The Australian Schools Women’s Leadership Summit​

Wednesday 18th April 2018

Rydges World Square, Sydney


Single Delegate

3 + Delegates





$295 pp 


$695 pp

10:50 - 11:10

Morning Tea

12:50 - 13:30


15:00 - 15:20

Afternoon Tea

16:45 - 17:00 Review and closing comments

09:00 - 09:20 Welcome and Opening comments

Where to from here

The vast majority of our teaching workforce is female, so why are most school principals male? The latest OECD Teaching and Learning International Study found that Australia has a significantly lower proportion of female principals than men, despite women being the majority of the teaching workforce. Despite a workforce dominated by women, just 39 per cent of principals are female. This panel will reflect on the benefits that women bring to leadership roles in schools. Is there a new conversation that needs to start? What else can be/is being done to accelerate these types of statistics to reach parity, equity and equality?

11:10 - 12:50

Panel Session

09:20 - 09:50

Keynote Address

The Hon. Sarah Mitchell MLC (Invited)

NSW Minister for Early Childhood Education, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Assistant Minister for Education 


09:50 - 10:20

Keynote Address

Dorothy Hoddinott AO

Principal, Holroyd High School and Pro-Chancellor, University of Sydney

Dorothy Hoddinott is one of Australia’s most widely recognised school leaders. She has taught in government and non-government schools in Australia, UK and Italy and has also worked in assessment, examinations and policy advice at a leadership level. She has led state and national professional teachers’ associations, and contributed to development of national teaching standards and curricula. She was a Ministerial appointee to the NSW Board of Studies 1998-2001. Dorothy has been Principal of Holroyd High School since 1995.

Dorothy has a deep, life-long commitment to social justice and is a strong public advocate for the human rights of refugees and asylum seekers, and those of children, particularly disadvantaged children. In recognition of her work, she was made an Honorary Fellow of the University of Sydney in 2006, and an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2008. In 2012, she was awarded the Medal of the Australian College of Educators, the first time the Medal had been awarded to someone working in a school. In 2014, she was conferred with an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by Western Sydney University and was awarded the Australian Human Rights Medal in recognition of her human rights advocacy for disadvantaged young people, particularly child asylum seekers and refugees.

Dorothy has been a Fellow of Senate of the University of Sydney 2010-2017, and Pro-Chancellor of the University since 2015. She was selected as one of Westpac’s 100 Women of Influence in 2016

10:20 - 10:50

Keynote Address

Lisa Rodgers

CEO, Australian Institute for Teaching and Schools Leadership (AITSL) 

Lisa Rodgers was appointed CEO of AITSL in October 2016 following an extensive national and international search. Since starting in the role, Lisa has become an emerging leader and voice in Australian education, refocusing the conversation towards the importance of quality education, esteeming the profession and prioritising proven teaching strategies that positively impact student learning in the classroom. Before joining AITSL, Lisa was Deputy Secretary, Early Learning and Student Achievement in the New Zealand Ministry of Education. There she had responsibility for raising achievement and improving system effectiveness with school leaders across education and the wider social sector. Prior to this, she was Deputy Secretary, Evidence, Data and Knowledge, using research and analysis to identify where effort and resources can best help lift student achievement. Lisa has held several other significant posts at the Ministry and has a background in strategic policy, research and insights analysis with the Ministry of Justice, the University of Wales and the British Army.

13:30 - 14:20

Development Session

Be Brave, Adaptive and Experimental

As leaders we are constantly asked to consider the concept of the ‘authentic leader’. In practice, however, authenticity can sometimes become a leadership trap that makes you feel like a fake or locks you into ‘an old self’ and an already strong comfort zone. At times, what is needed is an ability to identify a ‘new self’ and the capacity to be brave, adaptive, experimental and something of a chameleon. This high impact, interactive workshop will help you unlock a new sense of your identity by inviting you to ‘steal like an artist’, aim to learn, continually refine your style, and avoid sticking to one narrow story about what makes you effective and authentic.

