The CSA National Leaders’ Summit is an annual gathering of senior Christian school leaders from across Australia and, in recent years, attracts international participants. This event provides a great opportunity to network and upskill. Plan now to join us in August.

In 2023, the  summit will be held in Hobart, Australia's second-oldest capital city after Sydney. The city of Hobart is framed by the rugged figure of kunanyi / Mount Wellington and the flow of the wide River Derwent, with wilderness lingering nearby – just beyond the mountain.

We look forward to welcoming you and your team to this year's National Leaders' Summit.

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Conference Details


9 to 11 August 2023

with optional cultural and educational tours taking place on 7 and 8 August.


Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart

1 Davey Street, Hobart 

About the venue

Event Information

The conference will commence in the morning on Wednesday and conclude at lunchtime on the Friday.

An overview of the program is outlined below and can also be downloaded here.

2023 Summit Theme: Deeper

You call me out upon the waters, The great unknown where feet may fail. And there I find You in the mystery, In oceans deep my faith will stand

The distinguishing mark of flourishing Christian life is characterised by growth and transformation in every dimension. In this cultural moment, Christian school leaders have an important responsibility to “go on to maturity” (Hebrews 6:1) and to be intentional and deliberate about going deeper, both personally and professionally. Deeper in our:

  • connections and relationships within our communities
  • understanding of generational appropriateness and cultural awareness   
  • leadership of teaching and learning 
  • professional conversations
  • relationship with Jesus and His call and purpose for our lives

It’s time to leave the shallows of what is safe, certain and superficial…  and go deeper… 

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, And my faith will be made stronger, In the presence of my Saviour.
- Extract from Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong UNITED

Registration Types

Registration types and prices are listed below and include 10% GST

  • Early Bird: $745 (until 15 May)
  • Full Registration: $795
  • Full Registration (2 or more delegates): $745 per delegate
  • Single Day Registration (Wednesday, Thursday or Friday): $265 per day
  • Spouse Pass (Day Catering Wednesday-Friday): $300
  • Dinner Additional Ticket: $120
  • Cultural Tour: $169
  • Educational Tour: $109

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So that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord [displaying admirable character, moral courage, and personal integrity], to [fully] please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing in the knowledge of God [with deeper faith, clearer insight and fervent love for His precepts].
Colossians 1:10 [AMPLIFIED]

2023 NLS Speakers and Session Information

Dr. Jon Eckert

Dr. Jonathan Eckert is the Copple Professor of Educational Leadership at Baylor University. He taught outside of Chicago and Nashville for 12 years. After completing his doctorate at Vanderbilt University in 2008, he served at the U.S. Department of Education in both the Bush and Obama administrations on teaching quality issues. He has won multiple teaching awards in higher education and is the author of three Corwin books: Just Teaching, Leading Together, The novice Advantage, as well numerous other articles and books.

Great teaching requires addressing feedback, engagement, and well-being (FEW) for not some or even all students, but for each student. In his first keynote session, Jon will explore how to support the well-being of students and educators in life-giving ways based on evidence of what really works in teaching—the profession that makes all others possible. In his second session, Jon will identify four key components of engagement and practical ways to deepen student and educator engagement. In his final session, Jon will explore how to provide purpose-driven wisdom for improvement that is life-giving for students and educators.

Dr. Lynn Swaner

Dr. Lynn Swaner is the Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at Association of Christian Schools International, where she leads initiatives and develops strategies to address compelling questions and challenges facing Christian education. Dr. Swaner serves as a Cardus Senior Fellow as well as a non-resident scholar at the Center for School Leadership at Baylor University. She is the co-author or editor of numerous books on Christian education, including Flourishing Together: A Christian Vision for Students, Educators, and Schools; Future Ready: Innovative Missions and Models in Christian Education; and MindShift: Catalyzing Change in Christian Education, as well as a number of peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters on education. Prior to joining ACSI, she served as a school leader at a large K-12 Christian school in New York and held a post as a graduate professor of education at Long Island University. Dr. Swaner obtained her doctorate in Organization and Leadership from Teachers College, Columbia University, in New York City and is completing a Diploma in Strategy and Innovation at Saïd Business School of the University of Oxford.

