WLA's suite of market leading programs provide best of breed leadership development and immerse participants in an experience informed by the complexities and opportunities of being a female leader today. ​

2021 Awards

Grants available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women leaders

Women & Leadership Australia has announced full attendance grants for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women to attend the 2021 Australian Women’s Leadership Symposium Series.Women & Leadership Australia CEO, Suzi Finkelstein, said, “The purpose of the grants is to ensure the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women are represented at the events and help support the development of strong and effective leadership across Australia’s Indigenous communities.“The grants will be awarded to current and aspiring Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women who play active roles at the community, local or state level, and who would otherwise be unable to attend the Symposiums due to a lack of funding or employer support.”The Australian Women's Leadership Symposiums are a national series of events focused on the experiences of women in the contemporary workforce. Held annually, in every state and territory, the Symposiums have been running for over ten years and have become the most highly attended women's leadership events in the country.The Symposiums are a valuable opportunity for female leaders to come together to hear from an exceptional line up of inspirational guest speakers and explore topics including gender equality, leadership, career advancement and life fulfilment. Women from every sector, industry, background and level attend the Symposiums each year, and this diversity allows participants to learn from each other’s experiences and be empowered to move forward on their leadership journey.The 2021 Symposium series will feature a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander speakers including: Florence Drummond, Evonne Goolagong Cawley AC MBE, Antoinette Braybrook, Leah Cameron, Steph Tisdell, June Oscar AO, Asha Bhat, Kat Henaway and Cathy Freeman. More speakers are yet to be announced.Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women who wish to attend the Australian Women’s Leadership Symposiums can apply for a full attendance grant on the Women & Leadership Australia website.For more details, please contact: Abby Alexander, Media and Communications Coordinator, Women & Leadership 210 055 OrKellye Hartman, Marketing and Communications Manager, Women & Leadership

What’s on your recovery rocket?

Look, I am not a big believer in balance.I am a believer in balance being an admirable goal, one that should you find it, will probably mean you live a much happier, healthier life. I have just spent so long searching for it that I am sure I am running out of places to look. And this is coming from someone whose biggest responsibility outside of herself is a kelpie. (Perhaps I could have found balance in a greyhound?)I lamented this problem to a much wiser colleague of mine, who is in possession of two golden retrievers, a husband, adult children, and, if memory serves me correctly, a cat. Rather than clipping me over the ears and telling me to get on with it, she took the time to introduce me to the Recovery Rocket. I looked at it with the requisite apprehension, but delightfully, there was nothing on there that seemed unattainable.Essentially, the recovery rocket provides a model for maintaining a baseline of mental wellness over a year, and then gives you activities to do during the week to top up your engine fuel. It was originally designed by an organisational psychologist called Andrew May, who created the model for the Australian Cricket Team.For your baseline, the model recommends:300 nights of good sleep (7 + hours of unbroken sleep) every yearOne big stretch break or ‘off season’ (a good week or two on holidays)Three mini breaks (long weekends in different locales)10-15 minutes of ‘slow time’ every day (going for a walk, preparing veggies for dinner, meditation, etc)30 weeks where you accumulate 100 recovery points. What are recovery points? Recovery points are points that you get for doing activities that you enjoy. Each has a certain number of points attributed to it, and the aim is to do enough activities each week to accumulate 100 points.In the model, points are attributed to massages (50 points), going for a walk (20 points), talking with a friend on the phone (15 points) and so on. However, you can make your own up instead.For instance, I have my weekly dance class racking up a solid 30 points for me every week, along with walking my dog on the beach (20 points), walking along the beach with my friend (10 points), sitting down to do some crochet or other craft activity (10 points), watching a few episodes of my favourite show (10 points), getting takeaway (15 points), dinner with a friend (20 points) and playing a video game (5 points).What I like about the recovery rocket model is that it is set up for success, rather than failure. To tell someone that they need 365 nights of a solid seven hours sleep every year in order to live a well-balanced life is, frankly, rude. One hour of meditation every day is somewhat excessive for your average executive and you won’t always rack up 100 points every week. And with this model, all of those things are okay. There’s no need to beat yourself up because you only managed 80 points one week. One night of tossing and turning doesn’t automatically mean you have failed for the remainder of the year.So, I have a challenge for you all. This week, sit down and make a list of 10 activities you enjoy, that are easy to fit into your week. Give them points based on how refreshed or rejuvenated you feel at the end of them. And next week, see if you can make it to 100 points.What will you put on your recovery points list? Share your ideas in the comments below. ​

Recipients Announced for the 2021 Australian Awards for Excellence in Women’s Leadership.

