Our Manifesto

The Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity program is an unconventional social leadership program that challenges the common notion of leadership and the need for archetypal leaders. 

Driven by Indigenous people and based on Indigenous sensibilities, the program aims to build a generation of people who work together as a collective and distributed network of change makers to improve the wellbeing of communities, especially Indigenous communities, and make society more healthy, inclusive, and fair. 

We provide capacity and freedom to leaders to have positive social impact at scale.

Over the next 20 years we will create more than 400 change agents, influential and innovative leaders, and social provocateurs, who will connect with thousands of other Atlantic Fellows as part of a global network.

Our Journey So Far

The Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity comes at a critical time in Australia’s history. In 2017, we marked some significant anniversaries:

  • 50 years since the historic 1967 referendum
  • 25 years since the landmark Mabo decision
  • 20 years since the release of the landmark ‘Bringing them Home’ Report
  • Historic meeting with over 250 First Nations’ people at Uluru in May

There Is Still Work To Do

While there have been great efforts in nation building by Indigenous communities, many Indigenous peoples are still not living their aspirations.



Social Exclusion

Indigenous Australians experience social exclusion compared to 22% of all Australians.



Indigenous peoples make up 3% of the population, yet over a quarter of adult prisoners are Indigenous.



Indigenous Australians are 14 times more likely to be homeless.


Life Expectancy

Life expectancy of Indigenous Australians is 10 years less than non-Indigenous Australians.


Suicide Rates

Aboriginal peoples are six times more likely to take their own life. 

The time has come for a new approach to socially-conscious leadership, especially if we wish to adequately empower the next generation of leaders to have an inclusive approach in building stronger communities.
— Professor Tom Calma AO, Program Chair, Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity

Indigenous Ways of Learning

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’ cultures are the oldest living cultures in the world. Through extraordinary levels of capacity, resilience, knowledge and adaptability these cultures continue today.

We work with Indigenous leaders and communities to create and deliver a strengths-based program, that harnesses Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge, creativity, and ingenuity to drive social change.


Our Program Modules 2017-18

The Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity is a collaborative leadership program through fellowship.

Over 12-months, the fellowship will provoke, challenge and enable a significant shift in the identity of our Fellows as agents of social change. 

Steeped in Indigenous ways of teaching and learning, our program will facilitate discovery and enhance the capacity of Fellows to support societies to succeed and flourish through a series of eight modules:

  1. Relationships as Change
  2. Scales of Change
  3. Multidimensionality of Change 
  4. Systems and Change 
  5. Real Systems 
  6. Power Tools 
  7. Art of Change 
  8. Exhibit

Banner photo: James Henry
Aboriginal Ceremony and landscape photos: Wayne Quilliam