Fast Track, Bush Track

Late Career Female Rural School Leaders Taking the Slow Road


  • Judith Miller University of New England
  • Lorraine Graham University of New England
  • Azhar Al-Awiwe University of New England



female school leaders, leadership opportunities, retention, leadership style, gender


Previous research related to this study explored early career female leaders’ experiences in rural school settings, and probed the personal and professional challenges they faced and their motivations to accept formal and informal leadership roles ahead of the usual timeframes (e.g., Graham, Miller & Paterson, 2009). This study set out to explore these findings further by interviewing four late career female leaders. These women reported less accelerated progression to leadership roles compared to their early career counterparts. They also revealed differences in style of leadership and experiences of gender differences with regard to leadership opportunities. These findings usefully inform policy makers and pre-service teacher education programs by highlighting the value of a career-span view of rural school leadership for women.




How to Cite

Miller, J., Graham, L., & Al-Awiwe, A. (2014). Fast Track, Bush Track: Late Career Female Rural School Leaders Taking the Slow Road. Australian and International Journal of Rural Education, 24(1), 91–102.