The Women in School Leadership (WISL) pilot program is a blended model of onshore and offshore professional learning for a select group of female principals in Victoria and India. This program will support principals to explore and discuss the theme of Leading schools for social change, with a particular focus on the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO) ​dimension: Health and Wellbeing.

The pilot program will see six Victorian and six Indian principals engaged in reciprocal immersion experiences in Delhi and Victoria during 2019 and 2020. The program will involve three phases; pre-departure, in-country and post-trip, which will include:​

  • ​​formal professional learning
  • interactions with leaders in business, community and education sectors
  • an in-school component with a partner principal, including a homestay.

This program has been developed as part of Victoria’s India Strategy: Our Shared Future​ and is one of three school education initiatives enhancing engagement between Victorian and Indian schools. The WISL pilot program will provide a subsidy for female principals of Victorian government schools to stimulate their curiosity, understanding and interest in engaging more deeply with India.

This pilot program has been developed in partnership with the Asia Education Foundation​ and Australia-India Institute at the University of Melbourne.

Benefits for Principals

The program aims to develop principals’ intercultural skills, leadership capacity and personal connections with Indian counterparts.

At the conclusion of the program, it is envisaged that principals will have:

  • further developed their capacity to lead change in their school
  • enhance their knowledge of contemporary India
  • further developed their intercultural skills to support the development of collaborative relationships with Indian colleagues and community
  • supported the implementation of their school’s strategic plan, professional learning plan and performance and development plan now and into the future
  • expanded their professional networks to support ongoing learning
  • contributed to their professional networks by sharing the outcomes of their participation at school, community and system levels.

Program key dates

​ ​
Expression of interest period​​​19 March – 12 April 2019
​Application period15 April – 3 May ​2019​​
Interviews of short-listed candidates​20 – 24 May 2019
​Project participants and schools notified14 June 2019​
Pre-departure webinar seriesJuly and August 2019
​Australian participants travel to India14 – 24 September 2019
​Post-trip debriefMid-October 2019 (TBC)​
​Indian participants travel to Australia​May 2020 (TBC) for 10 days


The WISL pilot program is funded through a co-contribution model, with participating principals contributing the cost of their flights and visa (estimated to be approximately $2,000 per person*). The Department will fund the balance of the core program costs.

Core program costs include:

  • pre-departure and post-return phases
  • in-country travel arrangements including accommodation, meals, ground transport and venue hire
  • all workshop and professional learning costs.

Any incidental costs (e.g. passports and incidental spending) are the responsibility of the participating principal.

The Department will also provide a small homestay stipend for hosting an Indian principal in your home for four nights.

*This is approximate only and is reflective of the cost of a standard visa and economy flight, which may vary depending on the needs of the applicant.

How to apply

Applications for the 2019 Women in School Leadership Pilot Program (travelling in September 2019) have now closed. We are pleased to announce the following principals have been selected to participate:

  • Lisa Branch - Victoria Road Primary School
  • Chris Bozikas - Roxburgh Rise Primary School
  • Eva McMaster - Doncaster Secondary College
  • Natasha Mudie - Murrayville Community College
  • Trudie Nagle - Bairnsdale Primary School
  • Danielle Stella - Taylors Hill Primary School

This group represents DET’s four major regions and are a mix of urban, regional and rural schools, which will showcase the breadth of experience Victoria’s educators have to share.

Contact us for more information

If you have any ​questions regarding the WISL pilot program, please email


Siobhán Marsh

Senior Policy Officer, International Relations Unit

International Education Division

​​7022 1508

Last Update: 18/06/2019 3:33 PM