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Being successful in gaining a prestigious scholarship or fellowship can add interest to your career, provide you with opportunities to add to your profession and advance your career. Most require detailed applications, and have annual application close dates. The list below shows the wide range of scholarships available:

Australian Leadership Award Scholarships (AusAid)

Australian Leadership Awards: Leadership Development Program

 A ustralian Non-Profit Fulbright Leadership-Scholarship-

The International WaterCentre (IWC) Water Leader Scholarships

Future Leaders – Not for Profit sector

Sampson Leadership Scholarship (Water)

 Social Leadership

Chief Executive Women Scholarships

Arts Leadership

 Indigenous Youth Leadership Program (IYLP) Tertiary Scholarship 2012

Churchill Fellowship

Australian Laureate Fellowships (Research)

Future Fellowships





Many government selection panels will give you 15 – 20 minutes to peruse the questions and think of answers before you meet the interview panel.  Good preparation to anticipate questions (especially examples of achievements to demonstrate your capabilities) will assist to maximise this time. Remember that you can take notes with you into this perusal time.

This is a sample sheet that I give to my clients to help them to prepare for interview.









SHAPES STRATEGIC THINKING  (What are the five key messages  that I must get across in relation to this capability?)






EXAMPLE:  (What is the most relevant example I have to demonstrate this capability –  which shows that I have addressed these 5 points)







































Good Luck preparing for your next interview.



Leadership Capability Frameworks are used by organisations to identify the types of capabilities and behaviours expected of their leaders.  Reviewing a framework should give you ideas about achievements to list in your résumé, and appropriate ‘leadership’ words to use.  If the particular organisation where you are applying for a job does not have a framework , there are many frameworks that you can use to prompt your thinking. For example:

1 . Health

NHS Leadership Qualities Framework

2. Education

Education Queensland

Victorian Education

3. Public Service

Australian Public Service  

Glasgow City Council

4.  Business

SHL Leadership Model

Health is a large and complex industry sector, with many funding and workforce challenges in the coming decades (increase and aging of the population, chronic disease, increased use of technologies etc). If you are about to apply for a health leadership role you will probably know a lot about these – if not, you might struggle to be competitive.

When considering a leadership role in the public system, it would be wise to show that you are familiar with State Government Strategic Health Plans, and the Business Plans and Priorities of your local district.  Also you should show that you have thought about the impact of the Australian National Health Reform Agreement on the advertised role.

As a busy clinician/technician wanting to move into a health leadership role, you may not have taken the time to find out what leadership frameworks or development opportunities exist in your organisation. Thanks to the intranet and Google, these are now easier to find.

Here are a few:

NHS Leadership Framework

Queensland Health – Healthcare Culture and Leadership Framework 2010

Victoria Health – LINK in Health (Leadership, Innovation, Networks and Knowledge)

Pan-Canadian Health Leadership Capability Framework Project

Good Luck with your Leadership application. The health sector needs great leaders to lead the coordination and cultural changes required for the future.

If you are applying for a leadership role, your language should reflect that you have shown leadership. Your resume and job interview should show that you are a person
who has ‘ succeeded in …..’ ‘initiated ……..’, ‘championed…………….’, ‘worked in partnership…………….’  etc.  Here is a list of verbs to have in your repertoire:

  •   Championed


  • Positioned


  •   Promoted


  • Anticipated


  •   Modelled


  • Capitalised


  •   Led


  • Focussed


  •   Inspired


  • Nurtured


  •   Motivated


  • Created


  •   Translated


  • Integrated


  •   Challenged


  • Oversaw


  •   Defined


  • Drove


  •   Ensured


  • Delegated


  •   Enabled


  • Built


  •   Sustained


  • Negotiated


  •   Resolved


  • Identified


  •   Represented


  • Mentored and Coached


  •   Took responsibility


  • Committed to action


  •   Established


  • Galvanised


  •   Persisted


  • Overcame


  •   Consulted and Listened


  • Acknowledged


  • Reflected


  •   Achieved

Any other suggestions?

