Are responsible leaders powerful, or empowering?

Queensland Business Weekly and Griffith Business School partnered to find the responsible leaders of the future. Offering a total prize package up to $130,000, we encourage the next generation of business leaders to enter.

2020 Scholarship winner

An entrepreneurial chartered civil engineer who advocates for gender equality has been named the winner of this year’s Griffith QBW MBA Responsible Leadership competition.

Jessica Kahl realised in her first year of an engineering degree many regional high school students were unaware of the opportunities engineering and other STEAM disciplines offered, and started her own not-for-profit to empower young women.

Competition overview and process

The process of the competition follows the stages below. If you are selected following Stage one, you’ll have the opportunity to attend a Griffith MBA masterclass and submit a reflective essay on the topics addressed. The panel of judges will award the scholarships, by announcement in the Queensland Business Weekly.

Stage one

Competition opens

Competition registration closes

Applicants progressing to stage two notified

Stage two


Reflective essays due

Applicants progressing to stage three notified

Stage three

Final pitch video due

Scholarships awarded

Scholarships will be announced in the Queensland Business Weekly.

Learn more about the 2021 scholarship

Prize package*

First prize values at approximately $55,500 Runner up values at approximately $27,750 Finalists worth approximately $13,875

First prize

  • A Griffith MBA full scholarship, valued at approximately $55,500
  • Title of ‘Winner QBW Griffith MBA Responsible Leadership Scholarship’
  • Publication of an article about the winner in QBW and/or associated press

Runner-up prizes (x3)

  • Three x Griffith MBA half scholarship, valued at approximately $27,750
  • Title of ‘Runner-up QBW Griffith MBA Responsible Leadership Scholarship’

Purpose beyond profit

The Griffith MBA explores all of the business disciplines you would expect—accounting and reporting, economics, finance, people management, marketing, strategy and innovation. However, what makes our MBA different is that it’s built on core values that are crucial to doing business in today’s climate: responsible leadership, sustainable business practices and an Asia-Pacific perspective. If you are looking to develop your critical thinking skills and learn how to turn good business practise into strategic advantage, then the Griffith MBA is the right fit for you.

Find out more about the Griffith MBA

Competition eligibility criteria

To be eligible to enter the competition, applicants must fulfil the following criteria:

Entrants must provide the following documents with their initial entry during Stage one of the competition:

  • a 200 word (maximum) personal statement outlining past and/or current practices that demonstrate responsible leadership, and/or your future plans to become a responsible leader
  • a current CV that demonstrates fulfilment of the MBA Admission requirements
  • copies of Official Academic Transcripts for completed qualifications
Terms and conditions apply.

2021 Judging panel

David Grant

Professor David Grant joined Griffith University as Pro Vice Chancellor (Business) in January 2016. He is an internationally distinguished scholar with extensive leadership experience. Previous to his appointment at Griffith he was Senior Deputy Dean at UNSW Australia Business School. David is regarded a pre-eminent scholar in the field of Organisational Studies with particular expertise in leadership development and organisational change. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in 2008, and has held honorary and visiting positions at the King’s College, London, The University of Auckland Business School, UTS, UC Santa Barbara, The University of Melbourne and McGill University.

Louise Brannelly

Louise Brannelly has been editor of The Courier-Mail's business section for more than a decade. She also edits the paper's Queensland Business Monthly magazine which showcases the best business journalism in the state. Louise has a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Bachelor of Business degree majoring in journalism. She is an experienced reporter who has covered the banking, resources, retail, agriculture and small business sectors. She began her career at the weekly newspaper Business Queensland. Prior to joining The Courier-Mail, Louise was a finance reporter for Australian Associated Press.

Stephanie Schleimer

Stephanie Schleimer is an Associate Professor in Strategy and MBA Director at Griffith Business School. With a wealth of teaching, consulting and industry experience, Stephanie’s research and consulting interests include robotic-human interaction, social robotic technologies for older adults, sustainable new product and service innovation, and responsible business strategy. Prior to joining the Griffith Business School, Stephanie was a Marketing Manager for BMW headquarters in Germany and later acted as a Consultant for BMW’s knowledge management strategies. Stephanie has also acted as a Consultant for several Australian government innovation clusters. Stephanie is a board member of the prestigious St. Hilda’s school on the Gold Coast and has her own fashion label.  

James Pearce

James Pearce was the inaugural recipient of the QBW Griffith MBA Responsible Leadership Scholarship. As a Principal of global architecture and design firm Populous, James has been involved in a number of projects around the world including the Kai Tak Sports Park in Hong Kong, International Convention Centre Sydney, Philippine Arena in Manila, Datong Sports Park in China and the KL Sports City in Malaysia. He heads up Populous’ innovation program within Asia Pacific, encouraging global collaboration, expertise and connection. James is passionate about fostering company culture, driving innovation across teams and encouraging sustainable practices.

Scholarship partners

Griffith Univeristy Griffith Business School

Griffith Business School is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business - International. The Griffith MBA is a highly regarded program, ranking 1st overall globally in the Corporate Knights 2020 Better World MBA Ranking, 4th nationally with a Tier One ranking in the CEO Magazine 2020 Global MBA Ranking, 2nd for student satisfaction and fifth overall in the Australian Financial Review 2019 BOSS Magazine MBA Rankings.

Queensland Business Weekly

The Courier-Mail’s Queensland Business Weekly is Queensland’s premier business publication. The 24-page magazine is dedicated to covering all aspects of the Queensland economy, and provides in-depth coverage and fascinating stories on successful businesses and business people in Queensland. QBW delivers trusted content, engaging readers with key topics such as how businesses and industries adapt to digital disruption, the movers and shakers in the Queensland business community, the future innovations in agribusiness and mining to emerging start-ups and the growth of small and medium sized business in Queensland. From securing exclusive interviews with chief executives and business leaders, to exploring emerging trends and celebrating success and innovation— QBW has all sectors of Queensland business covered.