Australian Primary Principals Association - Connected Leader: The APPA e-journal for Australian primary school leaders


April 2016

Dear Colleagues,

As you read this edition of ‘Connected Leader’, many of you will be on term break, preparing for term break or preparing to return for Term 2. The movement of Easter has created different term breaks across the country. Change is good at times; it keeps us alert to opportunities, created and real. Change is constant, we know, but it’s nice that some things stay the same (or happen at least more than once!). Consistency and routine allows us to deal with the changing circumstances that impact on our lives and the world around us. However, consistency and routine can lead to complacency, if our focus is not on doing our best and seeing learning as continuous.  So with the term break, what new learning or experience will you have? What will be your story when you return to school? Hopefully, everyone will have a safe and restful break, turn the emails off and spend time with family and friends.

On the APPA radar, we have been very busy with a number of key areas. This has included Senate and Budget submissions; responses to the NAPLAN data on My School; meeting with ACARA regarding NAPLAN Online; principal health and wellbeing; STEM in primary schools; and teacher education.


AITSL has released the new standards for teacher education and the guidelines for Teacher Education providers have been released. All courses will be expected to demonstrate their evidence against the standards, especially with partnerships, assessment practices, teacher specialisation, selection, literacy and numeracy testing, and measuring impact. The key evidence will be the impact of teachers on student learning. I encourage principals to ensure they have a partnership agreement with providers before agreeing to take students for professional experience.

The Professional Experience Participant Roles and Responsibilities are now available on the AITSL website. This resource has been designed to assist with the implementation of high quality professional experience placements. It complements the other professional experience resources on the AITSL website, including the professional experience good example case studies and the report, titled Key Components of Effective Professional Experience in Initial Teacher Education in Australia.


At the recent APPA National Advisory Council meeting, we agreed on positions regarding Year 3 NAPLAN Online and My School.  APPA cannot, at this point, support the move to have Year 3 Writing completed online or auto-marked. The teaching of writing by pen is clearly different to teaching by typing. We believe education stakeholders have not had the conversation about the impact of assessing online writing nor one that focuses on the teaching methodology currently being implemented in our schools. Currently, most Foundation to year 2 teachers use pen and paper far more than tablets, laptops and iPads in the teaching of writing. There is an assumption, too, that schools have been teaching and assessing in an online mode, as per the Australian Curriculum. For a number of reasons, this is simply not the case. With different approaches currently being employed within schools, it is not possible for APPA to support the NAPLAN Year 3 Writing if it has the potential to significantly disadvantage students.

APPA is not supportive of the My School website as it currently rolls out. APPA supports NAPLAN for school and system data collection. We also support school results being placed on school websites and in school annual reports. As principals, we see the role of accountability and transparency with our school community and will continue to work to improve the educational outcomes of our students. Over a relatively long period of time, the My School website has not contributed to any significant change to school performance. Indeed, we could well say that, since My School, there has been a flattening of results and a narrowing of the curriculum. There is much to say that we have also seen an increase in the focus by some schools, system leaders and politicians on the rankings together with what we might call ‘league table’ journalism.

APPA will be conducting a short survey this second term on the implementation of the Australian Curriculum. We hope to gain a better understanding of the issues and challenges principals are facing in implementing the curriculum.


APPA is currently working on producing a position for principals to use with the school communities, parent groups and local members in a lead up to the next federal election. We look to release the document early Term 2. The key areas include primary school funding, resourcing for schools, school leadership development, NAPLAN, My School and school starting age.


The Trans-Tasman Conference. Over 150 Australian Registrations – looking fantastic! Let’s go for 250!! Each State and Territory has the opportunity to provide a scholarship for a principal to attend the conference. APPA and the National Sector Associations will cover the difference between the ‘at cost’ price for registration ($675) and the early bird cost of $875.

Some other interesting aspects of the conference include: Time to ‘Shop for your School’ has been built into the program, as has a Rural Matters Lunch and Workshop to be led by NZPF and a First Timers Breakfast to be hosted by the Conference Committee.

