FLAME WA | Managing the Mental Load

FLAME WA | Managing the Mental Load

This event, for those in WA, will run in two parts. An in-person session, with special guest Speaker, Darnelle Pretorius, followed by lunch and networking, before joining it to the National session, digitally.


The FLAME network meets nationally on Zoom and locally at a State level to continue to inspire, support and challenge Christian women in leadership in Christian education. We are blessed to have so many talented and competent female leaders in Christian education, but we are still only tapping the surface of this potential. The purpose of FLAME is to inspire and encourage women to understand that students and teachers need them to step up by realising their strengths and capacities and responding to the call.

Leadership is challenging but the rewards far outweigh the challenges when we are committed to Christ-like service with a Kingdom vision

Event Information

Last year, the national online FLAME program introduced and unpacked the CSA Leadership Framework.  In 2023 we will continue to use the CSA Leadership Rubric to challenge and inspire women to become the best leaders they can be in the positions they currently have; to prepare for opportunities God may be leading them to in the future. 

The challenge is to serve well where you are now!

Not everyone aspires to be the Principal, but Christian schools will thrive with more women in executive leadership positions, on school Boards and on Selection Committees.

In Term 4, 2022, several stories of highly competent women who applied unsuccessfully for Principal positions in quite a few CSA Christian schools were heard. In each case, these women were ‘runners up’ and a male was appointed to the position. Did the school miss out on a highly competent, emotionally intelligent, inspirational, visionary, committed and strategic leader?

To all Board members, CEO’s and Selection Committees - Are you missing out on great leadership talent because of narrow expectations of what makes a great Principal?  The mental load of Female leaders in education may be higher than that of a male and there will be times when family and other responsibilities take priority, but if you make an appointment based on perceived expectations, then the students, staff and school community may be missing the best opportunity to thrive.

The role of a school principal as it has evolved is becoming unsustainable for anyone.  How can Christian schools be creative and bring about organisational changes that benefit the whole school community – Co-Principalship?  Now there’s a novel idea!

Let’s not just talk about more female leaders in education, let’s take practical steps to overcome this imbalance for the benefit of our schools and communities.

Join us on our first FLAME gathering for 2023 where we will look at: 

Understanding and managing the mental load of women in education

  • Hearing stories of practical strategies other women use – managing families.
  • How do you work out what is critical?
  • Understanding the mental load of single women in leadership

If you haven’t accessed CSA’s amazing suite of leadership development materials, then jump onto the CSA website and find the CSA Leadership Hub.

(Access to the CSA Leadership suite is available to all staff in CSA member school – ask your school for your login details)

This is a catered event and you will have the opportunity to record dietary preferences on registration.



Speaker: Tracy Holmes, Dip Teach, Dip Man, BEd, MACEL Director of Education - Carey Baptist Colleges

Having been involved in education for many years in both the public and private sectors, at both primary and secondary levels and in specialized programs, Tracy was a school principal for 23 years before moving to a more strategic role as Director of Education for the Carey group of campuses. Tracy is also the WA State Chair of Christian Schools Australia WA and Deputy Chair of the CSA National Council. 

Speaker: Kathryn Button, Director of Global Connect

Kathryn has extensive experience in leadership in Christian and government schools, most recently as the Senior School Principal at Tyndale Christian School in South Australia. She is passionate about global mission and service, and is keen to expand the global vision of schools. She is also keen to encourage more women to pursue leadership roles in Christian schools and to explore ways to enable them to flourish in these roles. 

WA Guest Speaker: Darnelle Pretorius

Darnelle Pretorius is now in her second year as the Principal of Swan Christian College. In the last 20 years, Darnelle held senior positions at St Stephen's School in Duncraig, as well as leading an International School in Mauritius. Darnelle has completed her Masters ad PhD and describes herself as "an avid, life-long learner". She is passionate about connection and building trust with  her staff and students as a servant leader and enabler of potential.

Qualify for CPD Hours

This event attracts CPD hours according to the following AITSL professional teacher and leadership standards:

6.1 - Identify and plan professional learning needs
6.3 - Engage with colleagues and improve leadership practice
7.4 - Engage with professional leadership networks and broader communities
» Leading teaching and learning
» Developing self and others 
» Engaging and working with leadership teams and the community

Cancellation Policy

Cancellation must be in writing to the organizers. Please note, no refunds will be issued after 3 days out from the event. Any cancellations made after this date will be charged the full registration fee. 'No Shows' to the event will be charged the full registration fee. 

The event program is subject to change without prior notice.


FLAME is a network for women to support their journey into and through leadership at all levels within a school context, either at management or board level. Come and join a passionate group of women on Zoom to continue to inspire, support and challenge Christian women in leadership in Christian education. If you are a male leader, you are welcome to be one of our champions by attending yourself and/or encouraging a female leader on your board or school management team or an aspiring leader to connect into this network.

The FLAME network will enable strong connections between experienced and inexperienced leaders and help identify and encourage structures that support women in leadership.

“Flame is more than networking and building relationships, it’s about developing capacity of female leaders and aspiring female leaders to lead with confidence and humility to be all that God has created them to be.” – Jill Healey, National FLAME Network Facilitator, Christian Schools Australia.


Female Leaders And Managers in Education:



>> Learn more about FLAME

Thursday, 09 March 2023
10:30pm - 2:00pm AWST
$45 +GST Members | $60 Non-Members +GST
1 Padbury Terrace
Midland WA 6056
3 CPD hours
Public event
RSVP by 09-March-2023