Supporting the development of exceptional special education
leaders and teachers across Australia and NZ

Special Education Colloquium


The Special Education Colloquium is an intensive ten-month leadership development program that focuses on the critical dimensions of effective leadership. The program equips school leaders with the insights, skills and confidence to accelerate their own development as they strengthen the performance of those around them. During the program, participants are constantly prompted to reflect on the program content and themes in three distinct ways; how the concepts addressed directly impact their leadership capability, how they can be extended to their team members to make them more effective and how they can be adapted for use in the classroom. This process helps to ensure participants build up a comprehensive and sustainable ‘toolkit’ for developing those around them during and after the program.

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Program Themes

Leadership Innovation and Change

This module focuses on the leadership skills involved in driving innovation and change. Participants critically discuss the application of relevant theory and explore the way in which innovation and change are inextricably intertwined. Participants then examine leadership challenges during times of crisis, gaining an understanding of the way in which leaders can build an agile and resilient organisation.

Thinking Strategically

During this module participant’s work on a scenario-based case study using a variety of strategic problem-solving tools. Participants will explore ways to take an active role in managing the continuous improvement process in order to achieve the organisation’s objectives.

Purpose, Priorities and
Professional Development

This module focuses on developing skills to hone a competitive edge. Participants will learn to develop effective work goals and behaviours to competently manage work priorities. They will also explore the critical elements of establishing personal work objectives, prioritizing workload for optimum achievement and building on professional competence.

Leadership and Authenticity

Participants explore what it takes to be an effective school leader using a strengths-based approach. This module introduces participants to a values-based leadership framework as they take a deep dive into the relationship between authenticity and effective leadership.

Communication, Presence
and Influence

This module commences with an exploration of one’s own preferred style of communication and the impact of one’s style on others. The module moves on to focus on effective communication and influencing at different levels interpersonal, team, and organisational.

Team Dynamics

During this module participants explore the practical implications of managing diverse and challenging groups. Participants examine the qualities shared by high-performing teams and identify effective strategies to foster cultures that support optimal teamwork.

Driving Performance

This module supports participants to provide feedback and motivate their team to exceed performance expectations. Participants identify key principles of performance management in order to ensure consistency with organisational objectives. This module also explores techniques involved in coaching others and building individual capability.


Delivery Format

The Special Education Colloquium employs a blended learning methodology based around expert tuition, peer knowledge-sharing, and practical workplace application. Throughout the program, learnings are related back to the day-to-day realities and challenges of each participant ensuring the learning is congruent within the special education context.

capability assessment 1 one

To commence the formal program participants will complete a leadership capability survey on core leadership and management competencies. Findings from the survey facilitate the development of an individual action plan that assists each participant to extract optimal value from the program.

peer coaching sessions four 4

During the program participants enter into a peer coaching partnership with a co-participant. The peer coaching process is fundamental to the program and greatly enhances the learning process.

interactive online community

During the program, participants have 24/7 access to the interactive online portal which connects them with their fellow participants and a broader network of school leaders across the country.

interactive webinar sessions fourteen 14

Throughout the program participants attend fourteen interactive online sessions. These sessions can be accessed from any desktop computer or mobile device allowing for minimal disruption to participants workday. The live online sessions allow participants to interact directly and engage in meaningful discussion pertinent to the respective module.

program duration ten 10 months
weekly commitment 2 hours

Program Snapshot

National Excellence in School Leadership Initiative

 Monash Credit Partnership

Pathway to world standard Masters qualification 

An academic partnership between NESLI and Monash University is now enabling teaching professionals across the country to gain credit towards the Master of Education and Master of Leadership through their participation in the Special Education Colloquium.

Masters Credit Recognition

Under the partnership, Special Education Colloquium graduates are able to apply for 12 credit points via specified credit for Leadership studies unit (EDF5670) towards the internationally respected Master of Leadership. This equates to 25% of the qualification. Alternatively, graduates may apply for credit in the Master of Education course. In which case, 12 points of unspecified credit will apply.

Importantly, both the Master of Education and Master of Leadership include fully online options enabling teaching professionals from anywhere in Australia to realise a world standard advanced degree qualification.

Interested parties must complete the Special Education Colloquium in line with established criteria and satisfy Monash University statute, regulations, policies and procedures.
For more information please contact the NESLI enrolments office.

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Office of the National Director
National Excellence in School Leadership Initiative, NESLI
Level 3, 607 Bourke Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000, Australia


Phone: 1300 938 470

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