WELA program

Note: in 2019 WELA is concentrating on supporting gender equity in the environment movement and consolidating connections amongst the alumni from the programs in 2016 – 2018. The WELA 2018 information on this page illustrates the approach likely for retreat programs in 2020 and beyond.

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

WELA 2018 Information

The Women’s Environmental Leadership Australia (WELA) program is a leadership program designed by and for women environmentalists. The Green Institute, Plan to Win and a range of women environmentalists and philanthropists have partnered to offer this exciting program to support women taking even more environmental leadership in Australia. The 2016 and 2017 WELA programs were highly successful so we are inspired to run the program again in 2018.

The 2018 program will run April to October 2018. The deadline for applications is Wednesday 21 February 2018.

Who is it for?

Are you a woman and an active environmentalist living in Australia? Are you looking to take your next step in leadership? WELA 2018 is for you! We aim to bring together another cohort of around 20 women from diverse backgrounds 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 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, culturally and linguistically diverse women, working class and regional women) to apply. WELA is trans inclusive and we welcome applications from trans women.

What does the program involve?

The program includes:

  • Three residential retreats held at Commonground near Seymour, Victoria
  • Mentoring sessions with experienced women environmental leaders
  • Small group action learning projects on key issues facing women environmentalists
  • Online connection of participants during and after the program
  • A comprehensive collection of resources
  • Access to an ongoing WELA network

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

What is it about?

The WELA program responds to the expressed needs and feedback from interviews with many women in the environment movement. Each year’s program also grows out of the needs, interests and offerings of the participants. The program is collaborative and experiential with an emphasis on developing skills which can be directly applied to participants’ real life challenges.

The WELA 2018 program will increase capacity for women to lead in the environment movement 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 and leadership in the environment movement
  • Different models of leadership and approaches to environmental activism
  • Campaign strategy, community organising and behavioural change frameworks
  • 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.

More information

WELA 2018 Information Pack

Write to welaprogram@gmail.com