The conference welcome on Tuesday evening will consist of a colourful and lively Powhiri and Acknowledgement of Country by two Indigenous school leaders from Australia, followed by Pacific drumming, drinks and canape. There will be three performances by school groups during the conference – a Pacific/Maori fusion group, a combined choir group and a boys’ dance group. The social program has been finalised, as well as the menu and theming for the dinner. School visits will be offered on the morning of Monday 30 May.

Go to:

2017 APPA National Conference 13-15 September in Brisbane. The Committee is currently working on keynote presenters. More news to come over the year. Block in 11 – 15 September 2017 in your diary.


APPA has been supporting the National Young Leaders Days run in most capital cities. These have concluded in Adelaide recently. I had the opportunity to meet many young leaders and they were greatly inspired by the speakers, but especially by the presentation from KidsGive. The leaders have already responded by developing campaigns and having them loaded on to

My Hero Day July 29

Captain Courageous Foundation. APPA is supporting this event and encourages schools to develop a campaign and celebrate your hero on Friday 29 July. Recently, I visited Stirling East Primary School and met principal Mr Stephen Measday and Captain Courageous, Angus Bond. Angus suffers from bone marrow cancer and requires constant blood transfusions. He is keen to raise funds for research to help other children. I will be working with Angus and the school leadership team to develop a campaign for My Hero Day. It will be placed on the KidsGive website. To register your school, visit

Dennis Yarrington
President, Australian Primary Principals Association
Mobile: 0466 655 468


Interviewees urgently sought for 2016 series of ‘Connected Leader’

Do you love your job?
Primary school principals across Australia, from Catholic, government and independent schools, are invited to contact the Managing Editor of ‘Connected Leader’, Debra Crouch, who is currently seeking interviewees for the remainder of the 2016 series of ‘Love the Job’ (written) interviews. To express your interest in assisting with this project, please contact Debra at: or 0413 009988.

Trans Tasman Principals' Conference 2016

Trans Tasman Principals' Conference 2016

31 May - 3 June 2016, Auckland, New Zealand

Register now, pay later!

On behalf of the New Zealand Principals’ Federation, the Australian Primary Principals Association and the host committee from Auckland Primary Principals’ Association, we invite you to register for the Trans-Tasman Principals’ Conference to be held at SkyCity Convention Centre, Auckland on 31 May – 3 June 2016.

Payment via invoice is available for all registrations received before the end of November, don’t delay register now!

The theme of the conference is “Knowledge in Our Hands” with the emphasis on telling the stories that excite us within education. In the spirit of collaboration, we have structured a programme that showcases stories and story tellers from both sides of the Tasman, which we are sure will provoke energetic discussion and professional debate.

Please check out the exciting Conference programme and the high calibre speakers confirmed to date.  Speakers include Noel Pearson, Andrew Patterson, Judy Halbert and Linda Kaser to name but a few.

We look forward to seeing you in Auckland next year!

Jill Corkin
Chair – Organising Committee
Auckland Primary Principals’ Association


Principals in the news

April 2016

Tony George

The principal of St Stephen’s School, in Western Australia, has been appointed as the next headmaster of The Kings School, in Sydney. He will commence his new role, at Australia’s oldest independent school, in July 2017.

Fay Thomas

This recently published obituary honours the outstanding career of a well-known Victorian education leader, Fay Thomas, who died last year.

Rob McCullough

The principal of Goovigen State School, in Queensland, explains the unique challenges of leading an extremely small school. Last year, the school catered for three students. However, an increase in 2017 has taken the total enrolment to eight.

Jo Brewer

Jo Brewer has been appointed to lead a new Catholic primary school in Lucas, near Ballarat, in rural Victoria. Mrs Brewer will start her new role as founding principal in July, when she joins the school’s steering committee. The school will open in 2017.

Warren Elder

Warren Elder recently retired, after eight years at Warwick East School, in Queensland. According to one of his staff, ‘He was a hero to the students, and an inspirational leader to the staff, particularly during the floods which caused so much heartache and destruction to the school grounds and buildings.’ ‘I'm glad that I am not being remembered for my excellent reports but rather as a good person,’ said Mr Elder.

