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


February 2019

Dear Colleagues,

It is both a pleasure and an honour to be writing as the new president of the Australian Primary Principals Association. In so doing I want to warmly applaud the work done by Dennis Yarrington as president over the previous four years. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Dennis during our handover period – Dennis’ knowledge, skill and experience are voluminous and invaluable.

Part of Dennis Yarrington’s legacy will be the APPA National Professional Charter for Primary School Leaders. This collaboratively developed document artfully and cogently draws together what is important and special about being a primary school principal. Members will be hearing more about this shortly.

I also thank and recognise our Executive Officer, Michael Nuttall, Operations Manager, Linda Fleming, and Diarist, Tamara Clark, for their work and support. And, too, my most sincere thanks to the members of the APPA Board and National Advisory Council who have made me feel so welcome in this role.

So – the work of APPA continues. We are looking forward to the APPA National Conference to be held in Adelaide from September 3rd to 6th. The conference title is Leading the Way: collaboration, connection, community. Registrations are open – please register today if you haven’t already done so. Many thanks to the very hardworking conference committee chaired by Dave Edwards.

2020 is the year for the Trans-Tasman Conference which will be held in Melbourne from September 15th to 18th. This joint APPA/NZPF event is titled Leading Today for Tomorrow: creative, courageous, connected. More thanks to that committee chaired by Anne-Maree Kliman and for the collegiality and friendship of New Zealand Principals Federation president Whetu Cormick.

As you can see both conferences feature connection as a theme. Being connected through formal and informal channels and networks is an essential strategy for a leader. You would be well aware that this is featured in the recommendations of Professor Philip Riley’s outstanding reports on Principal and Deputy Health and Wellbeing. Being part of professional associations – and particularly APPA because of its cross-sectoral membership – is a great way to avoid the isolation that can creep into leadership; or to help emerge from isolation if it occurs.

Courage is another of the featured conference themes. It is surprising how much courage it can take to establish, develop and maintain connections with colleagues. One barrier for school leaders is the immediacy and urgency of so much that you do, and of so much that is asked of you. Connections are easier to maintain when they are embedded in our workflow and workload as regular diary entries. This can be where the courage comes in. Other people may not understand the importance of this and this can lead to usually unintended, but powerful, social pressure not to get out of your school to connect with others. Most school leaders will have experienced this.

Please consider these two themes of connection and courage. If I may share some gratuitous advice I offer to emerging school leaders with whom I work: if you’re not in a team, get in one; and make sure it’s a good one. Make a contribution and draw on the team’s strength.

There is great strength in APPA.

With kindest regards and looking forward to meeting you in schools and at our conferences,

Malcolm Elliott
President, Australian Primary Principals Association

MoneySmart Principals Project

In 2018, APPA partnered with ASIC’s MoneySmart Teaching program team to build the financial capability of primary school students and teachers. The program is the only national financial literacy program for schools endorsed by state and territory education departments. Together, we are running a grants program to boost teachers and their students’ financial literacy. There are three components:

1. MoneySmart Grants for Principals

Congratulations to the nine first ever MoneySmart grant recipients. There are some great projects featuring market days, gardens, product development, a café, a financial literacy classroom and a multimedia project. The next round of grant applications will reopen in the second half of 2019. This year’s projects will be showcased during the APPA National Conference in Adelaide in September. We look forward to watching this year’s projects develop over the year. Find out more on the MoneySmart website.

2. The MoneySmart Teaching program

The MoneySmart program provides free:

  • Professional development for teachers aligned with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.
  • Resources for teachers to use in their classrooms that are aligned to the Australian Curriculum and the National Consumer and Financial Literacy Framework.
  • Information for teachers wanting to boost their own financial health.

MoneySmart also offers a grants program to help schools implement financial literacy projects.

