The Thought Leader Series will provide a collegial online setting for experienced leaders to engage with a range of highly regarded thought leaders through virtual workshops. These nationally and internationally recognised guest presenters will share their insights, stimulate new ideas and stretch your leadership practice and the performance of your teams and organisation to the next level.

Commencing with the Talent Dynamic Survey and virtual group debrief, this program includes 4 interactive virtual workshops.



  • Talent Dynamic Survey
  • Welcome to the program & Dynamic Profile Group Debrief Virtual Workshop (2 hours)
  • 4 x Thought Leader Virtual Workshops (1.5 hours each)
  • 2 x 1 hour executive telephone coaching sessions
  • Moving Forward Virtual Workshop (1 hour)

The Thought Leader Series will broaden your understanding and enable you to:

  • Explore the nuance and power of mindful leadership in an ever-increasingly complex and changing world
  • Explore the impact of your leadership through a deep dive into the behaviours of the emotionally intelligent and agile leader
  • Understand the strategic drivers required for self-improving schools and ways to further develop leadership within your teams


  • Deputy Leaders
  • Early Career Principals
  • Experienced Principals
  • Executive Principals
  • Heads of School
  • Regional/Diocesan Office Staff
  • Head Office Staff



A New Era of Leadership: What is Mindful Leadership and how can you cultivate it in an incredibility complex and changing world?

With over 25 years’ experience and extensive knowledge in organisational development, leadership and mindfulness, Elizabeth established The Mindful Executive in 2015 and co-created The Digital Detox Project in 2016.

An engaging, authentic and pragmatic business leader, Elizabeth has worked across a range of sectors including resources, construction, retail, professional services and more recently the public sector. Prior to establishing her conscious business enterprises, she held senior corporate HR, leadership and consulting roles in corporations in Australia and overseas.

Her key achievements include:

Building and leading high performing teams across a range of
disciplines in challenging commercial environments
Developing and executing innovative and integrated talent management strategies in multiple contexts
including nationally recognized diversity programs, sustainable employee engagement and change support programs, significant talent acquisition programs and executive leadership assessment, development and coaching programs.
Coaching executive clients to transform their thinking, redefine their success and enable them to make successful transitions in their lives and careers

Elizabeth thrives on working with executives, teams and communities to successfully navigate the complex and diverse challenges of today’s fast paced, disruptive and technologically driven environment. Her current public programs include Mindfulness for Leaders at Work and Home and The Digital Detox Project’s Unplugged Camps for Families.

DR BEN PALMER, BAppSci (Hons) PhD, Chief Executive Officer, Genos International

With a background in Psychology, Dr Palmer is an experienced and sort after executive coach and adult learning specialist. He has worked with many C-level executives across iconic organisations such as Qantas, ANZ, Rio Tinto and State and Federal Government agencies. In Education Ben has coached senior leaders in Victoria, NSW and QLD across both the public and independent school systems. He has developed and facilitated award winning leadership programs for School system leaders through to school Principals. For his PhD Dr Palmer developed the first Australian model and measure of emotional intelligence. He has an extensive publication list in this area, has contribute chapters to books and guest edited special issues of journals on the topic.

Dr Palmer is also a successful CEO himself. Together with Swinburne University’s commercialization arm, Ben founded Genos International in 2002 to bring his model and measure of emotional intelligence to the market. Genos, and the model and measure of emotional intelligence that forms its core business, is now a national and Australian export success story. Genos has operations in Australia and Europe and distribution partners servicing clients in the USA, India, China, South Africa, South East Asia, the UAE and New Zealand.


Maggie Farrar has extensive experience of strategic leadership, leadership development, and the leadership of change in schools and local authorities. For ten years, she was a senior leader at the National College for Teaching & Leadership (UK) serving as the Director for Leadership Development, Research and Succession Planning, and more recently as interim Chief Executive. Maggie is focused on leadership development for self-improving, autonomous and complex school systems, growing the next generation of leaders for 21st century schools, and building the capacity of schools and communities so they are more able to transform children’s life chances and close gaps in achievement.

She works with Ministries of Education and school leaders in Australia, China, and India on school reform and leadership development, and facilitates strategic seminars that bring together school leaders and policy officials to debate the future of schooling and the role of school leaders.


Dr Simon Breakspear is a researcher, advisor and speaker on educational leadership, policy and change. He is a Research Fellow at the Gonski Institute at UNSW, where he leads the education data lab. Over the last decade his speaking and leadership development work has given him the opportunity to work with over 100,000 educators across 10 countries.

Simon develops frameworks and tools that make evidence-based ideas actionable and easy to understand. His Improvers Collective program enables school leadership teams across Australia to effectively implement for impact within their unique educational context. Simon’s innovative approach to teacher professional learning, Teaching Sprints, is used by thousands of educators across the planet to enhance their expertise and engage with relevant research evidence. Simon is a trusted strategic advisor to educational system leaders in the areas of policy implementation, school leadership development and evidence-informed practice. He serves as an advisor to the NSW Department of Education School Leadership Institute, the Australia Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) and the Ontario Principals’ Council international school leadership program. He is also a Fellow of WISE.

Simon received his BPsych (Hons) from UNSW, his MSc in Comparative and International Education from the University of Oxford and his PhD in Education from the University of Cambridge. He was a Commonwealth Scholar at Oxford and a Gates Scholar at Cambridge. Simon began his work in education as a high school teacher and lives in Sydney with his wife and three young children.


Steve Munby has a background in school improvement – in Oldham, Blackburn with Darwen and in Knowsley. More recently his expertise has been in leadership and in education reform. Steve was Chief Executive of England’s National College for School Leadership (NCSL) for nearly eight years. During that time Steve and his team led the work in England on National Leaders of Education, Local Leaders of Education, Teaching School Alliances, system leadership, leadership in children’s services and the development of a school-led system.

Until recently, Steve was Chief Executive of Education Development Trust (formerly CfBT Education Trust) – a charity that works with governments at national and regional level around the world to improve education systems and with school clusters to raise standards. In England, Education Development Trust’s School Partnership Program currently works with 1000 participating schools, supporting peer review and a school-led system. As CEO, Steve managed an internationally-based workforce in India, the Middle East, South East Asia, Africa, the UK and many other localities.

Steve is in high demand as a keynote speaker especially on issues to do with school leadership and system-wide reform of education, and has spoken at conferences all over the world, including, Canada, India, the United States of America, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, and throughout the UK and the Republic of Ireland. For the past 17 years he has been leading large, complex organisations. He is a passionate about the importance of school and system leadership and the need to develop future leaders. Steve’s latest book: “Imperfect Leadership -a book for leaders who know they don’t know it all” was published in July 2019. Steve is Visiting Professor at University College London and is chair of the Teaching Awards Trust.

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