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Future Leaders Program

Future leaders gather for mid-year workshops

Tuesday, August 15th, 2023

More than 70 teachers from outer regional and remote schools have marked the hallway point of our 2023 Future Leaders Program by gathering for a series of virtual workshops to build on what they’ve learned so far. 

Now in its third year, the one-year professional development program is designed for aspiring leaders teaching in outer regional and remote schools who are ready to take the next step in their careers.

As well as developing leadership potential through individual coaching and group intensives, a unique feature of the Future Leaders Program guides teachers to design and implement an innovation project that can bring tangible and lasting impact to their school community.

The workshops moved the Fellows through the next phase of their Innovation Projects, where they’ll begin to implement their plans in their schools and communities.

Many ‘a-ha’ moments

Future Leaders Program Manager, Viveka Simpson, said the mid-year intensive also provided an opportunity for Fellows to reflect with each other and their Leadership Coaches.

“It is heartening to see so many Fellows pinpoint an ‘a-ha’ moment or a moment when the learning seems deeply relevant to their current context and experiences as educators,” she said.

“Emerging leaders working in rural, regional and remote contexts often voice the need for programs such as our Future Leaders Program to be accessible to those working away from major cities. 

“The nature of something like a completely online learning experience, supported with relevant and accessible supporting materials, enables educators even in Australia’s most remote schools to take part and develop their school leadership skills.”

The Fellows were also joined by their Leadership Coaches throughout the workshops, who provide 1:1 coaching during the program. 

FLP Leadership Coach, Stephen O’Kane, said he was “in awe” of the Fellows’ commitment to the program, willingness to engage and their desire to learn more.

“The program challenges, yet supports, our Fellows. It was gratifying to listen in breakout groups to how the Fellows were internalising the knowledge and skills they gained and positioned it into their workplace. This was a real sign that content was meeting their needs,” he said.

A new outlook on leadership

Shreeparna Banerjee Lahiri, Geography Teacher, Mount Isa, is a current Fellow of FLP Cohort 2023 and reflected on how the program has already changed her perception of her own leadership capabilities. 

“I enrolled in the Future Leaders Leadership program to improve my leadership skills. Before this program, I wasn’t sure how to reach this goal or what my capabilities were. However, since starting the program, I am now recognising my strengths and areas to improve, giving me a new outlook on my ability as an educator and a leader,” she said.

“In particular, the Cultural Capability session of the July Workshop had a significant impact on me, which emphasised the importance of understanding First Nations history and culture. This inspired me to make my Innovation Project more inclusive for indigenous students. My coach provided expert guidance on how to structure my project, with clear steps and unwavering support.

“I am definitely improving my leadership competencies as I progress through this program.”

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