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


May 2016

Dear Colleagues,

In this ‘Connected Leader’, I hope to introduce some of the issues that will arise over the course of the next seven or eight week election campaign.

Let me begin with some words found in the ‘APPA Charter on Primary Schooling’, a copy of which has recently arrived at schools across Australia*:

‘Primary schools teach our children and contribute to our nation’s future.’

As we rocket towards the 2016 Federal Election, APPA holds the position that our nation must prioritise investing in our schools and school communities with a long-term view. By thinking long-term, we are better positioned to encourage the innovation and flexibility so needed in today’s world.

Funding certainty is crucial to achieving this and I am confident we can say that all sides of politics recognise that Australia has a high quality education system that should be valued, and indeed, strengthened. Of course, there will be differences in how each party goes about this task and what is emphasised; however, evidence-based practice, school leadership development and classrooms with great teachers should always be seen as an investment in the future.

I suggest the starting point in developing strong policy is APPA’s vision for all primary schools to have the people and resources necessary for every child to reach his or her potential. Our schools should be characterised by dedicated school leaders and teachers with high expectations of student learning, and communities that respect and value education.

In relation to a funding mechanism, APPA supports a single, national arrangement of funding for schooling. Such a mechanism is sector-blind, takes account of student need, values students equally, and is transparent and predictable. We want principals to lead effective practice, identify areas for school improvement and focus on student outcomes, confident in the knowledge that what program or project is begun will continue without fear of ‘the money stopping’.

School leadership, too, is obviously critical to a well-functioning school and, ultimately, to student achievement. APPA supports the development and implementation of a national course that covers the key roles in school leadership and prepares principals to lead their school community in practical and achievable ways.

The focus on lifting teacher education standards is one also receiving our strong endorsement. Through a rigorous course curriculum that is contemporary and designed to see graduates ‘classroom ready’, together with high quality practical experiences, we will see new teachers arrive at our schools confident and prepared for the complexity of task before them.

There are some points I’d like to make about NAPLAN and My School. We know that primary schools use NAPLAN and other school or system-based assessment information to highlight strengths and identify areas for improvement. While most would agree that school data should sit on school websites and be available for parents, the question in relation to NAPLAN is whether the My School website, the current ‘home’ of NAPLAN, has contributed in any real way to school improvement.

Moving NAPLAN Online, too, has the potential to create an assessment regime that is far from fair and equitable. Will it require school communities to spend limited resources on technology that may have no impact on learning? Should the NAPLAN writing assessment in year 3 be done online or with pen and paper and marked by a teacher? (We would argue that by transferring year 3 Writing online we run the risk of early learning experiences moving away from best practice and impacting on broader learning. And, after all, teachers assess writing every day and writing by pen and paper remains a valuable skill, even today.)

On other matters, primary schools need support in the implementation of the Australian Curriculum with effective professional learning for teachers and giving students access to the resources and environments required for learning in the 21st century.

And let’s not forget a common starting age for all students, using the same term for the first year at school and giving all children the best start.

The early and primary years are where the educational and social foundation for a child’s future is established and where parents and schools work together to deliver the best outcomes for every child. In an internationally competitive environment, the demands upon schools and school principals continue to grow. APPA has long held the position that our schools must have the staff and physical resources to meet the needs of children from all backgrounds and every circumstance. We know, too, that the investment in early and sustained intervention reaps the greatest reward.

Australians expect all children receive a quality primary education, and primary school principals are determined to see each child, no matter school or circumstance, reach his or her potential.

Finally, we know that the vast majority of staff are doing their very best in our schools every day and that, with the right support, teachers are better able to deliver quality lessons that meet the wide range of needs and talents found in every classroom.

Over the course of this Election Campaign, APPA’s role is to focus on the policy and not the politics. We’ll respond at various points and highlight aspects that fit with our objectives – quality school leadership and teaching, teacher training and leadership pathways, funding and resourcing our schools for the 21st Century, meeting the needs of students with disability, principal health and wellbeing, and the like. We are then positioned to be informed, critically assess, contribute and influence just as we have over many years.

