Programs

WELA Leadership Programs

Our leadership programs are designed by and for 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 participants 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.

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
  • Needing support to overcome systemic or personal barriers
  • 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, understanding, networks and self growth to maximise your leadership potential

You're in the right place.

WELA’s Learning Experience Designer Asmaa Guedira leading a workshop at the WELA x Green Music Australia Sound Country Artists’ Leadership Retreat in March 2023. Photo: Anna Brozek. 

“Before WELA, I was lacking in confidence and I didn’t feel like a leader, and since being in the program my confidence has definitely grown and the skills that I have gained have helped me realise that I can cope with many different situations and I have tools to work through different situations, which I wouldn’t have been able to do before I entered the program. If you have the opportunity to do it, go for it, because it’s the best thing I’ve ever done.” 

Cathy WalkerProud Tasmania Aboriginal Woman and WELA Alum 2022

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:
1

TRANSFORMATIONAL CONTENT

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

2

HAND SELECTED MENTORING

Chosen specifically by you and 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.)

3

RETREATS AND ONLINE MODULES

For our National Leadership Programs, you will receive both a series of online sessions held over several months as well as two residential retreats (four nights each + travel) in country Victoria and New South Wales.

WELA Leadership Intensives are a three or four day single retreat, tailored to your needs and location. 

4

SUPPORT AND CONNECTION

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 and gender diverse people who support your growth!

5

ACCESS TO WELA OUTSIDE OF SESSIONS

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

6

Access to leading changemakers

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

7

COMPREHENSIVE RESOURCES AND MATERIALS

Our program is built using a diverse array of tools to support diverse types of learning. This includes personal journaling, leadership tools, in-person experts, books, movies and creative practices.

8

JOINING THE WELA COMMUNITY

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.

In 2024, for the first time we will be running TWO programs, each open to up to 25 women and gender-diverse participants.

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

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

For more information and details on how to apply, see our National Leadership Program page. 

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 info@wela.org.au to discuss a tailored program for your needs.

Our Program Leaders

Learning Experience Design Lead

Asmaa Guedira

WELA’s Learning Experience Designer 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

Get in touch

Scholarships and help

Our fundraising helps supplement our program running costs, allowing us to offer lower prices. We also provide a variety of full and partial scholarships, which you can read more about here.

Additionally, we don’t want potential participants to miss out due to any barriers. If you have difficulties using a computer or face other challenges, please email us, and we can discuss possible solutions.

WELA Alumni Testimonials

  • “As a participant of the WA WELA program the most important thing I took from the weekend was the importance of connection. Where you fit into the environmental sector and the importance of YOU. 

    Programs such as WELA are so important for helping women become stronger in their fight for the environment. It offers tools to take away with you to use straight away with whatever you are working on. I had such a great time and now I can’t wait to start the national WELA program.”

    Josie Alec
    Kuruma Marthudunera woman, First Nations Lead at ACF & WELA x CCWA Leadership Intensive Alum 2023
  • “WELA helped me build connections and a clearer understanding of how to be impactful in my work. It expanded my mind and confidence that what I do matters and that I can be and do more.

    Since the program I have expanded my on-ground environmental program work, strengthened my networks and collaborated on new projects. I have also been asked to speak at leadership forums, been invited to represent regional communities in the plan towards decarbonisation and consulted on environmental accounting projects.”

     

    Misty Neilson
    Ecologist: Research & Funding Officer, Burnett Catchment Care Association & WELA QLD Weekend Alum 2022
  • “I’ve started thinking in a more strategic space, I’ve started having a longer view, and the support I might need from that, I’m more assertive in the ideas I have — last year when I had an idea

    I internalised it and lacked confidence. I don’t have that feeling or nervousness anymore. I’ve had so many amazing opportunities this last year and I think that’s largely been from the confidence I’ve gained through the WELA program.”

     

    Deepa Sealy
    Grants Manager at Sunrise & WELA National Leadership Program Alum 2021
  • “Having these strong Wāhine/women that have been in the environmental movement for many years… their passion and their love hasn’t waned. It has gotten stronger by giving opportunities like the WELA program and giving those opportunities to us.

    I have felt very inspired to be with a cohort of women that are just so passionate about affecting change – the change that needs to happen. The inspiration that the cohort gives me by networking, by bringing all of our strength, our thoughts, our aspirations together. [They] can only bring a change for the future.”

    Daele O’Connor
    Organiser with the United Workers Union & WELA National Leadership Program Alum 2022