We’re here for systemic education change

That means we aim to break the education inequities children in disadvantaged areas face by equipping education leaders to think, do and lead differently.

Education was never meant to be conducted in silos.

Or a spectator sport where one size fits all.

Or a space where actions are retrofitted to solve every challenge.

The Connection is an initiative working in partnership with Social Ventures Australia to improve student outcomes in communities experience disadvantage.

A collaborative leadership network, we amplify high performing and emerging leaders to magnify best practice for their development and better outcomes for students.

It’s system change bringing undeniably good results.

We have seen schools in communities that experience high levels of disadvantage accelerate their journey into learning power houses and level the playing field for their students.
Sue Cridge, Education Director – The Connection

The back story

In 2013, eight Australian schools were identified as providing extraordinary outcomes for their disadvantaged learner cohorts. Social Ventures Australia (SVA) invested in these schools for a five-year period.

The aim? To uncover – within an evidence frame – their secrets of success.

The extra cash resource provided was useful. But it rapidly became laser clear that money helps but isn’t what matters most.

Collegiate connection, relationships, trust and shared moral purpose are the real prize. Because the most creative, successful work happens when committed professionals are collectively challenged and empowered to pool their expertise, knowledge and resources.

That’s the value of The Connection.

Today, The Connection has evolved to a living ecosystem and an influencing example of 80+ networked school communities across three Australian states.

And it’s growing.

An evidence-based way of providing educational leader resources

There are countless educational leader programs out there.

What’s different about The Connection? There are many things we could talk about.

Our strategic network approach.

The pooling of educational leader resources, ideas, information, knowledge and inspiration.

Collaborating with like-minded educators facing the same challenges.

But the absolute standout is the impact The Connection makes.

The Connection has provided me with opportunities to experience fantastic professional development and also the opportunity to build strong relationships with both schools and business enterprises – this has had a positive impact on my leadership.
SA School Leader

Schools involved in The Connection report that:


Students have improved academic outcomes, student agency and understanding of their own learning processes.


School leaders are implementing innovative and effective teaching strategies and practices.


Over 95% of leaders have stronger connections to colleagues, in their school and other Connection schools.

Our values underpin our work


We convene education leaders across systems to take shared responsibility for action, accountability and success to improve educational outcomes for all students.


We purposefully cultivate new connections and opportunities for schools that support them to achieve their goals and grow impact for learning through action together.


We build an environment where school leaders feel safe to share expertise. They become willing leaners for the shared purpose of achieving education excellence and equality in their communities.


We increase equitable access to resources, practices and opportunities for all students to thrive in their learning.


We leverage the shared exchange of knowledge, evidence and expertise from leading educators across systems. We create opportunities to accelerate evidence-informed innovation and grow effective teaching and learning practice that leads systems forward.


We support responsive adaption to changing circumstances and competing demands, designing to overcome challenges presented within education communities serving diverse cohorts with complex needs.

The Connection provides wonderful opportunities to have deep conversations around education in both a national and international level and as a school leader I value this opportunity. I also really enjoy the opportunity to connect with organisations such as The Fathering Project, Food Ladder, and other philanthropic organisations to build relationships that benefit both our school site and our broader community.
SA School Leader

Our collaborators

Change doesn’t happen without the support of our collaborators.

It’s our collaboration with universities, not-for-profits, business, government and Social Ventures Australia that make The Connection possible. We are grateful to have the backing, belief and long term vision of these incredible supporters.


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