Introducing our flagship Leadership Development Program

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.

Leadership Development Program - Make Inspiring Your Day Job


  • 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
2023 – 2024

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 2023-2024 Handbook for a one-stop-shop of information to help your decision.

Leadership Development Program - Handbook

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.

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 When to Apply

Applications closed on 14 August 2023 and will reopen in February for our 2025 Cohort. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible when applications open.

Applications are assessed on a rolling basis, and learning areas close progressively as we accept enough candidates to meet school demand. We encourage you to apply early.

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.

03 How to Apply

  1. Check your eligibility below
  2. Attend our virtual or in-person events (see below)
  3. Register your interest
  4. Applications open February 2024

Upcoming Events

04 Eligibility

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

  • Be an Australian citizen or Permanent Resident at time of applying
  • Hold a Bachelor degree in a discipline other than teaching
  • Be willing to accept a placement within the state or territory where we currently operate
  • 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 Other medical degrees including Paramedics
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.

New South Wales

Different learning area requirements apply for placement in NSW schools. You’ll need to meet learning areas requirements specified by the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).

For more information see the learning area requirements page.

05 Where We Place

Teach For Australia places Associates exclusively in schools serving low-socioeconomic communities, working in the regions that need the most support.

Our Leadership Development Program currently operates in Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, South Australia, and New South Wales. Placement regions within these states and territories are broken down into metro, regional, and outer regional or rural areas. View the placement regions.

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.

Where We Place
(Click to view placement regions.)

06 The Associate Journey

Submit your online application

February – August

Learning areas close progressively as we accept enough candidates to meet school demand, so we encourage you to apply as early as possible!

The application process takes 6-8 weeks. but will depend on how quickly you respond at each stage.


Within 3 weeks

You’ll receive your application outcome via email – and if successful, you’ll be invited to book in your interview.

We’ll send you preparation information three days prior to your interview. You’ll receive your outcome via email within one week – and if successful, you’ll be invited to book in your Assessment Centre.

Assessment Centre

March – September

If you progress to this stage, you’ll be invited to a day of assessment activities either virtually or in-person, including a sample teaching lesson, a mock parent-teacher interview, and group activities.

Assessments happen on a rolling basis. Within one week of your assessment you’ll receive your outcome and feedback via a phone call.

Conditional offer & allocation

March – October

If you’re successful, we’ll provide you with a conditional offer and you’ll be asked to indicate where you feel you would make the strongest impact during your two-year placement.

Allocations are made on a rolling basis – but the sooner you complete your placement preference survey, the sooner we can allocate you to a state or territory.


June/July – December

Once you have accepted your offer and completed your placement preference survey, we will start looking for suitable teaching jobs in eligible partner schools.

Specific timeframes vary across the States and Territories we work in. Learn more about where we place.

Once your placement is confirmed, we support you to undertake all of the required relocation, onboarding and registration processes to get you ready to start teaching in your new school on day 1 of Term 1.

Summer Semester: Pre-work

Mid-to late October

You’ll be required to complete 26 hours of self-driven pre-work before the National Initial Intensive, including readings and self-reflections.

National Initial Intensive

November – December

The program starts in November when you’ll come together with your fellow Associates for an intensive training program. You’ll complete a portion of your Master’s and school practicum, as well as building foundational skills and knowledge before you enter the classroom.

Regional Intensive

January 2024

You’ll continue your Master’s across the Summer Semester, which includes a face-to-face learning event held in your placement state or territory, known as the Regional Intensive.

Step into the classroom

Term 1, 2024

Once you begin teaching in 2024, you’ll develop your teaching and leadership skills throughout the two-year program. You’ll gain first-hand teaching experience while receiving one-on-one coaching and mentoring.

Gain your Master of Teaching

2024 – 2025

While teaching, you will complete a nationally accredited and internationally recognised Master of Teaching (Secondary) (Leading Learning), delivered in partnership with Australian Catholic University (ACU).

07 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 $12,000 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 – $75,000 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 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.

The Leadership Development Program is more than a Master’s. We understand we might not be the cheapest pathway, but 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 Adviser (TLA)

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 Mentor

Your Academic Mentor 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 8 key attributes:

Commitment to Vision & Mission

We are looking for applicants who have a passion for educational equity and a commitment to our work. We believe that teaching and learning go beyond the classroom and to create true change it is important to work with our communities to learn from them.

Successful candidates are able to demonstrate they believe that all children can learn and are eager to work with communities to make sustainable change.

