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Masterclass: Empowering Leaders

May 26, 2017, 8:00 am - May 27, 2017, 1:30 pm, Bond University, 14 University Drive
Robina, Queensland 4226 Australia

Through a range of leadership development sessions this unique two-day program is focused on developing leadership capability and confidence and enabling career progression. Designed specifically for educators Empowering Leaders covers essential aspects of effective leadership as well as governance, legal issues and career challenges.

This was the best professional development I have done in many years and was completely focused on leadership in a range of school settings. The workshops challenged my thinking about my own role and journey and helped me feel confident in taking the next step in school leadership — Jo Frost, Mentone Girls Grammar School


  • customised leadership development for educators
  • exposure to current leadership thinking and research
  • a strong speaker line-up sharing their skills and experience
  • practical workshops and real scenarios
  • opportunities to form enduring connections


Empowering Leaders combines dynamic sessions and development workshops with keynotes, expert panel discussions and networking to address the unique challenges that educators face on their leadership journey. Masterclass sessions will be facilitated by CIRCLE – Centre for Innovation, Research, Creativity and Leadership in Education. This will be a bespoke masterclass with limited places available.

About the Facilitator:
CIRCLE founder Dr Phil Cummins is an educator by trade and conviction, who knows and understands schools and leadership. With over 20 years in education as a leader, teacher, author, speaker and, most recently, an Adjunct Associate Professor in Education at the University of Tasmania, Phil now consults widely to government, schools and other organisations about building culture and improving performance. Phil believes that leadership that inspires learning and promotes outstanding educational outcomes is the key to unlocking improved performance in our schools. CIRCLE – The Centre for Innovation, Research, Creativity and Leadership in Education Pty Ltd – equips, empowers and enables schools, organisations and leaders to act wisely, think strategically and use resources well. CIRCLE understands education and leadership. Currently, they support the work of over 1,750 schools, educational bodies and other organisations across Australia, New Zealand, Asia-Pacific and internationally. Drawing on their extensive experience, CIRCLE tailors sustainable solutions for schools and organisations to improve their performance by building cultures of excellence in leadership and learning.
 Please note: program maybe subject to change


Further Development – Empowering Leaders Online Course:
To build on what you will learn at the masterclass, The Alliance and CIRCLE are offering the Empowering Leaders Online Course. The course consists of four modules that delivers the skills and understanding that school leaders for the future truly need. The program is designed for ambitious educators, willing to think differently, embrace challenge and empower change in their schools. The program is especially relevant for aspiring and emerging leaders, and for current leaders who wish to take their competencies to the next level of impact.  The online program is designed to fit the schedule of busy and committed teachers.


Conference Speakers

Dr Phil Cummins

CIRCLE founder Dr Phil Cummins is an educator by trade and conviction, who knows and understands schools and leadership. With over 20 years in education as a leader, teacher, author, speaker and, most recently, an Adjunct Associate Professor in Education at the University of Tasmania.

Prof Nick James

Professor Nick James is the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Law at Bond University. He is a former commercial lawyer, and has been practising as an academic since 1996.

Prof Amanda Coulthard

Amanda holds the degrees of Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from the University of Queensland and a Master of Laws from Bond University. She has also undertaken law courses at the University of Leiden, Netherlands and the European University Institute, Fiesole, Italy.

Ms Elizabeth Jameson

Elizabeth Jameson BA/LLB (Hons), FAICD
In 2002, after almost 15 years as a corporate/commercial lawyer, including as a partner of national law firm Deacons (now Norton Rose Fulbright) and 10 years as a practising director, Elizabeth founded Board Matters and its associated governance legal practice, Board Matters Legal.

Prof Erica McWilliam

Erica McWilliam (Adjunct Professor, Faculty of Education, QUT) is an internationally recognised scholar in the field of pedagogy with a particular focus how teachers prepare young people for ‘over the horizon’ futures.