When you are engaging someone to assist you with the writing of selection criteria, you need to decide if you require a basic or more expert level of support.

The basic level of support includes providing information to a writer, who will then take this information and ensure it is well presented, and in the appropriate format.

If you need more expert assistance, including understanding recruitment processes and selection criteria, you may need to engage the services of a ‘job coach/writer’ with recruitment and human resource experience.  A good job coach will brainstorm with you to find your most complex and relevant examples for the advertised role.

For example, when addressing the criteria/capability ‘personal drive and integrity’, I will ask my clients questions like:

  • When have you enthusiastically attended or organised training in relation to Values, Code of Conduct, Ethics, Respectful (harassment-free and non-discriminatory) Workplaces, Fraud or Conflict of Interest?
  • When have you taken on roles to show your commitment to quality workplaces (e.g. harassment contact officer)?
  • Can you think of a time when you have identified something that needed to be improved in your team, then went and did something about it?
  • Tell me about some times when you have been given a difficult job (lack of staff, tight deadlines, technology problems…..), but stuck at it and achieved a good result?

If the vacancy is a team leadership role, I will be looking for higher-level examples, through questions such as:

  • What have you done to ensure everyone in your team has had the appropriate corporate training? Have you ever introduced a ‘Values’ training session to show your Agency’s commitment to these Values?
  • What do you do in your team meetings to show that you are committed to non-discriminatory workplaces?
  • Have you identified, investigated or worked with corporate service teams to resolve harassment of fraud or code of conduct matters?
  • When have you been selected to undertake a challenging project?

For senior leadership roles, examples that are more significant will be sought through discussing:

  • What have you done to ensure your division/Department has shown leadership in engaging and retaining employees?
  • Where have you identified something that would enhance a new policy initiative and worked across divisions or with other government departments to make this happen?
  • What have you done to build a culture that reinforces appropriate risk-taking, initiative and personal resilience?

Following this brainstorming, it is important to select examples that are most relevant to the advertised role, and to present these concisely within the word limit.

For more tips on addressing selection criteria – please subscribe to this blog (top left corner).

For expert assistance with writing your claims against selection criteria, you can contact me at


The main season for graduate recruitment in Australia is here. I know this because I am starting to get requests for assistance with filling in graduate application forms. Between March and April, many of the large graduate employers are open for graduate applications. Click here to find the closing dates for a number of significant 2011 graduate programs. For example, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade closes on 22nd March, Centrelink on 27th April, and Commonwealth Bank on 7th April. If you want more details about the major graduate employers in Australia, visit Career Fairs or Grad Connection.

To give you some idea of what you will need to address in an application, the following questions are asked in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade graduate application form.

Question 1: Qualifications and knowledge Why are you applying for the Graduate Trainee program in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade? What skills and attributes would you be able to contribute to DFAT’s goals and work? You should give examples based on your academic achievements, work experience and/or extracurricular activities.

Question 2: Written and oral communication skills Provide examples of where your written and oral communication and negotiation skills have been most effective in the workplace or elsewhere. What outcomes were achieved?

Question 3: Conceptual and analytical skills  Describe a situation in which you have had to identify and analyse a problem or issue and then recommend a solution. How did you go about the task? What was the outcome? What constraints did you face in developing the solution?

Question 4: Effective working relations  What makes you an effective team member? How do you respond to problems or conflict within a team? Give an example of how you have contributed to a team’s achievements.

Question 5: Flexibility, adaptability and initiative  Give an example of where you have taken on an unfamiliar task or faced a challenge, whether in the workplace, your studies or extra-curricular activities. Describe how you prepared for and took on that task or challenge. What did you find most difficult about the experience?

If you are applying for a graduate role in the Commonwealth Bank, be prepared to answer the following:

 • Select up to two business unit program preferences. Please tell us why we should consider you for your first preference.

• Please tell us why we should consider you for your second preference.

• Please tell us about the extracurricular activities you have been involved in.