*Check that you’ve received the APPA Charter in a recent mail-out from Early Childhood Australia.

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

May 2016

Bente Stock

After seven years in her role, and 40 years in teaching, the Danish-born principal of Whittlesea Primary School, in Victoria, has announced her retirement.

Lisa Neaton

The principal of Frenchville State School, in Queensland, has retired from education in order to contest the federal seat of Capricornia. After 10 weeks of campaigning, she said that she’ll be going to Canberra or, alternatively, looking at some other options for a future career.

Fiona Godfrey

The media has focused on parent criticism of a Canberra school’s decision to spend a significant amount of money on its main entrance, before it provided long-term heating and cooling solutions for some primary classrooms. As is often the case, the media report draws on additional side stories (in this case, staff turn-over, leadership style and the principal’s gender) to manufacture a sense of immediate crisis.

David McGucken

David McGucken decided to pursuit his dream of opening a hobby store after he retired as the principal of Howard State School, in Queensland, last year.

Gary Crocetta

The principal of Tuart Rise Primary School, in Western Australia, has been selected to go to Harvard University on an Independent Public Schools Fellowship. Twenty of the State’s principals will participate in an intensive course delivered by the Harvard Graduate School of Education with online learning and executive mentoring.

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

May 2016

Budget 2016: education experts react

Several education experts express their opinion on Treasurer Scott Morrison's Federal Budget announcements, which include $1.2 billion to schools.

Kylie Lang

‘Becoming a nation of sloths is a cost no economy can afford and no society should accept,’ says this Queensland journalist. ‘Revise the curriculum so physical literacy is valued,’ she suggests.

Jennifer Nicholls

‘The curriculum needs to make space for climate change to be taught,’ says this James Cook University PhD student. ‘School is about creating active, informed citizens’, she said.

Anne-Frances Watson

Lobby groups, such as Catholic Education, have a lot to answer for regarding the teaching of sexual education in schools, says this researcher in adolescent sexuality and sexuality education.

Andrew Norton

‘Andrew Norton, higher education program director at the Grattan Institute and a former adviser to Coalition education ministers, is a heretic in the first national church of STEM worship,’ says journalist Ben Potter.

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

May 2016

Healthy behaviours recommended for children with ADHD

A new study shows that children with Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder may benefit from improving lifestyle choices, such as increasing water consumption, decreasing screen time and being physically active for at least one hour every day.

Inadequate early childhood education

Researchers at Mitchell Institute, at Victoria University, have revealed that more than one-third of preschool facilities around Australia are not meeting recommended national standards. Their report says that less than the recommended time spent in early childhood education means that some children start school well behind their peers.

The UNICEF ‘Fairness for Children’ report

The recently released UNICEF Fairness for Children report shows that Australia ranks 27th out of 35 in health equality outcomes among OECD countries and 24th out of 37 in education equality results.

Advantages for children of older mothers

Findings from a new study, conducted by a Swedish researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research and his colleague at the London School of Economics, indicate that children of older mothers are healthier, taller and obtain more education than the children of younger mothers.

Study on children with gay fathers

Despite concerns that same-sex parents can cause problems for their children, a recent US study has found that gay fathers are similar to heterosexual fathers in their parenting style. The children of gay fathers were also reported to have similar levels of wellbeing to their peers in in heterosexual families. 

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

May 2016

First Sikh school in Australia

The first Sikh school in Australia will be built in Rouse Hill, in suburban Sydney. The Sikh Grammar School Australia will open for primary children in 2018.

‘Students armed at school’ (but) how many (or how few)?

Schools in Western Australia reported 63 incidents of physical assaults or threats using a weapon between 2 February and 1 March. Education director-general Sharyn O’Neill said the number of reports shows that serious incidents were rare among the State’s 800 public schools.

Call for better rural education in South Australia

More accessible financial support, more physical resources, and particularly, reliable internet access, were some of the key issues raised at the recent conference of the SA Isolated Children's Parent's Association.

Predicted online disruption to education and health sectors

The growth of virtual organisations described in this article highlights the opportunities and challenges that may be faced by traditional sectors as competing digital providers continue to put forward creative, alternative services.

