Victoria government logo

ECHO First Nations Women's Leadership Program

The Elevating Connections and Healing Ourselves First Nations Women’s Leadership Program provides a safe space to build leadership roles in the community, business and broader society.

Application are now closed

Applications are now open for the Elevating Connections and Healing Ourselves (ECHO) First Nations Women’s Leadership Program.

First Nations women routinely hold valued roles and responsibilities in families, communities and nations – and it’s important that they are also represented in formal leadership roles and positions of influence across our state.

The ECHO program will provide a culturally appropriate and safe space to address and build on participants’ unique leadership roles in their family, community, workplace, businesses and broader society.

Elders in residence will share their wisdom, stories, and guidance with participants.

Program participants will also engage in:

  • Cultural activities to promote cultural connection and strengthen identity
  • Coaching and mentoring support from Elders and program facilitators
  • Working together as a team – participants will be paired/buddied up as part of the program
  • Activities to build on the unique strengths, capabilities and experiences of participants.

The program was designed by a diverse group of Victorian First Nations women and piloted during 2021. The design and pilot phases were led by Karen Milward Consulting and team and overseen by a First Nations Women’s Advisory Group.

This year, the program will allow 14 First Nations women to participate in a 5-day leadership development program led by Karen Milward Consulting and team, including Karabena Consulting and a range of expert First Nations facilitators and community members.

The ECHO program is now open for applications and will close on 8 June 2022.

Applications will be assessed by an independent First Nations Women’s Advisory Group comprising of First Nations women, including Elders and program experts.

Successful applicants will be notified by mid-August 2022.

The program will be delivered from 21 to 25 November over 5 consecutive days. You must be able to commit to and confirm your full attendance on these five days for you to be considered eligible to participate in the program.

To apply, please download and fill out the application form and email to Karen Milward. If you have any queries, please contact Karen on 0407 867 863 or

Reviewed 04 July 2022

Was this page helpful?