Kirsty Chapman-Smith (ILF2021)


Melbourne Business School

Women in Senior Leadership Program

I am delighted to share my experiences and insights from my participation in the Women in Senior Leadership program at the Melbourne Business School, and how the Industry Leaders Fund played a pivotal role in making this educational opportunity accessible to me.

The ILF’s commitment to supporting individuals pursuing leadership development is commendable. Without their generous support, both through the grant program itself and encouragement from the CEO and board members, I doubt I would have undertaken this transformative experience.

I was introduced to the ILF program by a past Scholar and began the online application during a busy workday as the CEO of Discount Party Supplies. I didn’t get far into the application before being called away, and I mistakenly hit save, thinking I could come back to it later, when in fact it lodged my awfully incomplete form. I believe it was only a few hours later when I received a call from Geoff Vogt, the former ILF CEO, enquiring about my application and how he could assist. Over the next week or so, Geoff was extremely generous with his time and guidance, ensuring my application was completed in full with all the relevant information. I found his support incredibly encouraging, and as a result, I was truly invested in succeeding through the application process.

I was humbled to learn that I had received a grant, and eagerly anticipated enrolling in my chosen program. However, I soon realized that my initial choice was not the best fit for my leadership journey at the time. Once again, Geoff was supportive and provided advice that led me to enrol in the Melbourne Business School.

The Women in Senior Leadership program offered me invaluable knowledge, skills, and networks that have significantly contributed to my growth as an entrepreneur. One of the program’s standout features was its emphasis on nurturing leadership skills specifically tailored to women in business. The Melbourne Business School created a supportive and inclusive environment where female leaders like myself could thrive. The curriculum was tailored to address the unique challenges and opportunities that women encounter in leadership roles, which strongly resonated with my own experiences.

Throughout the program, I had the privilege of learning from world-class faculty members and collaborating with a diverse group of talented women. The exchange of ideas and experiences was enriching and eye-opening, and I found myself constantly inspired by the stories of fellow participants. This experience has not only enhanced my leadership abilities but also ignited a passion for championing women in leadership roles. As I continue to navigate the entrepreneurial landscape, I am excited to apply the knowledge and insights gained from this program to drive Discount Party Supplies to even greater heights.

I would highly encourage any eligible business leader to explore similar opportunities and invest in their growth and education with the assistance of the Industry Leaders Fund.