Victorian Educational Leadership Program (VELP)

Professional Development to empower Victorian early childhood Educational Leaders

Expressions of interest open now and close on 6 March 2024

Build your capability to understand contemporary leadership and pedagogy to support the delivery of high quality Victorian funded kindergarten programs.

Through the $14 billion Best Start, Best Life (BSBL) reform, the Victorian Government is providing Educational Leaders with an opportunity to develop their leadership and change management skills.

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in partnership with the Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA), is seeking expressions of interest for the Victorian Educational Leadership Program.

This program comprises 2 micro-credentials available to Educational Leaders (Bachelor, Diploma qualified) in Victorian Government-funded kindergarten programs:

1. VELP Foundations is designed for new (1-2 years experience) or aspiring Educational Leaders.

It focuses on the fundamentals of how to be an Educational Leader, including leadership skills, change management theory, facilitating team teaching, and observation and assessment.

2. VELP Advanced is designed for experienced (2 + years experience) Educational Leaders.

It focuses on advanced leadership models, fostering effective team teaching, and driving reflective practice in teams.

The micro-credentials will support Educational Leaders to:

  • Understand, identify, drive and implement quality practice
  • Utilise data and evidence to support practice change
  • Understand and implement strategies to support children’s continuity of early learning

Each micro-credential aligns with the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework and the National Quality Standard.

The micro-credentials will be offered in 2 intakes in 2024, in terms 2 and 3.

Educational Leaders expressing interest will be asked to indicate which intake they are applying for. 50 places are available in each cohort (200 in total per year) and registrants must meet eligibility criterion.

Program summary

Delivery iconDelivery

  • Term 2 (April – June) – Wednesdays 4.00pm-5.30pm; or
  • Term 3 (July – September) – Mondays 4.00pm-5.30pm.

Clock iconDuration

10-week course online comprised of 1.5 hours of synchronous contact learning per week (15 hours total) and 3.5 hours of independent learning per week (35 hours total).

Money iconCost

FREE and the Victorian Government is offering a small financial contribution to services for backfilling staff to undertake the program.

Apply iconHow to apply

Applications are open now. Please complete the expression of interest.

Eligibility and Prioritisation of Expressions of Interest

To be eligible for the VELP, applicants must be employed as an Educational Leader in a Victorian Government funded kindergarten service in 2024.  Applicants must have the support of their manager to participate for the full term, noting the time commitment outlined below.

Applicants are required to complete a 500-word statement in response to the prompt: “Please outline your reasons for undertaking the course, the expected contributions your involvement will bring to your service, and how this aligns to your career aspirations.”

Should the VELP be oversubscribed, priority will be given to Educational Leaders that have a diploma-level qualification for VELP Foundations, and a bachelor-level qualification for VELP Advanced. Consideration will also be given to the 500-word statements, and ensuring a balanced mix of services types and locations across the program.

Course Design and Content

Both courses, VELP Foundations and VELP Advanced, follow the same model, with distinctions in particular content areas.

There are four learning modules per course, each with carefully calibrated content, teaching, and learning approaches. The modules include:

  1. Educational Leadership
  2. Leading learning through play and integrated teaching and learning approaches
  3. Leading teams in observation and assessment
  4. Leading reflective practice

Each course is informed by cutting-edge academic research, made meaningful through the use of practical examples, including vignettes of practice case studies. Content is carefully sequenced and scaffolded and representative of different service types (including rural/regional/metropolitan), size of service, and for-profit, community, not-for profit and government.

Courses are designed to be inclusive of Educational Leaders working across a diverse range of service types and locations. The program is founded on the VEYLDF.

Course Delivery

Each course will have two core learning approaches:

  • Seminars (90 minutes), held each fortnight, will see whole of course learning, with up to 50 educators coming together online in simultaneous sessions. These sessions will be lecture style and include complementary responsive pedagogies to connect with all learners. Seminars will be 90 minutes.
  • Workshops (90 minutes) held each alternate fortnight will be in small tutorial style groups (16-18 students) to enable rich and deep exploration of seminar content and support with action research projects.

