David Anstice MBA Scholarship awarded to Food Ladder CEO Kelly McJannett

The 2016 recipient of the David Anstice MBA Scholarship for Community Leadership has labelled the opportunity “a complete game changer.”

The scholarship, which aims to provide support to emerging leaders within the non-for-profit sector, has been awarded to Kelly McJannett, the CEO of Food Ladder – an NGO creating social enterprises to address food security in disadvantaged communities both in Australia and internationally.


“I want to make sure that we make the most of Food Ladder and have the biggest possible impact. The University of Sydney’s MBA is a powerful tool and asset in our growth” said Ms McJannett.

“It’s extraordinary to have the acknowledgement and recognition from The University of Sydney in what I consider to be The most innovative MBA program available,” Ms McJannett added.

The scholarship is awarded to an applicant who has had a minimum three years of experience in a management position, and has demonstrated leadership skills and initiative within their organisation.

David Anstice, the scholarship founder, has maintained a long-term interest in the Business School, encouraging ongoing innovation. A former Senior Executive of the American Pharmaceutical firm Merck, Mr Anstice is a Business School alumnus (Faculty of Economics), adjunct professor and Honorary Fellow of The University of Sydney.

This year the scholarship has been increased and renewed by Mr Anstice, now worth $70,000, including funding of the International China unit of study, to be offered biennially.

“The purpose of this scholarship is very simple: I care about educational opportunity, and I wish to give back – in this case by providing educational support to someone who can make a difference in the not-for-profit sector,” said Mr Anstice.

“I have great respect for the fact that when I was young I received a very good education, supported by others, and of course a very important part of that was The University of Sydney”.

Ms McJannett was awarded the scholarship for her work in international food sustainability within disadvantaged communities in Australia and abroad.

The Food Ladder initiative uses a unique and highly scalable social enterprise model involving hydroponic greenhouses, which can be deployed almost anywhere in the world, to provide a financially sustainable solution to two monumental global challenges.

“We have appropriated commercial growing technology to address food security and create employment. Each system varies, but theoretically a Food Ladder social enterprise can engage about 30 people and supplement the diets of 250. It’s a true example of using business to create meaningful social change, and doing so at scale.” said Ms McJannett.

Professor Gregory Whitwell, Dean of the Business School, said the School relies on the generosity of individuals like David Anstice to encourage the development of socially conscious businesses.

“A business education should not be purely for making a profit. It is about making a difference for people and the planet, and people like David allow us to achieve this aim,” said Professor Whitwell.

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