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NESLI Leaders in Action: Meriyln Burton

Merilyn Burton is Principal of Pelaw Main Public School in the Hunter Region of New South Wales. Merilyn says that NESLI's ALP has taught her a lot about herself, what she values and the kind of leader she strives to be.

2018 named ‘Year of Women in School Leadership’

NESLI announces a strategic framework of research, events and programs designed to increase the representation of women in school leadership roles.

Five things teachers need to do this summer

Dr David Franklin takes a look at how teachers can pay attention their wellbeing in addition to fine-tuning and updating their craft.


Kakenya Centre for Excellence update​

Back in early 2015 NESLI cemented a supportive partnership with the Kakenya Centre for Excellence (KCE). At the time, the school’s founder, Dr Kakenya Nataiya was a guest speaker at the National Leadership in Schools Conference. At the conclusion of the conference NESLI’s National Director, Damien Farrell, presented Dr Nataiya with a donation of $30,000 to support the development of new school buildings.

KCE is located in a remote hill-surrounded enclave on the western side of Kenya. The girls' boarding school has a simple ethos: to motivate and empower young women through education. Education for women in Enoosaen, a rural Masaai village means more to its students than simply going to class, it means being able to advocate positive cultural change, and to escape the traditional rite of passage many girls in the village experience, such as childhood marriage, marginalisation and female circumcision.

Founded in 2008, KCE began as a dream that realised itself through the determination of Dr Nataiya. who was herself engaged at nine. As a child she negotiated with her family to finish high school, and with the support of her community, then travelled to the United States to continue her studies. Once she returned to Enoosaen, she was determined to give every girl in her village the opportunity to be educated.

With the support of NESLI, the school was able to build new classrooms for its growing number of students. Currently the school houses 170 pupils from grades four through to eight, and it continues to grow.

Recently NESLI was able to chat to student Ruth Nalashoo Ntiwa about her life at the school.

Ruth Nalashoo Ntiwa


Hi Ruth! What year are you in?

I am in grade seven. This is my fourth year in KCE!

What is something you’ve learnt recently that you’ve found really interesting?

I have learnt that when we dream of something for the future, we will need to work extra hard and it will come true.

What do you enjoy at school the most?

I love interacting with my friends and asking them about the problems they face. I try to help solve them where I can. Or even make a decision that helps them. 

And what do you and your friends like to do for fun at KCE?

We love drawing coloured pictures on plain paper and sticking them on the wall.  We also like to use skipping ropes and play hide and seek. We do that a lot.

 Lastly, tell us about a time recently that made you very happy.

It was when my father came for my visiting day; he said to me that I can do very well, like any other person. 

I was also very happy to discover that the girls also have the opportunity to do what a man can do like leading a country as president.

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Kakenya on ABC

Kakenya via TED


Dr Kakenya Nataiya and students
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