Dr. Graham Stanton

Graham is Lecturer in Practical Theology at Ridley College, Melbourne, and Director of the Ridley Centre for Children’s and Youth Ministry. Graham is a member of the teaching faculty for the Compass Student Leaders Conference, was the founding Principal of Youthworks College, Sydney, and served as a project officer for the Anglican Education Commission in Sydney. Graham has published research articles in youth ministry, Christian education, and leadership. He is the author of ‘Wide-awake in God’s World’, which explores the implications of the aesthetic pedagogy of Maxine Greene for practices of Bible engagement for spiritual formation of teenagers in an expressivist culture. His latest research is exploring how young Australians experience and understand God and the stories of how those beliefs have been formed.

Graham will present a time of devotions each morning of the summit around passages of scripture found in the two books of Samuel, specifically through the stories of Saul and David. His sessions will be themed, Going Deeper in: Obedience, Humility, and Grace.

Ruth Devi

Ruth is a passionate educator that has been teaching for 21 years in both formal and non-formal contexts in Indonesia and Australia. In 2018, she was appointed as the National Director for New Hope International in Indonesia. In her ministry, Ruth has visited several places in Indonesia to help equip and teach teachers and provide consultation for schools, particularly in Eastern Indonesia. She is passionate about her calling to empower and equip educators in Indonesia and really enjoys her job. Her vision is to see a transformation in the education system in Indonesia.

We are excited to hear from Ruth, and her colleague Juliet (from Uganda) at our Summit Celebration Dinner.

Gabe Lyons

Gabe Lyons is the author of The Next Christians: The Good News About the End of Christian America and the founder of Q—a learning community that mobilises Christians to advance the common good in society. Additionally, he is the co-author of UnChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity and Why It Matters, a bestselling book based on original research that revealed the pervasiveness of pop culture’s negative perceptions of Christians. Prior to launching Q, Gabe co-founded Catalyst, a national gathering of young leaders. His work represents the perspectives of a new generation of Christians and has been featured by CNN, The New York Times, Fox News and USA Today. Gabe, his wife Rebekah, and their three children reside in Manhattan, New York.

Gabe will be presenting three interactive sessions (via videolink) with us during our Leaders' Summit. The themes of these sessions are: Belief in a Doubting Culture; Thinking Well in an Emotional Society; and, Inspiring Action in a Passive Generation. 

Andy Wolfe

Andy Wolfe is the Executive Director of Education, Church of England, UK. He oversees the programs, networks and research of the Church of England Foundation for Educational Leadership – working with thousands of school leaders across the UK. He is committed to combining rich theological reflection with evidence-informed approaches to improving teaching, learning and leadership in schools. He has authored many of the Church of England’s educational leadership resources, including pioneering the ‘Called, Connected, Committed’ leadership framework co-written with Professor David Ford – – which has led to co-writing similar international frameworks in Australia (with CSA) and Canada (with Christian Schools Canada). He has also co-written ‘Flourishing Together: A Christian Vision for Students, Educators and Schools’ with Dr Lynn Swaner from ACSI. Andy also oversees the Church of England’s ‘Growing Faith’ national work in relation to faith development in schools, churches and households, the Archbishops’ Young Leaders Award, a range of national policy briefs and the SIAMS national inspection framework for the 4674 Church of England schools.

Andy Wolfe will present alongside Dr. Lynn Swaner as they look at what it means to Flourish together in relationships with students, colleagues and communities. Their sessions will follow an overview of the Flourishing Schools Research, specifically: Flourishing Together: Deepening Engagement with Our Students; Flourishing Educators: Deepening Connection with Our Colleagues; and, Flourishing Schools: Deepening Relationship with Our Communities. 

Juliet Galiwango

Juliet is the National Director of New Hope International in Uganda. Juliet was born and lives in Uganda (East Africa) and is a teacher by profession. Juliet has served with New Hope international for 10 years and she is passionate about Christian education. Juliet enjoys training Christian teachers and leaders in how to teach school curriculum from a biblical perspective. She is married to Pr. Tom Galiwango and with whom they have 5 children.

We are excited to hear from Juliet, and her colleague Ruth (from Indonesia) at our Summit Celebration Dinner.

Workshop 1A: The Foundations of School Governance

Presented by CSA's Director of Public Policy, Mark Spencer, and Leadership Development Facilitator, Jill Healey

The manner in which a board, as a whole and its individual members, engage with (on behalf of) the organisation in fulfilling its governance function, will bring positive and lasting stewardship of the school. A board member’s perspective of governance will undoubtedly differ from that of the Principal and executive team. Clarity of roles and functions underpins successful governance.

