The search is on for the next Indigenous social change leaders with applications open for the 2023 Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity (AFSE) based at the University of Melbourne.
One of seven Atlantic Fellows hubs around the world, the Melbourne program focuses on Indigenous-led social equity. Hubs in the USA, Asia, Africa and the UK focus on racial, health, brain health, and social and economic equity.
The opportunity involves intensive study and social change project work throughout 2023, followed by lifelong global fellowship.
Executive Director of AFSE Professor Elizabeth McKinley has encouraged Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Māori and Pacific Islander people in Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand to apply for the life-changing fellowship.
“We hope to build a cohort of Indigenous-led social change leaders that have the spirit of collective action and impact to create a better place for us all,” Professor McKinley said.
“We welcome you to join us on our journey and wish you well with your application.”
The foundation year involves seven weeks of program participation and the choice to complete either a Master or Graduate Certificate in Social Change Leadership through the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. The course is fully funded and program participation is supported with a stipend.
University of Melbourne Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous) Professor Barry Judd said AFSE offers an important point of confluence where Indigenous knowledge and experience meets the Western academy in ways that prompt and challenge the mainstream to do better and think outside the square.
“As the global community faces serious challenges in the form of climate change, ecological collapse, increasing geo-political uncertainties and faltering popular faith in the democratic social contract, AFSE offers an important avenue to mobilise Indigenous knowledges and experiences in finding solutions to the great issues of our time,” Professor Judd said.
2019 Fellow and proud Kabi Kabi man Alex Splitt spoke highly of the Atlantic Fellowship and how it has strengthened his social change work.
“Gaining the understanding of how to apply alternative approaches, tools and perspectives has the potential to make you far more effective and influential in creating social change,” Mr Splitt said.
The 2023 cohort will be the fifth cohort since the program started. Later this year, the 2022 cohort will join 49 AFSE alumni and a connected and resourced community of 600 global Atlantic Fellows. Over the 20-year life of the Atlantic Fellows program, this global community will grow to include over 2500 Fellows.
AFSE is one of the seven global and interconnected Atlantic Fellows programs to which the foundation, The Atlantic Philanthropies, has committed more than $US660 million worldwide.
Established by American/Irish businessman Chuck Feeney, co-founder of the Duty Free Shoppers Group, Atlantic Philanthropies has given away $US8 billion over the course of Mr Feeney’s lifetime, largely anonymously.
Citizens and permanent residents of Australia and New Zealand, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous are eligible to apply.
Applications can be made via the AFSE website and close on Friday 19 August 2022.