Introducing our flagship Leadership Development Program

  • Applications Open

Imagine being able to inspire others just like those who inspired you. When you join our Leadership Development Program, you’ll be inspiring young minds in amazing communities across Australia.


  • 2 year program
  • Earn a full salary and benefits
  • Immediate teaching role
  • Be part of a community of leaders
  • Gain a Master of Teaching (Secondary) (Leading Learning)
  • Assisted scholarship with ACU
  • 1:1 leadership coaching and mentoring

Leadership Development Program Handbook
2024 – 2025

We’ve brought together everything you’ll want to know about the Leadership Development Program into one place – from eligibility and applying, to placement and a program map. Download the 2024-2025 Handbook for a one-stop-shop of information to help your decision.

01 About the Program

At Teach For Australia, our mission is to fight educational inequity by recruiting and developing exceptional people like you to teach and lead across Australia. We place Associates exclusively in schools serving low-socioeconomic communities, working in the regions that need the most support.

Through our Leadership Development Program you’ll develop and hone your skills on a personal, professional, and academic level and become the exceptional leader you’re meant to be – all while helping to create lasting social change.

02 How & when to Apply

Applications open on the 26th of February. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible for our 2025 Cohort:

  • Round One – 26 February to 7 April
  • Round Two – 29 April to 9 June
  • Round Three – 8 July to 4 August

Candidates who completed their undergraduate degree prior to 2014 must apply before the close of round two. Candidates who completed their degree outside of Australia, USA, UK, New Zealand or Canada must also apply before the close of round two.

Applications are assessed on a rolling basis, and learning areas close progressively as we accept enough candidates to meet school demand. Candidates who apply in rounds one and two are more likely to be placed in their preferred region, and have enough time to resolve any eligibility issues. For information on when to apply, visit our Learning Area Requirements page.

Before you apply make sure you:

  • Check your eligibility
  • Attend one of our virtual or in-person events or speak to a recruiter

Upcoming Events

03 Eligibility

Before you apply for the Leadership Development Program, you’ll need to:

  • Be an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident at the time of applying
  • Hold a Bachelor degree in a discipline other than teaching
  • Be willing to accept a placement within a state or territory where we currently place
  • Be able to enrol in at least two learning areas (the subjects you are qualified to teach)

Read carefully through the learning area requirements before applying.

We are unable to accept applications from individuals with the following degrees:

Allied Health Marketing
Anthropology Natural Medicine
Architecture & Urban Planning Medical degrees (other than nursing)
Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (CELTA) Occupational Therapy
Construction Management Philosophy, Sociology, Cultural Studies
Criminology Project Management
Graphic Design Science Communication
Human Resource Management Social Work
Indigenous Studies Teaching
Interior Design

If you have a degree in one of the areas above, but over 50% of your degree is related to one of the subjects listed in the learning area requirements page, speak to a member of our team with a copy of your transcript handy.

04 Where We Place

While we recruit from across the country, our Leadership Development Program currently operates in Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, and South Australia. Placement regions within these states and territories are broken down into metro, regional, and outer regional or rural areas.

Click on the States and Territories in the map below to learn more about which subjects are in demand.


When joining our program you’ll be invited to share your location preferences with us and we’ll then work to find you a suitable placement in one of our partner schools.

05 The Associate Journey

1. Open an online application

Once you open your application, our recruitment team will be in touch to guide and support you. The application process takes six to eight weeks, and you’ll be asked to submit your academic transcripts and location preferences.

2. Submit your written application

At this stage, we ask you several long-answer questions aligned with our six competencies, where you’ll share your motivations for joining the program and your unique experiences. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible because we progressively close learning areas when we have enough candidates to meet school demand, and you may need extra time to gather the appropriate documentation.

3. Take the situational judgement test

This test has been designed to give you an idea of what life is like as a teacher in the LDP – think of it as a ‘try before you buy’. It presents you with scenarios that all teachers encounter during their careers and asks you how you might respond. No prior teaching experience is needed to complete this test.

