Department of Education

Institute for Professional Learning ‹ Women in Leadership

Women in Leadership

Women in Leadership alumni

The Women in Leadership alumni has been formed to maintain and enhance a highly engaged, vibrant community that works actively to promote and support women aspiring to leadership positions and to publicly acknowledge the significant achievements of its members.

Alumni members are invited to register for the first Women in Leadership Alumni event for 2018.

Date:    Wednesday, 9 May 2018
Time:    4.00pm to 5.30pm
Venue:  Leadership Institute, Leederville

The guest speaker will be Kate Lamont. Kate has more than three decades of experience in the Western Australian wine, food and tourism industry.

Kate works in the Lamont family's integrated food and wine business, incorporating grape growing, wine production and sales, producing more than 60 000 bottles of Western Australian wine per annum. Lamont’s operate restaurants in the Swan Valley, Margaret River, Perth and Cottesloe and bases a European wine importing business from the Cottesloe location.

As one of Western Australia’s most successful chefs, Kate has written bestselling cooking books with sales in excess of 35 000 and has contributed to various books, magazines and newspapers, including The Weekend Australian and The West Australian. She is an occasional guest presenter on ABC radio.

Register your attendance here.

Membership of the alumni is initially by invitation to those who have participated in Women in Leadership programs. Membership may then be extended to include those in senior leadership positions (Level 5 and above [Education Act] and Level 7 and above [Public Service Award]).

Alumni will have access to a Connect Community, events that support the Rising Leaders program, opportunities to mentor others and guest speaker events.    

Through the alumni, networks will be developed and strengthened, with positive professional relationships not based on work level and position. Skills and knowledge related to leadership will be enhanced and mentoring may occur within the group.

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2018 International Women's Day Breakfast

The Department of Education's Women in Leadership initiative annually hosts an International Women's Day breakfast event for Department employees. International Women's Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Through meaningful celebration and targeted bold action, we can all be responsive and responsible leaders in creating a more gender inclusive world. 

The 2018 International  Women’s Day Breakfast was held at Crown Towers Perth on Thursday, 8 March 2018. This year's guest speaker was District Court Judge Julie Wager.  

Judge Julie Wager

Judge Wager has been a leader in the Western Australian law community since the mid-1990s. In 2000, she was appointed to set up and preside over the ground-breaking Perth Drug Court, a therapeutic Magistrate’s court that applies problem-solving techniques to motivate behavioural change in drug-using offenders. On March 15, Judge Wager will take over as President of the Children’s Court of Western Australia.

Judge Wager is known to be approachable and down-to-earth and someone who believes in being forthright, especially when speaking plainly to the defendants before her. Of paramount importance to her is ensuring that people being processed by the criminal justice system have a clear understanding what is happening to them and how their actions and attitudes can affect the final outcome.

A graduate from the University of Western Australia in 1986, Judge Wager worked mainly in Legal Aid WA, before establishing her own practice specialising in criminal law in 1991.

She was the Criminal Lawyers Association President from 1996 to 1998 and a member of the Law Council and Law Society of Western Australia from 1998 to 2000. From 2003 to 2005, Judge Wager was Magistrates Society of Western Australia President until being appointed a District Court Judge in 2005. 

Read more about Judge Wager's speech at the 2018 International Women's Day Breakfast.

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Women of Achievement Award 2017

The 2018 International Women's Day Breakfast included presentations to the finalists and winner of the 2017 Women of Achievement Award. Cheryl Townsend, Principal, Ballajura Community College was announced as the winner, with the award celebrating her outstanding leadership and contribution to education throughout her career with the Department.

Cheryl was acknowledged by Jenny Dickman, Deputy Principal of Ballajura Community College, for her exceptional leadership and shared vision for the college to build relationships that add value to every student during their secondary education. Cheryl’s vision is based on a sense of unity and purpose and her inspirational and motivational leadership has resulted in a culture of pride, respect, collaboration, accountability and high expectations at the college.

Under her leadership since 2013, Ballajura Community College has achieved significant improvements in student learning outcomes, enhanced student engagement and increased levels of involvement by the wider community. Cheryl is an Independent Public School Principal Fellow (2017) and her contributions to public education have been acknowledged by twice being a finalist for WA Secondary Principal of the Year in the WA Education Awards.

Cheryl is one of just two Teach for Australia principal ambassadors in WA and is also part of a network of 13 principals across Australia. As a network principal, she has led a mathematics transition project to improve student numeracy from Kindergarten to Year 12.

The Women in Leadership initiative aims to provide women in the Department with access to a range of learning opportunities that enhance and contribute to their personal and professional growth. It also offers participants the opportunity to interact with members of the Women in Leadership alumni and attend other Women in Leadership events. 


Finalists for the award were also be recognised at the event.

Deborah Bevan
Fiona Forbes
Peel Language Development School
(accepted by Shelley Collins, Principal, Peel Language Development School  on Ms Forbes' behalf)
Nicole Turner
Program Coordinator of Percussion
Instrumental Music School Services
Alison Ramm
Regional Executive Director
Wheatbelt Education Region

 Read more.

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Rising Leaders - Applications have now closed

Rising Leaders is designed to enhance women’s knowledge of, and confidence in, their leadership capabilities and provide learning opportunities that contribute to personal and professional growth.

As part of the Department’s Women in Leadership strategy, the Department is offering 24 partially funded places in this program.

Applications have now closed.

Discover more.

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Further information

For further information, please contact Fiona Winfield at the Institute for Professional Learning on 9413 3337 or email

Women in Leadership

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