AIS banner

Women Leaders in Sport

The Women Leaders in Sport (WLIS) program is an Australian Government initiative that is managed by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) in partnership with the Office for Women.

The objective of the WLIS program is to provide women with development opportunities to reach their leadership potential in the sports industry.

Since its inception in 2002, WLIS has supported over 23,000 women in sport for leadership development. WLIS has been highly regarded in the Australian sport community. Many notable women leaders in sport are previous recipients of WLIS.

WLIS in 2018 comprises of the following components:

  1. Leadership Workshops for individuals and organisations
  2. Development Grants for individuals and organisations, and
  3. Stepping In, targeted leadership development program for individuals.

2018 WLIS Key Dates

Development Grants and Leadership WorkshopsTimeframe

Applications open

9:00am (AEST)
Wednesday 9 August 2017

Applications close

5:00pm (AEST)
Wednesday 6 September 2017

Outcomes notified to applicants

November 2017

Successful grants payments processed

November 2017

Application Options

Application options for individualsApplication options for organisations

Option 1:

Apply to attend a WLIS Leadership Workshop for individuals.


Option 1:

Apply to send a selected group of women from an organisation to attend a WLIS Leadership Workshop for organisations.


Option 2:

Apply for a WLIS grant for learning and development, which includes attendance at a WLIS Leadership Workshop for individuals.


Option 2:

Apply for a WLIS grant to fund a leadership development project for selected women across the organisation.


Disclosure of Information

Personal information submitted via the online application is collected by the ASC for the purpose of considering applications for and administering the program. The information collected may be disclosed to other government agencies for this purpose.

The personal details of successful applicants or participants (including name, home state, sport, supporting organisation, and any photo or video footage of them produced in connection with the program; the value of the grant awarded; and a brief description of the purpose for the grant) will be released by the ASC to the public and the media, and may be placed on the ASC website, including for use of promotional purposes.

2018 WLIS Assessment Feedback

Outcome of Applications

There was an overwhelming response to the 2018 WLIS program with 262 grant and workshop applications received by the ASC requesting more than the amount of funding available. The standard of applications was extremely high, and as a result, the 2018 process was highly competitive, with 132 applications deemed successful.

Assessment of Applications

All applications were assessed against the following four key assessment criteria:

  1. Quality of the application,
  2. Impact/Benefit of the proposed project to the applicant/participants,
  3. Impact/Benefit of the proposed project to the supporting organisation or the sport, and
  4. Value for money of the proposed project (grant applications only).

Successful applications have demonstrated that they:

  • Are consistent with the objective of the WLIS grant program - to provide women with development opportunities to reach their leadership potential in the sport industry.
  • Have demonstrated a flow on affect to the organisation and the community, especially if the project increased opportunities for other females and/or provided female role models.
  • Lead to ongoing opportunities for the applicants/participants.
  • Have identified a solution to an existing leadership gap e.g. a lack of high level female officials.
  • Are well-articulated and have a clear understanding of project objectives, costs, completion dates and expected outcomes (grant applications only).
  • Have displayed good value for money – e.g. a detailed budget that included reasonable and eligible costs and/or the organisation provided a quality leadership course targeted at multiple female participants (organisation grant applications only).
  • Have included an appropriate financial contribution from the organisation (organisation grant applications only).

Thank you to all applicants for your interest in the WLIS program and your ongoing commitment to promoting women in leadership roles within sport.

We anticipate that applications for the 2019 WLIS program will open in August/September 2018.

If you have any further queries, please contact the WLIS team at or phone (02) 6214 1814.

Follow us

follow us on facebook follow us on youtube follow us on twitter follow us on instagram
AIS Shop - Dress like a champion