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08:10 - 08:30            Online Registration

08:30 - 08:55

Welcome and Acknowledgement of Country

Dr Janet Smith

Director of Programs and Senior Facilitator, Women & Leadership Australia

Dr Debra Kelliher

Senior Facilitator, National Excellence in School Leadership Institute

Tanya Plibersek is the Shadow Minister for Education, Shadow Minister for Women, and the Federal Member for Sydney. Tanya grew up in the Sutherland Shire of Sydney and is the daughter of migrants from Slovenia. Like many newly arrived migrants, Tanya’s parents helped build the country in which they made their new home. Her father worked on the Snowy River hydroelectric scheme in the 1950s. Tanya holds a BA Communications (Hons) from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and a Master of Politics and Public Policy from Macquarie University. Before entering Parliament, Tanya worked in the Domestic Violence Unit at the NSW Ministry for the Status and Advancement of Women. Elected to Federal Parliament as the Member for Sydney in 1998, she spoke of her conviction that ordinary people working together can achieve positive change. Tanya lives in Sydney with her husband Michael and her three children, Anna, Joseph and Louis.

09:00 - 09:30

In Conversation

Tanya Plibersek MP

Shadow Minister for Education, Shadow Minister for Women, Federal Member for Sydney

11:10 - 12:40

Panel Discussion

Where to from Here? Learning from challenge, complexity, and uncertainty 

Guiding our schools through the coronavirus pandemic and continuing to prioritise student performance and wellbeing has placed extraordinary demands on school leaders across Australia and the world. The world as we knew it has changed, and for many, some level of ambiguity and change will remain. This critical juncture presents a timely opportunity to reflect and learn from our recent experience and rethink the way we have done things in the past. How do we capture the gravitas of what we've been through and at the same time capitalise on the unique opportunity we have been given to co-design a better future? In this interactive session our panel of experts will reflect on their learnings from this time of challenge and complexity – and consider what we can let go of and what we can take forward, as we lead our teams through recovery and into the future.

12:40 - 13:10            Lunch

15:00 - 15:10            Break

10:00 - 10:10            break

11:00 - 11:10            break

15:10 - 15:50

Keynote Address

Jelena Dokic

Former World #4 Tennis Player; Olympian; TV Commentator & Expert Analyst, Channel 9; Bestselling Author; Advocate

Jelena Dokic started playing tennis when she was six years old and quickly became a National champion. However, the war in former Yugoslavia forced her family to escape and they became refugees before settling in Australia when Jelena was 11. At 18, Jelena won her first WTA singles title in Rome and reached the top 10 in the world. At the age of 19 she reached world number 4. Jelena's latter part of her career was riddled with injury and illness which forced her into early retirement. Jelena penned the best-selling autobiography Unbreakable, which details her career, and struggles with poverty, racism, bullying, discrimination, and depression. She also talks about the physical and emotional abuse she suffered for over 20 years at the hands of her father. Jelena now pours her efforts into commentary and TV work for Channel 9, Fox Sports and Tennis Australia. 

Dr Briony Scott (BSc.Agr, MEd, EdD) was appointed Principal of Wenona, a Kindergarten to Year 12 independent girls' school, in July 2011. Prior to this, she was Principal of Roseville College. As the Founder of the Renaissance Womens’ Leadership Network, she is focused on creating a space for educators to influence and direct their profession. Dr Scott has undertaken research focusing on girls’ education, motivational theory, and educational technology and is committed to providing an environment that allows every opportunity for students to be engaged in their own decisions. She believes in the empowerment of young women to discover and develop their strengths and talents, to be engaged in egalitarian leadership, to be adventurous, brave and strong, and to be a voice for those who cannot speak. Dr Scott is also a Board Member of the Chris O’Brien Lifehouse and a member of the AISNSW Advisory Committee. 

13:10 - 13:50

Keynote Address

Dr Briony Scott

Principal, Wenona School

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Kristen Douglas

National Manager & Head, headspace Schools

Kristen Douglas is the Head of headspace (the National Youth Mental Health Foundation) Schools. She is a highly respected and sought presenter nationally and internationally on the topics of mental health and wellbeing, suicide postvention, School Principal, and staff self-care and wellbeing. Kristen has had 25 years’ experience including as an educator, School principal, and government policy advisor. Kristen has specialised in the impact of critical incidents on individuals and communities, including responding and recovering from the impact of complex events, trauma, and natural disasters. Kristen has significantly contributed to the synergy between education and mental health. As head of headspace Schools, Kristen continues to lead a multi-disciplinary national team of mental health and education consultants to support primary and secondary schools across Australia.

09:30 - 10:00

Keynote Address

Dr Cynthia Briggs

Lecturer Indigenous Knowledge, Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples, Southern Cross University

Dr Briggs’ expertise is in the inclusion of Aboriginal self-determination in child protection policies in NSW for Aboriginal babies, children, youth, and their families involved in the NSW child protection and out-of-home care systems. Dr Briggs has also worked extensively in Aboriginal education as well as in community development with strong commitment to the social welfare sector.

