Audacious leadership

Learn fearless and audacious leadership skills through the art of adventure. Have you ever had to navigate a sailing ship at 3am under shooting stars? Take on this unique set-sail course in leadership. Ahoy!

What's an audacious leader?

An audacious leader is adventurous, fearless and daring. Audacity paired with self-awareness, and a deep understanding of how people respond to tasks, can achieve great things.

Sailing ship as metaphor for organisation

The brigantine Windeward Bound is driven by rope, canvas and human effort to harness the power of the wind and, ultimately, the sun.

Its effective management demands how you answer to leadership questions such as:

  • What is the sum total of human energy available in the system?
  • What proportion of this energy is currently being used?
  • What kinds of energy (physical, intellectual, psychic, moral, artistic, technical, social) are represented?
  • What might be done to release this energy for accomplishing greater goals for the system and the individuals in it?'

What do you get out of this unit?

The Audacious Leadership unit will challenge your habits of perception and reaction, allowing you to gain insight into your own leadership abilities, strengths to be built on, and weaknesses to improve.

As the voyage progresses, you’ll take increasing responsibility for leadership and for handling the ship. At the conclusion of the voyage you will be a competent hand, coupled with leadership skills you never thought you had.


Assessment in this unit comprises the following, worth a total of 100%:

  • leadership learning plan: 20%
  • leadership learning portfolio: 30%
  • critical essay of 3000 words: 50%.

Leadership learning plan

You’ll be asked to complete some measures related to leadership style and preferred group role etc. This must be submitted prior to the voyage and will form part of your leadership portfolio.

Leadership learning portfolio

The leadership learning portfolio is a collection of evidence about your leadership.

It includes:

  • the leadership learning plan
  • assessments, such as 360-degree assessments made by colleagues
  • comments made by mentors
  • evidence of achievements related to leadership or of previous leadership-related courses.

Our aim is to achieve measurable change in your leadership competence and success.

Critical essay

The critical essay is where you’ll reflect on your experience of the voyage in the context of academic writing about leadership. You’re encouraged to take a particular theoretical perspective and provide a critical analysis of it using your own experience as context. The word limit is 3000 words, plus or minus 10 per cent, and the essay is due within a month of completing the voyage.

How to apply

How to apply

This unit is open to all postgraduate students at Deakin University. Students from other Australian universities are also encouraged to apply.

  1. Express your interest by emailing with the following details.

    • Last name
    • First name
    • Student ID
    • Degree name and code
    • Study area: Audacious Leadership
  2. Deakin students: please proceed directly to Step 3.

    Non-Deakin students: please download the cross-institutional form (PDF, 195KB).

    Complete the form and supply a current transcript from your university (original copy) with your application.

  3. Once your eligibility is confirmed by the study program manager you will be advised to complete the online registration within seven days of paying your $750 deposit.

  4. You will be advised to make an online payment of the final amount and submit the following within seven days after the final payment.

    • Final checklist form
    • Travel insurance confirmation email from the Risk Management Unit

    Places are strictly limited.

Please note

Conditions at sea can be challenging and some participants may become ill. Generally people recover naturally and quickly. 

Please bear this in mind when considering enrolment in this program.


You can read all the leadership books you want, or you can challenge your assumptions about leadership and overcome some real personal challenges by taking the Deakin Unit Audacious Leadership.

Lloyd Chidlow

And I thought I'd signed up for a fun sailing trip! My real adventure was to journey into self-discovery and in particular my leadership and behaviour styles under stress.

Paul Allen

I can truly say that completing the Audacious Leadership unit was one of the most testing but fulfilling experiences I have had, and I have been able to apply these learnings to produce superior business results.

Adam Moss