Interviewees urgently sought for 2016 series of ‘Connected Leader’

Do you love your job?
Primary school principals across Australia, from Catholic, government and independent schools, are invited to contact the Managing Editor of ‘Connected Leader’, Debra Crouch, who is currently seeking interviewees for the remainder of the 2016 series of ‘Love the Job’ (written) interviews. To express your interest in assisting with this project, please contact Debra at: or 0413 009988.

Locally made ethical school wear

Through their own procurement policies local schools have the power to support an ethical Australian clothing industry and help prevent the exploitation of workers. There are local school wear manufacturers who are committed to making clothes locally the right way.

Ethical Clothing Australia is responsible for accrediting local clothing and footwear manufacturers to ensure that their workers are receiving their legal wages and entitlements, and working in decent conditions.

To find out more contact Ethical Clothing Australia to ask how we can assist your school to source ethically accredited school wear.

Phone: 03 94190222

Opinion and analysis

April 2016

Kate Smith

The principal of Hughes Primary School, in Canberra, has publicly expressed her support for the Safe Schools anti-bullying program. Elements of the program have been operating in her school for approximately one year, in response to the attendance of a transgender child. Having the program and its resources ‘just puts your mind at ease,’ she said. ‘We were empowered with this information.’

Andreas Schleicher

The education director of the OECD has criticised the Australian education system for falling behind global standards. He said that many countries were struggling to keep the best teachers in the profession because of curriculums that restrict creativity. ‘There really is a complete lack of intellectual attractiveness to the teaching profession,’ he said.

Henry Grossek

‘We need more emphasis in our curriculum about gender equality,’ says the principal of Berwick Lodge Primary School, in Victoria. Mr Grossek says that every school needs a welfare officer to help children who suffer from family violence. ‘It starts with the attitude that men hold about their role and by extension that a woman should submit to controlling behaviour,’ he said.

Sara Caplan

‘In most jobs the digital world has taken over and STEM skills are required to even operate in the modern workplace. Getting a STEM mindset into children at a young age is really important,’ said Sara Caplan, from consulting group PwC. A recent PwC report said that shifting one per cent of the workforce into STEM roles would add $57 billion to GDP in net present value terms over 20 years.

Jane Caro

Jane Caro is critical of comments on public and private education made by Australia’s youngest senator, James Paterson) in a recent interview with Wendy Harmer (hear this at:

Written by internationally recognised school and early education experts, Your Child's First Year at School: Getting off to a good start, is highly valued as a home and school resource which provides excellent advice to parents, teachers and all interested in giving children the best possible start at school. Order at:

Research, reports and statistics

April 2016

Impact of mobility on learning outcomes

According to a recent NSW Department of Education’s study, students who change schools several times do worse in literacy and numeracy than their peers and are more likely to drop out of school. The Department’s Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation report supported widespread international literature that ‘mobility has a detrimental impact on student outcomes.’

Different fitness levels between public and private sectors

According to research conducted by Dr Gary Tester, there is a six per cent difference in fitness levels between primary age students at independent or Catholic schools and their peers in government schools. ‘More alarmingly, we found the skill difference between schools is 15 per cent, he said.

New findings on the academic outcomes of first-borns

A report analysing data from over a million children born in Denmark between 1981 and 2010 has found that, despite being significantly less healthy at birth than later-borns, first-borns still perform better at school.

Study on changing resilience between 10 and 15 years

An ongoing study by not-for-profit research collaboration, Resilient Youth Australia, looks at 40 key predictors of good outcomes for young people. Young people are also surveyed on their general health and their level of hopefulness.

Increase in teacher identification of future terrorists

Figures have shown that, for the first time, UK teachers are now more likely to identify children as potential terrorists than the police. This follows a legal requirement imposed on teachers to report any suspected extremist behaviour to the authorities, which is part of the Government's anti-radicalisation strategy.

PR1ME Mathematics—based on the world’s best practice used in Singapore PR1ME has been developed by Scholastic in collaboration with the Ministry of Education in Singapore.

