Our Women on the Podium program is a unique conducting and leadership program targeted at female, female identifying and non-binary Western Australian musicians. #

Women on the Podium has provided professional development to over 40 participants and collaborated with many of WA’s major arts companies. We bring world-class mentors to Western Australia from interstate and as far as the UK and provide a supportive and encouraging environment for aspiring female conductors and music leaders.

The program will include workshops, conducting masterclasses and discussions with experts in the industry, with mentoring from lead faculty members Alice Farnham (UK) and Jessica Gethin (AU) and Kris Bowtell (AU) to develop skills in orchestral conducting, musicianship and leadership, build confidence and knowledge to start and run their own ensembles.

Activities for 2024 include our 3rd annual Conducting Symposium (currently scheduled for October 4-14, TBC), an ongoing collaboration with University of Western Australia Choral Society and various workshops, observations and other opportunities throughout the year.

The exact dates of these workshops are as yet unconfirmed; we do our best to accommodate the availability of our scholars so they can get the most out of the program.

We provide programs for advanced, intermediate & emerging conducting scholars. #

Applicants of all ages and all levels of experience are welcomed and encouraged to apply.

The majority of the program will be provided free to successful applicants, thanks to funding from Wesfarmers Arts and generous donations from the Women on the Podium Giving Circle.

There will, however, be a small charge for the Conducting Symposium to cover venue costs, catering etc. in 2023 the Advanced and Intermediate Scholars were charged $200 per person, 2024 cost is TBC. Private lessons can also be facilitated but will not be covered.

Highly skilled and experienced conductors, already working in or aspiring to work professionally. Applicants must have completed at least 1 year’s training in the Women on the Podium Program or equivalent.


A preparatory course for those aspiring to be Advanced Scholars, and eventually work in the professional sphere. Women of all levels who conduct community groups and/or in education, aspiring to improve the love of music in our society by becoming inspiring leaders are also invited to apply.


Young musicians who are still at a formative stage in their careers and would like to explore conducting as a potential profession. Tertiary-level music students and career musicians are encouraged to apply; recommended age bracket 18- 26 years old.


The opening weekend of the Conducting Symposium (October 4-6 2024 TBC).


University of Western Australia Choral Society Conducting Fellows will receive mentoring from Kristin Bowtell, including opportunities to discuss repertoire planning, auditioning and other features of conducting a symphonic choir.

One Fellow will be attached to each UWACS Season. Fellows will observe rehearsals and work with the choir weekly over the course of the season.

Fellows with suitable skills will also have the opportunity to conduct UWACS in concert and will receive a modest fee for doing so.

The UWACS Fellowship program is only open to WA based residents who have been accepted into one of the 2024 WOTP programs.


We are excited to welcome applicants to the 2024 Women on the Podium program. To apply, please submit the following documents:

  1. Short Biography (PDF format, 100 words): Provide a concise 100-word biography, including any conducting professional development you've undertaken in addition to the Women on the Podium program.

  2. Video Introduction (2 minutes max): Provide us a link to a dropbox or private youtube video where you speak directly to the camera. Share why you are applying to the program, your expectations, goals, and ambitions. Discuss your strengths and areas for improvement. If you're interested in the UWACS Fellowship, please address this as well.

  3. Conducting Video: Provide us a link to a dropbox or private youtube video (no more than 2 minutes) showcasing your conducting skills. This can be with a piano or any ensemble, including choirs. The goal is to demonstrate your conducting abilities and style.

  4. Optional Supporting Documents (maximum 2 in total): Feel free to include any additional supporting documents, references, videos, or recordings that further highlight your qualifications, experience, and commitment to conducting.

Please ensure all documents are uploaded in their respective formats.

Applications should be submitted through the online form below.

We look forward to reviewing your application and thank you for your interest in Perth Symphony's Women on the Podium program.

Please note: Perth Symphony reserves the right to adjust Scholar groups depending on applicant numbers and program funding.


“As an Advanced Scholar, I’m so appreciative of the opportunities we’ve had to work with amazing musicians already, including a professional string quintet and the WAAPA Symphony Orchestra. I learn so much with every workshop and am very excited for the coming year.”
Sarah Mills Menogue, Advanced Scholar 2023

“I am honoured to be a 2023 intermediate scholar for Women on the Podium, I can’t believe that I was lucky enough to experience the entire rehearsal process with Perth Symphony Orchestra for their 100 Years of Disney concert. It was a dream come true! Through watching Jessica Gethin work with PSO I have already learned tips on how to work with a very tight rehearsal schedule, how to conduct with multimedia elements and can’t wait to see what else the year holds for those of us lucky enough to be in the program!”
Claire Nankivell, Intermediate Scholar 2023

“Without Women on the Podium, I would not have discovered and grown my love of conducting, nor been able to study it to the extent that I have throughout my years in the program. Conducting is a very personal and exposing thing to do, so to learn this craft in an environment that is full of like-minded and supportive women helps provide us with the space to grow with confidence.”
- Jasmin Parkinson-Stewart, Advanced Scholar 2023

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