The Leith Boully Award

The Leith Boully Award recognises a Fellow who has graduated from the Leadership Program in the past year, and who, throughout their Leadership Program and in the time since their graduation, has upheld the Peter Cullen Trust’s principles, stepped up to the challenge of driving change, and exemplified the practical and fierce leadership example set by Leith Boully.

About the Award

Leith needs little introduction to the Trust community, having designed and delivered the Trust’s renowned leadership programs between 2010 and 2022, and fulfilling numerous leadership roles across water, agriculture and natural resource management.

Key criteria we look for are:

  • Commitment to purpose – the ‘stand for something’ criteria
  • Willingness to challenge – the ‘raise the bar’ criteria
  • Courage and grit – the ‘outside the comfort zone’ criteria
  • Bridging science and policy – the ‘clear communicator’ criteria
  • Speaking truth to power – the ‘fierce advocate’ criteria
  • Work in service of our sector and the Australian community– the ‘for the greater good’ criteria

While the Award acknowledges the work and impact of the recipient so far, it is – importantly – a vote of confidence in what lies ahead for them.

The 2024 Leith Boully Award

The recipient of the 2024 Leith Boully Award is Kiara Johnson.

Prior to coming to the PCT Leadership Program in 2023, during her Program, and since, Kiara has lived a clear commitment to service of the community, and a purpose to foster economic opportunity, cultural connection, and self-determination for Indigenous Australians.

She consistently raises the bar, and recognises that every win should serve as a step up to further improvements – there’s no room for complacency. When pathways haven’t existed to do what is needed, she has created them, and in doing so has also knocked down barriers to facilitate paths for others.

This has included starting two successful businesses – Platinum Civil Engineering, and KSJ Consulting which has a purpose to revolutionise the lives of Aboriginal Australians. A substantial amount of Kiara’s work focuses on ensuring “the fundamental human right to safe drinking water for ALL Australians’, and also ensuring that “Aboriginal people can remain in their communities, connected to culture, living healthy lives and taking part in local decision making”.

Some of the words commonly used by her peers to describe Kiara’s leadership are respectful, engaging, empathetic, challenging, and most certainly courageous.

She draws upon her own lived experience, the lived experiences of her community, and research, to communicate with government, industry, and peak bodies, and to act as a fierce advocate for genuine and effective Indigenous engagement, and advancement of Indigenous aspirations.

Speaking truth to power is in her DNA, and Kiara isnever afraid to call a spade a spade, while creating space for everyone to come along on the journey forward together.

This award recognises all that Kiara has achieved so far and is a vote of confidence in her continuing capacity to drive change, and to stay the course.