Introducing the NESLI International Advisory Board

The NESLI International Advisory Board has been announced, with education experts from all over the globe making up the group of ten. The board will meet regularly and focus on expanding NESLI's global influence, developing world...

Self-Understanding Stressed at Pre-Conference Program on Advanced Leadership for Women

If you had to pick one value that you hold most dear, what would it be? Courage? Reputation? Loyalty? Love? Do your values in your professional role and your private love reflect the same choices?Those questions were asked of attendees at an AASA pre-conference session, NESLI Women’s Advanced Leadership Program. The afternoon workshop dealt with probing questions and involved hands-on activities that put them in touch with personal beliefs, values and biases.“Leaders must know their emotions and their values,” said workshop presenter Rachel Boechler, facilitator of National Excellence in School Leadership Initiative. “They must understand their teams. Most know they want to transform their organizations. But self-understanding and self-management are [crucial] before leaders can move on to the management of others,” Boechler added.“Picture a T-shirt with the word ‘family’ on the front of it,” said Boechler. Sometimes what we say is important to us and what we do are different things. “For example, would your family agree with your assessment given that you work 70-hour weeks?”Women have fewer opportunities to build networks as they remain in the minority at the superintendency level (roughly 24 percent), which was the impetus for AASA’s new partnership with NESLI. That organization, originally based in Australia, has provided support to 50,000 women worldwide.The AASA cohort model is a six-month “journey,” Boechler said, involving light reading, short videos webinars, two to three hours of homework every other week and face-to-face meetings via Zoom twice monthly. Each member will work with another cohort member for a portion of the time. Visit for information.(Liz Griffin is senior editor of AASA’s Conference Daily Online.)  


NESLI is expanding its horizons!Here at NESLI we are delighted to be able to announce that we have been chosen to develop and deliver a ground-breaking national teacher leadership program across the United States.Decision makers from the United States’ key school leadership organisation, the School Superintendent’s Association (AASA) met with the NESLI team in Washington DC last month to discuss how to bolster the depth and quality of American school and system leadership.Following the successful trial of NESLI’s ‘Aspiring Superintendents Academy’ program in 2018, the Washington DC meeting was a precursor to the national roll-out of the program which will occur in 2019.Designed as an interactive program, the Aspiring Superintendents Academy will better prepare the next generation of educators for the challenges of school leadership into the new millennium. According to Mr Damien Farrell, CEO of NESLI, the program has been especially designed to create a robust next generation of school system leaders.“The Aspiring Superintendents Academy aims to produce educational leaders who are prepared to positively lead school districts into the future. Its focus is on creating dynamic, future-thinking system leaders who are ready to lead our children into uncertain and exciting futures” said Mr Farrell.The USA’s adoption of the NESLI program is a massive endorsement for the quality of educational leadership in Australia. The AASA searched globally to find the most appropriate partners for this project, and NESLI’s program has put Australian educational leadership firmly on the world stage.We are looking forward to working with AASA to develop and roll out this program, and hope that this opportunity is a precursor to other opportunities to expand in the future.  




NESLI is extremely proud to share the 10 global experts who have been selected to make up NESLI’s International Advisory Board.The group will meet on a regular basis to discuss how NESLI can ensure they are providing world class leadership programs and wellbeing support to teachers, principals and schools globally. A key focus will be ensuring that the programs are accessible to schools in low socio-economic areas world-wide.

Co-Chair’s Dr Janet Smith and Professor Mike Gaffney are joined by Professor Stephen Heppell, Professor Jan Heystek, Mr Antti Ikonen, Dr Bernadine Futrell, Dr George Odhiambo, Professor Gu Qing, Professor Jim Spillane and Professor Allan Walker.

Co-Chair's of the board, Professor Mike Gaffney and Dr Janet Smith

Dr Smith said of the board: “NESLI is proud and delighted to announce the establishment of its new International Advisory Board, which consists of a diverse range of renowned global educational leadership experts who will provide us with strategic advice about our programs.

“The Advisory Board will assist us to explore important issues including equity and inclusion, gender, principal/teacher wellbeing and contemporary global challenges such as the education of refugees. It will be an honour for me to co-chair this advisory board with such an outstanding group of educational leaders.”

Professor Gaffney added: “The NESLI International Advisory Board brings together experts in educational leadership from across the globe. 

"Their collective experience in research, policy and practice relating to the principalship, school improvement and education system transformation is unrivalled. This will enable the board to provide authoritative and contemporary advice to assist in the design and delivery of NESLI programs for school leaders.

"NESLI’s priority is providing readily accessible, needs-based, futures-focussed professional learning for the next generation of school leaders in ways that are customised to local settings. The board will play a key role in advising on the development of leadership programs that will make a difference, particularly in addressing the needs and challenges facing educators in low GDP countries."

Professor Gaffney added: "These are exciting and critical times in education – globally and locally. The identification, development, and support of school leaders is paramount. The International Advisory Board is ideally positioned through its professional and academic networks to supporting our work in encouraging quality practice and inspiring futures for school leaders across the world."

NESLI National Director Damien Farrell said of the development: “NESLI is extremely excited to be entering this new phase in our global growth. We are committed to supporting the wellbeing of all educators, all around the globe, and to providing educators with internationally acclaimed leadership development opportunities.”

The board will meet for the first time this month.

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