Events and Programs

The Aurora Foundation currently delivers two leadership programs: the flagship residential Leadership Institute, and the Virtual Leadership Program.

Leadership Institute

The Aurora Foundation is delighted to advise that we have developed a new and invigorated face to face Leadership Institute. The Institute is designed for those in the early stages of their leadership journey, including aspiring and emerging leaders, in response to the needs of leaders in the GLAM sector. We are pleased to offer applications to participate in the first face to face Aurora Leadership Institute since 2019. The 2023 Institute will be held from 12 November to 17 November.

The Aurora Institute for Emerging Leaders has been valued as a premier leadership development program for emerging library leaders in Australia, New Zealand and across Southeast Asia and the Pacific since its inception. The Institute for Emerging Leaders is an annual five-day face to face intensive program. This exciting and challenging residential experience activates personal and professional growth within a supportive learning community, enhancing career planning and development.

12-17 November 2023

Mary MacKillop Place

Experienced industry relevant mentors will be provided throughout the Institute

Kate Pearce from Personified has partnered with Aurora to successfully deliver Aurora’s Virtual Leadership Programs since 2021. Kate and an additional qualified facilitator will deliver the Institute.

AUD $6,300 (plus GST) includes all accommodation and meals

The Institute’s intensive residential program offers a deep dive into dialogue, exploration and discovery around what it means to be a leader in today’s VUCA world. With fresh content, mentors, dynamic experiential learning opportunities, stimulating presenters and a wonderful venue, the program provides the opportunity to:

During the Institute participants will work in groups and be supported by mentors. The Institute will run for five days. Please note participants will need to be onsite at the venue for the program welcome and opening on the Sunday evening. 

"There were many things that made Aurora unique for me. Definitely, a highlight was the opportunity to learn from senior leaders in my field, who generously shared their stories and wisdom. As was learning from the diverse experiences of my fellow participants. The opportunity to be mentored in small groups helped me enormously and allowed me to reflect on my own leadership journey and consolidate what I had learnt. I made connections with people at Aurora that have been ongoing and that I have greatly appreciated. Aurora helped me understand that there are many paths to leadership. It helped me properly appreciate what I had to offer as a leader and play to my strengths. And it allowed me to better understand the things that weren't serving me well and helped me reframe them."
– Nicole Clark, University Librarian, QUT

Enquiries can be sent to
Scott Lumsden
Executive Officer, Aurora Foundation
M: 0466 312 401

Virtual Leadership Program

Drawing from a group coaching approach, Aurora’s Virtual Leadership Program offers a personalised learning experience that enhances individual learning through connection, reflection and conversation.

This virtual leadership program has been designed for leaders and emerging leaders within the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) sector. The program will run across 7 weeks and uses fortnightly blocks to rotate between bringing the entire cohort together and breaking into smaller teams for personalised group coaching. Each fortnight will introduce a new concept to frame our conversations with homework activities and participant conversations linking the learning experience. Participants will have the opportunity to learn new theories and concepts, hear from senior leaders in the GLAM sector, as well as have the time for individual action planning – a key step in supporting development.

Committed to evidence-based practices, you can have confidence that our program draws from current research and provides a virtual experience that steps above theory.

The course will encourage you to take a strengths-based approach to your development, while offering the following benefits:

Please note: As this is a virtual program, participation and conversation is essential to the engagement of our cohort. We ask that attendees enrol understanding that it is an interactive event that requires both video and microphone. If there are practical challenges for you around this, please contact us so that we can discuss.

Aurora Program

The Program is planned to be held across May and June of each year, Thursday 11am-1pm AEST for 7 consecutive weeks. Pricing per participant is estimated to be AUD $850 (plus GST). A limited number of scholarships will be offered for those who would otherwise be unable to participate. 

Testimonials from previous attendees

Applications TBA 

Enquiries can be sent to

Scott Lumsden
Executive Officer, Aurora Foundation
M: 0466 312 401

About Kate Pearce

Director at Personified – Organisational Coaching

As a leadership specialist, Kate is passionate about supporting leaders to enhance their ‘leadership skills’, regardless of the role they hold. With over 15 years of experience in both people and business leadership, Kate draws on her combination of practical experience and formal qualifications in the areas of psychology, coaching and business to design personalised learning solutions. Kate is committed to evidence-based coaching and draws on current research to support leaders to take a strengths-based approach to development.

Who is eligible?

Aurora's leadership programs are specifically designed for aspiring and emerging leaders within the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums (GLAM) sector. Aurora supports diversity, and we welcome all participants who are ready to unlock their leadership potential, accelerate their professional growth, and become influential leaders. To be eligible for Aurora’s leadership programs, we request evidence that your organisation supports your participation.

Which program is best for me?

Aurora's Leadership Institute offers an intensive and immersive 5-day, face-to-face learning experience set in the captivating city of Sydney. Over the course of the residential retreat, you'll engage in 35 hours of applied learning, gaining insights that will reshape your leadership journey. The Leadership Institute is not just about what happens in formal learning sessions. With up to 30 like-minded peers participating in the program, both within and outside the sessions, you'll have the chance to network, connect, and learn from participants from across Australasia. These informal interactions offer an unmatched experience, opening doors to future collaborations and growth.

Aurora’s Virtual Leadership Program has been designed for those who are unable to attend the Leadership Institute or who prefer the flexibility of online learning. The Virtual Leadership Program also spreads learning over a longer period of time. The Virtual Leadership Program is held online across 7 weeks and uses fortnightly blocks to rotate between bringing the entire cohort together and breaking into smaller teams for personalised group coaching.  

Both the Leadership Institute and the Virtual Leadership Program encourage a strengths-based approach to development. Committed to evidence-based practices, you can have confidence that our programs draw from current research and provide experiences that step beyond theory. The Aurora leadership programs complement each other, offering distinct and varied levels of learning experiences that build on your existing knowledge.

How do I apply?

Guidance for Prospective Applicants

Applications consist of the following five documents:

  1. Your current Resume
  2. A short statement detailing where you consider you are in your leadership journey; for example, are you an aspiring or an emerging leader and why you consider this to be so (200-250 words max.)
  3. A short statement detailing your aspirations for your career and leadership should you be successful in securing a spot on this year’s Institute (200-250 words max)
  4. Aurora values and supports diversity. Please provide a short statement about what diversity means to you (200-250 words max.)
  5. A statement of recommendation and support from your employer indicating that your organisation will cover the costs for you to attend the Institute

Key Features to be Demonstrated by Applicants

Individuals who demonstrate:

  • KF1: Aspiration and a hunger to understand leadership and be the best possible leader they can
  • KF2: Aptitude, knowledge and skills to be engaged and stretched, and to learn and self-reflect
  • KF3: Curiosity, emotional maturity and empathy, and the ability to handle the Institute content and challenges it might bring up for them
  • KF4: Refined understanding of diversity
  • KF5: Organisational support for them undertaking the Institute

Please email your application to by no later than Friday 29 September 2023. Please note that applications will be reviewed, and decisions made as they are submitted.