to be a focus for the Trust in 2019, starting with an Australian and New Zealand School of Government (ANZOG) Conference in Melbourne in February. In addition to providing opportunities for Churchill Fellows to participate and speak at this Conference, a new sponsored Fellowship for First Peoples will be announced for 2019 as a collaboration between the Australian and New Zealand Churchill Trusts and ANZSOG.

Our ability to put forward Churchill Fellows to speak about and share their findings has improved with the development of a Churchill Fellows Talent Bank designed to be a go-to source for media, conference organisers or other interested parties.

We’ll continue to provide development opportunities for all Churchill Fellows including those who undertook their travels some time ago. More than 70 Churchill Fellows applied to participate in the Global Leadership Practices (GLP) Program which saw three Fellows travel to China and India as part of a leadership development program made possible by our partnership with Yellow Edge. Feedback from participants is that they benefited personally, developing new perspectives and networks to continue their Churchill Fellowship journey. The inclusion of Churchill Fellows to the program added depth and breadth to the participant cohort. We will offer placements again in 2019. 

In addition to the GLP, we have run a webinar focusing on communication and engagement for not for profit organisations and will be offering subsidised subscriptions to an online training resource, Lumin Lessons in early 2019. Planning is underway for more webinars and resources of value to Churchill Fellows who are seeking to grow and maximise the impact of their Fellowships.

The introduction of post-nominals (CF) for all Churchill Fellows who have submitted their Fellowship reports not only provides a pathway for Fellows to access some of our new initiatives designed to help them continue their Fellowship journeys here in Australia but is generating increased awareness and interest in Churchill Fellowships. We encourage all eligible Fellows to use the post-nominals proudly.

As we move into 2019 there are many exciting new initiatives on the horizon, and of course we are all looking forward to the biennial Churchill Fellows Convention in Hobart in April. The team at Churchill House are looking forward to building on the many successful relationships and collaborations with our Fellows, the CFAs and potential applicants in the coming year.

Safe travels and we hope you enjoy the festive season!


Adam Davey CEO

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