WELA 2021 Program Information Session

Wednesday 16th December 2020 5.30pm AEDT

Do you have Questions about WELA 2021?

Applications for the WELA 2021 leadership development program are now open! 

  • 20 women actively working for our environment from diverse locations, communities and backgrounds (paid or volunteer capacity)
  • May to October, 2021
  • Online and two face-to-face retreats (COVID-safe measures will apply)
  • Applications close 15th February, 2021
  • Find out more at our website

If you have any questions, join us for an online Information Session on Wednesday 16th December at 5.30pm AEDT to chat to the WELA team, including: 

  • Louise Duxbury, WELA Lead Facilitator 
  • Victoria McKenzie-McHarg, WELA Strategic Director and co-facilitator
  • Libby Harper, WELA Administrator

Bring all your questions, we’ll start with a brief overview of the program then open it up to you. 

If you’re a woman or gender diverse person looking to step up your leadership for our environment and climate action, WELA 2021 could be for you. Check out the information and application forms on our site, or feel free to get in touch directly with any questions. And please share with any friends or networks who could be interested. 

Register today to join the WELA team, for a brief presentation and Q&A on the 2021 program.

WELA Impact Report

2019/20 has been an exciting and unexpected year for WELA. Our first annual Impact Report outlines our key activities and achievements over the last year, including our expanded mission, and our new three-year plan for action. We particularly thank our donors, supporters program participants, and alumni for your generous support and leadership through this period, and we look forward to working with you to deliver our plans.

Read the report now.

Preparing for Summer: Women’s leadership for bushfire resilience

On Wednesday 21 October, over 40 people from across Australia (and a few internationally) joined WELA for our panel discussion, Preparing for summer: Women’s leadership for bushfire resilience.

If you missed the event you may want to watch the recording or follow up with our speakers organisations.

A huge thank you to our incredible speakers, for sharing your wisdom and experience.

Watch the panel presentations and Q&A session here. While you’re here, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to receive notification of future WELA events.

Preparing for summer – Women’s leadership for bushfire resilience

Wednesday 21st October, 5.30pm – 7pm

An online panel discussion Q&A hosted by Women’s Environmental Leadership Australia (WELA). 

Women play a critical yet often overlooked role in how communities are preparing for and responding to bushfires. With climate change significantly increasing the threat of bushfires, how can we better understand, value and encourage womens’ leadership in all its forms so that all threatened communities can become bushfire adapted and resilient communities? 

This panel discussion will bring together three leaders in bushfire preparedness, response and resilience to explore the unique contributions of women to bushfire resilience.


  • Amanda Lamont, co-founder of the Women in Emergencies Network
  • Jessica Wegener, Co-Chair of the Firesticks Alliance Indigenous Corporation 
  • Jo Dodds, Councillor Bega Shire Council, Founder of Bushfire Survivors for Climate Action

The discussion will be moderated by Victoria McKenzie-McHarg, Strategic Director of Women’s Environmental Leadership Australia (WELA) and delivered via Zoom. 

When: Wednesday 21 October, 5.30 – 7.00pm

Where: Online, via Zoom

RSVP: Please register via this link.

Women’s Environmental Leadership Australia appoints Strategic Director.

Following 12 months of work and consultation on a comprehensive proposal to significantly expand the work of WELA, we’re pleased to formally welcome Victoria McKenzie-McHarg into the position of WELA Strategic Director. 

Victoria is an experienced leader, campaigner and network builder, having spent the last 15 years in a variety of climate campaign leadership positions at the Australian Conservation Foundation, Environment Victoria, Bank Australia and as the current Chair of the Climate Action Network of Australia (CANA). 

Victoria is also an alumni of the WELA leadership development program, having participated in our inaugural program in 2016. 

“In these disrupted and uncertain times, the need for women to play a key role in leading and shaping a future in which people and the planet can thrive has never been more urgent.” Victoria McKenzie-McHarg

This new position is a sign of the ambition we have for how WELA can empower, support and fund women’s leadership for our environment and climate action, and transform Australia’s response to these crises. 

We’re incredibly grateful for the support and ambition shared by our funders and advisors, who’ve made this leap possible. We look forward to working with you all as we embark on our new plans, and warmly welcome your feedback, ideas, input and support. 

