Fellowship and other education programs
International Specialised Skills Institute
The George Alexander Foundation Fellowship Program at The International Specialised Skills Institute (ISS Institute) has been operating since 2004. The program provides a single annual fellowship to resource a young leader in the traditional trades, technical and artisan fields to undertake a study tour overseas and bring back their learnings and knowledge to share with others in their sector. Of the $20,000 GAF Fellowship, the Fellows themselves receive a cash award of $10,000 and $10,000 is paid to ISSI to deliver mentoring, reporting support and networks to the GAF Fellow.
The aim of this fellowship is to promote the acquisition of higher-level skills and an appreciation of international best practice particularly in the areas of Environment and Sustainability and Alternative Energy, although some other areas of study will also be considered. This fellowship is intended to examine innovative approaches that demonstrate potential benefits for, and application in, Australia.
Read the story of Christopher Bourne, the ISS Institute GAF Fellow 2011.
Centre for Sustainability Leadership
The world needs leaders and change makers who have the commitment, courage and skill to drive positive change. GAF support supports the work of The Centre for Sustainability Leadership (CSL) which empowers emerging sustainability leaders to realise their goals for a better future by providing them with tools, networks, knowledge and support.
CSL works with emerging sustainability leaders from across all sectors and industries through our annual Fellowship Programs in Sydney and Melbourne, and globally through its online platform Leadership Rewired.
Each year CSL offers places to 25 ambitious sustainability change makers in each of the Sydney and Melbourne Fellowship Programs. This is a unique, award winning training opportunity where selected individuals develop the skills, networks and knowledge needed to be effective in forging a more sustainable future.
The seven-month program offers practical, immersive and challenging thinking, activities and projects designed to grow each Fellow’s capacity to influence positive change in their areas of passion.
The fellows participate in weekly evening workshops, retreats, sustainability projects and networking opportunities. They get access to Australia’s best business, political, social and environmental leaders as speakers and mentors (including Don Henry, Executive Director, ACF; Greg Bourne, CEO, WWF Australia; Julian Burnside, QC; and Peter Ellyard, Director, Preferred Futures), enjoy ongoing peer-to-peer learning and community building through events, online platforms and forums, and real world sustainability projects provide them with direct leadership experience.
The Fellowship Program curriculum is drawn from globally recognised leadership programs and thinking, combined with direct insights and experiences from over 100 sustainability leaders from around the planet. It’s also underpinned by leadership competencies that have been identified as fundamental skills for successfully addressing the challenges faced by leaders aiming to create a sustainable future.
The GAF Student Challenge Program
The Student Challenge Program is aimed at students in years 10 and 11 as they prepare to make important decisions about their future school subjects and university preferences. The hands-on, experiential field work program, in which students work with leading researchers, aims to inspire students who have an interest in science and environment to continue on to study and career pathways in the sector. The George Alexander Foundation funds cover the costs for students who want to participate but cannot afford to travel to the research sites. Many of the students involved in the Student Challenge Program come from regional areas or disadvantaged backgrounds and have rarely had access to researchers or field projects of this type.
The GAF Student Challenge Program allows 30 students annually to participate in one of three major ongoing research programs:
1. Australia's vanishing frogs - Queensland
2. Melbourne's Microbats - Victoria
3. Freshwater Turtles - Victoria
The program seeks to improve school science participation numbers and ultimately university science numbers. Earthwatch works with CSIRO Education to identify schools who are active in science and environment programs. Teachers are encouraged to refer students who appear to have a genuine interest in science and environmental studies but who might be at risk of discontinuing the subjects at senior school.
Longitudinal evaluations are underway but anecdotally it appears the Student Challenge Program improves students' inclination to continue science studies.
From the researchers' point of view, the students work with data collection is of great assistance, allowing them to gather many weeks worth of information in just a few days.
Application forms are available from the Earthwatch website.