Activity Introduction

Deborah Pardo on shipQuick summary: In this lesson, students will view and respond to the documentary feature film, The Leadership. They will engage in a range of jigsaw activities to build their understanding of the themes in the film, which include: feminism, women in STEMM, equality, diversity and sexism in the workplace. Students will learn to track their personal responses to a text and to develop academic dialogue with peers about these responses.

It is highly recommended that this lesson be completed before other lessons in this education package. Please be mindful that this lesson handles difficult topics and may impact different students in different ways. Please ensure students have access to confidential support if they need it.

The Leadership is rated M for mature audiences and contains coarse language and themes of sexual harassment and abuse. Consider whether viewing this film or clips is appropriate for your students.

Learning intentions:

  • Students understand that their personal responses to a text may change as the text progresses
  • Students connect with prior knowledge around key themes in The Leadership
  • Students can reflect on the emotional and personal impact of texts.

21st century skills: 

EmpathyEthical UnderstandingLeadershipSocial Skills

Australian Curriculum Mapping

Content descriptions: 

Year 10 English

  • Understand that people’s evaluations of texts are influenced by their value systems, the context and the purpose and mode of communication (ACELA1565)
  • Evaluate the impact on audiences of different choices in the representation of still and moving images (ACELA1572)

Syllabus outcomes: EN5-1A, EN5-7D 

General capabilities: Literacy, Critical and Creative Thinking, Ethical Understanding

Cross-curriculum priority: Sustainability

Relevant parts of Year 10 achievement standards: Students develop and justify their own interpretations of texts. They evaluate other interpretations, analysing the evidence used to support them.

Topic: Learning Through Film, Social Issues

This lesson is part of the wider units of work The Leadership – HPE & Work Studies – Year 10 and The Leadership – English – Year 10.

Time required: 135 mins.

Level of teacher scaffolding: Medium – students may need support to clarify misconceptions. They also may need support depending on their reaction to any adult themes in the text.

Resources required:

Keywords: text response, text interpretation, women in STEMM, workplace issues, sustainability, feminism, text analysis, comprehension strategies, teamwork

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

ship in AntarcticaTeacher Preparation

Learning intentions: Students will...

  • … understand that their personal responses to a text may change as the text progresses
  • … connect with prior knowledge around key themes in The Leadership.

Success criteria: Students can…

  • … reflect on the emotional and personal impact of texts
  • … notice changes in their responses, understanding and attitude to characters, events and themes as they progress through a text.

Teacher content information:

About The Leadership
The Leadership is a feature-length documentary film directed by Ili Baré and produced by Greer Simpkin for Bunya Productions.

The world is crying out for a new model of leadership, but what is it? One woman thinks she has the answer. Australian CEO and ‘dreamer’, Fabian Dattner, leads an international group of 76 female scientists on an Antarctic voyage designed to transform them into the sort of leaders they want to be. Her hope is that once these women are primed to lead in sc

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Student Worksheet

The Leadership - Viewing And Responding To The Film

Engaging With The Themes

1. Read the below quotes and complete this table:

  What thoughts and feelings does this bring up for you? What questions do you have?
"If the majority of scientists and engineers are men then that determines the kinds of questions that get asked in the first place. Everyone's experience brings something new to the table and so having more women… can help to change and challenge some of the biggest research questions we're facing."
“When I said that I was pregnant to my boss… You feel ashamed and guilty in a way. Having a break is losing time in the race for a permanent position.”
"It's a very competitive environment so perhaps that just suits the men more. I don't know."
"Whiteness enables leadership… white people tend to pick white people."
“I know that living a feminist life is the most important and the bravest decision I’ll ever make.”


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