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.