How does it work? PR1ME: explicitly and systematically teaches the problem solving processes and strategies; uses consistent and carefully structured pedagogy; takes a carefully scaffolded, deep-dive into conceptual development; actively involves students in metacognition; and provides professional learning for teachers.

Education news

April 2016

Gap between city and country widening

A recent Grattan Institute report shows that the progress of many students in regional and rural areas is up to two years behind that of inner city students between year 3 and year 9.

Different pathways to Catholic principalship

According to the Executive Director of Schools, in the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta, the principal of a new school in Sydney might not necessarily be a career teacher. Greg Whitby said that the diocese would also consider applicants from other sectors in education.

Increased diversity of provision

Hoa Nghiem Primary School, which opened in a Melbourne suburb earlier this year, has 16 students from prep to grade 4. Principal Jacqui Bosman said founder Thich Thien Tam and Sister Thich Thuoc Uyen, from the Hoa Nghiem Buddhist Temple, saw a need for the school to service the local Buddhist community and the wider Springvale community.

‘Easter’ removed (again) from hat parade

The principal of Bondi Public School, in NSW, has drawn the attention of the media and allegedly ‘outraged’ parents after again removing the word ‘Easter’ from the school’s annual hat parade. Explaining his views in a school newsletter as long ago as 2011, Michael Jones explained that Easter was just one of many religious celebrations at this time of year. ‘As we are an inclusive community which celebrates our diverse range of cultures and beliefs, I have not called it an Easter Hat parade. Many religious celebrations occur at this time of year but we want to include all students in any celebration at school. Teachers will talk to students about the different celebrations and the emphasis will be on tolerance and understanding.’

Parents succeed in removing ‘Namaste’

Parents of children attending Bullard Elementary School, in the USA, recently complained about the school’s yoga program, which was introduced to help students manage stress. Concern focused on children being asked to say ‘Namaste’ and put their hand over their heart. Some parents were concerned that this practice endorsed non-Christian beliefs and forced children to accept and believe Hindu customs.

For 40 years, Scholastic Australia has been partnering with schools across the country to give kids access to books they want to read through Clubs and Fairs. In 2012, Scholastic gave Australian schools over $11 million worth of Scholastic Rewards. To find out how you can spend Scholastic Rewards on resources and save your budget, visit

Balancing act

April 2016

Leadership and stress

Jennifer S. Lerner, Professor of Public Policy and Management at Harvard University, looks at the ways in which one’s position in an organisational hierarchy relates to stress hormone secretion. How do testosterone and other biological factors predict level of leadership attainment? How does stress impact on the immune system?

Managing the emotional investment

After 20 years, Ron Taylor, the former principal of Dunblane Primary School, in Scotland, has broken his silence about his short and long-term reaction to the massacre of 16 students and one teacher. This story confirms the huge emotional investment one makes in leading a school community and underlines the need to manage that investment, at a personal level, when things go unexpectedly wrong.

The secret of becoming mentally strong

Psychotherapist Amy Morin outlines the three basic factors for mental strength. No matter what your goals are, building mental strength is the key to reaching your greatest potential, she says.

Sleep engineering: improve your life by manipulating your sleep

Neuroscientist Penny Lewis has investigated the role of sleep in strengthening and altering memories. In this presentation, she explains some of the ways that people can ‘engineer’ sleep to their advantage. Dr Lewis is the author of ‘The secret world of sleep’.

Coping with constant stress

Justin Menkes, author of ‘Better under pressure’, explains why today's leaders need realistic optimism, subservience to purpose, and the ability to find order in chaos.

Camp Australia delivers after school care solutions, building on the educational experience of school communities. As the nation’s leading after school care provider Camp Australia has partnered with school communities for 25 years, adding value by delivering high quality care, well-trained staff, systems and support. Find out how Camp Australia will add value to your school community at

Policy and innovation

April 2016

Earlier school start for Tasmanian children

Under legislation to be introduced to State Parliament, Tasmanian children born this year will be able to start school at the age of four and a half. If approved, the new school starting age, as well as mandatory school attendance until 18 years, will apply from 2020.