There will also be independent guided learning (readings, online discussion forum, workbook). Participants will undertake 50 hours of learning in total across the course.

Each course will run for a 10-week period delivered during term time. They comprise:

  • Week 1 – Orientation;
  • Weeks 2-9 – 8-week course delivery; and
  • Week 10 – Showcase event.

This course is delivered online via Zoom. There is no face-to-face commitment.

Canvas Learning Management System. QUT uses the Canvas Learning Management System, providing you with university-like learning. As a VELP student you will be enrolled at QUT and have access to the QUT library.

The Department of Education will fund a contribution to backfill payable to each participant’s service.

University-Industry Co-Designed Leadership Program

Megan Gibson and Elizabeth DeathQUT School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education has partnered with the Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) and the Department of Education Victoria to deliver a comprehensive leadership program tailored for Educational Leaders in the early childhood sector.

This program comprises 2 micro-credentials available to Educational Leaders (Bachelor or Diploma qualified) in Victorian Government-funded kindergarten programs.

Certificate of Completion: Micro credential

At the completion of your course, either VELP Foundations or VELP Advanced, you will receive a Certificate of Completion from QUT. VELP Foundations and VELP Advanced are accredited by QUT as micro-credentials, in accordance with the National Micro Credential Framework.

Real-World Pedagogy

  • Action Research Project – Action research is a core component of each course, with participants identifying a project and research question for inquiry that has relevance and meaning for their role as Educational Leader.
  • Showcase event – An end of program showcase event will see participants present their action research project to peers.
  • Paired learning – Action research project completed in pairs, with fellow course participant.

Learning With Impact

Assessment. Educators will complete an assessment task – your showcase presentation – with a focus on a service-based action research project. During your VELP course you will develop an action research proposal and work with your partner to identify a research question to enable authentic, applied inquiry.

Pedagogical approaches to deepen content engagement and strengthen participants outcomes. A Community of Practice model will see participants from early childhood come together to explore ideas and collaboratively make meaning and build individual and collective capabilities, about leadership and pedagogical leadership.

Alumni and Champions program

VELP course graduates will belong to an Alumni program, sustaining engagement and learning. Course graduates will be invited to join one formal online network gathering meeting online 6 months post course completion. In addition, graduates will be invited ‘back’ to be part of the course Showcase events.

VELP team

Megan GibsonVELP Project Lead – Associate Professor Megan Gibson

Megan Gibson is a highly experienced early childhood educator who is passionate about providing the highest quality education and care programs for young children, and their families. Megan has had many rewarding chapters in her career, commencing as an early childhood teacher working in primary school in Far North Queensland, then kindergartens in Victoria and Queensland, prior to working in long day care in Brisbane. For over ten years Megan was the Director of an awarded early years centre, where she worked with a dynamic team of educators to lead pedagogical and operational growth. Now, working in early childhood teacher education at QUT, for the past 15 years Megan enjoys preparing emerging graduates for the exciting and complex work in the sector. A career highlight has been co-designing and leading the award-winning leadership program, From the Ground Up, with the Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA).

Megan is committed to strong connections with the profession through ongoing ‘real world’ work, including applied research. A focus central to her research is preparing, growing and sustaining the early years workforce – so they can, in turn, provide programs that are optimally beneficial for children.

Elizabeth DeathVELP Program Partner, Elizabeth Death, CEO, Early Learning & Care Council of Australia (ELACCA)

Elizabeth has extensive national experience in social policy and service delivery coupled with a solid track record of achievement at senior levels within Government, community services, early learning and care, Ministerial offices and tertiary institutions.

Originally an early childhood teacher, Elizabeth has led single and multisite early learning and care services, educated new generations of early childhood teachers, and managed early learning and care provision at both local government and state/territory level. She is the co-author of the seminal academic text, Programming and Planning in Early Childhood Settings, now in its eighth edition.