3. The APPA – ASIC Partnership

In coming years, APPA is working with MoneySmart to:

  • Deliver grants for school-based innovative learning projects to build the financial capability of teachers, students and whole school communities.
  • Promote commitment across Government, Catholic and Independent schools to build primary students’ financial capability, recognising the impact principals have on student and teacher development.
  • Build our teachers’ and staff’s personal financial literacy and health by providing clear, practical and manageable resources.

SchoolAid launches ‘Hay and Hampers for Hope’ national campaign

With farmers suffering through what many are calling the ‘worst drought in living memory’ SchoolAid has today launched its ‘Hay and Hampers for Hope’ campaign.

The campaign is calling on 10,000 schools around Australia to donate $100 each, and in doing so raise $1 million to go towards hay for drought-affected livestock and hampers for farming families that are struggling with meeting their living expenses.

SchoolAid founder and CEO Sean Gordon said: “Farming families are often the last to ask for help and the first to lend a hand. ‘Hay and Hampers for Hope’ is about harnessing the collective power of Australia’s youth to help those who have given us so much, both economically and culturally. If you’re a young person and you’re distressed by these images on the news of starving sheep and farmers doing it tough, get involved because there’s now something you can do about it.”

Donations to the Hay and Hampers for Hope campaign can be made here

Dennis Yarrington, SchoolAid Board Member and President of the Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA), said: “Time and time again at SchoolAid we’ve seen the power of youth philanthropy; whether its helping the community of Tathra recover from bushfires or schools across Queensland overcome the impact of Cyclone Debbie, Australia’s young people are an incredible force for hope and optimism in this world. $1 million is a big number but Australia’s young people have big hearts - I’m convinced once they turn their attention to ‘Hay and Hampers for Hope’ great things will happen.”

INSPIRING STUDENTS TO READ MORE, and helping them find the books they will love to read, takes a combination of dedication, inspiration and engagement. We know you bring the dedication to work every day and with our ‘Reading Leader’ portal we hope to help with both the inspiration and engagement to get more kids reading and kids reading more.

At Scholastic we encourage the borrowing of brilliance and through our “Reading Leader Award’ we are seeking out the very best for you to borrow from. Scholastic and APPA are providing a platform to recognise Reading Leaders across the country, so that their ideas and efforts can reach more students, and remind us all to help children every day with their reading journey.

Visit our “Reading Leader” portal for reading programs, professional resources, brilliant book suggestions and more. NO COST offerings, all designed to help you be a better reading advocate and connect your students with books they will love to read.

Congratulations to Lesley Gollan of Queensland’s WoodLinks State School, who is the Term 2 Scholastic National Reading Leader Award winner.

Principal Vicki Caldow noted, ‘Lesley is a reading champion who works across the school to develop and implement programs that empower teachers and invites the wider community to support students in practising and enjoying reading.’


Under the spotlight

February 2019

Anna Owen

The deputy principal of Brisbane Girls Grammar has just commenced her new role as the principal of Canberra Girls Grammar School.

John Kennedy

A 71-year-old retired principal recently became a Member of Parliament in Victoria, overcoming a margin of 8.6 per cent to win the seat of Hawthorn. After preferences were distributed, John Kennedy won by 329 votes. In his previous career, John Kennedy once taught former prime minister Tony Abbott at St Ignatius' College Riverview, in Sydney.

Zhang Penfei

A video of an energetic Chinese school principal, who introduced a daily 30-minute shuffle dance routine for his students and staff, has gone viral on the internet.

Paul Cecil

Official school Facebook photos of a NSW primary principal, posing with students at his school’s ‘dress-up as a famous person’ day, attracted negative attention from the Jewish community in December. Rowena Public School has since apologised and has withdrawn the photos, which included one of a child dressed up as Adolf Hitler.

Julie Roberts

The principal of Wattle Grove Primary School, in WA, explains her school’s successful gifted and talented program. The school introduced MAC in 2015, selecting the brightest minds in years 4, 5 and 6 and putting them into one class taught by a specialist teacher.

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

Learning curve

February 2019

Great leaders follow two rules

Peter Anderton takes us on a whistle stop tour of leadership in the last 16 centuries and tells us why everything you ever need to know about leadership comes down to only two rules.