16:10 - 16:45

Keynote Address

Ita Buttrose AO OBE

Media trailblazer, businesswoman, best-selling author, committed community and welfare contributor and 2013 Australian of the Year 

Ita Buttrose AO OBE currently co-hosts the very popular Studio 10 on Network TEN. She has twice been voted Australia’s most admired woman and has a long and distinguished career in the Australian media with a number of notable achievements. She was the founding editor of Cleo, the youngest ever editor of The Australian Women’s Weekly, the first woman to ever edit a major metropolitan newspaper in Australia as Editor-in-Chief of the Daily & Sunday Telegraphs, and the first woman director of News Ltd Australia. She later started her own company, Capricorn Publishing, and created ITA Magazine, a magazine for the woman who wasn’t born yesterday. In 2011, her earlier career was immortalised in the acclaimed ABC mini-series Paper Giants: The Birth of Cleo. Ita’s current charitable responsibilities include serving as National Ambassador of Alzheimer's Australia following her term as National President from 2011 to 2014. A founding member and former president of Chief Executive Women, Ita has written 11 very successful books including her best-selling autobiography A Passionate Life. In 2014 Macquarie University conferred an Honorary Doctor of Letters on Ita in recognition of her contribution to the arts. In 2015, Ita was conferred an Honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of Wollongong, for her contribution to mental health and ageing. An accomplished communicator with a wealth of experience across a broad range of industry sectors, Ita has worked behind the scenes and in the public eye for major corporates, small business, governments and charity.



$395 pp

$295 pp 

$695 pp

super saver Rate

Single Delegate

3 + Delegates



Wednesday 18th april 2018

rydges world square,

Lila Mularczyk OAM

Director, Secondary Education, NSW Department of Education

Lila Mularczyk OAM was Principal at Merrylands High School for 15 years until 2016; the Deputy President of the NSW Secondary Principals’ Council (SPC) for eight years; and an SPC Executive Member for 15 years, including President of the NSW SPC from 2012 to 2016. As a Deputy Principal in two schools, Lila oversaw a number of successful and acclaimed programs. She was an active member of the NSW Deputy Principal Association where she was involved in delivering professional learning programs and convening professional learning forums. Lila is also a state board member of the Australian College of Educational Leaders (ACEL). As convenor of the NSW ACEL Fellowship and Leadership Awards Committee, Lila reviewed processes to make them more rigorous and relevant. Lila was nominated for 2015 Australian of the Year. Lila’s commitment to education was recognised by being honoured with the Order of Australia Medal (OAM), announced on the Queen’s Birthday Holiday in 2017.

Murat Dizdar

Deputy Secretary, School Operations and Performance, NSW Department of Education

Murat Dizdar was appointed the Deputy Secretary at the NSW Department of Education in 2016. Before this appointment, Murat was one of the four operational Executive Directors at Public Schools NSW where he lead the model of support to schools across the NSW Department of Education. Through his work, Murat has been a key contributor to the development of vibrant, sustainable and inclusive school communities. Murat’s leadership approach is marked by high visibility, responsiveness and an approach that highlights the importance of people. His adherence to transparency and ethical practice is exceptionally valued. He has ensured that there is a comprehensive understanding of a cohesive education reform agenda across the Senior Officers he leads and continues to champion the work of highly effective school leaders, systems and a ‘level playing field’ for the students served in public education.

Dr Jillian Blackmore

Professor of Education, Deakin University

Dr Jillian Blackmore AM is Alfred Deakin Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Education at Deakin University, inaugural Director of the Centre for Research in Educational Futures and Innovation (from 2010 to 2015) and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences Australia. Her research interests are varied and all focus on equity with a feminist perspective. They include: globalisation; education policy and governance; international and intercultural education; educational restructuring, leadership and organisational change; spatial redesign and innovative pedagogies; and teachers' and academics’ work. Current research projects in schools focus on international students and school autonomy. Recent higher education research has focused on international education, graduate employability, disengagement with leadership and a lack of diversity in leadership. 

Dr Linda O'Brien AM

Principal, Granville Boys High School 

Dr Linda O’Brien AM has been the Principal at Granville Boys High since 2008. During that time she completed her Doctorate of Education at Western Sydney University, based on research led practice and practice led research at the school. The changes in practices that were researched focused on building social cohesion through the collaborative development of the curriculum and a specific focus on music and dance. Since 2016 she has been the Co- Chair of School for Life Foundation. She is currently the Deputy Chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation, which awards the annual Sydney Peace Prize. In 2013 was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for innovation in education and service to the community and in 2014 she was the winner of the Local Regional category of the Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards. 

