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Aurora Australia

A leadership ignition journey, inspiring women to achieve their career goals in higher education.

Aurora is a leadership ignition journey, inspiring women to achieve their career goals in higher education through a combination of individual and group learning, mentoring and networking.

It is run as a unique partnership bringing together leadership experts, higher education providers, and research institutes to take positive action to address the underrepresentation of women in leadership positions in the sector.

Once part of the community, participants continue to enjoy the support and inspiration of fellow Aurorans throughout their leadership journeys and beyond.

Following an event in July 2023, where more than 60 higher education professionals from across Australia participated in exploring issues facing women leaders, Advance HE will be piloting a contextualised version in Australia for the first time in 2024.

Register your interest in Aurora Australia

Complete the form by clicking below to register your interest in taking part in the Aurora pilot and we’ll send you further information.

Register your interest

An independent longitudinal study shows that women who have taken part in Aurora are more than twice as likely to be promoted. Read the study.

Programme Delivery Structure

Welcome and Introduction Webinar 
26 June 2024 (Virtual)

University Contacts Gathering 
15 July 2024 (Face-to-face, Perth)

Content Day 1: Adaptive Leadership 
16 July 2024 (Face-to-face, Perth)

Content Day 2: Core Leadership 
6 August 2024 (Virtual)

Content Day 3: Politics and Influence 
27 August 2024 (Virtual)

Content Day 4 : Identity, Impact and Voice 
13 September 2024 (Face-to-face, Perth)

Programme costs

The pilot programme costs $2,850 (AUD) per person. A minimum of 4 and a maximum of 10 participants can attend from each institution. Advance HE will match your number of paid-for participants with the same number of free places.

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The Impact of Aurora

Since taking part in Aurora in 2022-23 

  • 42% of participants had gone on to propose new strategies in their institutions.
  • 34% had shared learning with colleagues.  
  • 19% had been promoted to a senior post. 
  • (Based on data from 297 participants) 

From a recent alumnae impact survey: 

  • 65% of the survey respondents had applied for promotion since completing Aurora, with 83% of those being successful in their applications.   
  • Also, almost 71% of the survey respondents mentioned that their salary had increased either slightly or significantly since completing Aurora. Most importantly, alumnae agreed that their engagement with Aurora both prompted them to apply for promotion (average score: 3.8/5) and had an impact in the success of their applications (3.8/5).” 

Aurora has already helped more than 10,000 women in more than 200 higher education institutions across the UK and Ireland develop their leadership skills and the global community has been extended further in the Middle East and South Africa with a contextualised version of Aurora.

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Aurora Australia Associates

Jennifer Witheriff

Director/Co-owner of GJR Consulting
 Jennifer Witheriff
Jennifer is the Director/Co-owner of GJR Consulting, an Australian company specialising in organisational and leadership development, executive coaching, training and facilitation. She held leadership roles in Government before starting her private business.

Polly Parker

Associate Dean (Academic)
The University of Queensland
Polly Parker
Polly Parker is a Professor Emerita at the University of Queensland, Brisbane.  She is an experienced leadership developer, combining skills grounded in her international gymnastics experience (NZ and UK) and counselling expertise, with her PhD in career management (The University of Auckland).
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'Aurora is part of our gender equity strategy': Sir David Bell

Advance HE’s Aurora women’s leadership programme is a key part of the University of Sunderland’s strategy to create a ‘pipeline’ of women leaders.

Vice-Chancellor Sir David Bell explains how the programme is supporting the institution’s equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) efforts and creating a cohort of women leaders who are more confident, better connected and more satisfied in their roles.  

Read More
David Bell