Leadership Program for Victorian Local Government

WELA Program for Victorian Local Government

supported by the Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action
  • What – WELA program for Victorian Local Government
  • When – 3 days, 3 nights from 23-26 May, 2023
  • Where – Common Ground near Seymour, Victoria

Are you ready to bring your unique leadership approach to the biggest environmental challenges we face?

About the WELA program

Women’s Environmental Leadership Australia (WELA) Leadership Programs are transformational for women who want to accelerate positive change for our environment and climate. We empower people to identify their own approach to leadership, and to recognise and step into their power to influence.

Designed by and for women and gender-diverse people working for and committed to tackling climate change, the WELA program for Victorian Local Government is a new opportunity based on the successful WELA National Leadership Program and developed in partnership with the Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (NAGA).

The program will bring together 18 women and gender diverse people for a 3 day, 3 night leadership development program in Victoria, plus two online sessions.

Are you...

  • Working in local governments in Victoria and wanting to take on new challenges with greater impact on climate change
  • 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
  • Overwhelmed with the lack of positive change and sameness in the leadership styles and solutions to date
  • Curious about pathways to increase diversity among local government climate change leadership, including engagement and support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, women of colour, working class women
  • Looking for a leadership network and greater collaboration between women across local government areas

Then you're in the right place.

What's included

This program is designed to help you create the change the world needs. When you commit to this program, you will receive:

Transformational content

Transformational content modules that challenge and inspire them, creating clarity and direction to focus ideas into actions.

Tailored focus

To help mainstream and embed climate change work across council through increased women’s leadership and collective action

The program

Three days, three nights with accommodation and all food included, at Common Ground near Seymour in Victoria. 

There are two sessions online as part of the program: an introduction session on Thursday, May 4 2023 from 11am to 1pm AEST, and a closing session on Thursday, June 15 2023 from 11am to 1pm AEST.

Community support and connections

  • The WELA community will ensure participants are supported throughout and beyond the program. They will join and connect with an alumni community of diverse, incredible women who will continue to support their growth!

Industry experts

With guest presenters, facilitators, and WELA staff you will meet and learn from experts in the environment and climate sector, each with diverse experiences, skills and styles

Comprehensive resources and materials

Our program uses a diverse array of tools to support different learning styles – from leadership tools to recordings, books, movies and creative practices.

Your facilitators

They are supported by special guest speakers and NAGA. Participants are also invited to present sessions during the program to showcase their experience and expertise in the group.

Asmaa Guedira

Learning Experience Designer and Diversity and Inclusion Lead, WELA

Louise Duxbury

Lead facilitator, WELA Program

This program will provide you with the key tools you need to really create and lead change. This transformational, relational methodology has proven to work time and time again for our alumni.

Our curriculum is centred on four key themes:

Personal development

 Increasing personal wellbeing, resilience, self reflection, confidence and effectiveness

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

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

Systemic change

Understanding the bigger picture of power structures within society and the climate change sectors, and how gender and leadership are constructed and influenced by these.

WELA Alumnae Testimonials

  • We can build strong relationships and work collaboratively across the sector to create the change that we want to see in the world

    Bernadette Thomas
    Former Manager Sustainable Environment, Hume City Council,, WELA Alumna 2017
  • WELA is an incredible group of leaders, supporters, educators and champions of women, whether that is in a traditional paid or volunteered workspace.

    I have gained some incredible skills in management styles, leadership strategies an understandings of and how some of the work challenges we face today evolved and how to apply practical solutions to solve these challenges.

    WELA is a life-changing opportunity, for you our environment and for future generations.

    Sherie Bruce
    Protect Country Strategist, Queensland Conservation Council, WELA Alumna 2020
  • “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 Richter
    Senior Manager Low Carbon FuturesSenior Manager Low Carbon Futures, WWF-Australia, Advisory board chair for the Urban Transformations Research Centre (UTRC), WELA Alumna 2022
  • “My WELA sisters have been with me as I navigate life in parliament and post-politics. The facilitators and various cohorts have formed such a strong and supportive community. It is the kind of love and inspiration that keeps each of us paying it forward as activists.”


