2019 Williamson Community Leadership Program

One of Australia’s most sought-after leadership development experiences, the Williamson program enters its 30th year in 2019.

Applications are now closed for 2019. Applications for 2020 open on May 1st. 

About Williamson

Williamson provides a unique year of leadership progress. The program is a deep-dive into leadership character, an eclectic and challenging advancement of leadership strategy, and an exploration of the vital issues facing your organisation and all Australians. This rigorous experience develops and connects leaders across sectors and generations.

The program covers an outstanding selection of critical issues facing today's leaders, brought to life by seminars from renowned leaders, field trips, case studies and other activities that culminate in an end-of-year retreat. Williamson lasts well beyond the year: your Williamson cohort typically works with you for decades post-program, and the LV network opens doors with key decision makers across Victoria and around the world.

Applications are now closed for Williamson 2019. Applications for 2020 open on May 1st. 

Are you ready to:

  • Lead in our rapidly changing world?
  • Examine and test your values, worldviews and assumptions?
  • Step up and lead positive change – with and without formal authority?
  • Build your leadership capabilities to meet twenty-first century challenges?
  • Commit to exploring new ways of thinking?
  • Build new networks beyond your area of professional practice?
  • Apply your leadership to make a difference in your organisation and the community?

If so, Williamson is for you.  Your life will never be the same.  Your organisation will never look back.

The Williamson experience includes a powerful opportunity to question and influence MPs in Canberra, through an overnight visit to the nation's capital (included in the program fees)

"Recently I spoke to members of a community leadership program who’d come to Canberra for a couple of days of briefings from politicians and others. They’d been to Question Time a few hours before I met them. To journalists, it was a pretty standard QT. For these people, what they witnessed was shocking. They had trouble getting their heads around how the goings on – the shouting, the insults – could be so dreadful. They’d looked over at the schoolchildren in another part of the public gallery and wondered what those youngsters were thinking. They asked: why do our politicians act like this and what can be done? All 72 decided to write to their MPs to say this wasn’t the type of conduct they wanted to see from them.

“There are no easy ways to rid ourselves of the coup culture, or to force tin-eared politicians to lift their game. But it wouldn’t hurt for more people to follow the example of those in the [Williamson] community leadership program and remind their MPs of their KPIs”. @Michelle Grattan, @ConversationEDU



Embrace the challenge 

Through this unique, experiential ten-month program, Williamson will equip you to tackle contemporary leadership challenges.

Alumni mostly lead complex organisations and initiatives, and are frequently instrumental in business, government and community progress. They lead with unparalleled depth and breadth of wisdom. Their organisations succeed in new ways.

In Williamson, you will undergo a unique learning experience addressing the emerging social, economic and environmental issues of the coming years and decades.

But the experience goes much further. You will dig deep into yourself: examine your values, examine your worldviews and assumptions. You will prepare yourselves for leading change, for leading with authority and - even more importantly - leading where you have no authority but where Australia needs leaders to step up and create change.

Where will your leadership journey take you?

Program Topics 

The program includes topics such as;

  • Creating a culture of innovation
  • Developing a sustainable Australia
  • Australia in a globalised world
  • Governing Australia in the 21st century
  • Leading in a diverse community, and much more.

At the conclusion of the program, participants graduate as Williamson fellows, joining our network of more than 1300 alumni.

"Williamson opened a Pandora's box of frightening issues, conflicting morals and very worthy lessons." Paul Eleftheriou (WCLP17), Austin Health

Program Inclusions 

Williamson is a focused year-long leadership experience, that includes;

  • 26 facilitated learning sessions (4 evenings, 2 full days per month)
  • Four-star resort single accommodation including all-meals at Opening Retreat, Closing Retreat and field trips
  • Overnight field trip to regional Victoria, including transport, accommodation and meals
  • Flights, accommodation and meals at two-day field trip to Canberra
  • Behind-the-scenes Parliament House experience and meeting with Ministers and Party Leaders in Canberra
  • Psychometric tests, Leadership Profiling and Harvard’s Immunity to Change profiling
  • Over 80 guest speakers sharing practical insights and their own leadership journey
  • All pre-reading and program materials
  • Graduation Dinner
  • Longitudinal profiling post program to evaluate the impact of the  program experience

Williamson Intensive (optional add-on)

Williamson Intensive is designed to improve your personal progression, through coaching and mentoring. Each Williamson Intensive participant will be matched with a coach and a mentor, providing opportunity to personally explore Williamson topics and leadership theories. It further leverages your leadership learnings, providing individual support to integrate your learnings into your workplace, and augmenting core program content.  

Program dates: 2019



DATES 2019

Program 1:

Opening Retreat: Commencing the Leadership Dialogue   

Evening 1: Williamson 2019 Welcome Event

Thurs 14 Feb to Sat 16 Feb (concluding 1.00pm)

Wed 27 Feb

Program 2:

Day 1: Australia’s Economic Prosperity

Day 2:  Leadership Development Work

Fri 22 Mar

Sat 23 Mar OR Sat 30 Mar, depending on your home group

Program 3:

Day 1: Social Cohesion and Cultural Diversity

Day 2: Leadership Development Work   

Evening 2: Who Gets Lefts Behind?