4. Assessment Centre

If your application is successful, you’ll be invited to a virtual day of assessment activities. This includes a sample teaching lesson, mock parent-teacher interview, and group activity. Assessments happen on a rolling basis, and within one week of your assessment, you’ll receive a phone call with feedback and an outcome.

5. Conditional offer and allocation

If successful, Australian Catholic University (ACU) will confirm your learning areas, and you’ll receive a conditional offer to join the program. Once you sign the offer, you’ll be allocated to a state or territory and invited to share your placement needs and wants.

6. Placement

Once your placement is confirmed, we’ll support you with the required relocation, onboarding and registration processes to prepare you to start teaching in your new school in January. This process typically starts in June.

7. Summer Semester: pre-work

From mid-to-late October, you’ll be required to complete 25-30 hours of mandatory self-directed coursework to prepare you for the National Initial Intensive. This includes readings, asynchronous lectures, and reflections.

8. National Initial Intensive

The National Initial Intensive (NII) begins in November. You’ll come together online with your fellow Associates for a six-week, full-time learning experience. This includes approximately 50-60 hours of learning per week made up of live sessions, readings, and assignments.

You’ll complete approximately 20% of your Master’s coursework and undertake a 10-day in-person school practicum, where you’ll apply your knowledge and build foundational skills before entering the classroom.

Incoming Associates receive financial assistance* through a one-off stipend payment from the relevant Department of Education. We recommend that Associates do not work during this time.

*Amounts vary according to jurisdiction.

9. Regional Intensive and Summer Semester coursework

You’ll continue your coursework in January through a combination of online learning and a four-day face-to-face Regional Intensive held in your placement state or territory.

10. Step into the classroom

You’ll begin teaching in Term 1 and develop your skills throughout the two-year program, where you’ll gain a nationally accredited and internationally recognised Master of Teaching (Secondary) (Leading Learning), delivered in partnership with Australian Catholic University (ACU). You’ll also receive one-on-one coaching and mentoring during this time.


06 Course Fees

Most program costs are covered by Teach For Australia, in partnership with the Australian Government, on an assisted scholarship. You will need to contribute a portion towards your Master’s degree (a total of $12,200 paid in instalments by unit each semester) and access to FEE-HELP may be available for those eligible.

You’ll also earn a full salary while you learn (approximately $62,000 – $65,000 base salary, depending on where you’re placed). In some jurisdictions you’ll be able to access relocation assistance and allowances for working in remote communities. You can read more about the financial assistance available here.

You may also apply for funding through our Access & Equity Fund which aims to provide supplemental support to Incoming Associates experiencing financial hardship during the Summer Semester. Scroll down to our FAQs for more information.

Associates’ salaries and employment conditions vary between States and Territories. Just like other teachers, you will be eligible for salary increases with experience and progression.

07 Why choose TFA

The Leadership Development Program is more than a Master’s. Here’s what makes the Teach For Australia experience unique:

  • Our wrap-around support and regular leadership coaching and mentoring is designed to set you up for success as you settle into your new role and school.
  • When you join the Leadership Development Program you become a part of the TFA family. You’ll enjoy access to a national and international network of active and engaged Alumni through our Teach For Australia and Teach For All networks. This network can open up a wealth of career opportunities all over the world.
  • We have a long and proud history of collaboration with Berry Street and offer the Berry Street Education Model (BSEM) as part of our Leadership Development Program, which supports Associates to implement trauma-informed strengths-based strategies in the classroom. BSEM’s evidence of impact is based upon its longitudinal research and practices supporting schools across Australia and beyond.
  • Our program fosters a journey of learning and unlearning towards reconciliation through your academic coursework and local on Country experiences, as we work in partnership with our communities to give every child access to an education that honours their unique identity, strength, and rightful place in our nation and empowers them to thrive.

08 Coaching & Support

Here’s how we support you during the program:

Teaching and Leadership Coach (TLC)
An experienced teacher who will provide one-on-one coaching, regular classroom observations and pastoral care to guide your development as a teacher and leader throughout the program.