    Huong Truong
    Former Sustainability Coordinator, Brimbank City Council, WELA Alumna 2017
  • “It is fantastic to stake stock, one year since my WELA fellowship. To recognise the Council policy and funding implementation wins we have had that WELA gave me the ambition and boldness to strive for. As well as the support systems and campaign collaborations that have been set up to further deep and long term life affirming change. I went from doubting myself and feeling paralysed by overwhelm and frayed by the diversity of issues, to focus my campaign strategy and actions. I’ve also been able to recognise my unique and genuine gifts as a leader.”


    Cath Blakley
    Councillor at Wollongong City Council, WELA Alumna 2018
  • The WELA program helped me understand how we are an ecosystem of passionate people, each with unique gifts and unique roles to play. We don’t need to do it alone – we are doing it together! 

    Since completing the program I have been recruited into a management position inside local government. The program gave me the confidence to understand how my skill set is useful to our sector, freed me from my limiting self talk and allowed me to take that next step in my career and for our environment.


    Amanda Dodd
    Manager Sustainable Environment for Whittlesea Council, WELA Alumna 2020

Are you ready?

Here's the details


The program will be located at Common Ground. The space is gorgeous, with a strong connection to nature and generous hosts. Meals are provided for the full length of your stay, as is linen and even hot water bottles in winter!

Commonground is shared accommodation (you may be sharing a room), you can see more on their website www.common-ground.org.au

We will ensure COVID-safe precautions and measures are taken throughout. 

Please make sure to organise transport in advance. Travel is NOT included in the program fees (see below). Please factor in travel time when assessing your availability.

Program fee

The program fee is $2,549 plus GST

NAGA has made a contribution to the course so that NAGA councils participants will have a subsidised fee of $1,400 plus GST. 

We prefer if you are able to pay as soon as the application is accepted before Christmas, and no later than February 1st 2023.


The WELA program for VLGA’s will take place from Tuesday 23 May at 5pm – Friday May 26th 2023 at 4pm AEST. 

This program is designed to encourage everyone’s full attention and active participation. There will be free time each day for participants to enjoy the environment or to exercise. Time for work is limited and it’s recommended that people take the time off completely. If essential there is up to half an hour per day for work. 

How to apply

Complete the WELA program for Victorian Local Government Application Form.

Applications close Sunday 4th December 2022 at midnight

In your application, please share: 

  • Why you would like to participate 
  • Your experience and what you’re looking for from the program 
  • A current CV

You can find a transcript of the questions in the application form here, to help you prepare.

If you struggle with working online, or are unable to upload a CV, don’t let that be a barrier to applying! Word document or hard copy application forms can be provided if required. We can also phone you to gather information.

We actively encourage a wide diversity of participants.

Submit your application by Sunday 4th December 2022 at midnight. Applicants will be advised whether they are successful and will be expected to confirm acceptance of the program before Christmas 2022. 

Selection criteria

WELA is committed to creating a diverse and thriving community of women working for our environment and climate action. Women and gender diverse people from Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander communities, communities of colour, or culturally and linguistically diverse communities are encouraged to apply. 

We encourage multiple applications per council. However, to ensure learning and collaboration across the sector, we will select one participant from each council., 

If you identify as a woman working in local government in Victoria with a demonstrated passion for our environment, climate, sustainability or feminist issues, and are committed to step up your leadership for greater impact on climate change, then this program is for you!

Watch our information session on the link below:

Watch online!

Passcode: zJdEFz6!

Applications close Sunday, 4 December 2022 at midnight.

More information

WELA is empowering and supporting women’s leadership for our environment, and transforming Australia’s response to the climate and environment crises.

In partnership with Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (NAGA) and supported by Victorian local government, this program is designed to develop your skills, self-reflection, support and networks to take the next steps in your leadership for a better future.

The WELA program for local government will take place from Tuesday May 23th at 5pm  to Friday May 26th 2023 at 4pm AEST.