CSI announces ARACY CEO Penny Dakin as part of SILA program cohort
The Sector > Workforce > Leadership > CSI announces ARACY CEO Penny Dakin as part of SILA program cohort

CSI announces ARACY CEO Penny Dakin as part of SILA program cohort

by Freya Lucas

July 14, 2021

The Centre for Social Impact (CSI) has selected the first cohort of leaders to drive and amplify positive social change as part of the Social Impact Leadership Australia (SILA) program, with ARACY CEO Penny Dakin named as one of the initial team of 24 leaders and organisations who will participate in a series of immersive and dedicated training and support opportunities over 10 months. 


The “SILA24” will focus on driving positive change for society through individual and organisational capacity building as part of the five year national capacity building and leadership program which has been designed to amplify the impact of the Australian for-purpose sector.


Built from a collective desire to support for-purpose leaders to positively influence their organisations and the sector, four major Australian foundations – The Myer Foundation, the Sidney Myer Fund, the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation and the Paul Ramsay Foundation – have come together to fund the $9.6 million SILA program over five-years. 


SILA is an evidence-based program specifically developed to meet the needs of Australian for-purpose CEOs and build the capacity of their organisations directly and indirectly. Crucially, SILA builds leadership cultures and capacity within the wider ecosystem of for-purpose organisations, as well as within individual leaders.


Ms Dakin is one of the 24 NSW and ACT leaders selected for the first cohort of the program, which will see cohort members participate in a series of immersive learning experiences, a tailored sabbatical – a unique offering in Australia – one-on-one coaching and dedicated organisational capacity-building support. Crucially, the leaders will connect and learn from each other, creating a strategic network on which to build and amplify their social impact.


“The benefits to the for-purpose sector are enormous,” she said. 


“For the first time in Australia, a broad cohort of the for-purpose sector will have access to the highest quality professional leadership development as a group. It will strengthen relationships and collaboration, provide common language and common frames, help address silos and ensure that we’re all thinking with an ecosystems lens. This will enable us to adapt how we lead to embed these same things in the organisations we come from.”


In 2022, SILA will be offered to for-purpose CEOs in Victoria and Tasmania and in following years SILA will be offered to for-purpose leaders and organisations across the breadth of the country.


SILA aims to improve economic, social, cultural and environmental outcomes for individuals, each participant’s organisation and the broader for-purpose sector within Australia. It will be delivered by leading academics and practitioners, in a range of nurturing and conducive environments. 


The first cohort has been selected through a rigorous and competitive process, with a focus on diversity and representation from both metropolitan and rural and regional areas in NSW and the ACT. 


The selection committee comprised Jenny Wheatley, CEO of the Vincent Fairfax Family Foundation, Robbie Macpherson, SILA Program Director, and Sarah Davies, CEO of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation.


Mrs Wheatley expressed her excitement at the calibre of the first SILA cohort saying the interview panel was required to make tough decisions to settle on the 24 participants from many strong applications:


“The cohort consists of experienced leaders with strong track records and great potential, not just for future leadership of themselves and their organisation, but for the sector and system more widely. SILA offers an opportunity for leaders to build a strong professional network that will support them well past the completion of the program, and this aspect is particularly important for those participants who work in rural and regional areas,” she added.


A full list of the first SILA24 cohort can be found on the SILA website, here

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