The CSA National Leaders’ Summit is an annual gathering of senior Christian school leaders from across Australia and, in recent years, attracts international participants. In 2022, the  summit will be held in beautiful Cairns the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and the doorstep to the World Heritage Daintree Rainforest National Park.

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Conference Details


31 August to 2 September 2022

with optional cultural and educational tours taking place on 29 and 30 August.


Pullman International Hotel, Cairns

17 Abbott St, Cairns City

About the venue


A program outline has been prepared to provide you with an overview of the event and to assist you with some approximate timings for your planing and preparation.

Please note that this program is subject to change.

Participants Guide

We have prepared a participants guide for this year's event, which includes speaker information, the full program as well as more details about each session and workshop.

Conference Theme

This year, the CSA National Leaders' Summit will focus on the first leadership practice from the CSA Leadership Framework Matrix:

Inspiring Imagination

Leaders of vision unleash their calling by inspiring imagination in their teams and wider school community. They delve deep into their own vocation and paint a picture of the future to which others are then drawn.

Leaders who are called are shaped by visionary imagination, evaluating the present accurately, and energising and mobilising their teams towards a hope-filled future. Imagination is at the heart of effective leadership and brings creativity and wonder, strategy and decision making. Walter Brueggemann (2001) claims, “The imagination must come before the implementation. Our culture is competent to implement almost anything and imagine almost nothing. It is our vocation to keep alive the ministry of imagination”. Imagination is easily squeezed our of a leader’s repertoire when lost to the narrow pursuit of productivity, leaders who inspire imagination recognise that every person within their community, staff and students, as image bearers who have immense potential for good or ill. Imagination is a flame present in every person, latent and ready for the leader to encourage, refine and inspire.

The Letter to the Ephesians encourages us to stretch all our capacities in order to comprehend “what is the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ’s love which surpasses all knowledge that we may be filled with all the fullness of God…”. It challenges us further, to open our imaginations, no matter how daring, to the ever-greater possibilities and surprises of God (Ephesians 3:18-21).

At this year's conference, we hope that you will be equipped and refreshed, but moreover, that your imagination will be reignited to the possibilities that God has for your leadership and your community.

“See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland”.  Isaiah 43:19


We will have a wonderful range of keynote and workshop speakers at this year's event, with some of our sessions taking an interactive style with sessions that will be provided via videolink. 

Rev. Dr. Melinda Cousins

Director of Ministries, Baptist Churches, South Australia

Rev. Dr. Melinda Cousins works as the Director of Ministries (State Leader) for Baptist Churches, SA. She also serves as Teaching Pastor at Richmond Baptist. She has taught the Bible at a number of theological colleges in Adelaide over the past 15 years as well as at colleges in the majority world. Her PhD was on the Psalms and considered ideas of performance, imagination, emotion, and embodiment. She loves exploring how the biblical narrative shapes our imagination for life and community and how people worship and follow Jesus within their own cultural contexts.

Dr. Matt Kutz

 Clinical Professor, Florida International University

Dr. Matthew R. Kutz (Ph.D., ATC, CSCS, BCC) is married to his best friend and love of his life, Angie. Together they have two grown sons and live in Perrysburg, Ohio. In addition to his favorite roles as husband and father, he is currently, a Clinical Professor in the Doctor of Athletic Training Program at Florida International University where he focuses on teaching courses related to entrepreneurial and global leadership. Matt’s teaching and scholarship focuses on leadership development and contextual intelligence. Matt was a Fulbright Scholar in the Medical Sciences to Rwanda and a Visiting Research Fellow at Gold Coast University Hospital and Griffith University School of Medicine in Brisbane, Australia.

Dr. Tania Watson

 Executive Minister, Riverview Church, Perth

Dr Tania Watson is the Executive Minister of Riverview Church in Perth, Western Australia.  From 2009-2019, Tania was the Executive Minister for Churches of Christ in WA.  In 2018, Tania completed a DMin from Nyack Seminary in NY, USA.  Her research work considered the relationship between trust, authority and leadership in the context of Australian culture. Tania is married to Neil.  They enjoy their adult children, their schnoodle named Sundae and the joys of apartment life overlooking one of Perth’s many beautiful city parks

Dr. Tod Bolsinger

Associate Professor of Leadership Formation | Author

Tod Bolsinger, MDiv, PhD, is the co-owner and principal of AE Sloan Leadership, Inc, an executive coaching and consulting firm that works with church, non-profit, and marketplace leaders in leading change. He is also the Executive Director of the De Pree Center Church Leadership Institute, a Senior Fellow of the De Pree Center for Leadership, Associate Professor of Leadership Formation at Fuller Theological Seminary, was the founder of the Fuller Leadership Platform, and served as a Vice President of Fuller Seminary for six years. Prior to his educational career, he served as a pastor for 27 years. He is the author of five books, Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory, Leadership for a Time of Pandemic: Practicing Resilience and most recently, Tempered Resilience: How Leaders are Formed in the Crucible of Change.

Laura Barringer

 Author, Teacher

Laura is co-author of A Church Called Tov: Forming a Goodness Culture That Resists Abuses of Power and Promotes Healing. Laura is also a primary-grades teacher and a curriculum writer for Grow Kids. She previously co-authored the children's version of The Jesus Creed and wrote a teacher's guide to accompany the book. Laura published articles for The Jesus Creed and The Englewood Review of Books, and her writing has featured in Church Leaders and The Roys Report. Laura is a graduate of Wheaton College and now lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and three rescue beagles.