Learning & Self Evaluation

We are looking for applicants who constantly and accurately reflect on their practice and seek feedback from others, both managers and peers. It’s from this reflection they are driven to improve.

Successful candidates are able to demonstrate their ability to take ownership of their personal development and performance. They can identify their strengths and areas for improvement and how these can influence the outcome of a situation.

Problem Solving

Teachers need to quickly gather information about their students and be able to adapt their plans accordingly. Problem solving is a key skill for our Associates.

Successful candidates are able to both analyze problems thoughtfully and also use that information to create thoughtful solutions. We are looking for applicants who can be responsive and adaptive—especially in challenging situations.

Humility, Respect & Empathy

Associates in the Leadership Development Program join diverse communities: in the classroom, in their school, and as part of their cohort. This diversity helps create an enriching learning experience during the program—and is why Associates need to be able to respectfully collaborate with a wide range of individuals.

Successful candidates appreciate other people’s perspectives and look to learn from them. We are looking for applicants who recognise their limitations and take an asset-based approach in all situations

Communication & Influencing

Clear communication is essential to great teaching. Teachers clearly explain the content and can adapt their style to meet their students’ needs.

Successful candidates are able to clearly communicate their ideas to a variety of audiences across the selection process. We are looking for candidates who have the maturity and presence and can adapt their communication as a result of actively listening to their audience.

Leadership & Contribution

We are looking for people from a range of backgrounds with diverse leadership experience. Successful candidates can tell us about when they’ve led others or themselves towards a project goal or outcome. They also can demonstrate a range of leadership practices they have used to guide themselves, a project or a team towards a common goal.

Most importantly, good leadership is all about knowing the contribution you made to others—and we are looking for individuals who can talk about their impact in meaningful ways.

Planning & Organisation

Teachers have multiple competing priorities day-to-day and, in addition, Associates complete a Masters course alongside their teaching load. It’s important that our Associates are able to effectively juggle these tasks and prioritise their well-being.

Successful candidates are able to tell us about how their systems create efficiency for them.

We are looking for applicants who can demonstrate an ability to manage multiple tasks at one time and who are always prepared for what’s to come—and who know how to change the plan when required.


The Leadership Development Program can be difficult, so we are looking for applicants who embrace challenges and constantly look to strengthen their capacity to overcome them.

Successful candidates are able to show us how they’ve been able to successfully overcome professional and personal challenges and that they know when to ask for help.

10 FAQs

Will I be teaching full-time?

TFA Associates work at 0.8 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) with 0.2 FTE study release.

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?

The schools we place Associates in are those serving low socioeconomic communities, in the regions and communities on the front line of educational inequity. This is where you have the opportunity to put your skills, experience and passion to work.

TFA works closely with school leaders, State/Territory Governments (and in some jurisdictions Catholic and Independent schools) to identify teaching positions suitable for a TFA Associate. All TFA Associates are placed in genuine teaching jobs, in schools with a genuine need.

We work hard to set Associates up for success in their placement, with a strong emphasis on making sure that where possible you are placed with other Associates within the same school, or in schools nearby. Bear in mind that the greatest need for our work is in regional and remote communities, so ‘nearby’ is not always ‘just down the road’ and in some cases can be a number of hours’ drive away.

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

While we make every effort to secure a suitable placement for you, we can’t guarantee a placement – it is dependent 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 regions and communities that need the most support. We currently operate in Victoria, Western Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory, South Australia, and NSW. If you receive an offer to join the program, you will be invited to share your location preferences with us – but the more flexible you are, the more likely we will be able to successfully find a placement.

What is the situational judgement test?

The situational judgment test has been designed to give you a preview of what life as a teacher in the LDP might look like. It presents you with scenarios that all teachers encounter during their careers and potential responses.

Don’t worry, no prior teaching experience is needed to complete this test. We’re only looking to understand how you would respond in each scenario.

What is the Access & Equity Fund?

We recognise the financial challenges that some of our dedicated Incoming Associates may face while fulfilling the requirements of the Summer Semester.

In collaboration with a valued philanthropic donor, our new Access & Equity Fund will have 3 categories of funding that you may apply to:

  • Category 1: Financial pressure of living costs during the Summer Semester as a result of the program requirements.
  • Category 2: Cost of undertaking English language tests to meet ACU and teacher registration requirements.
  • Category 3: Relocation costs to the placement school location.

Incoming Associates may apply for funding in more than one category and the maximum funding that you may apply for in total is $5,000, to ensure equitable distribution of funding.

We will provide further information on the application process by the end of August 2023.