WATTLE (Women ATTaining LEadership) Program

The WATTLE (Women ATTaining LEadership) residential program brings together women (cis, trans and gender diverse) identified as potential leaders across the university sector to provide an intensive leadership and networking program that is designed, and run, by academic and professional women in the university sector.  

WATTLE was founded by, and continues to be run by, five volunteer women from Swinburne, Griffith, New England and Curtin Universities. Operating since 2018 and now with 16 member universities, WATTLE has an Australia-wide alums network of over 180 senior academic and professional women, comprising DVCs, Deputy PVCs and Directors. Following the program, participants will be invited to join the network.

The academic WATTLE Program is designed for staff at associate professor or professor level who aspire to be in leadership positions including heads of schools or departments, associate deans, chairs of major university committees, directors of research centres or principal investigators on major research projects, and ultimately pro vice-chancellor or deputy vice-chancellor roles.  

Curtin is providing opportunity for two senior academic (ALD/E) women (cis, trans and gender diverse) to attend the 2024 program. Curtin’s participation in WATTLE in 2024 is supported by the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic and administrated by the Gender Equity and Inclusion portfolio. 

WATTLE Academic Program 2024 – Melbourne, Australia

Thurs 7 Nov 2024 1pm-3pm AESTOnline introductory session (online)
Mon 25 to Fri 29 Nov 2024Residential Program (face-to-face)
Tues 10 Dec 2024 1pm-3pm AESTPost-program follow-up (online)
Tues 21 Jan 2025 1pm-2.30pm AESTFellowship session (online)

Themes covered include:  

1.       Setting the leadership context

2.       Leadership and career development

3.       Communication, leading and managing change

4.       Leadership in action

Information about previous WATTLE programs can be obtained from the WATTLE website and LinkedIn


The DVCA will support participants to attend including accommodation and food while at the course. Participants must receive support from their faculty, school or area to cover the costs of travel to and from the course.  

Following completion of the residential program, alumnae engagement occurs through events, and self-forming groups, supported by newly appointed State Chapter Leads. 

Feedback from the participants in the 2023 professional program included: 

“The Wattle Program allowed me to stop and focus on where I am, where I want to be (personally and professional) and how I could move forward in achieving my goals (in a safe and kind environment). I got a lot out of each day and will be promoting this program to more women coming up in leadership at my University.” 

“The opportunity to connect with like-minded people, and to hear their stories. I found the support provided by the attendees as well as the organisers to be the most valuable part of the program.”  

Flowering wattle bush on Curtin's Bentley campus


  1. Senior academic (ALD/E) women, gender diverse, and people assigned female at birth (AFAB) – continuing or fixed-term (until end of 2024). If you have questions about your eligibility please contact Elizabeth Baca (genderequityandinclusion@curtin.edu.au);
  2. Some leadership experience and a genuine interest in developing University-level leadership;
  3. Able to commit to the residential program in November.

Application and selection process  

You may nominate by submitting a two-page CV and the form below, which includes a brief statement outlining your leadership experience, professional goals, what you will gain from attending WATTLE and what you will do to embed learnings from the program on your return to Curtin (no more than 300 words).  

You must also obtain a statement of support from your Head of School or Pro Vice-Chancellor. The statement of support should indicate that the school or faculty can support the travel and provide workload allocation to attend.  

Senior Executive Team members may also nominate eligible academic staff members.  

A Selection Panel will make recommendations to the DVCA who will be responsible for the final approval of participants in the 2023 WATTLE program.  

Please submit your completed EOI to Ms Elizabeth Baca (she/her), Program Coordinator, Gender Equity & Inclusion at genderequityandinclusion@curtin.edu.au by 5pm, Monday, 5 March 2024.

For more information, contact Associate Professor Samantha Owen (she/her), Director, Gender Equity & Inclusion at samantha.owen@curtin.edu.au.