Governance Program

Empowering autistic adults to contribute to decision-making in the corporate environment.

What is the program about?

The Governance Program is the first national training program in corporate governance for autistic adults, enabling leadership in decision-making and capturing the strength of diverse thinking to make a broader contribution to the corporate and government sectors.

The objectives of the program are to:

  • increase the engagement of autistic adults in organisational decision-making
  • establish a national network of autistic people with governance skills, enabling them to share experiences and opportunities
  • provide participants with practical knowledge and experience and develop skills
  • improve participants' understanding of governance structures and different organisational models.

This program is co-designed and delivered with autistic adults, with 4 out of our 7 Project Team members identifying as autistic.

Participants in the Governance Program will be able to develop practical knowledge and experience in corporate governance through a series of training and development initiatives including:

  • completing online training modules (October to December 2019)
  • attending a 3.5-day/3-night residential workshop in an Australian capital city (January 2020)
  • undertaking observations of 1 or 2 Board meetings (February to March 2020)
  • attending up to 3 online debrief sessions after Board observations (April 2020)
  • being a part of a community of autistic people with emerging and established governance skills.


To be eligible to apply for the Governance Program an applicant must:

  • identify as autistic
  • be aged 18 or older as of the 12th of August 2019
  • live in Australia
  • be willing and available to participate in all of the program activities
  • have an interest in both:
    • contributing to corporate decision-making
    • developing their potential in corporate governance.

Applications Closed

Applications for the Governance Program are now closed.

What is the application and selection process?

There are three parts to the application:

  • Part A will ask you questions about who you are and some of your experience
  • Part B is a series of selection questions
  • Part C is a series of marketing questions and a declaration that you have filled out the application yourself

Part A and C must be answered using the online form; Part B may be answered by using the online form, recording a video, or submitting a PowerPoint presentation. Information on how to submit video or PowerPoint presentation responses is provided in the Application Information Pack.

Once you have submitted your application, you will get an email confirming that we’ve received your submission. Please note that Ashton, the Project Officer, works part time so expect that it will take up to 3 working days for them to email you. You will find out if you are offered a place in the Governance Program by email between the 23rd and the 27th of September 2019. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer a place to all applicants due to the expected number of submissions. We hope to be able to offer more places in the future.


Should you have questions that aren’t answered by our Application Information Pack or FAQ section below, please contact our Project Officer

Ashton Bartz
Project Officer, Governance Program
Autism CRC

07 3377 0613
(Please note that Ashton is part-time but will respond to your query as soon as possible.)


Below you can find answers to some of the questions you may have about the Governance program.

Corporate governance refers to how a group enables an organisation to achieve its goals, control risks and ensure compliance. It involves decision-making, policy creation and more, and take the form of a Board, advisory group or management committee.

Corporate governance is equally important to the running of both corporations and non-profit organisations.

We are looking for autistic people who want to make a difference by contributing to decision-making in the corporate environment. This means we aren’t looking for a set amount of governance experience.

However, as this is an advanced leadership course, successful applicants will need to demonstrate their interest in and readiness to pursue a representative or participative role. A fundamental understanding of decision making, and organisational behaviour or foundational leadership training would be considered an advantage in the selection process.

The selection questions will give you the opportunity to demonstrate your interest and potential in corporate governance.

For those who are interested in emerging leadership, or looking to develop your leadership skills, consider applying to our Future Leaders program.

There is no cost to participate in the Governance Program, and travel and accommodation expenses for the workshop will be covered.

Corporate governance is a skillset that is applicable across all types of organisations, not just autism-specific organisations. The skills taught in the Governance Program are applicable to any corporate environment.

No, you can’t submit an application on someone else’s behalf.

However, you are welcome to tell someone you think they should apply.

No, unfortunately we are not able to offer our 2019 program internationally.

The Governance Program is for autistic adults and so you are not eligible this year. We hope to run the Program again in the future. To receive notifications about Programs offered by the Sylvia Rodger Academy, click the link below.

Keep Me Informed

Yes, you are eligible to apply on the same basis as other applicants. This means your suitability for this Program will be assessed using the information you provide in your application.

If your application is successful, you will need to complete another online form. This will ask you to tell us things like who we should contact in an emergency and what your dietary and accessibility needs are.

There won’t be any interviews.

We will only ask more questions during the application process (by email) if something in your application is unclear.

The exact venue and city for the workshop is still being determined. It will take place in January 2020 in an Australian capital city, and Autism CRC will pay for your travel and accommodation costs.

Decisions will be based on several different factors including:

  • where you live
  • your specific motivation to be involved in corporate governance
  • what we know about your areas of interest from your application

No, this is not an employment program.

No, however on completion you will become a graduate of the Governance Program and a member of the Sylvia Rodger Academy.

Unfortunately, no. We expect to receive a lot of applications and won’t be able to give specific feedback about why an individual application was not successful.

No, we consider attending the residential workshop to be an essential part of the Governance Program.