• Why have you chosen the Commonwealth Bank group as a potential future employer?

Why do you think the Commonwealth Bank graduate program aligns with your career goals?

• What does good customer service mean to you?

• Did you attend a Career Fair? Please specify at which Careers Fair you spoke with a Commonwealth Bank representative

• Did you attend a Commonwealth Bank campus presentation? Which campus presentation did you attend?

• Are you a member of a university or industrial society? • What was the main factor that influenced you to apply for the, Commonwealth Bank graduate program?

 Some Tips for completing a Graduate Application Form:

• remember that in these programs employers are not just offering a job. They hope you will grow into one of their future leaders.

 • while employers understand that graduates will apply for a number of organisations, they will be expecting that you are genuinely motivated to work for them. Therefore, you need to research the company or government agency and to make sure you match your achievements, interests and skills to how you can add most value to that employer.

 • it will take time to write good responses for the application form. So set aside quality time, draft your responses in Word, and get someone to proof read your answers before you transfer them across to the online application form.

• start by brainstorming all of your experience, knowledge and achievements – in your studies (individual and group assignments), work, voluntary and community activities. Try to use a different example to highlight your claims for each question.

• talk to people that you respect and get their ideas on what they see as your achievements and strengths. I find that most people overlook significant achievements.

 • it is okay to seek professional help with the writing of responses for your application form, you will not be the only person who does this. However you need to feel that the end result truly represents and matches how you will present to an assessment committee.

• be honest, as the application form is just the start of the selection process. If you overstate your claims you will need to live up to this in the interviews and other assessment processes.

• if you are stuck for the right words to use to fully present your case, you can access free online information, borrow books on selection criteria from the University or Council libraries, or purchase books written about addressing selection criteria. Just make sure that you access contemporary information.

 The good news is that new research by Graduate Careers Australia (GCA) shows 21 per cent of employers will increase the scale of their graduate programs in 2010.

Good luck with your application.

For more tips on answering graduate questions – please subscribe to this blog (top left corner).

For expert assistance with preparing your application you can contact me at  or ph 0403766812

If you are applying for a job in the Queensland Government, the selection criteria may look like the five below:

  • Supports strategic direction or Shapes strategic thinking
  • Achieves results
  • Supports productive working relationships  or Cultivates productive working relationships
  • Displays personal drive and integrity  or Exemplifies personal drive and integrity
  • Communicates with influence

The Queensland Government has adopted a Capability and Leadership Framework (CLF) which is similar to the Australian Public Service Integrated Leadership System (ILS). This framework outlines the core capabilities and associated behaviours required of public servants at each classification and functional level within the Queensland Public Service. 

The Individual Profiles which describe the capabilities and behavioural indicators required at the different levels are likely to be the most useful part of the CLF, if you are using it to apply for a job.

If you read the whole CLF document, you will find useful tools to support you in assessing your development needs for a public service career.  IPAA Queensland has mapped all of its courses to the five capabilities of the CLF.

Queensland Government jobs and careers are advertised at SmartJobs.

 Looking for an expert to coach you to write your job application or prepare for the job  interview – contact me at or 0403766812


 Posts on selection criteria Shapes Strategic Thinking


See SLIDESHARE for the original presentations.

By kktv


by Mayur Kachhadiya


by subin.john

If you are a human resource professional and applying for a public sector job that has the five Leadership Capabilities i.e. Shapes Strategic Thinking, Achieves Results, Cultivates Productive Working Relationships, Exemplifies Personal Drive and Integrity and Communicates with Influence, you may find the following document very useful.

Medicare Australia – A Capability Profile for Human Resources

(Sorry – have just realised that this link now goes to home page of Medicare. Pity – it was a good document.) 





Do you want coaching from an expert who understands the Intergrated Leadership System (Australian Government)  or Capability Leadership Framework (Queensland Government)?

Contact me at   or 0403766812.  I will provide a no obligation free quote.

My specialty is coaching people for job interviews. I enjoy assisting people to win jobs – and would love to hear from you.




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