2024 Governance Leadership and Management Conference


Steiner Education Australia presents the

2024 Governance, Leadership and Management Conference

3 – 4 May, 2024

SEA Business Managers’ Forum

2 May, 2024



Thriving together:
building community in challenging times


What role can Boards, leadership, teachers and parents play in building healthy community? According to the media, our times seem to be marked by more disengagement, separation and loneliness than ever. Steiner’s vision of warm, healthy and connected communities is more urgent than ever. This conference will look at

  • the tools which have traditionally been central to Steiner schools in building community,
  • What these tools look like in contemporary school contexts, and
  • explore some current research and action plans which are transforming schools across Australia.


We will in addition provide workshops in areas of Steiner school governance, leadership and management which will provide an update on latest best practice for Steiner school leaders and Board members. The conference is an annual networking opportunity to share experience and learn from colleagues, this time in the stunning and refreshing landscape of Bellingen.

The annual Business Managers Forum on Thursday will provide a place for those in the finance and business side of Steiner schools to share their work and hear updates on the latest in Cyber security and the risk landscape, school management software, best practice in school facilities management, a world cafe discussing different models of the business of Steiner school business, and the annual Business Managers’ forum discussion.


Keynote Speakers for 2024


Meaningful parent engagement – lessons from the research

Amanda Watt, Executive Officer, Queensland Independent Schools Parents Network

Jacky Dawson, Parent Engagement Program Manager, Independent Schools Queensland  

This keynote session will discuss the nature of parent engagement, highlight the long-standing research which demonstrates the links between effective parent engagement and children’s learning and wellbeing, and what the research indicates are promising approaches to parent engagement at a whole school and individual teacher level.


Ending Loneliness Together

Michelle H Lim, Associate Professor and CEO of Ending Loneliness Together

Steiner school communities value strong, positive social connections for all members of the community – students, staff, parents and carers, and social responsibility is one of the key tenets of our education.

This is reflected in the Core Principles for Australian Steiner Schools, particularly Core Principle 2 – Steiner /Waldorf education fosters social renewal by cultivating individual who serve an ethical world future, and Core Principle 5 – The conscious establishment of human relationships fosters individual and community health.

Loneliness and social isolation are on the rise in Australia, particularly in young people. In this keynote, Associate Professor Michelle Lim will present the latest evidence on the prevalence of loneliness in Australia from the State of the Nation Social Connection in Australia report. She will speak about the differences between loneliness and social isolation, and present on the current challenges facing young people including social media.

Associate Professor Lim will also provide recommendations on how to identify loneliness in young people, how to talk about it in a non stigmatised way, and how to better help young people who are lonely.


Understanding family economic pressures and their impact on school relationships

Jack Stevens, CEO Edstart

Families are increasingly facing a myriad of cost pressures causing financial stress, the impacts are extending further than just the family finances including their ability to manage school fee payments.

In this keynote presentation, Jack will provide an update on the latest economic data, examining the impacts on the family household budget and the implications for families when making fee payments.

Drawing on empirical evidence, he will explore the significance of family financial stress, how it influences the relationships between schools and families, and why understanding the type of support to provide – like flexibility – can help strengthen relationships and build a thriving school community.



Registration is now open

Early Bird Registration Costs (extended until 19 April, 2024)  
  • Business Managers’ Forum: $80 + GST
  • GLaM (2 day conference): $425 + GST
  • Business Managers Forum and GLaM: $490 + GST


Full price (if booking after 19 April)
  • Business Managers’ Forum: $130 + GST
  • GLaM (2 day conference): $525 + GST
  • Business Managers’ Forum and GLaM: $640 + GST


Business Managers’ Forum Dinner
Thursday 2 May at 5.30pm – no cost for attendees of the Business Managers’ Forum.

GLaM Dinner 
Friday 3 May, 2024 at 6pm $55 per head.

People of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander decent, who are employed, or on the governing body of a Steiner or Waldorf School in Australia are welcome to contact Steiner Education Australia for information about scholarships to attend the conference.



Bellingen is in the hinterland of the beautiful NSW Mid North Coast, and is nestled between the coast and mountains of the Great Dividing Range. Spectacular waterfalls and world-heritage listed rain forests surround the town.

Qantas has direct flights to Coffs Harbour from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane; while Rex flies daily from Sydney to Coffs Harbour Monday to Friday with select scheduled flights over the weekend. Link Airways operates direct flights between Coffs Harbour and Brisbane six days a week. Coffs Harbour Airport is 4km from Coffs Harbour’s town centre, and approximately 30 minutes drive from Bellingen.

The Business Managers’ Forum will be held in Bellingen on Thursday 2 May, starting at 11am.

The Governance, Leadership and Management Conference will be held Chrysalis Steiner School, Darkwood Road, Thora – approximately 30 minutes drive from town. The conference will start at 8.30am on Friday 3 May, with a very special opening and welcome from representatives from the Yurruungga Aboriginal Corporation. Conference delegates are requested to ensure they allow time on Friday morning for the drive school and to register for the conference for the start of the official proceedings.

Small, regional and remote member schools may be eligible for travel support to attend. Please contact Nicki in the SEA office to discuss.


For enquiries about this conference, please contact [email protected] or phone 02 9411 2579


Event Sponsors

The 2024 Business Managers’ Forum and GLaM Conference are proudly supported by:

02 May 2024 - 04 May 2024
VENUE: Chrysalis Steiner School, Bellingen