Hefty students stopped at school gate

A British principal who commented on the ‘heftiness’ of some of her students has drawn criticism from parents, ‘gender equality campaigners’ and those concerned about the development of anorexia. Twenty-nine girls were recently turned away at the school gate for wearing uniforms that were considered to be too tight and therefore ‘unflattering’. Modesty, perceptions of premature sexualisation and bullying are also woven into this complex story.

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

May 2016

Exercise and the brain: Wendy Suzuki

Wendy Suzuki holds a faculty position in the Centre for Neural Science at New York University, where she also runs an active research laboratory. Her research focuses on understanding the patterns of brain activity underlying long-term memory as well as the role of aerobic exercise in improving learning, memory and cognition.

How to practise emotional hygiene

Swedish psychologist Guy Winch provides some useful advice on how to take care of our own emotional health.

The taboo of depression

Silja Björk Björnsdóttir shares with us what it is like to be in a state of depression by conveying her own experience. She seeks to destigmatise depression and mental illness and encourages us to take a different look at how we as a society deal with these issues.

How to sleep better

In this video, a sleep doctor provides techniques and tips that will train your brain and body to get a better night’s sleep.

Walk every day

Walking is the number one exercise for health and longevity, says this presenter.

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

Body Esteem Education – Not Just for Secondary Schools

Why body esteem education?

Children as young as 4 are already developing a weight bias – thin is good, fat is bad. It is no wonder then that for young people aged 6-19, body image continues to be a significant and growing concern (Mission Australia Youth Survey, BTN Happiness Survey).

It is easy to see then how body esteem, which relates to the thoughts, feelings and attitudes a person has in relation to their physical self, is closely related to self- esteem.

Primary schools do a fantastic job of developing the skills and strategies young people need to cope with the challenges of adolescence and transition to high school. Therefore, including body esteem education into already existing wellbeing programs can further benefit your students.

The Butterfly Foundation has offered Education Services around Australia since 2006 and is considered a reputable leader in prevention focused, body esteem education. Our sessions are evidence based and work to address the modifiable risk factors and protective factors that underpin the development of eating disorders.

How can Butterfly Education support your school?

  • For years 3-6, workshops and presentations with consistent, progressive and appropriate messaging and are mapped to the Australian curriculum.
  • Free to BE: A Body Esteem Resource for years 3-12.
  • Staff professional development on the importance of prevention and implementing strategies.
  • For parents, an interactive session to help families better understand body esteem and support the development of healthy body image in their children.

To find out what services are available in your state contact

Helen Bird – Education Administration
02 8456 3908

If you are concerned about someone contact
The Butterfly Foundation National Help Line 1800 ED HOPE (1800 33 4673)


Policy and innovation

May 2016

Using video to communicate with parents

Deborah Patterson, principal of Mill Park Heights Primary School, in Victoria, believes that video is a great way of communicating with parents. In this professional video, filmed last month, Ms Patterson lets parents know what they can do to help their child’s education.

The Port Macquarie Nature School

The Port Macquarie Nature School is a not-for-profit organisation that runs outdoor preschool sessions each term, for three to six-year-olds. ‘The Nature School is essentially an outdoor preschool, the children spend up to a whole day, sometimes half a day just outside exploring, it's basically free, unstructured play in nature, with the objective of connecting children back to nature,’ explained one of the school’s co-founders, Lloyd Godson.

Return to explicit instruction in phonics

Education Minister Simon Birmingham recently released some of details of the schools' budget, several days before the rest of the Federal Budget. Funding to schools will increase annually, in line with the rates legislated in the Australian Education Act, i.e. 3.56 per cent a year. An early phonics check is listed in the list of funding conditions.

Compulsory religious instruction to combat radicalisation

Head teachers in England are to discuss whether parents should lose the right to take their children out of religious education classes, on the grounds that it undermines the teaching of ‘British values’. The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), which recently held its annual conference, heard that students need to take part in RE to learn how to respect the views of other people.