Scot McKnight

Author; Professor at Northern Seminary

Scot was born in Southern Illinois, came of age in Freeport, Illinois, attended college in Grand Rapids, MI, seminary at Trinity in Deerfield, IL. Scot completed a PhD at the University of Nottingham in England and is now a professor at Northern Seminary. Scot has recently co-authored a book called A Church called Tov (Tyndale). He has two children, two grandchildren. Kris, my wife, is a psychologist and the greatest woman on earth.

Conference Workshops

There will also be a range of workshops available to delegates, some of these include:

  • Embedding a Biblical Worldview with Mark Ryan
  • Leveraging the Leadership Framework in Schools with Dr. Darren Iselin and Dr. Rob Loe
  • Developing a Teaching and Learning Framework with Andrew Taylor
  • Governance: the highest leadership of all with Jill Healey and Mark Spencer

We encourage all school Principals and executive leadership teams to come, as well as emerging and aspiring leaders, for a time of inspiration, growth and challenge. The summit is preceded by two optional cultural days. Information is provided below.


Celebration Dinner Speakers

We have the privilege of hearing from two of our wonderful international contacts, Ces Tajale and Mai Le.

Ces Tajale

Following an early career in journalism, Ces Tajale has been serving in Christian Education for 25 years and has worn many hats as an educator, mentor and consultant. She has helped international schools in the Philippines and abroad in the areas of international accreditation, human resourcing, and spiritual formation programs. Her passions include Leadership Development, Teacher Training, Early Childhood Education, and Music. Ces upholds the Gospel as the central factor in all these areas. Ces loves reading, research, travel, baking, sports and tinkering with technology apps. Above all, Ces is passionately in love with JESUS, and is currently serving as the Philippines Country Director for the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). Ces is happily married to her best friend, Julius, an engineer who is also called into Christian education. They are blessed with three lovely daughters, a son-in-law and one lovely grand-daughter. Their eldest daughter is a Special Education Lead Teacher in Alaska, USA. The second lives in Jakarta, Indonesia, and their youngest is currently a 10th grade home-schooler who inspires them to connect well with this generation.

Mai Le

Mai Le lives in central Vietnam with her pastor husband and two adorable children. Her story is both inspiring and challenging, and Mai Le is very thankful to have this opportunity to share it. Called by God in 2007 to serve Him through Christian Education, Mai Le sees her service as a truly great privilege. By His grace she became one of the first Vietnamese to re-introduce Christian education and philosophy after the Vietnam war ended in 1975. Mai Le’s vision from God is to transform the nation of Vietnam  through teaching the children (as in Deuteronomy 6:4-9).  Golden Dream (GD) Academy, the school she founded seven years ago and currently leads, is in Da Nang City. From the beginning Mai Le faced many challenges and these continue even today. In spite of difficult times and persecution, the school is growing and God continues to make it fruitful. Mai Le’s heart’s desire is to see a godly generation raised up and preserved for Himself. In her words, “May God’s plan be done and only Him be glorified”. 

Educational and Cultural Program Options for Delegates and Spouses

Delegates are able to arrive early to the conference and participate in cultural and educational activities prior to the conference commencement. 


Monday, 29 August:

Cultural Reef Tour (Marine World)

Travel to outer Great Barrier Reef with marine biologist, includes guided snorkeling tour, a range of wet & dry activities and catering.

Duration: Approx. 8:00am to 5pm

Program Outline:

  • 8:00am Meet in the Lobby to walk to Reef Fleet Terminal
  • 8:15am Check in at Cairns Reef Fleet Terminal (short walk from the Pullman International Hotel)
  • 9:00am  Depart Cairns Marlin Jetty
  • 10:30am Arrive at Marine World on the Outer Great Barrier Reef
  • 5 hours at the reef with inclusions above. Lunch included
  • 3:30pm Depart Marine World for Cairns
  • 5:00pm Arrive back in Cairns

Cost: $199 p/p

Tuesday, 30 August:

Educational Tour (Kuranda and Freshwater Christian College)

The day includes historic train to Kuranda,  Rainforestation including morning tea and the Army Duck Tour, followed by lunch and an educational tour of Freshwater Christian College.

Duration: Approx. 8:50am to 3:45pm - UPDATED

Program Outline (updated):

  • 8:50am Meet in the Hotel Lobby to collect boxed morning tea for the journey
  • 9:00am Pick up from Pullman International Hotel
  • 9:35am Arrive to Freshwater station
  • 9:55am Train to Kuranda from Freshwater
  • 11:30am Transfer to Rainforestation
  • 11:45am Army Duck Tour at Rainforestation
  • 12:30pm Transfer to Freshwater Christian College
  • 1:00pm Lunch and tour of school
  • 3:15pm  Depart Freshwater Christian College
  • 3:45pm  Return to Pullman International Hotel

Cost: $119 p/p

Qualify for CPD Hours

Attendees may qualify for up to 15 hours of structured CPD against the AITSL Professional Standard for Principals or Professional Standards for Teachers.

COVID Safe Information

We are committed to the health and safety of our member community and are continuing to follow government guidelines regarding the spread of COVID-19, as well as the venue's COVID-safe event plan. Please note that you will not be required to ‘check-in’ to this event for contact tracing purposes and delegates are NOT required to be fully vaccinated to participate in this event. Learn more about how we are keeping you safe at CSA events.

Cancellation Policy

Please refer to the cancellation policy included in the registration process.

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Thank you to our sponsors

This event is sponsored by a range of sponsors to whom we are very grateful:

Platinum Sponsors

Premium Sponsors

Major Sponsors

Supporting Sponsors