Fri 12 April

Sat 13 April

Wed 1 May

Program 4:

Day 1: A Rural and Regional Context – field trip

Day 2: A Rural and Regional Context – field trip

Fri 17 May

Sat 18 May

Program 5:

Day 1: Leadership and the Environment

Day 2: Leadership Development Work

Evening 3: Leadership and Sport

Fri 21 June

Sat 22 June OR Sat 29 June, depending on your home group

Wed 26 June

Program 6:

Day 1: Influencing the Agenda

Day 2: Leadership Development

Evening 4: Mid-Winter Event

Fri 19 July

Sat 20 July OR Sat 27 July,  depending on your home group

Wed 31 July

Program 7:

Field Trip: Canberra Field Trip*

Wed 14 and Thurs 15 Aug*


International Module Optional Module to Indonesia and Singapore to be offered (additional investment ): details TBC Fri 16 to Thurs 22 Aug 

Program 8:

Evening 5: Leadership Activities

Day 1: Optimising Health and Wellbeing

Day 2: Leadership Development Work (Full Group) 

Weds 4 Sept

Fri 13 Sept

Sat 14 Sept

Program 9:

Day 1: Law and Order – A Just Society

Day 2: Leadership Development Work 

Evening 6: CLAN Presentations (Part I)

Fri 18 Oct

Sat 19 Oct OR Sat 26 Oct,  depending on your home group  

Tues 29 Oct

Program 10:

Closing Retreat

Fri 8 and Sat 9 Nov


Presentation Dinner

Wed 20 Nov



































Notes: *August dates are subject to change pending release of Parliament sitting dates for 2019 Friday schedules vary but typically run from 8.00am to 5.00pm Saturday program days commence at 8.30am and conclude at 4.30pm

Program fees

Williamson fees are structured so that there is an organisational and an individual component.

Standard Price  ex GS
Williamson Intensive $18,830


Individual $1,826


ex GST 
Williamson Intensive $15,995




*Rate for small not-for-profits
We understand that some non-profit organisations may ask for non-profit rates on our services.    

We are pleased to help as best we can, noting that we too are a non-profit with many calls on our resources and we make many pro-bono contributions to many causes.

We are pleased to automatically offer special rates to charitable non-profit organisations with an annual turnover less than $10M, as well as (usually) to smaller non-charitable non-profits with an external (i.e. not member-focused) purpose for a better world in the social, economic or environmental spheres.  

Our non-profit rates are not automatically offered to very large organisations (above $10M), nor to every type of non-profit organisation: we can on request consider other types of non-profits (sporting clubs, member and professional associations, industry associations).


A limited number of scholarships are available for individuals from smaller NFP organisations who meet the eligibility criteria. Learn more.

One Williamson scholarship will be awarded in partnership with the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) to a Muslim Woman.

The Muslim Women's Leadership Initiative offers a package of programs and activities designed to foster leadership in Muslim women in Victoria through building connections with people currently exercising leadership, and to establish connections and understanding within and between faith, ethnic and other demographic communities in Victoria.

The aim through offering these programs and activities, is to empower Muslim women to develop their capability and confidence, represent those within their faith, and to challenge the stereotypes for Muslim women.  Participants will build networks and connections to drive broader systematic and cultural change, and to contribute to making progress on complex social, economic and environmental issues facing Victoria, Australia and the world. Learn more.

One Williamson scholarship will be awarded to a person with disability in partnership with the Victorian Government. 

More information will be avaliable in the coming weeks.

Victorian Rural Women's Network - funded candidates. 

Candidates applying for funded places on the Williamson Community Leadership Program through the Victorian Rural Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Program must adhere to the following terms and conditions:

Applications have now closed.

Be a Victorian Rural Women’s Network subscriber. Here is a link to the network’s subscriber page.

  • Be a rural or regional woman who permanently resides in Victoria
  • Be involved in agriculture or the agriculture supply chain
  • Be able to travel to and attend all activities and opportunities related to the funded place on the Williamson Community Leadership Program
  • An out-of-pocket allowance is available on a case-by-case basis for travel, accommodation, child-minding and other potential costs that might prevent candidates from participating in this program
  • Williamson fees are structured so that there is an organisational and an individual component. The standard organisational fee will be fully funded by the Victorian Rural Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Program (including Intensive and mentoring program components).Selected candidates will be liable for the individual fee
  • Selected candidates will be expected to participate in a range of communications activities connected to the Victorian Rural Women’s Network including: Newsletter and magazine articles, Social media posts, Website stories, Potential media opportunities, other opportunities related to the Victorian Rural Women’s Network.

If you have any further questions, please email the Victorian Rural Women’s Network at telephone the Leadership Victoria on (03) 9651 6590.

Applications have now closed.


More Information 

Psychometric Tests

Terms and Conditions

What our alumni say

“There are important benefits to my organisation from participating in the Williamson program. By broadening our awareness and perspectives beyond our immediate workplace and comfort zones, we are far more able to challenge ourselves to be stronger leaders, and in doing this, offer far more to our clients and the community." Anthony Coops (WCLP'12), Partner, KPMG

 “Listening and understanding the stories of such a diverse range of leaders has been so enriching and challenging. Many of them will stay with me forever and remind me of the importance of leaders knowing their own stories and staying true to their values which I will continue to strive to do.” Rosie Wheen (WCLP'15), Director of International Programs, WaterAid Australia

 “Whilst the issues-focussed Friday programs were an eye- opener it was the ‘immunity to change’ leadership day that resonated most with me. The opportunity to self-reflect on my individual immunities to change and consider the impact and benefits of increased self-awareness to me as an individual and my organisation was profound.” Grant Cosgriff (WCLP'15), Executive Director, Triathlon Victoria 

“Beyond being a truly uplifting and humbling experience with a fabulous cohort, the Williamson Community Leadership Program has helped me find authenticity in all aspects of life. For that I will be forever grateful.” David Campbell (WCLP’13), Consultant, Egon Zehnder

Some words from our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander participants.