Event Program


Welcome cocktail party

Gregor Heiner Foyer

Join Alliance Board members, masterclass presenters and our hosts Bond University

8.30 am


8.45 am

Introductory session: Setting the context for school leadership and strategy

Setting the stage, this introductory session explores the challenges schools face as they strive to become “fit for purpose” in providing environments that foster 21st century learning. Key leadership theories and approaches are presented, and leading practices in school leadership identified.  In the second part of the introduction, participants will be equipped with the conceptual tools to understand strategy and the strategic processes which every school leader needs to master.

9.30 am

Session 1: Leading through communication and vision

In this first hands-on session, participants will understand the significance of articulating the strategic vision of the school and analyse the components of successful strategic execution.  They will also appreciate the importance of communicating this strategic vision, and develop the requisite communication skills. Participants will together develop and apply their learning to case studies.

10.30 am

Morning Tea

11.00 am

Session 2: Leading through Relationships

The focus of this session is the leader’s responsibility for developing effective team.  It addresses the characteristics of effective teams, as well as the common patterns of dysfunctional teams. Participants will deepen their understanding of the competencies required to lead others by exploring case studies.

12.30 pm


Join Alliance Board Members

1.30 pm

Feature presentation

Employment Law for Educators

Professor Nick James & Associate Professor Amanda Coulthard, Law Faculty Bond University

Professor James and Associate Professor Coulthard will draw upon their experience in teaching and practising employment law to examine a range of topics of interest and relevance to school leaders and senior school staff from both private and public schools. These topics include the legal regulation of employment conditions (the contract of employment, awards and enterprise agreements, workplace policies and procedures, and the minimum entitlements prescribed by the Fair Work Act), discrimination and bullying (what it is, what can be done about it, grievance procedures etc) and termination of employment including unfair dismissal.



2.15 pm

Session 3: Leading through initiatives

In this session, participants will develop and reflect on the skills and perspective required for effective implementation of plans aligned with the strategic vision of the school. They will build a set of conceptual tools and models to incubate, design, deliver and evaluate “signature” programs, projects and initiatives.

3.00 pm

Afternoon tea

3.30 pm

Feature presentation:

Through the lens of the board: Developing great school leaders
Elizabeth Jameson, Managing Director, Board Matters

6.30 pm

Leaders dinner:

Bond University Club Restaurant

With guest speaker Catherine O’Sullivan, Pro Vice Chancellor Pathways and Partnerships, Bond University

8.30 am

Q&A  with panel of principals

9.30 am

Morning tea

9.45 am

Session 4: A toolkit for leadership

In this concluding session, and drawing from the experience gained in preceding workshops, participants will consolidate and expand their understanding of tested tools for improving their leadership competencies in the complex environment of schools. There will be an emphasis on the techniques of reflective practice in getting better at leading school improvement, leading others and taking charge of one’s own professional growth as an effective leader.

10.45 am

Feature Presentation

Anticipating Leadership: What should educators pay attention to?

Prof Erica McWilliam, Faculty of Education, QUT

In this presentation, Prof McWilliam will introduce participants to the ‘attentional economy’ of one principal of a high performing girls’ school, noting the interventions she made to prioritise the time available for building a learning culture in her school community. Erica will then move on to explore strategies that will assist middle managers and other educators to understand the attentional requirements of successful leaders of collaborative learning communities. Finally, she will provide some advice in relation to the promotional process, with a particular focus on gender relations.


11.45 am

Conclusion and masterclass close

12.00 noon


Cancellation Policy

Event Registration Policy

Event Location


Bond University
14 University Drive
Robina, Queensland 4226 Australia

www.bond.edu.au »


Conference rates have been negotiated at the following:

Chancellor Lakeside Apartments located in Varsity Lakes are a short walk to Bond University and are offering delegates a discounted rate of $160 pn in a studio apartment. To make a reservation please call  07 5503 5900 ask for Jess and quote: Alliance of Girls Schools

Chancellor Executive Apartments – Located in Varsity Lakes are a short walk to Bond University and are offering delegates a discounted rate of $175 pn in a one bedroom apartment (sleeps up to three). To make a reservation call 5553 6500

Mercure Gold Coast Resort is a short drive from Bond University and is offering 15% off their best available rate to all guests attending the conference when they book directly with the resort. To make a reservation please quote the code: 571580
(e) [email protected]
(t) 07 5555 7718

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