The Secret Garden

Under the guidance of new school principal Paul Shwartz, The Secret Garden at Wedge Park Primary School, in Victoria, has been developed as an alternative place in an often noisy playground. The Secret Garden ‘is aligned with the Buddy Bench program where there is the option for children to go there to find friends and we are waiting for our Bunnings Buddy Bench to be delivered,’ said the school’s student wellbeing officer, Carly Payne.


The Explorama program gives gifted and talented children the chance to challenge their critical thinking, problem-solving skills and creativity. Kids College Queensland, at the University of Queensland, recently ran 10 workshops, on subjects including science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics, environmental studies, robotics, coding, languages and culture, legal studies, writing, illustration and animation.

‘Language learning in schools: are we wasting our children’s potential?’

SBS is currently featuring a five-part series on bilingualism in Australian education. The first in the series explores the question: ‘Language learning in schools: Are we wasting our children's potential?’

Proactive response to theft

In this heartwarming story, two students at Point Lonsdale Primary School, in Victoria, have decided to launch their own on-the-ground investigation to help police catch vandals who repeatedly saw off and steal goalposts from their school’s playground. Principal Fay Agterhuis said she can ‘rest easy knowing she’s got her two best people on the case.’

KidsMatter Primary is a proven mental health and wellbeing framework for primary schools. It provides expert knowledge, tools and support to help schools grow healthy young minds and care for children’s mental health. KidsMatter is backed by the expertise of Principals Australia Institute, beyondblue and the Australian Psychological Society.

Professional skill-building

April 2016

International exchange program for principals

Later this year a primary school principal and secondary school principal from South Australia will exchange places with a teaching colleague from New Zealand for 10 weeks. If successful, the exchange program may be extended to Asia.

How to chair a grievance meeting

A refresher video focusing on dealing with staff grievances in a calm and fair manner.

Dealing with difficult employees: ‘Blameless Bob’

In this video, see one way you can deal with a ‘Blameless Bob’, one of the six difficult employee types you may encounter as a leader.

Learning to be awesome at anything you do, including being a leader

Tasha Eurich, an organisational psychologist and the author of ‘Bankable leadership: happy people, bottom line results and the power to deliver both’, provides a motivating TED Talk address on the three things you need to master in order to become a successful leader.

How to run an effective board meeting

Leading an effective board meeting takes leadership, organisation, and clear expectations. Stanford University alumni and industry experts share best practices for increasing the effectiveness of meetings to get the most out of board members

Academy Photography are proud sponsors of the Australian Primary Principals Association. Academy Photography services include school photography, yearbooks, complete printing and educational solutions using latest technologies.

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Money matters

April 2016

Deputy locked in fundraising prison

Wayne Carty, the deputy principal of Noosaville State School, in Queensland, was recently locked in a cage for nearly a week. Mr Carty volunteered to help raise funds to prevent a reduction in the number of hours worked by the school’s chaplain.

Call for financial support for national robotics champions

Glendal Primary School, in Melbourne, is inviting financial support for the attendance of five students at the First Lego League European Championship, in Tenerife, Spain. ‘Robotics is a big part of our school and this is the third time since 2010 we’ve had a team of students represent Australia overseas,’ said principal Deborah Grossek. Donations to support the travel expenses of the five I-Bots can be discussed by phoning the school on (03) 9803 1330.

Police called to meeting at Malek Fahd

With only one month to go before a Sydney school runs out of money, its peak body, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils confirmed that a meeting to decide the future of its 2400 students became chaotic as microphones were snatched, a lawyer was allegedly assaulted and delegates were blockaded by ‘burly men’. Further funding could still be removed as the Federal Government reviews four other AFIC schools nationwide. Six AIFC schools received $41.7 million in taxpayer funding last year.

Huge funding boost for Alice Springs School of the Air

Alice Springs School of the Air has been given a $1 million dollar funding increase as part of a broader NT Government stimulus package. The extra funds will go toward upgrading a preschool of 25 students at Corella Creek, in the Barkly region. The school’s principal, Mel Phillips, explains how the money will be spent.

