Media Release

SA Business Leaders Optimistic COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Will Ease

SA Business Leaders Optimistic COVID-19 Travel Restrictions Will Ease 

The South Australian Industry Leaders Fund (ILF) expects a record number of applications for its 2021 round, showing optimism for overseas travel and study in 2022.

ILF chief executive Geoff Vogt forecast a 25 per cent increase in applications this year to 60, prompted by expectations of easing travel restrictions and leaders recognising they must adapt for change, stay ahead of competitors and plan for succession.

Now in its 12th year, the ILF has granted $2.36 million to SA business leaders to achieve their full potential through professional education, attending programs offered by Harvard Business School in the United States, INSEAD in Switzerland and Singapore, Oxford’s Said Business School in the UK as well as prestigious programs at Melbourne Business School, University of South Australia and University of Adelaide, among others.

Successful 2021 applicants will join about 33 Scholars from 2020 and 2019 who delayed their study as the ILF extended an 18-month deadline to complete their courses.

While only two of the 22 scholars from 2020 were women, the ILF is encouraging more women to apply for the scheme this year.

“We cannot offer grants to women if they do not apply. When they do, women have a higher success rate than men at securing grants, based on merit. They are generally high-quality applicants,’’ Mr Vogt said.

He said some potential applicants deferred from 2020 to manage their businesses through the Covid-19 environment but there is an increasing recognition of the value of strong agile leadership, built with appropriate training, in these unpredictable times.

“Most leading business schools have switched to virtual classrooms, but this option is not popular with Scholars who have stated their belief that the significant value of networking with other leaders by attending these courses in person can be worth up to 50 per cent of the total benefit they gain from even the best recognised courses,’’ Mr Vogt said.

“Good business leaders can contribute enormously to the economic growth of the State and we currently have a network of 199 scholars who have combined to help generate 3830 jobs in Australia and 2632 in South Australia since the scheme began.”

Successful applicants and Scholars will also have the opportunity to access the prestigious Colin J Peters Memorial Award, set up in 2020 to recognise the inaugural ILF president.

It is awarded to an ILF Scholar who exhibits qualities such as investing time and resources in developing leadership talents of younger members of the workforce, volunteering in industry associations or has overcome adversity or disadvantage to reach a position of leadership.

Last year’s Award winner was REDARC founder Anthony Kittel.

The 2020 Scholars are: Richard Angove (Angove Family Winemakers); Lisa Bosworth (Samaras Structural Engineers); Edward Carlson (Lumination); Jarrad Cassaretto (Casarosa Almonds); Tom Cross (REDARC Electronics); Dion Draper (SAGE Group); Alexei Fey (Comunet); Matthew Hedges (Saab Australia); Michael Hickinbotham (Hickinbotham Group); Henri Hugo (Key Tubing and Electrical); Sacha La Forgia (Adelaide Hills Distillery); Mitchell Lloyd (Woodside Cheese Wrights); James McLeay (LMS Energy); Dr Greg Miller (ATI Implants); Keetah Murphy (Spring Gully Foods); Damien Puyenbroek (Lifestyle Bakery); Damien Rankine (Dominant); Stuart Rogers (Williams Metal Fabrication); Shahin Sayyar Dashti (Austofix); Burkhard Seifert (OZ Minerals); Nathan Wessling (AJ & PA McBride); Craige Whitton (Northline).

Applications for 2021 close on Monday, May 31.