Monday, 25 September 2023

Industry Leaders Fund Annual Awards

Rod and I are delighted to join you today for the Industry Leaders Fund (ILF) annual awards ceremony.

Having heard from Richard Barrett, Anthony Kittel, Tania Jolley and Peter Piliouras, and learned more of the impact that the ILF is having on South Australia’s business leaders who are selected to participate in the program, I’ve rethought what I’d like to say to you this evening.

When I was nearing the end of my term as Australia’s Ambassador to China, I was invited to apply for a Sir James Wolfensohn public service scholarship.

My application was successful and I was accepted by Harvard’s Kennedy School to undertake their short-course Senior Managers in Government program.

Although I needed to put these plans on hold when I was asked by then Prime Minister Turnbull to become his International Adviser, I was able to go to Harvard before I became Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade the following year.

Like many of you, I therefore know first hand, just how valuable high-level learning opportunities can be and how they can shape our leadership and increase its effectiveness.

Since its inception in 2009, the important work of the ILF has been supported by my distinguished predecessors as Governor.

Each came with his own lens – Rear Admiral Scarce with defence and business; and Hieu Van Le with multiculturalism – but we all shared a commitment to supporting and encouraging South Australia’s future leaders.

Two of my six priorities as Governor are leadership and support to business. A third is gender equality and I am willing to work with you to encourage more innovative and highly capable South Australian business women to nominate for the ILF program.

We need, across the board, whether in public life, business, community affairs, or other fields, to nurture leaders with the skills and courage to imagine a successful future for our State; people who are able to think through the prism of South Australia’s interests in a structured and organised way about what is changing and what that means for us; who are responsive to the challenges that will inevitably arise; who are open to new ideas and perspectives; and who have integrity.

Leadership and a sense of pride in what we do will be a foundation for success.

And all this is what the ILF seeks to inculcate.

I congratulate the grant recipients who we are honouring tonight on their foresight in exploring how to further their own leadership capacity.

In doing so they have demonstrated a commitment to our State and to their fellow business leaders.

I thank the donors and supporters for being far-sighted and the managers of the ILF for their continued stewardship.

It is worth reminding ourselves that since its inception, the ILF has offered grants worth more than $3.4 million to 274 talented business leaders, who have chosen to study at 33 of the world’s top business schools.

It has established an influential scholars’ network to embed and reinforce the leadership knowledge and capabilities of the scholars.

The reach of the ILF is demonstrated by the more than 200 prominent business and industry leaders here today, many of whom have received ILF grants.

Thank you all for investing in yourselves, but importantly in investing in our State.

I wish you every success in your endeavours.

As Governor, I am willing to assist you in any way I can.

Coming events