ACU Academic Advisor
Your Academic Advisor will support and supervise your progress throughout the degree and guide your achievement of the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.

School Mentor
An experienced teacher at your placement school who will provide day-to-day practical support and help with integration into life at the school and within the local community.

09 What we Look For

We’re looking for candidates with these six key competencies:


You have a clear sense of why our program is the right fit for you. You understand educational inequity in Australia and are motivated to contribute to systemic change through our innovative pathway. You are also committed to social justice and have a clear commitment to Reconciliation, diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.

Learning Potential

You have a genuine belief in your capacity to grow and change as a teacher and a leader. You can identify your strengths as well as the skills and knowledge you need to learn. You’re able to demonstrate your ability to ask for help and to develop your skills with actionable feedback.

Relationship Building

Our Associates join diverse communities in their classroom, their school, and their cohort. You will need to understand your students’ values, experiences, and perspectives to create a welcoming and constructive learning environment. You’ll show us how you build strong relationships with a wide range of individuals, with collaboration, respect, and an open mind.


You have excellent written and verbal communication. You will demonstrate how you clearly and accurately explain your ideas and make space for others to contribute to conversations – and listen deeply to what they say. As a leader in the classroom, you need confidence and presence to motivate your students – so we want to know how you successfully motivate others to achieve desired results.


It is important that our Associates can balance their teaching and study load, and look after their wellbeing. Navigating these priorities requires you to be organised and prepared. It also requires you to process new information quickly and thoughtfully respond in the moment – often changing the initial plan while still achieving the initial goal. You’ll show us how you prepare successfully to meet deadlines while being able to adjust plans in response to new information.

Strategic Thinking

To successfully change education in Australia, you must first understand the systemic factors involved – and believe that meaningful change is possible. Our Associates need curiosity to look both inside and outside the classroom for possible factors, openness to listen to their communities, and an ability to analyse and understand complex problems. You will demonstrate how you approach and analyse complex issues and ideas, and how you set and achieve realistic goals.

10 FAQs

Will I be teaching full-time?

Associates will teach 0.8 full-time equivalent (FTE), allowing the remaining 0.2 FTE for study.

Depending on your school’s needs, this could be teaching eight days each fortnight and having two days off for study, or teaching six full days, four half days and study four half days.

While the Master’s requires more hours of study than 0.2 FTE each week, this time is allocated to reduce the amount of study Associates need to complete outside of work hours.

I’m not ready to apply yet. Can I register my interest for another year?

Of course. You can register your interest here and we will keep in touch.

Can I choose where I teach?

During the application process, we ask you for your placement preferences. We work hard to set you up for success, with a strong emphasis on making sure that, where possible, you are placed with or near other Associates.

Keep in mind that the greatest need for our work is often in regional and remote communities, so ‘near’ can sometimes be a few hours away.


Am I guaranteed a teaching role if I receive a conditional offer?

While we make every effort to find a suitable placement for you, we can’t guarantee a placement – it depends on the workforce needs of our partner schools and the flexibility of your location preferences.

In the unlikely event that we can’t find you a placement, we will work with you to identify the next steps, which may involve a deferral to a subsequent cohort of the LDP.

I don’t have a Bachelor’s degree but I have career experience. Can I still apply?

To be eligible for the Leadership Development Program, you must be qualified at a Bachelor degree level in a discipline other than teaching and able to enrol in at least two learning areas – which are the subjects you’re qualified to teach.

We are not able to take experience into account when determining learning areas.

Where will I be placed?

We place Associates exclusively in schools serving low socioeconomic communities, working in the areas that need the most support. We currently operate in Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, and South Australia. If you receive an offer to join the program, you’ll be invited to share your location preferences with us. The more flexible you are, the more likely you are to be placed.

What is the situational judgement test?

The situational judgment test is designed to give you a preview of what life is like as a teacher in the LDP. It presents you with scenarios that all teachers encounter during their careers and asks you how you might respond. No prior teaching experience is needed to complete this test.

How can I find out more?

Please email apply@teachforaustralia.org or register for one of our upcoming events.