Religion, philosophy and ethics to improve community cohesion

Proposals to ‘rename’ Religious Education in Wales have raised concerns from faith groups. In July, Education and Skills Minister Huw Lewis said he would support plans to rebrand RE as ‘religion, philosophy and ethics’. Mr Lewis said schools had to ‘rise to the challenge’ of improving community cohesion.

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

May 2016

The surprising secret to speaking with confidence

Voice coach Caroline Goyder shares a story of moving from stage-paralysis to expressive self. She encourages us to use our voice as an instrument and really find the confidence within.

Forget about big change: start with a tiny habit

In this Tedx talk, BJ Fogg explains that the key to lasting change does not lie in planning big, monumental changes, but in thinking really, really small. Dr Fogg directs the Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford University, in the USA.

Innovative partnership to lead teaching and learning improvements

Methodist Ladies College, in Melbourne, has partnered with an external provider, Education Changemakers, to drive leadership of learning and innovation in classroom practice. The teaching staff at MLC have been working with the team at EC to develop ‘action research projects’ [a process that aims to allow action and research to be achieved at the same time] using [the problem-solving technique called] ‘design thinking’ in their classrooms.’

Discussion on Australia’s declining PISA results

The Australian College of Educators (Victoria) branch warmly invites educators to attend three professional presentations. The first of these will focus on Australia’s declining PISA results.

Want to sound like a leader?

How do we sound credible? Dr Laura Sicola shows how your vocal delivery influences how your message is received, and how to use this to your advantage. Learn how to improve your ‘vocal executive presence’ and make your desired vocal impact.

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.

Call 1800 816 224 for your SPECIAL OFFER as an APPA member.

Money matters

May 2016

Budget 2016: promises before a federal election

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will go to the federal election promising to lift school funding by $1.2 billion from 2018 to 2020, in order to meet rising costs.

Budget 2016: the role of tobacco in education funding

A leaked federal budget document has highlighted a significant shortfall in the Opposition's expected revenue from taxing smokers.

Criminal charges to be considered

In a report handed down in late April, the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) has named a former Victorian education department executive as the ‘principal player’ in a corrupt ring that allegedly siphoned millions of dollars from schools through false invoices and questionable contracts. Nino Napoli could face criminal charges after IBAC found he mishandled more than $6 million that had been earmarked for disadvantaged schools.

Students feature in video plea for school improvement funds

With violins playing mournfully in the background, several students at a specialist school in rural Victoria describe the dilapidated and inadequate facilities at their (now to be upgraded) school. Last month, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced a $156 million funding boost for students with disabilities, including $68.5 million to upgrade some (but not all) of the State’s specialist schools.

Selective showcase of enviable projects

With violins playing a merry tune in the background, one media outlet has provided a highly selective slideshow of (implicitly extravagant) building projects at a number of independent schools. Several multi-million dollar developments are currently underway at schools across Sydney, where five institutions are reported by the ‘Sydney Morning Herald’ to have received more than $92 million in state and federal government funding since 2012.

Catholic Super has been providing outstanding superannuation and retirement services to members and employers for more than 40 years. As a leading industry super fund that anyone can join, we offer award-winning superannuation and pension products, long-term superior investment performance, a broad range of investment options and competitive fees.

Love the job

May 2016

Michelle Phillips

Head of Middle School, Geelong Grammar School
Corio, Victoria

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

I have recently moved from Firbank Grammar School, a girls-only Early Learning to year 6 school to Geelong Grammar, a co-educational boarding school and am working with students from years 5 to 8. Firbank had around 320 students while this campus of Geelong has over 900 students, 270 of whom are in the Middle School. Moving from an established Primary Years Program school to a middle school, in which half the students are boarders, has been both a challenge and energiser.

How many years have you been a school leader?

I have been in a leadership role for the past 14 years.

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

As a young teacher, I was always one to put my hand up to explore new initiatives. This naturally led to leading these initiatives in schools, so the decision to become a school leader was more one of natural progression rather than a conscious decision.

