YOU are essential to creating real, positive change.

The leadership that got us in this crisis is not going to get us out.

WELA Leadership Programs

Our leadership programs support women and gender diverse changemakers who want to accelerate positive transformation 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.

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

Are you...

  • Wanting to identify and grow your own style of leadership
  • Facing barriers you need support to overcome - these barriers are as diverse as the women who do our programs, including personal, organisational, family, cultural and systemic impediments
  • Overwhelmed with the lack of positive change and sameness in the leadership styles and solutions to date
  • Looking for a community of supportive, diverse women to champion a better future alongside
  • Working for and committed to our environment (paid or unpaid)
  • Wanting to grow your skills, development and self growth to maximise your leadership potential

You're in the right place.

“This is a decade where we need to upskill ourselves, be connected together and collaborate to achieve and address the key challenges of our time. The WELA program helps us by skilling us up, connecting us and really being alive to the contribution that we as women are uniquely placed to make for this particular decade and beyond.”

Monica RichterSenior Manager Low Carbon Futures, WWF and WELA 2022 Alumna

What's included

Our programs are designed to help you create the change the world needs. When you commit to this program, you will receive:


Transformational content that challenges and inspires you, providing clear direction to focus your aspirations through to actions.



Chosen specifically for you by the WELA team, you will have a mentor that connects with what’s holding you back and to support you in your leadership journey to commit to actions towards your goals.

(National Leadership Program only.)



For our National Leadership Program, you will receive both a series of online sessions held over several months as well as two residential retreats (four days each + travel) in country Victoria. For WELA Weekends, we can tailor the location, online or in person, to your needs.



To make change happen you will need support to get there. Your WELA community will ensure you are supported throughout. You’ll join and connect with a community of generations of diverse, incredible women who support your growth!



Your facilitators and WELA staff are here to help – we will support you and adapt the content to the needs of the group wherever possible. At any time, WELA can answer questions you may have.


Access to leading changemakers

Through guest presenters, mentors, and WELA staff you will be meeting and learning from experts in the environment and climate movement, each with diverse skills and styles. These are experienced women working across the spectrum of change-making that will unlock whole new solutions to challenges.



Our program is built using a diverse array of tools to support diverse types of learning – from leadership tools to in person experts, books, movies and creative practices.



Connect with diverse alumni from around Australia and across sectors creating change. You’ll feel supported and aligned with people who get you!

This is the program that’s going to provide you with the key tools you need to really create change.

How we deliver this change is through our curriculum which is centred on four key themes: 

  1. Personal development – Increasing personal wellbeing, resilience, self reflection, confidence and effectiveness
  2. Evolving your leadership – Increasing leadership in the workplace, increasing the visibility and effectiveness of women and gender diverse people in their environmental and social change efforts
  3. Approaches to impact – community building and change making skills and tools for understanding and responding to the impact of gender bias, inequality and climate change in the workplace and how to lead action to maximise impact
  4. Systemic change – Understand the bigger picture of power structures within society and the environment movement, and how gender and leadership are constructed and influenced by these.

This transformational, relational methodology has proven to work time and time again for our alumni.

Find your WELA experience

National Leadership Program


An annual leadership development program developed over more than 10 years of research and practice.

Available to 20 women across Australia each year.

Mixing online with in-person retreat format, and a diverse range of guest speakers over a 7 month period.

Tailored mentoring, developing skills, building networks and addressing your real-life challenges to transform your leadership.

Applications now open – closing Monday, 6 March 2023.

WELA Leadership Intensive


Need to build the skills of a specific group of environmental and climate changemakers?

We tailor a 3-4 day leadership program to meet the needs of the challenge you face. Whether it’s an organisation, a geographic area, a sector, or an issues-based community campaign, we will deliver a program that gives you the tools to create change. 

Available for groups of between 15 and 25 women and gender diverse people.

Contact us at to discuss a tailored program for your needs.

For more information, contact us at

Our Program Leaders

Program Producer

Asmaa Guedira

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

Lead Facilitator

Dr Louise Duxbury

An experienced activist educator and leadership wonder woman.

Strategic Director

Victoria McKenzie-McHarg

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

Founder and Board Member

Dr Sue Lewis

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

Our Guest Speakers

Just some of the guest speakers who have been a part of our programs.
Nyikina Warrwa woman, active Indigenous community leader, human and earth rights advocate, film-maker and a respected academic researcher

Dr Anne Poelina

Australian Conservation Foundation CEO

Kelly O'Shanassy

Proud Bundjalung woman with bloodlines to England, Poland and Scotland, artist, published author, mentor, consultant and founder of “The Returning Indigenous Corporation”

Ella Noah Bancroft

Senator for NSW

Dr Mehreen Faruqi


Hear testimonials from the women and gender diverse alumna who have come before you.

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