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Dr Janet Smith

Director of Programs, Women & Leadership Australia

Dr Janet Smith is the Program Director for the Australian School of Applied Management (ASAM), Women & Leadership Australia (WLA) and the National Excellence in School Leadership Institute (NESLI). Her role involves workshop facilitation, leading national and international leadership summits, teaching face-to-face and online leadership courses, course design and executive coaching. Janet has previously worked extensively as an Associate Professor in Higher Education, focusing on educational leadership, gender, coaching, mentoring, emotional intelligence, communication, reflective practice and well-being.

Dr Debra Kelliher

Senior Facilitator, National Excellence in School Leadership Institute

Debra is an experienced principal of two girls’ schools and has recently completed her Doctorate in Education focusing on how to improve girls’ leadership capacity in the independent school environment. She is passionate about leadership which is based on authentic personal values and believes that leadership is a relational and collaborative process, rather than an individual pursuit.


Be inspired by experts in gender equity, mental health and wellbeing.

Reflect on key challenges – especially in light of the ongoing global pandemic – and develop strategies to strengthen their own leadership practices.

Hear from diverse women leaders about their experiences, challenges and successes.

Connect with women leaders from schools around the country to share insights, strategies and peer support.

NESLI in partnership with WLA


Connecting, developing and supporting Australia’s women school leaders

This event has ended

Interactive Online Event


The Australian Schools Women’s Leadership Summit provides a unique opportunity for women at all levels of school leadership to connect, share their experiences, build their leadership capacity and prioritise their own wellbeing.


A collaboration between the National Excellence in School Leadership Institute (NESLI) and Women & Leadership Australia, the Summit brings together the latest in women’s leadership expertise and a deep understanding of current challenges and opportunities for leaders in the education sector.

This interactive, online event will feature inspirational keynote presentations, expert workshops, panel discussions, participant breakout sessions and online discussion forums.


Inspiration and Insight

During the summit, participants will hear from a number of inspirational education sector speakers about their leadership/career journeys and the key elements that have contributed to their success. Armed with this valuable insight, participants will identify their own unique gifts and talents and begin to create their personal brand and message.

Leadership and the Imposter Syndrome

The Imposter Syndrome is loosely defined as doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud. It disproportionately affects high-achieving people, who find it difficult to accept their accomplishments. For many, feeling like an outsider isn’t an illusion — it’s actually the result of systemic bias and exclusion. The impact of systemic racism, ableism, classism, homophobia, xenophobia, and other biases were absent when the concept of Imposter Syndrome was developed, and our understandings about it are now more sophisticated.

Unsupported, Overlooked and Exhausted

What is the current state of play in Australia’s schools? This Development Session will explore some frameworks that will help us understand this challenging moment in time. We will then present some recent research by Women & Leadership Australia in partnership with NESLI, which highlights the gender discrimination and systemic barriers many women in schools are still facing. Armed with these insights and shared experiences, we will identify practical strategies to help you improve your wellbeing, support your colleagues, and achieve your goals.


Hon Dr Anne Aly MP

Minister for Early Childhood Education; Minister for Youth; Federal Member for Cowan

Ellie Cole OAM

Australia’s most decorated Female Paralympic Athlete

Wendy McCarthy AO Life Fellow FAICD

Mentor; Speaker, Writer; Social Activist; Company Advisor; Patron, Sydney Women's Fund, The Parenthood; Director, FPIP; Former University Administrator and Secondary School Teacher

Dyonne Anderson

Principal, Cabbage Tree Island Public School; Chief Executive Officer, Stronger Smarter Institute; President, National Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander Principals Association

Dr Nicole Archard

Principal, Loreto College Marryatville

Han Worsley

Education Coordinator, Country Universities Centre Snowy Monaro

Hillary Swann

Teacher, Caroline Chisholm School; Founder, EMPOWER

Donna Bridge

Principal, Brentwood Primary School

Janelle Horsington

Principal, Growth Intentions

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