Conflict: use it, don’t defuse it

What if conflict was an energy source your team could harness to produce innovative, creative, and transformational results?

The art of analysing conversations

Each week, principals spend many hours in conversation with students, teachers and parents. In this presentation, conversational analyst Professor Elizabeth Stokoe provides some intriguing strategies to engage when talking with others.

Building trust and cooperation

Empathy and perspective are vital qualities for leaders, explains Simon Sinek.

Learning from the body language of leaders

Vanessa von Edwards explains how the (often unconscious) body language and non-verbal communication of leaders make them appear more powerful, trustworthy and successful.

Teach MoneySmart: Be MoneySmart

Take a practical, curriculum-based approach to teaching financial literacy and develop your own financial health. This free MoneySmart course is curriculum-aligned and provides 1.5 hours of professional development.

You will learn how:

  • ASIC's MoneySmart program builds financial literacy education for the next generation.
  • To select MoneySmart resources to teach financial literacy.
  • To find MoneySmart resources to improve your financial health.
Enrol now

Connect MoneySmart: Use MoneySmart

Examine the importance of teaching financial literacy and find practical use classroom resources.

This free MoneySmart course is curriculum-aligned and provides 1.5 hours of professional development.

You will:

  • Learn why financial literacy education is important to the Australian school curriculum and read related research.
  • Connect to the key global and national initiatives for financial literacy education underpinning ASIC's MoneySmart Teaching program.
  • Use digital and other resources for primary, secondary and VET students to plan and deliver your lessons.
Enrol now

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 childrenthe best possible start at school. Order at:

Legal eagles

February 2019

Filming student performances

Under Australian copyright law, taking a video of a student that also features copyrighted music, or any other copyrighted creation, is called a reproduction and requires a licence. Parents at a WA school were recently reminded of this legal requirement.

School sued over Christmas dispute

An atheist couple in Canada who complained about classroom celebrations of religious holidays has been awarded $12,000 (Canadian dollars) by a human rights tribunal after their daughter was barred from re-enrolling in her Montessori preschool.

Responsibility for online crimes

This article contains a substantial discussion about the relative negligence of schools and parents in relation to the illegal online behaviour of some minors.

What constitutes defamation?

Anyone who believes they have been defamed in a public forum (including social media) should seek specialised legal advice, advises lawyer, Patrick Turner, in this useful article.

Legal action over isolation policy

Legal proceedings have been lodged in the UK high court, by an unnamed student, against a school for its use of so-called isolation units to discipline students. Lawyers have applied for a judicial review of Outwood Grange Academies Trust’s use of ‘consequence rooms’ containing booths in which children sit in silence for hours as punishment for breaking school rules.

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.

Challenge your thinking

February 2019

Physiological basis of conduct disorders

Although no solutions are proposed, this report on current research into impulsive behaviour, including anti-social behaviour, will intrigue those who are interested in student conduct disorders.

Long-term impact of bushfires

A new study looked at changes in children's academic performance after major bushfires in Australia. The study concluded that children in regions affected significantly by bushfires demonstrated poorer academic outcomes in some subjects than children in regions that were less severely affected by the fires.

Disappointing attendance figures

In a report presented in Parliament in November, the Public Accounts Committee found that children in the WA regions of Kimberley and Pilbara went to school less than students in any other parts of the state in 2017. The report showed that only 76.3 per cent of Kimberley children attended school that year, with the Pilbara recording 84.2 per cent attendance, compared to 92 per cent in Perth.

Boarding school drop-outs

How many Indigenous students succeed in a boarding school environment? This discussion includes some interesting figures.

Surprising paper preference

An analysis of the learning preferences of more than 170,000 Europeans has found that paper is the preferred reading medium for both children and young adults when reading novels and longer articles.

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

February 2019

How to survive workplace bullying

Sherry Benson-Podolchuk explores the link between leadership, self-esteem, bullying and the importance of attitude to build hope.

