Five Illawarra leaders in the making have been awarded the Leadership Illawarra Program scholarship as the sixth cohort gets prepped to kick off later this month.
The worthy scholarship recipients Aleisha Brooke-Smith, Alison Turner, Peter Katsoudas, Carlie Belancic and Mitchell Bell were chosen from a record 35 applications.
The two-year learning program turned 10 in October last year, having produced over 100 successful leaders over the years.
Greenacres Marketing and Communications head Aleisha Brooke-Smith who received the Illawarra Connection Scholarship said her involvement in the program would not only benefit her but also her employer and people living with a disability in the Illawarra.
"Applying for this scholarship, isn't just about what I can become but how I can empower others to become the change the Illawarra needs," she said.
The Leadership Illawarra Program, a joint venture by RDA Illawarra, The Sydney Business School, University of Wollongong and The Illawarra Connection is all for giving back to the community in the form of adept leaders.
Overall 28 candidates from backgrounds as diverse as BlueScope, IMB Bank, not-for-profit organisations, local government, small businesses and the community sector are set to undertake this year's program.
RDA Illawarra CEO Debra Murphy said there had been widespread interest in the program with enquiries flowing throughout the past year.
"A strong, progressive region is achieved by encouraging fresh and innovative ideas drawn from the experiences of people from different backgrounds and age groups. The Leadership Illawarra Program gives its participants the coaching, connections and understanding of the Illawarra to develop and drive the region's future identity."
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