Please tell us a little about your background in education. Why did you decide to become involved in education? What are some of the roles you’ve had and what does your current role involve?
My parents were both primary school principals, so education always felt like a very natural part of my world. I did my undergrad at Melbourne Uni and then headed off to ACU for my Grad Dip Ed. My first job was in an all boys school, before I headed off to Alice Springs to experience life in the Territory. I returned to Bendigo for my first Leadership Team role, before being appointed as a Co-Principal in Echuca at age 33. By 36 I was a solo Principal, and recently moved to my current school, Assumption College, as their first ever female Principal.
Who or what keeps you inspired and motivated in your work?
I love my job! Most days I bounce out of bed, excited to see what the day will bring. I get to work with passionate people who are committed to what they do. On the frustrating days I make sure I walk around the school a lot – the kids can turn a day around very quickly.
What do you see as some of the biggest rewards and challenges for people working in education today?
One of the biggest rewards for me is when I see a parent relax and trust that we know what we’re doing. If we’re getting the learning, the relationships and the opportunities right, parents will be in a better position to help their child succeed. For me, the biggest challenge is slowing down and being strategic in our change management. It’s so tempting to want to do everything all at once…
If you had the ability to make changes to the education system in Australia, what would you do?
Breaking the 9-3.30pm mentality and the industrial concerns around class sizes. We could be so much more effective if we could easily make changes to the school day.
What role do you see EduTweetOz playing on the education scene in Australia and what are your hopes for the account this week?
I’ve been on twitter for quite a few years now and it’s such a pleasure to finally have a proper Australian network doing its thing in a lovely supportive and encouraging way.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
My school will be in its staff week during my time in the hotseat, so our discussions are going to centre around professional learning, report-writing and all those fun end of year things!