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

My first real leadership role was in Singapore as a curriculum coordinator. This was an international school with 10 classes at each year level. Planning meetings were every week, with each year level, and there were sometimes 20 staff in the meeting and involved in planning a unit. The challenge was to give everyone a say, take on board all ideas and to keep harmony within the team. The staff were amazing and worked together so well at most year levels. We used to refer to the meetings as mini United Nations, as each team consisted of teachers from all over the world, with different teaching experiences of very different curriculum structures.


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

May 2016

Michelle Phillips

Head of Middle School, Geelong Grammar School
Corio, Victoria

(continued from previous page)

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

In my role as Head of Campus at Firbank Grammar, I worked very closely with Dr Anne Sarros as my mentor. At the end of each year of service we would have an appraisal meeting. Anne was always very complimentary in her reviews of me, but one year, after a distressing time with a difficult parent that I seemed to carry for a while – she told me to let it go. I think that the fact someone noticed that I was holding onto an issue made me think about how I deal with incidents at school. From that meeting on, I have become a lot better at dealing with something and then letting go, not letting it eat me up from the inside. This has been valuable as we are constantly dealing with issues and it helps you to begin each day with a clean slate. I have found that it also helps me to forgive people. They don’t take up my emotional energy and so don’t drain me.

What makes you smile at work?

Always the students! When I was at Firbank, my day always started with a walk around the Early Learning Centre, where I always left with a smile. Now, at Geelong, the young adults make me smile, with a wicked sense of humour and the antics they get up to. I smile at the friendliness, politeness but mostly the pure innocence of these young people, even when they have made mistakes.

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

I don’t really believe in ‘managing’ staff. I consider myself a partner who leads by example. I believe a leader should never ask a staff member to do something that they wouldn’t do and I think that is the most valuable belief to have and the best way to ensure you are a trusted and valued member of the team.

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

There have been so many great days, but the best are when you go home with a sense of achievement and anticipation for the next day. These days are usually when I spend time with the students and we create together.


Love the job

May 2016

Michelle Phillips

Head of Middle School, Geelong Grammar School
Corio, Victoria

(continued from previous page)

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

As a head of school, the toughest times are when staff or their families are unwell. You are often told things in confidence and cannot share to lighten the load. But when a staff member loses someone close, whether it be a parent, friend, partner or child – those are the toughest times. When your staff is a supportive community, as we were at Firbank, these sad times are all the more difficult.

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

The good times certainly outweigh the bad and there are so many times when the children have made me laugh out loud. I would consider the funniest thing that’s happened to me to be was when I lost my master key to the school. I thought I had left it at home and so didn’t mention it to anyone in the hope of finding it that evening. The ransom letters began early in the day and continued via text, email and notes on my window during a meeting with the principal! I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to find out who had kidnapped my keys! I loved the fact that the teachers could play this prank on me as it proved to me that I was truly one of them. So not only did I laugh a lot that day, but I felt very included!

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

As Anne said to me, let things go. People make mistakes and should be forgiven. Trust the staff you work with to do their best, and they will. Always back your team and they will do their best for, and with,you.

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?

My team of teachers is what gets me to school every day. I look forward to seeing them and seeing the amazing things they do in class. Those days where you are tired and drag yourself to school sometimes turn out to be the best as you are buoyed by the dedication and enthusiasm of those around you.

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

This is probably the most difficult thing for me to do as I really do love my job and going to work! Not that I have moved on campus at a boarding school, I have found it a lot easier to take time for myself. It sounds strange, but intentionally taking time to exercise and be away from the job makes it more special. I believe that I have the best work-life balance for me but that the same balance isn’t the same for everyone.

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

I take time out for mindfulness, reading and relaxing but most of all I make time to catch up regularly with friends. They keep me connected and rejuvenated for the coming week.

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

I hope that life after the principalship is many years away but I do have plans! I hope to train as a Positive Education Educator and travel with the team at the Institute to bring this great program to more schools. I also hope to continue my work for the IB as a workshop leader and school visitor, as well as my international lecturing for the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education. Of course, I also look forward to caring for the many grandchildren I hope my children will provide me with!

Michelle Phillips, Head of Middle School, Geelong Grammar School, Corio, Victoria


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.