Female teacher smiling in classroom

The Women in School Leadership (WISL) is a professional learning program for female principals in Victoria and India. The program is included in Victoria's India Strategy: Our Shared Future, to enhance people-to-people links between Victorian and Indian schools, in recognition of the importance of the Victoria-India relationship.

This professional learning program was successfully delivered as a pilot program in 2019/20 for a select cohort of participants.

The WISL program aims to:  

  • immerse participants in the host culture

  • engage inspiring women leaders in education, business and community to explore the theme and focus of WISL

  • identify opportunities for collaboration and exchange with participating principals and their school communities

  • create long-term partnerships between school leaders in Victoria and India through collaboration on issues of shared interest.

Program structure

The 9-month professional learning program structure includes:

  • face-to-face (in-country) and virtual workshops focused on educational leadership, cultural intelligence, system knowledge-building and action research
  • one mandatory face-to-face pre-departure session  
  • weekly self-directed learning  
  • peer-to-peer learning activities  
  • leadership coaching sessions  
  • development and showcase of a school improvement project.  

The in-country component of the program includes:

  • offshore immersion: upto 14 days for 12 female Victorian principals (to India), to engage in education-based and cultural activities, including shadowing at a host school
  • reciprocal immersion: upto 14 days reciprocal visit for up to 12 female Indian principals (to Melbourne, Australia), for a similar program involving education-based and cultural activities, including shadowing at a host school. 

The program was successfully delivered as a pilot program in 2019/20 for a select cohort of participants. It is fully subsided by the department for principals from Victorian government schools. 

The following principals have been selected to participate in the 2023-24 WISL program:

  • Kim Mitchell, Aintree Primary School
  • Erin Norman, Mitcham Primary School
  • Tania Sorbello, Fitzroy North Primary School
  • Ann Turner-Calleri, Edgars Creek primary School
  • Giselle Allgood, Lake Bolac College P-12
  • Josie Millard, Kew High School
  • Jodie Bray, Clyde Creek Primary School
  • Lauren Harvey, Lyndhurst Secondary College
  • Donna Wright, Bandiana Primary
  • Sarah Tyyrell, Cowes Primary
  • Elizabeth Davey, Quarters Primary School
  • Sally Webb, Cranbourne Carlisle Primary School.

The schools represent the department's four major regions, including metropolitan and regional areas which will showcase the breadth of experience Victoria's educators have to share.

Victorian principals travel to India (October 2023)

The Victorian cohort travelled to India for 14 days in October 2023. The first half of the in-country immersion was based in Delhi and enabled the 12 selected Victorian principals to learn and collaborate alongside Indian principals through a series of workshops focused on leadership, cultural intelligence, and comparative education policy. The cohort then travelled to West Delhi, Noida or Guguram for a multi-day in-school placement to observe best practice approaches to learning, wellbeing, and engagement.

The second half of the immersion was delivered in Bengaluru where principals attended the DIDAC Conference, Asia's largest exhibition in teaching and skills. Principals actively participated in bespoke workshops aimed at strengthening bilateral dialogue on topics related to women in leadership and EdTech solutions for wellbeing. The conference provided unique networking and partnership opportunities for Victorian schools.

Indian principals travel to Victoria (May 2024)

A reciprocal visit for up to twelve Indian principals will occur in Term 2, 2024. The WISL program will culminate with a showcase of action-research projects focussed on one of the following themes:

  • Girl's Education for Empowerment
  • Engaging Community for Learning and Wellbeing
  • Learning Ecosystems for Diversity and Inclusion
  • Cultural Intelligence for Leading Self and Others. 

Applications for the 2023-24 WISL Program have now closed.

Please check back here in April 2024 for information, key dates and the commencement of the expression of interest process relating to the 2024-25 program.

We encourage applicants to consider this professional learning opportunity in relation to their Annual Implementation Plan (AIP) and the Performance and Development Plan (PDP). 

If you have any questions regarding the WISL program, please email: global.learning@education.vic.gov.au

Last Update: 19/03/2024 2:43 PM