Laura Jones

Commercial Director, Stuartholme School

Laura Jones has ten years of experience in commercial leadership and management consulting roles both in Australia and the South Pacific. Currently she is a leadership team member at Stuartholme School reporting to the School Board and Principal providing a commercial outlook to the school's strategic decision-making. Her role spans all non-teaching areas across finance, marketing, enrolments, governance and compliance, facilities and maintenance, IT, and HR. Laura enjoys challenging the status quo and finding opportunity in the face of adversity and challenges. Before working at Stuartholme Laura was the Head of Revenue Growth Management at The Coca-Cola Company and has held senior commercial and compliance management roles in the fast-moving consumer goods industry. Laura is passionate about female leadership development having established the first all-girls BMX Coaching Clinics in Australia and continues to make significant on-going contributions to organisational women in leadership programs. 

Susan Pascoe AM

Independent Chair, Australian Principal Certification Advisory Board, Principals Australia Institute

Susan Pascoe has recently become the Independent Chair for the Australian Principal Certification Advisory Board, Principals Australia Institute. Prior to this, Ms Pascoe was the Commissioner for the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, Commissioner at the State Services Authority in Victoria from 2006 to 2011 focusing on regulatory reform. Ms Pascoe's earlier professional background was in education where she served as President of the Australian College of Educators, Chief Executive Officer of the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, and Chief Executive of the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria. She chaired the Australian National Commission for UNESCO, was a Patron for the Melbourne Parliament for the World's Religions, and served on the Board of Cabrini Health and the Senate of the Australian Catholic University. Ms Pascoe is a Life Member of the Australian College of Educators, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Public Administration, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.                         

15:20 - 16:00

Keynote Address

Annabelle Chauncey OAM

Founding Director, School for Life Foundation

Annabelle Chauncy OAM is the Founding Director of School for Life Foundation (SFL). SFL is a grassroots organisation that has built and runs two schools in rural Uganda (with a third school in development). The schools provide high quality education to more than 400 primary students (including children with disabilities), vocational training to more than 100 adults, and clean drinking water, electricity, community outreach and medical treatment to their surrounding communities. SFL employs more than 150 people across three continents. Annabelle was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia in January 2015. She has raised over $4 million in five years and her role includes management in Australia and Uganda of strategy, governance, human resources, fundraising and sponsorship, marketing, media and events. In 2012, Annabelle was named in Australian Financial Review and Westpac Top 100 Women of Influence 2012 and voted Cosmopolitan Magazine's 2012 Role Model of the Year. Annabelle was a finalist in two categories of the NSW Telstra Businesswomen's Awards 2013 for Business Innovation and Young Businesswoman. Annabelle was the winner of the Australian Women's Weekly and Qantas' Woman of the Future award in 2014.​​​

Dr Lee-Anne Perry AM

Executive Director, Queensland Catholic Education Commission

Dr Lee-Anne Perry AM is the Executive Director of the Queensland Catholic Education Commission. Prior to her appointment to this role in 2015, Dr Perry served as a principal for over 25 years, most recently at All Hallows’ School in Brisbane following a teaching career in state and Catholic schools both in New South Wales and Queensland. Over many years Dr Perry was a member and Deputy Chair of the Queensland Catholic Education Commission. She has taken on leadership roles and made active contributions on executive committees of principals’ associations and curriculum and educational leadership boards, including the Queensland Studies Authority. Currently, Dr Perry is the Deputy Chancellor of Queensland University of Technology and a member of the QUT Council, Chancellor’s Committee and Planning and Resources Committee. She is also a Director of the Queensland Education Leadership Institute (QELi). 

14:20 - 15:00

Keynote Address

Rosa Storelli

Adjunct Professor, School of Education, La Trobe University

Rosa Storelli has over 30 years of educational experience in both school and higher education institutions. For 15 years she served as Principal/CEO of Methodist Ladies’ College (MLC) in Melbourne. With more than 2200 students and 800 staff MLC was considered one of Australia’s leading schools and was the largest single-campus school in the southern hemisphere. Rosa was the Deputy Chancellor of the University of Melbourne, Australia’s highest-ranked university internationally, and served on the University Council for 10 years. Rosa is presently an Adjunct Professor in the School of Education at La Trobe University where she is responsible for ‘Student Engagement and Professional Partnerships’. Recognised for her outstanding leadership, Rosa currently mentors a large number of school principals and other educational leaders across Australia.