Fee increase for government students with 457 Visa parents

South Australian Minister for Education Susan Close has announced that 457 visa workers earning a combined household income of more than $57,000 will have to start paying government school fees of up to $6100 from 2017. The fee increase will bring SA into line with WA, NSW and the ACT.

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Love the job

April 2016

Martin Tait

Head of Primary, Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School
Bunbury, Western Australia

Describe your current school, its students, the demographics of your school community, and any special challenges and/or strengths.

Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School is a co-educational independent school from kindergarten to year 12. It has a school population of around 1000 students and is in regional Western Australia. There are many wonderful aspects to the school, including a like-minded and supportive community, a high calibre of teachers and engaging and positive students.

How many years have you been a school leader?

I have been Head of Primary for four years in my current school and a school leader for over 12 years.


NEW resilience and wellbeing program

Dusty and Friends is a great resource for learning and building resilience in children. Game ON highlights the importance of being calm and prompts children to see how consequences result from actions. A popular resource in Early Stage 1- Stage 1 classrooms, children identify and relate to different characters. The program aligns with the Australian Curriculum and works well for Stage 3 in a peer support model. Available for immediate download through the School For Living website.

Love the job

April 2016

Martin Tait

Head of Primary, Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School
Bunbury, Western Australia

(continued from previous page)

What motivated you to become a school leader (and when)?

I think the motivation behind becoming a school leader was observing outstanding people (in similar leadership positions) and feeling inspired to make a difference. I have been in numerous leadership roles for some time, but was privileged to take up my first headship in 2005.

What was your first leadership role, where was it located, and what were some of your early challenges as a new leader?

My first leadership role was as deputy head of primary at an Orthodox Jewish day school in Sydney, namely Masada College. This was challenging because I am not Jewish and had worked in mainly Christian or non-denominational schools. Some of the early challenges were timetabling for Hebrew/Jewish Studies lessons, along with balancing secular curriculum requirements. Another interesting challenge was understanding about a new culture that I was not familiar with. I learnt a great deal at Masada and was fortunate to have had many enriching professional learning opportunities, including an educational trip to Israel.

As a new principal, what was the most useful lesson you ever learned from a more experienced principal colleague?

The most useful lesson I was given from a principal colleague was to make sure you have thorough processes in place when employing staff. His words were, ‘the people you employ can either make or break you.’ These wise words have always resonated with me when recruiting people. I have always tried to surround myself with a plethora of outstanding people with varying talents and skills.

What makes you smile at work?

There are many things that make me smile each and every day as a school leader. However, students interacting positively with friends and teachers, or seeing a young person overcome a challenge or obstacle (whether that be in the classroom, on camp or on the sporting field) is always rewarding to witness.

In managing your staff, what are your most valuable skills and beliefs?

I think being a good listener is the most valuable skill you can have as a leader, especially when dealing with a myriad of personalities. Having an ‘open door’ policy also enables people to come and share their thoughts and ideas for the betterment of the school.

What was the best day you ever had as a school leader?

Too many to mention, but I enjoyed having a number of year 6 students recently act as Student Principals for a Day. They were amazing and I learnt a great deal from them. The future is looking positive.


Love the job

April 2016

Martin Tait

Head of Primary, Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School
Bunbury, Western Australia

(continued from previous page)

What was the toughest day you ever had as a school leader?

The toughest day was telling a staff member they no longer had a position in the school for the first time (due to a restructure). This created challenges with staff in respect to morale and thus I learnt a great deal about dealing with people in the process. Thankfully, I had a collegial team who understood that leaders sometimes have to make tough decisions.

What was the funniest single thing that ever happened to you as a school leader?

There have been many . . . one could write a book. Recently, I drove our student councillors to a retirement village to provide some service to the elderly in our local community. After dropping the children off and parking the bus, I miraculously managed to get stuck in the bus (unfortunately unable to open the door) for about an hour. Thankfully, we have a caring and compassionate maintenance team at BCGS who managed to open the door and help collect the children. The student councillors shared the story with teachers, students and parents. I thereby managed to win the ‘Mop Head’ award from staff for my deeds (not for the first time!).

