WELA 2020 program

WELA acknowledges that we are all on Aboriginal land, we acknowledge and respect Elders past, present and emerging. Sovereignty was never ceded.

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. 

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.  The 2020 program will run May to October 2020.

Be part of the WELA 2020 program:  apply now!

Register your interest in a future WELA program by writing to welaprogram@gmail.com.

Information and applications

Who is it for?

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 together 20 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. This dynamic is not limited to gender, we encourage Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, women of colour, sexual preference diverse, culturally and linguistically diverse women, working class, regional women and other challenged and marginalized women to apply.

What does the program involve?

  • Three residential retreats (four days each plus travel) held at Commonground near Seymour, Victoria 
  • Small group action learning projects on key issues facing women environmentalists 
  • Collaborative fundraising to build skills, diversity, equity, networks and confidence; and support the delivery of the program
  • Online connection of participants during and after the program
  • Mentoring sessions with experienced women environmental leaders  
  • A comprehensive collection of resources 
  • Access to a growing WELA network of environmental women

The retreats are designed to encourage your full attention and active participation. There will be free time each day for participants to enjoy the environment, exercise, and check in with work if necessary. 


The WELA program responds to the expressed needs and feedback from interviews with many women in the environment and climate movement. Each year’s program also grows out of the needs, interests, cultures, experiences and offerings of the participants. The program is collaborative and experiential with an emphasis on developing personal insight, skills, knowledge and networks which apply directly to participants’ real-life challenges. 

The WELA program increases women’s capacity to lead in the environment, climate and social change movements by: 

  • Understanding and planning to address barriers to women’s leadership – including personal limiting beliefs, organisational and movement dynamics, and broader societal forces. 
  • Developing skills and capacity to undertake personal change, organisational and movement change, and societal change. 
  • Building a supportive community of women in the environment movement. 

Topics covered include: 

  • Gender, diversity, equity and leadership in the environment and climate movement 
  • Different models of leadership and approaches to environmental activism 
  • Campaign strategy, community organising and behavioural change frameworks 
  • Effective fundraising, and networks of influence
  • Building inclusive movements and practising solidarity 
  • Activist wellbeing and resilience, including peer coaching skills and building support networks 
  • Finding your voice, reclaiming physical power, stepping outside your comfort zone 

Apply now to join WELA,
the leadership program for women environmentalists.

Applications Close Friday 21st February 2020. Sunday 23rd February 2020. Extended to Sunday, get your application in today.

More information

WELA 2020 Information Pack

Write to welaprogram@gmail.com