The Women in School Leadership (WISL) pilot program was a blended model of onshore and offshore professional learning for a select group of female principals in Victoria and India. This program supported principals to explore and discuss the theme of Leading schools for social change, with a particular focus on the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO) ​dimension: Health and Wellbeing.

The pilot program saw six Victorian and six Indian principals engaged in reciprocal immersion experiences in Delhi and Victoria during 2019 and 2020. The program involved three phases; pre-departure, in-country and post-trip, which included:​

  • ​​formal professional learning
  • interactions with leaders in business, community and education sectors
  • an in-school component with a partner principal, including a homestay.

This program had been developed as part of Victoria’s India Strategy: Our Shared Future​ and was one of three school education initiatives enhancing engagement between Victorian and Indian schools. The WISL pilot program provided a subsidy for female principals of Victorian government schools to stimulate their curiosity, understanding and interest in engaging more deeply with India.

This pilot program has been developed in partnership with the Asia Education Foundation​ and the Australia India Institute at the University of Melbourne.

Benefits for Principals

The program aimed to develop principals’ intercultural skills, leadership capacity and personal connections with Indian counterparts.

At the conclusion of the program, principals had:

  • further developed their capacity to lead change in their school
  • enhanced knowledge of contemporary India
  • further developed their intercultural skills to support the development of collaborative relationships with Indian colleagues and community
  • supported the implementation of their school’s strategic plan, professional learning plan and performance and development plan now and into the future
  • expanded their professional networks to support ongoing learning
  • contributed to their professional networks by sharing the outcomes of their participation at school, community and system levels.

Program dates

Australian participants travelled to India: 14 - 24 September 2019

Indian participants travel to Australia: No longer possible due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Replacement monthly webinar and coaching seires: Late August to December 2020.

Participating principals

Participating principals for the 2019 Women in School Leadership pilot program:

  • Lisa Branch - Victoria Road Primary School
  • Chris Bozikas - Roxburgh Rise Primary School
  • Eva McMaster - Doncaster Secondary College
  • Natasha Mudie - Murrayville Community College
  • Trudie Nagle - Bairnsdale Primary School
  • Danielle Stella - Taylors Hill Primary School

This group represents DET’s four major regions and are a mix of urban, regional and rural schools, which will showcase the breadth of experience Victoria’s educators have to share.

Contact us for more information

If you have any ​questions regarding the WISL pilot program, please email


Last Update: 7/09/2021 2:51 PM