What tips would you give new school leaders about staying positive and keeping their energy levels high?

I think my best advice is to have a sense of humour, as you will have life changing moments, as well as challenging days, as a leader. Try not to take yourself too seriously.

I would also advise new leaders that they need to have good people around them. A school is all about the people. I would also suggest having an excellent mentor (often one who is separate to the school you are working in) and who you can trust implicitly. I have been fortunate to have some great people around me.

If you could name just one thing that kept you going to school every day, even on the really difficult days, what would that be?

The students provide me with a refreshing reality check, especially when I am confronted with other difficulties or challenges. One should never forget why we started working in the profession of teaching.

How do you achieve (or are trying to achieve) a positive work-life balance?

Firstly, I am very fortunate to have a very understanding family who appreciate that being a school leader is not simply a 9 to 5 job. In saying this, I do enjoy watching my children (a son and a daughter) with their sport and music. I also enjoy trying to do some exercise myself (I walk with my wife, swim, ride and play tennis with friends). I think it is important to find some time for movement as, too often as a principal, you are in solitary situations.

What special measures do you take (if any) to protect and nurture your own health and welfare?

I’m not sure I take any special measures. However, I do try and keep a regular routine of exercise each day, as well as constantly surrounding myself with positive and interesting people outside of work.

What do you see yourself as doing with your life after the principalship?

I have plenty of thoughts in this area. I would still love to be involved in education. I have thought about possibly supporting and mentoring new principals (giving back some knowledge and skills learnt over time). I would also like to complete further studies (I’m not sure in which area yet). I have always dreamed of owning a little coffee shop (not to make money), but to chat to customers about life and love (plenty of ‘blue skies’ dreaming moments can occur through conversations in a coffee shop). I’d better learn how to make a good cappuccino then!

Martin Tait, Head of Primary, Bunbury Cathedral Grammar School, Bunbury, Western Australia


Interviewees urgently sought for 2016 series of ‘Connected Leader’

Do you love your job?
Primary school principals across Australia, from Catholic, government and independent schools, are invited to contact the Managing Editor of ‘Connected Leader’, Debra Crouch, who is currently seeking interviewees for the remainder of the 2016 series of ‘Love the Job’ (written) interviews. To express your interest in assisting with this project, please contact Debra at: or 0413 009988.

Managing Editor, APPA 'Connected Leader'

Debra J. Crouch
Mobile: 0413 009988

Connected Leader

Connected Leader Copyright ©. Australian Primary Principals Association 2015. This whole publication, created as a deliberately selected compilation of internet-based resources, may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA).

Connected Leader is an official publication of the Australian Primary Principals Association. In close collaboration with APPA, Connected Leader is designed, produced and edited, specifically for APPA members, by Debra J. Crouch, Managing Director of Vivid Word and Image design, to enhance the professional learning of Australian primary school leaders.


The opinions expressed in any of the internet-based resources accessed by links from Connected Leader, belong entirely to those who created those resources, and do not necessarily represent official APPA views and policies. At times, links to some resources may be deliberately selected to reflect the wide range of views held by Australian primary school leaders, and the views therein may be subject to debate in some sections of the education community. Readers are advised that, in the interests of brevity, not all of the available personal opinions or information about a particular event, development, issue or policy direction may be published in resources made available through links in Connected Leader. Interested readers who require more comprehensive information, or who seek the opinions of all stakeholders, are advised to directly contact the institution/s or persons cited in the resource/s or conduct their own private research.

Neither APPA, Debra J. Crouch nor Vivid Word and Image Design can guarantee, or take responsibility for, the accuracy or otherwise of any of the information and/or views contained in any of the internet-based resources accessed by links from Connected Leader, or from subsequent webpages accessed via links within (or in material/text following) those suggested resources. The duration of all links cannot be guaranteed by APPA or VIVID Word and Image Design. Nor do these two parties accept responsibility for any loss or damages arising from statements or opinions contained in any published article or advertisement.