The Observership Program

What is The Observership Program?

The Observership Program is one of three partnered program providers in the Victorian Rural Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Program. The Observership Program offers the exclusive opportunity for talented, emerging leaders to sit as an ‘observer’ on a not-for-profit board over a period of 12 months.

Training is provided to observers through The Observership Program and its strategic partners, the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) and The Ethics Centre.

When are applications open?

The Victorian Rural Women’s Network is delighted to be offering funded places to Victorian-based rural women connected to agriculture or the agriculture supply chain on The Observership Program on not-for-profit boards:

The Observership Program 2022

Applications open: Monday 7 June 2021

Applications close: Sunday 4 July 2021


STEP 1: Candidates applying for a funded place will be supplied with a code which waives the standard application processing fee.

STEP 2: Please email [email protected] to register your interest in applying for the program.

STEP 3: You will be contacted by the VRWN team and asked a couple of questions around eligibility via email before being supplied the application code.

The Observership Program application form

Please note The Observership Program requires a high level of commitment which potential participants should carefully consider before submitting their application.

If you have any questions, please email [email protected] or visit The Observership Program’s website FAQs page.

Candidates applying for funded places on The Observership Program through the Victorian Rural Women’s Leadership and Mentoring Program (the Leadership and Mentoring Program) must adhere to the following terms and conditions:
  • Apply within the open dates: Applications open: Monday 7 June 2021
Applications close: Sunday 4 July 2021
  • Be an emerging leader who is passionate about the not-for-profit sector (please see The Observership Program website for more details and FAQs)
  • Be a Victorian Rural Women’s Network subscriber. Here is a link to the network’s subscriber page:
  • Be able to attend all activities and opportunities related to the funded place on The Observership Program. Some activities may take place via remote learning, outside your regional area and both within and outside of normal office hours.
  • Selected candidates will be expected to participate in a range of communications activities connected to the Victorian Rural Women’s Network including: Newsletter and magazine articles; social media posts; website stories; potential media opportunities; other opportunities related to the Victorian Rural Women’s Network.
  • Following pre-screening and supply of fee waiver code (see How to Apply), potential observers should apply for the program via The Observership Program website and read and agree to the program’s terms and conditions.
A capped out-of-pocket expenses allowance is available on a case-by-case basis for travel, accommodation, child-minding and other potential costs that might prevent potential observers from participating in this program.
  • STEP 1: Read the eligibility and assessment criteria at the Victorian Rural Women’s Network website (above).
  • STEP 2: Before starting your application, email [email protected]to receive a code to add to your application form that waives the application fee.
  • STEP 3: You will be asked a couple of questions around eligibility before being supplied the code.
  • STEP 4: Check the sample application, and FAQs on The Observership Program website to ensure you are eligible and can fully commit to the program.
  • STEP 5: Apply online at The Observership Program website.