Monash launches new graduate course in Indigenous business leadership

Monash University’s William Cooper Institute and the Monash Business School announce the launch of the Master of Indigenous Business Leadership, a transformative leadership program designed to strengthen and build the capacity of Australia’s Indigenous workforce.

Commencing in 2020, participants will learn primarily in Indigenous cohorts, together gaining skills, knowledge and capabilities that will contribute to escalating their leadership and contributions in the organisations in which they operate.

Through varied learning approaches, participants will collaboratively explore the different cultural, political and economic contexts in which Indigenous business is experienced by Indigenous communities, and exchange ideas on how to best steer change as emerging Indigenous leaders.

Pro Vice-Chancellor (Indigenous), Professor Jacinta Elston, said the course aims to address the deficit in graduate education leadership opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander professionals working in and for Indigenous communities through its immersive design and flexible structure, offering a unique blend of units across multiple faculties, taught in intensive blocks.

“The Master of Indigenous Business Leadership is built on a combination of business leadership content and electives from the arts, law, and public health fields, so students can develop the advanced skills they need to launch themselves into the next phase of their professional career.

“By contextualising teaching and learning to the needs of Indigenous Australia through an Indigenous lens, and bringing the key elements of traditional executive and business leadership courses into this program, the Master of Indigenous Business Leadership will advance the mindset and capabilities of participants, and in turn strengthen the significance of their contributions to the advancement of Indigenous Australia,” Professor Elston said.

Course participants will have the opportunity to undertake a research project or an international study tour as part of the program. The latter is an opportunity to explore international Indigenous business and community leadership.

The Deputy Dean (Education) of the Monash Business School, and course director of the Master of Indigenous Business Leadership, Professor Robert Brooks, said the program’s inclusive offering will empower participants to gain the experience to produce innovative, multidisciplinary solutions to Indigenous issues in dynamic business environments.

“This graduate program is modern in its approach to teaching leadership in that it’s grounded in context. The wide array of electives provides students the option of working on applications in settings that are relevant to their area of work, and applying this knowledge in their roles as Indigenous leaders.”

Professor Simon Wilkie, the Dean of the Faculty of Business and Economics and head of the Monash Business School, said the course deepens Monash’s commitment to making leading national and international contributions to Indigenous advancement.

“Through the Master of Indigenous Business Leadership, we’ll contribute to cultivating the next generation of Indigenous business leaders to create lasting impact in their communities and shape the future of Indigenous Australia.”

A mid-program exit – with the qualification Graduate Certificate of Indigenous Business Leadership – has been included in the course design, enabling an early exit from the program for those who require flexibility or who are dealing with competing demands in family and community.