Women & Leadership Australia (WLA) is proud to announce the winners of the Australian Awards for Excellence in Women’s Leadership in 2021. Ms Natasha Stott Despoja AO is the recipient of the National Award, in recognition of her leadership as an advocate for women and girls over a number of years.Ms Stott-Despoja AO is joined by Marina Go (NSW), Carly Findlay (VIC), Dr Jeannette Young PSM (QLD), Lt CMDR Kelly Haywood (ACT), June Oscar AO (WA), Patricia Waria Read (SA), Belinda Hazell CF MBA (TAS) and Erica Gibson (NT).Ms Stott Despoja AO said of the award, “What an honor to be acknowledged in this way and join such distinguished previous recipients and share it with this year’s wonderful cohort.“In this Covid era, the leadership of women – from different backgrounds and all regions — should be celebrated. This crisis has disproportionately affected women and girls everywhere and one of its worst affects is the increase in gendered violence. My message is that we can all play a part in eliminating this scourge.“There are so many people working to end discrimination and abuse so this award is in honor of them all.”Suzi Finkelstein, Chief Executive Officer of WLA, said of the award, “The Australian Awards for Excellence in Women’s Leadership are an opportunity to recognise women who, by virtue of their actions, create opportunities for other women to advance in society.“Ms Natasha Stott Despoja AO has been a positive role model for women and girls across Australia for many years. From her time in politics, and now as an advocate in her role as the Founding Chair of Our Watch, Ms Stott Despoja AO leads a worthwhile cause with both compassion and conviction.“Furthermore, our state based recipients represent a broad cross section of the community and are all women who exemplify outstanding leadership. These awards continue to prove that leadership exist everywhere, and that we need to do more to acknowledge and celebrate the amazing women leaders in our society. We are so honoured that this inspiring group of women will be joining us to receive these awards this year.”The awards were launched in 2014 to increase visibility of outstanding Australian female leaders and build momentum for gender equity in leadership positions across all industries and the broader community. The awards are nominated by members of the WLA community and presented to recipients at the Australian Women’s Leadership Symposiums, which are held annually in every state and territory in Australia.

Kamala Harris made history on January 20th. So did Douglas Emhoff.

On the 20th of January, a bit before midday (they were ahead of schedule and, frankly, who can blame them?) Kamala Harris was sworn as the 46th Vice President of the United States of America.


In the news

Stay connected to WLA's latest news and share your opinion in the comment section.


Every year Women & Leadership Australia hosts a number of the country’s most highly regarded women’s leadership events. From national gatherings for all women leaders to targeted events for specific sectors and seniority levels, WLA events are carefully designed to empower women at every stage of their leadership journey.​

WLA Connect is an inclusive membership community for women at all stages of their leadership journey.

Stay Connected

Meet up event

Connect meetups now available

Online masterclass

Design Thinking
for more Effective Leadership

Online masterclass

Board Roles with Catherine Fox and Jane Counsel


Manage your energy, not your time

A five month development program for early career leaders and managers.


Early career


A seven month development program for middle to senior leaders.​



A twelve month development program for senior and executive leaders.


Early-bird tickets now available

The 2021 Australian Women's Leadership Symposium


WLA CONNECT Live Masterclass

Excellence in women's leadership 2021

Recognising the contribution of women to the advancement of gender equality across Australia.


AMPLIFY PLUS with Tracey Spicer AM

This intensive two hours zoom workshop will teach you how to understand your audience and craft content to create an engaging presentation that has impact.

Learning Hub

WLA Connect

Become a member of WLA Connect and gain access to leadership insights, masterclasses, networking events, recommendations, mentoring opportunities and more.

Early-bird tickets now available for 2021



Amplify Plus with Tracey Spicer AM

Get your message across and present with confidence

new program



Offering practical learning responsive to the evolving situation


Supporting leaders to maximise their ability to guide and develop others through mentoring