In her current role as CEO and Executive Director of the Early Learning and Care Council of Australia, Elizabeth represents the nation’s largest providers of early learning and care services who delivery over 25 percent of services across metropolitan, regional, rural and remote locations across Australia. In this role, Elizabeth has driven the development of innovative benchmarking and research to support ELACCA members. She is also an active participant in national, state and territory policy processes, forums and committees that seek to improve the quality of early learning and care outcomes for children.

Marie WhiteVELP Facilitator, Dr Marie White

Marie White teaches and researches in early childhood education and has recent experience as the Director of a community kindergarten in Queensland. Leveraging this experience, Marie teaches in the professional experience units within our initial teacher education programs. Her PhD and continuing research focus on effective leadership in ECEC and development of the ECEC workforce.

Marie has just been appointed to the leadership role of Course Coordinator for QUT’s Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood).

Maryanne TheobaldVELP Co-Lead Research and Facilitator, Associate Professor Maryanne Theobald

Maryanne Theobald is Associate Professor and leader of the Centre for Child and Family Studies at QUT. With over thirty years’ experience in early childhood education, Maryanne teaches and researches in professional experience and learning, participatory action research, children’s rights and friendships, and children’s experiences with digital technologies.

Francis Bogongie-HarrisVELP Facilitator, Dr Francis Bobongie-Harris

Francis Bobongie-Harris teaches and researches on Indigenous Education in Australia and the Pacific and Australian South Sea Islander Policy, History and Cultural studies. She specialises in qualitative, ethnographic, narrative, community – led and participatory research methodologies.

As an Indigenous scholar Francis has over 20 years’ experience teaching in Australia and New Zealand.

Julie MascadriVELP Facilitator, Dr Julia Mascadri

Julia Mascadri is a lecturer in the School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education within the Faculty of Education. Her research interests include pedagogical practice in early childhood education, intercultural education, epistemic beliefs, and inclusive education. Julia’s PhD thesis explored early childhood educators’ intercultural competence through the lens of self-authorship.

In 2017, she received the Faculty of Education Outstanding Thesis Award, Queensland University of Technology.

Abbe WinterVELP Research and Evaluation Lead, Dr Abigail (Abbe) Winter

Abbe Winter is an experienced researcher with a demonstrated history of working with data and people across multiple disciplines in higher education. As a results-driven collaborative storyteller, Abbe has exceptional skills in presenting complex data simply so it can be easily understood and focusing on the necessary steps to bring a project to completion.

Abbe is a confident mentor who brings strong interpersonal skills to her research, with a Ph.D. focused on what helps people cope with large-scale organisational change.

Susan IrvineVELP Expert Academic Advisor, Professor Susan Irvine

Susan Irvine is recognised internationally for her leadership in ECEC, drawing on her work in policy, research and practice. She has held leadership roles in child and family policy, tertiary education and direct service provision and is currently Head, School of Early Childhood and Inclusive Education at Queensland University of Technology. Key areas of expertise include: the ECEC workforce including attraction and retention; leadership that enables professional practice; curriculum and pedagogy; policy and quality assurance and effective professional learning.

Kim CrispVELP Facilitator, Kim Crisp

Kim Crisp is an early childhood teacher, with extensive experience spanning over 30 years in the early childhood sector. Throughout her career, Kim has held various roles including teaching children, leading educators, managing services, and has been involved in a number of research projects on the early childhood workforce.

In her current role as Professional Learning Manager at ELACCA, Kim works with universities and students to codesign professional learning and to support studying early childhood educators.

Jess GieseVELP Facilitator, Jessamine Giese

Jessamine Giese brings extensive experience and recency of practice managing and leading teams of educators in early childhood in their professional practice. She contributes more than 10 years of leadership experience, fulfilling responsibilities as a mentor, guide, and advisor to early childhood educators with diverse backgrounds, experience, and qualifications.

Jessamine has engaged in substantial academic learning, most recently through her PhD studies, where she is currently researching how teams of educators make curricular and pedagogical decisions in long day care centres.

Program supported by:

Victoria State Government Department of Education logo