Learn how to bring your unique leadership approach to the biggest environmental challenges we face.

Our leadership programs support women and gender diverse people who want to accelerate positive change for our environment and climate. The programs support participants to identify their own approach to leadership, to recognise and step into their power to influence, and to overcome the barriers they face. 

These barriers are as diverse as the women who do our programs, including personal, organisational, family, cultural and systemic barriers. Following the program, participants  are empowered by the lessons they’ve learnt and inspired by the transformative experience and relationships forged through it. Find out how our programs are uniquely designed by women, for women to empower your skills and confidence and maximise your impact.

Take a look at our programs, designed to help you move forward with your ambitions.

At a glance

National Leadership Development Program


9 month program.

Available to 20 women across Australia each year.

Intensive leadership development with tailored mentoring.

 Combining online sessions with in-person retreats.

Develop skills, knowledge and networks to address your real-life challenges and transform your leadership.

WELA Weekends


3 or 4 day weekend retreats.

Available for groups of between 15 and 25 women in regional, local or state based communities.

Leadership development to support your personal challenges.

Unlock your next steps and build a community for ongoing personal and collective growth.

Contact us to discuss a tailored program for your community.

We run Q&A sessions about our programs. Register your interest by emailing us at

Our Program Leaders

Lead facilitator, Leadership Program

Louise Duxbury

An experienced activist educator and leadership wonder woman.

Founder and Board Member, WELA

Dr Sue Lewis

An environmental educator specialising in gender, work and organisational change.

Strategic Director, WELA

Victoria McKenzie-McHarg

WELA’s Strategic Director and immediate past Chair of Climate Action Network of Australia.

Program Producer, WELA

Asmaa Guedira

WELA’s Program Producer and experienced facilitator in system change, gender and decolonisation.

They are supported by special guests, WELA alumni and our Board group members, who each bring a wealth of environmental leadership experience. Previous WELA presenters have included Kelly O’Shanassy, CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation, Dr Anne Poelina, Chair of the Martuwarra Fitzroy River Council and Cathy McGowan, former independent federal MP for Indi.

WELA Alumnae Testimonials

Sanaya Khisty

Sherie Bruce

Phoebe Roundtree

Wendy Farmer

Sheena Gilman

Deborah Clealand, Amanda Dood
and Sylvia Leighton

Get in touch

Scholarships and help

Our fundraising supplements our program running costs to keep prices lower and we provide a range of full and partial scholarships, which you can read about here.

We also don’t want anyone to miss out on applying for our programs for other reasons. If you find working on a computer difficult or face other barriers, please email us so we can arrange to talk it through.

WELA Alumnae Testimonials

  • “WELA has been and continues as a vital educational and support network that has been instrumental in winning a decade long fight, the Rocky Hill coal mine/climate judgement in Feb 2019.

    Armed with clear strategies, a global perspective, an understanding of the layers of complexity and the ability to work in a more confident, informed, and strengthened way led to a more concise and effective leadership role as chair of Groundswell Gloucester.”


    Julie Lyford
    Alumna, WELA 2017
  • “WELA is about building strength within the environment movement by enhancing the skills of female environmental leaders. WELA’s power is in the strength of the collective. WELA brings together a group of women to learn from each other, to challenge and inspire, provides a space to network and build relationships so they can return to their work — in community, government, non-government, politics — stronger, more connected and better able to have the impact they need to create positive environmental change.”


    Bernadette Thomas
    Alumna, WELA 2017
  • “The nurturing of the WELA experience has been life changing. I’ve found fresh inspiration and confidence to forge my personal path as an environmentalist, and stepped into leadership roles for two projects.

    The support and mentoring of WELA made it possible to meet the challenges with renewed ambition. After a 25 year working career, ten years in the environment movement, the WELA program has encouraged me to believe my contribution is important and effective and that I can persevere.”


    Ruth Hessey
    Alumna, WELA 2018
  • “I would recommend WELA to any women interested in building their leadership skills in the environment movement. The skills you learn and the amazing women you meet will change your life.”



    Jodi Larke
    Alumna, WELA 2016