10:10 - 11:00

Development Session

Relational Agency – How the Power of a Collective can Empower You

High functioning teams are essential to the busy work of schools, yet as a team leader in a school do we know why effective teams work and why there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’?  This workshop looks at how supportive teams can empower individuals to be their best selves and what actions build trust in a team. We’ll look at what makes a healthy team, the concept of ‘relational agency’ and the characteristics of trust – the essential foundation of a team. Useful for both team leaders and team members in schools.

Liv Pennie

CEO & Co-Founder, BECOME Education

Liv is the CEO & Co Founder of BECOME Education which she started in 2017 to reimagine careers education. She holds an MA in Psychology and a Postgrad in Career Development. She also spent 15 years in advertising, digital product, and experience design. She brings together these worlds of academia and innovation to close the gap between evidence and practice in contemporary careers education. Recognised in The Educator Hot List for her work helping to transform K-12 Careers Education.

Ashley Fell

Director of Communications, McCrindle; Social Researcher; Author; TEDx Speaker

Ashley Fell is a social researcher, author, TEDx speaker,S and Director of Advisory at the internationally recognised McCrindle. From her experience in delivering media commentary, managing social media platforms and content creation, Ashley is well positioned to advise how to achieve cut-through in these message-saturated times. She is the author of two books on leadership and generational insights: Work Wellbeing and Generation Alpha, and her expertise is in training and equipping leaders and teams on how to communicate across generational barriers.

13:50 - 14:40

Development Session

A Closer Look: Where to from Here?

Following on from the Panel Discussion, this Development Session will explore more deeply how we can effectively lead our teams through recovery. We will discuss practical tools for reflecting on and letting go of the practices that have not served us in the past, and carefully considering those which will serve us moving forward.

The Australian Schools


Dr Jessa Rogers is a Wiradjuri board director, researcher, and educator. She was the founding principal of Australia’s first boarding school for Indigenous young mothers and babies in Far North Queensland and has been a Fulbright Scholar (Harvard University) and a Churchill Fellow, examining Indigenous language learning methodologies with Sámi peoples in Norway and Finland. Dr Rogers sits on the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia and the Centre for Policy Development Board. She sits on the Aboriginal Australian Studies Journal Editorial Advisory Board, the AIATSIS Publishing Advisory Committee, the AITSL Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Advisory Group, and the AHPRA Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Strategy Group, among other boards and committees. Dr Rogers' research draws attention to the voices of Indigenous students, with a specific focus on Indigenous boarding school experiences in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, and mainland USA. 

Marisa Matthys

Principal, St Mary’s School Greensborough

Marisa Matthys is Principal of a large catholic school in the North East of Melbourne. Marisa is passionate about school and system improvement and meeting the individual needs of all learners through high expectations and explicit teaching. She is dedicated to empowering others and building strong leadership dispositions in a climate of psychological safety. Marisa believes research based, consistent pedagogical practices and empowered teams provide an environment where all students can flourish. She was appointed as Principal of St Mary’s in 2020 and continues to utilise adaptive leadership skills to meet the needs of all stakeholders in an everchanging landscape. She is committed to building trusting relationships with parents, staff and students which has been paramount to navigating these years of change and uncertainty.

14:40 - 15:00

Nothern Territory Award for Excellence in Women's Leadership

Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM

Aboriginal Elder; Renowned Artist; Activist; Writer; Public Speaker

Dr Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann AM is an Aboriginal elder from Nauiyu and a renowned artist, activist, writer and public speaker. In 1975, Miriam-Rose became the Territory’s first fully qualified Aboriginal teacher. As an art consultant for the Department of Education, she visited schools through the Top End, advocating for the inclusion of visual art as part of every child’s education. Miriam-Rose later became the principal of the Catholic school in her home community before being appointed to the Federal Government’s advisory body, the National Indigenous Council. In 2013, she established the Miriam Rose Foundation, to bridge the divide between Aboriginal culture and mainstream society – driving reconciliation at a grassroots level. Through her professional and creative life, Miriam-Rose has remained dedicated to maintaining the cultural independence of her people and being a spokesperson for the Aboriginal worldview. In recognition of her leadership, she was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia medal and an Honorary PhD in Education from Charles Darwin University.

Susan French PSM

Principal in Residence, School Leadership Institute, School Workforce, NSW Department of Education

Sue has served NSW Public Schools as Principal, NSW Coordinator of the Australian National Schools Network, member of the Secondary Principal's Council, Strategic Projects Officer, and Principal in Residence. At St Johns Park High School, she led the transformation of the disadvantaged and diverse school. In 2015, with 61% of students in the lowest socioeconomic quartile, more than 90% from a non-English speaking background, and more than 100 refugees, five students achieved ATARs over 99, and 146 of 170 students received a university offer. She led the review of the NSW Department of Education Gifted and Talented policy and is currently working to deeply understand the work and wellbeing of principals to develop approaches that enhance the sustainability of the role. Sue is a Life Member of the NSW Teachers Federation (2013), Life Member of the Secondary Principals Council (2016), and was awarded a Public Service Medal in 2021.

Dr Jessa Rogers

First Nations Senior Research Fellow, Queensland University of Technology; Managing Director, Baayi Consulting

08:55 - 09:00

Welcome Address


CEO, Women & Leadership Australia

15:50 - 16:00

Closing Comments

Dr Janet Smith

Director of Programs and Senior Facilitator, Women & Leadership Australia


Senior Facilitator, National Excellence in School Leadership Institute