How to bounce back from burnout

Allan Ting explains the cost of burnout and provides some strategies on how to reverse it.

Overcoming relational aggression

Research undertaken by Susan Murphy and Rita Heim suggests that ‘women consistently fail to support other women in the workplace and often actively set out to undermine their authority and credibility.’ In this presentation, Kris Stewart examines causality and shed some light on ways to overcome this behaviour.

Take control of your free time

Time management expert Laura Vanderkam studies how busy people spend their lives, and she's discovered that many of us drastically overestimate our commitments each week, while underestimating the time we have to ourselves.

The benefits of regular exercise

A useful presentation on the long-term health and financial benefits of regular exercise.

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

Something different

February 2019

Indigenous language initiative

Mossman State School, in far north Queensland, is one of several schools that will teach Indigenous language classes to all of its students, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, in accordance with the Federal Government's official framework.

‘Stage not age’ approach

At the recently opened Lindfield Learning Village, in NSW, students from kindergarten to year 10 will be expected to take ownership of their own ‘learning pathway’. The government school does not feature year levels, with children progressing according to their individual abilities.

New bullying prevention program for NT

Four schools in Darwin are set to implement a new program that includes strategies to help students understand their own behavioural patterns, take stock of how focused they're feeling and gives them tools to concentrate better.

Smart uniforms

Surveillance of individuals has risen to a new high in China, with school uniforms in one school featuring GPS trackers designed to foil the plans of would-be truants.

Innovative autism program for WA

This year, seven more schools in Western Australia will offer a specialist learning program for students with autism spectrum disorder.

My word

February 2019

Gail Doney

The principal of Wallarano Primary School, in Victoria, speaks on equality issues in access to STEM education and how the private sector might help.

Anne-Maree Kliman

The president of the Victorian Principals Association is concerned that the new program for aspiring principals, which includes a test that will become compulsory within three years, could deter prospective applicants for school leadership positions.

Adam Voigt

A former school principal who now works as an education consultant says that school leadership is now akin to corporate management. He says that most of the paperwork he had to do as a principal was ‘pointless’ box-ticking and red tape that offered little-to-no value to the school.

Peter Bothe

A WA principal, who was left with permanent injuries after he fell off his bike in 2011, has joined in the public discussion about the strength of current bike helmet laws.

Steve Biddulph

According to psychologist, parent educator and author of the best-selling Raising Boys, Steve Biddulph, new research suggests factors such as ‘stress at home and parents not meeting children’s needs early in life’ could play a role in causing ADHD.

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

February 2019

Global funding comparison

A recent OECD report rates Australia as one of the highest contributors to education spending in the world, at about 6% of gross domestic product. The report also found that the proportion of public money spent on primary, high school and vocational education in Australia decreased significantly between 2005 and 2015.

Interim funding for Victorian schools

A $751.8 million five-month funding deal has been struck between the Victoria and the Commonwealth. Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan says negotiations with Victoria will continue for a final agreement, while all other states and territories have signed five-year funding agreements.

Principal sacked for cryptocurrency mining

A principal who set up a secret cryptocurrency mining operation in his school has been sacked after teachers noticed a whirring sound coming from the computer room.

Lei Hua, a headmaster at Puman Middle School in Chenzhou, Hunan Province, was reportedly let go after he was found to be mining ethereum on school property. Mr Hua managed to rack up a 14,700 yuan ($A2940) electricity bill after using the school’s power to run the mining machines day and night.

Cleaning contractor fined

The Andrews government has fined the cleaning group Spotless $180,000 for failing to properly clean Victorian government schools.

Why do school uniforms cost so much?

This New Zealand discussion about the cost of school uniforms is just as relevant in Australia.

Managing Editor, APPA 'Connected Leader'

Debra J. Crouch
Mobile: 0413 009988

Connected Leader

Connected Leader Copyright ©. Australian Primary Principals Association 2016. 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 straight to the point, 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.