We’re particularly excited about the opportunity to work with women across different sectors and communities, building diversity of leadership and collaborative opportunities with indigenous women and women of colour, women from regional and rural communities, women from working class backgrounds, and women working across business, government and civil society. 

If you would like to discuss how WELA can work with your organisation or networks to support women’s leadership for our environment, we’d love to hear from you

Women’s Environmental Leadership Australia

Growing WELA’s impact – will you make a gift to support our work? Women’s Environmental Leadership Australia (WELA) empowers, supports and funds women’s leadership for our environment and climate action, in order to transform Australia’s response to these crises. 
For five years, the WELA leadership development program has successfully supported the leadership, career development and influence of women working for our environment. WELA graduates have gone on to stop a new coal mine, to stop dangerous incinerators in Sydney’s suburbs, to be elected to State Parliament, to lead campaigns to save forests and habitat, build renewables and stop Adani.  

Now, with the challenges to our environment ever growing, and the leadership of key decision makers so sorely lacking, our task is more important than ever. 
We’re undertaking a significant expansion of the work and impact of WELA. Will you help us make it happen with a gift to WELA?
With your gift to WELA, we will:

  • Support women from diverse backgrounds (including indigenous women, women from migrant communities, and women from rural and low-income communities)  to participate in our life changing leadership development program
  • Expand our leadership development work to include women from the business and government sectors
  • Develop the support networks and communities of practice for women across different sectors and communities, and 
  • Establish Australia’s first giving circle dedicated to funding women-led projects and initiatives for our environment. 
  • Fund an experienced leader and campaigner to deliver our expanded program of work and establish the partnerships needed to maximise our impact and influence.

We’ve already secured 78% of our funding target of $216,000 for the first year of our plans. That means we need to raise $48,000 by 30 June to reach our goal. Can you help us get there?  

You can read more about our plans for WELA here.  

Womens Environmental Leadership Australia

WELA 2019 National Gathering

WELA and Covid-19

Covid-19 has changed the world with astonishing speed. It is an enormous threat to our communities but also an opportunity to remake the world as we know it for a genuinely sustainable future. WELA will play its part in making the most of this opportunity and we are actively monitoring the implications of the pandemic and adapting our plans.

WELA 2020 is going ahead but a bit later and in a different format than we planned. We have selected the 2020 cohort from a record number of applications from amazing women across the country. The first part of the WELA 2020 program will be delivered online starting in May. The virus permitting, we hope to hold retreats later in the year.

We are also planning a significant expansion for WELA – watch for more news a bit later in the year. In the meantime we wish everyone the best in adjusting to life with Covid-19.

WELA 2020 Program

Women’s Environmental Leadership Australia (WELA) is empowering and supporting women’s leadership for our environment, and transforming Australia’s response to the climate and environment crises (www.welaprogram.org.au). 

Designed by and for women environmentalists, the WELA leadership development program has successfully supported the leadership, career development and influence of dozens of women leaders across our movements for the past four years. 

When it comes to the major crises we face, we will not get out of this by relying on the same leadership that got us into it. Instead, we need new leadership styles that are networked, collaborative and responsive to diverse communities across colour, class, gender, sexuality, ability and location. Women’s leadership must play an increasingly important role in this transformation – and we are not there yet! 

Now, you have the opportunity to apply to participate in the WELA 2020 leadership development program, and experience the support, skills and personal development and networks that will assist you to take the next steps in your leadership for a better future. 

Find more information on our WELA Program page

Womens Environmental Leadership Australia

WELA 2019 National Gathering

WELA 2020 Program

Are you a woman and an active environmentalist volunteering or working in Australia? Are you looking to take your next steps in leadership? WELA 2020 is for you! 

We aim to bring together20 women from diverse backgrounds and ages who are working on a variety of environmental issues and campaigns around the country. Some will be employed in the movement; others working as volunteers or as individuals. 

WELA aims to address the ways in which women’s crucial leadership can transform our response to the environmental and climate crises we face. We seek to empower women to identify their own approach to leadership, and to recognise and step into their power to influence. We’ll also work with you to challenge the ways in which women’s leadership in the environment movement is undervalued and often not reflected in formal leadership positions. We recognise that this dynamic is not limited to gender and we encourage women from other marginalised constituencies (such as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, women of colour, gender diverse, culturally and linguistically diverse women, working class and regional women) to apply. 

Find more information on our WELA Program page