Workshop 2A: Effective Formation of Students

Presented by CSA's SA State Executive Officer, Mark Ryan, and Lecturer at Ridley College, Dr. Graham Stanton

What are the stories, experiences and influences that are shaping the faith of our students? How can Christian schools play their part in forming students with a Christian imagination, who will faithfully engage the prevailing culture with the gospel? In this session, we will explore what the effective formation of students might look like. 

Workshop 1B: Cultivating a Culture of Leadership Development

Presented by CSA's Director of Innovation and Research, Dr. Darren Iselin, and VIC/TAS State Executive Officer, Dr. Maria Varlet with special guest, Andy Wolfe

Effective leadership development focuses on increasing the quantity, quality and diversity of current and future leaders for all school leadership roles. This workshop will explore the key capabilities needed for leadership in the Christian school context along with practical strategies for developing current and future leaders.

Workshop 2B: Decision-making in School Governance

Presented by CSA's Director of Public Policy, Mark Spencer, and Leadership Development Facilitator, Jill Healey

Decision-making processes of the board impact board performance and effectiveness. In this session, we will take a closer look at what influences decision-making and highlight some tools to support effective decision-making processes. Effective day-to-day board processes often provide the most visible improvement in the governance of a school.

Workshop 1C: The Journey of School Improvement

Presented by CSA's QLD State Executive Officer, Andrew Taylor, and NSW/ACT State Executive Officer, Ian Liney

In 2021, CSA launched the CSA Architecture School Improvement Tool. This tool, and accompanying review process, was designed to support schools in their school improvement journey. School improvement is important in Christian schooling to fulfil the mission of Christian education, be good stewards of resources, be a witness to the world, and to ensure positive student outcomes. In this session, we will explore the tool and school improvement process, hear from schools who have taken advantage of the tool, and discover how CSA can assist you and your school through its improvement journey.

Workshop 2C: Attitude, Answerability and Architecture

Presented by Shayne Evans of Stanton Dahl Architects

Attitude, Answerability and Architecture: How does your attitude and your desire for obedience impact the spaces you use and create? Do you need to go deeper in your behaviour and thinking?

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.

We encourage you to book early as there are a limited number of places available in each of these tours.

Monday, 7 August:

Cultural Tour (Port Arthur Historic Site)

We will meet in the Lobby to collect a boxed morning tea and then board the bus to Port Arthur Historic Site, where there will be time to explore the site at leisure. Lunch will be served at Port Arthur Lavender Farm and we will also visit geological features of Devil’s Kitchen and Tasman Arch before returning to the hotel.

Duration: Approx. 7:45am to 5pm

Program Outline:

  • 7:45am Meet in the Lobby to collect your boxed morning tea and board the bus
  • 9:30am Visit Port Arthur Historic Site at leisure
  • 1:00pm Board bus and head to Port Arthur Lavender Farm
  • 1:15pm Lunch at Port Arthur Lavender Farm
  • 2:15pm Board bus to visit geological features: Devil's Kitchen & Tasman Arch
  • 3:15pm Board bus and head back to Hotel Grand Chancellor
  • 5:00pm Arrive back in Hobart

Cost: $169 p/p

Tuesday, 8 August:

Educational Tour (Institute of Marine & Antarctic Studies and Historic Hobart)

We will meet in the Lobby and walk down to the Institute of Marine and Antarctic Studies for a tour of their facility and presentation of current studies. After morning tea, we will begin a historic educational walk of “Old Hobart”, followed by time to explore Salamanca for lunch (own cost and choice) and concluding with a bus trip to Mt. Wellington scenic lookout.

Duration: Approx. 8:30am to 4pm

Program Outline:

  • 8:30am Meet in the Lobby and walk to IMAS facility
  • 9:00am Tour of IMAS facility and presentation from the Associate Head of Learning and Teaching, Stuart Corney 
  • 10:30am Morning Tea
  • 11:00am Leave IMAS facility and commence a historic walk of Hobart in small groups
  • 1:00pm Lunch at leisure (at own cost and choice) in Salamanca
  • 2:30pm Board bus and head to Mt. Wellington scenic lookout (or Mt. Nelson lookout if inclement weather)
  • 4:00pm Arrive back to Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart

Cost: $109 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, as well as the newly revised Professional Standards for Christian 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