Stepping up for our environment

Women's Environmental Leadership Australia (WELA)

Supported beneficiary groups within Women & Girls
Age Demographic
Adults - aged 25 to under 65
Project Focus
Project Area
ACT | NSW | NT | QLD | SA | TAS | VIC | WA

Project Description

Our mission is to transform Australia’s response to our environmental and climate crises, by empowering, supporting, funding and diversifying women’s and gender diverse leadership for this change.
Our leadership programs support the development of diverse women leaders across Australia working and volunteering for our environment and climate, and in target sectors and campaigns and locations.
COVID-19 has highlighted how important it is to have an active community to support women in their leadership. WELA is fostering a growing community of women and gender diverse environmentalists from diverse backgrounds, sectors and locations. We encourage collaboration and connection through online and in-person events and activities.
Less than 2% of global philanthropy goes to our environment and less than 0.2% of all charitable funding goes to women-led environmental action. We’re creating a new WELA Giving Circle to fund women-led advocacy for our environment and climate.
If new leadership is going to transform Australia, it must represent the full breadth of our society. Through our programs, our community, and in our granting, we’ll support women and gender diverse people from across different backgrounds and sectors including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, people of colour, working class people and those living in rural and regional Australia.

Expected Outcomes

Building Leadership Confidence and Influence:
Our programs offer a transformative experience that leads to increased influence and confidence of participants, and greater impact for our environment and climate. With new program formats, we’ll support an additional 60 women through our programs in the next 12 months and create new networks of women leaders in target sectors and influential communities.

Creating a diverse network, reinforcing and supporting each other:
We know that women leaders are craving in-person connection and support, and opportunities to learn from each other and collaborate. Our community includes people from the age of 19 through to 89; from across major cities to remote communities; from grassroots to international corporations. We’ll expand our reach and engagement, and provide greater access for those in hard-to-reach communities. We’ll launch a series of in-person meet-ups in capital cities for WELA alumni and community members to meet, connect and find commonality, support and collaboration.

Enabling transformative women-led campaigns and advocacy:
Less than 2% of global philanthropy goes to our environment and less than 0.2% of all charitable funding goes to women-led environmental action.
The WELA Giving Circle will leverage increased funding for grants to support women-led campaigns and initiatives for our environment, and reinvest in capacity building of more women leaders through our programs and activities.

Project Data & Lessons

Over the last two years we’ve tested our model, and laid the foundations for growing engagement and impact. Our strategy is clear and demand for WELA’s support for our more women’s leadership is strong. To meet this demand we need to increase our capacity so that we can support more women leaders in their development and action.
Over 270 women and gender diverse people are now active in our online community workspace. We’ve piloted a variety of event and support formats, and continue to trial new approaches to engagement.

Our National leadership program evaluations have indicated the significant growth of participants, particularly in regards to their sense of confidence and influence for change. These evaluations will continue to be refined, as we test and learn from new program formats.

In the last two years we’ve also supported a three-fold increase in representation of women from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in our program. Facilitating greater engagement of more women and gender diverse people from different backgrounds , sectors and location across the country will remain a priority for WELA and be measured throughout our work.

Project Dates

Project Commences: July 1, 2022
Project Completes: June 30, 2023

Funding Details

Funding Needed
Current Funding
Total Project Costs
Auspice Details
WELA is auspiced by Green Skills, a WA based environmental NGO with DGR 1 status. WELA and Green Skills have worked in partnership for several years.
Other Funding Sources
Philanthropy and major donors; individual supporters; program partner organisations; fee paying program participants
Other Support Opportunities
In-kind contributions, Other, Pro bono services, Subsidies
Other Forms of Support
Program partnerships

Organisation Details

Women's Environmental Leadership Australia (WELA)
ABN: 72 652 617 537


Victoria McKenzie-McHarg
Phone: 0428480409

About Women's Environmental Leadership Australia (WELA)

WELA is an independent not for profit organisation. We’re transforming Australia’s response to our climate and environmental crises by empowering, supporting, funding and diversifying women’s leadership for this change.
Leadership in Australia has failed to respond to the environmental crises we face. We will not get out of them by relying on the same leadership that got us into them – outdated leadership that has enabled environmental destruction, inequality and marginalisation of diverse voices.International evidence demonstrates that more women in decision making leads to better environmental outcomes.
By building a connected, collaborative and thriving community of women leading, and through our transformative leadership programs, we’re empowering the next wave of women and gender diverse leaders who’ll shape our future for the better.

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