Global Leadership Practices Program Announcement

17 Aug 2018


We were overwhelmed with the response to the Global Leadership Practices Program opportunity, receiving 71 strong applications from Churchill Fellows who were awarded their Fellowships as far back as 1978 all the way through to 2015.

One of the most valuable aspects of the application process was to read about the impact Churchill Fellows have made in their respective fields. It is certainly reaffirming to see the passion Churchill Fellows held at the very beginning of their Fellowship journey, continue throughout their careers.

We are pleased to announce that Fiona Hawthorne (2007), Tony Eyres (2001) and Emma Robinson (2014) are the three Fellows who have been selected to take part in the Global Leadership Practices (GLP) Program in 2018.

This program will give them the opportunity to travel to China and India with a diverse cohort of professionals, public servants and community leaders with the aim of coming away with a richer, more balanced perspective and privileged insight into how these countries work.


Emma Robinson (2014)

Emma Robinson

Emma is a self-employed beef producer whose Fellowship investigated co-operative opportunities for family farmers to drive new value in the beef supply chain. Since going on her Fellowship, Emma has founded The Beef Collaboration Project Inc. which, aims to promote opportunities for likeminded family famers to collaborate to drive efficiency and opportunity pre and post farm gate. This project now has a membership base of over 25 producers, working to leverage new efficiencies and profitability through group buying, marketing, labour and knowledge sharing activities.

The often geographically isolated environment of Australian agriculture means the opportunity to attend the Global Leadership Program is of particular importance, providing the opportunity of exposure not just to the Chinese trade and market environment, but also unique insight into Chinese decision making and leadership systems. 

Understanding global leadership within this context will assist Emma with her ability to develop vision and inspiration for new product opportunities, expansion of her organisation’s producer membership base and the capacity to form new partnerships with large global players further down the supply chain.

On a personal level Emma sees the professional confidence she will gain from being involved in this
prestigious program will be invaluable to her ability to lead The Beef Collaboration Project. Inc. This will
include the ability to liaise with peers and networks established through the GLP, in addition to a broader understanding of Chinese and Australian relationships and future public policy implications. Understanding different perspectives and experiences of leaderships is also a key insight she hopes to gain through her involvement in the program, The collaborative, grass-roots nature of her project means the opportunity to attend programs such as the GLP are generally not accessible as part of their ongoing business approach, hence the invaluable opportunity this award would provide.


Tony Eyres (2001)

Tony Eyres

Tony has been deeply engaged in agriculture most of his life, having grown up on a broadacre farm and studying agricultural science at university. Tony’s Churchill Fellowship looked at the role of technology in agriculture, focusing on the use of satellite and internet technology, its applications and possible benefits to rural communities. His Fellowship sought to better understand what the consumer wants from agriculture and linking those desires to a production system to then deliver. He sees this GLP program as being an extension
of that work, almost 20 years on.

As Executive Director of his own corporate advisory firm, Rounding Up, Tony believes that the considerable knowledge, experiences and networks that he has developed and maintained from his professional roles with industry bodies, large corporate and financial institutions and the federal government, together with his Churchill Fellowship, are now being effectively utilised in providing quality advice to clients from across all these spheres. While being self-employed allows considerable freedoms in his work, opportunities such as
this program are invaluable in helping him to maintain and build on his substantial local and international networks, while continuing to disseminate findings from previous international travel including his Churchill Fellowship back in 2001.

Travel to India will allow Tony to test the validity of his original hypothesis, refine his initial findings in the established markets of the US and Europe, and contextualise those to a key, emerging, present-day market.

Tony also offers a proven ability to engage with the most senior levels of industry, business and government, here in Australia and overseas, enabling him to maximise the opportunities offered by the GLP program.



Fiona Hawthorne (2007)

Fiona Hawthorne

Since 2016, Fiona has been the General Manager of Hummingbird House, leading the team that was operationalising the only children’s hospice in Queensland. Hummingbird House continues to develop and extend services into all areas of paediatric palliative care. Fiona’s work is a direct result of her 2007
Fellowship which looked at the provision of specialised antenatal care for women whose babies are likely to die shortly before, during or after delivery.

As Fiona moves into the next phase of Humminbird House operations, she needs to be able to create a financially sustainable future for the organisation. It must be future proofed in terms of funding. It is her intent to develop a future fund for Hummingbird House, based on the financial methodology used by the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust. This approach may be applicable overseas and the opportunity to work with Yellow Edge, and the global leaders available in India is a second opportunity for her to learn from others and broaden her thinking in this area.

When establishing healthcare services within the community, Fiona has learnt that a deep understanding of the machinery of government is key. This is also likely to be the case in the Indian context. The opportunity to learn more about how India’s government, public service and NGOs operate will equip her with the understanding as to how she could potentially apply the lessons learned from establishing Hummingbird House to the paediatric palliative care sector within India. In the global context of paediatric palliative care,the role of government cannot be understated. It is the health sector’s policy development and sector engagement that helps or hinders service creation. This program will enable her to have unprecedented access to Indian officials, business & NGO leaders.

A major challenge in paediatric palliative care is that children do not vote. They cannot influence policy or government spending. Through this opportunity to extend her Fellowship into the global context, “at every meeting I am invited to, every government official I speak with, and every community meeting I attend, I intend to try to continue to be their voice.”


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