Local primary principals leading the way at National conference
A large contingent of local principals attended the Australian Primary Principals’ Association (APPA) conference in Adelaide recently.
The themes were Leading the Way: Collaboration, Connection and Community.
The key focus of our learning was on how collaboration, connection and community can support us to both lead in new ways and strengthen our current ways of working. We also reflected on how this theme supports us to lead our school communities and networks of schools to ensure every learner receives a world class education.
Eight principals from the Canberra Goulburn Catholic Education attended and it was a great opportunity to hear from international experts in education and leadership. When leading the way forward, we talked about how best practice requires intentional work and commitment to children’s well-being, growth and achievement.
There were opportunities to network with principals from all over Australia and from all sectors; Catholic, State and Independent schools, as well as Principals from New Zealand.
Julie Wiley from St Thomas More Primary in Campbell really enjoyed the keynote speakers, in particular the presentations and the workshops by Louka Parry and Dave Faulkner on being educational change-makers. This presentation also resonated with Christine Baron from St Patrick’s at Gundagai. She noted the important maxim that ‘You judge yourself according to your intention, where others judge you by your actions’.
Jo Scott-Pegum from St Patrick’s Bega said ‘When Dan Haesler, the second last speaker said ‘Learning is Change’, it summed up the conference potential and actual for me. As a group of principals during the conference, we were given opportunity to collaborate, connect and build community. We have listened, talked, been edified in our work and challenged toward new thinking and next actions for co-creating our future bright.
We were all inspired by the powerful message from the keynote speakers, in particular The Honourable Lieu Van Le (Governor of SA), Louka Parry and Dave Faulkner (Education Change-makers), and for their stories and for sharing their passion for education and supporting us to make a real difference for the young people of Australia.’
‘It takes complexity to understand and simplicity to act.’ This was the quote that Frances Robertson from St Patrick’s Cooma, saw as summing up much of what was presented. Christine Baron, from St Patrick’s Gundagai, resonated with Dave Faulkner’s reminder that ‘you judge yourself by your intention, whereas other judge you by your actions’. Marylou Gorman, from Trinity Primary School Murrumburrah, also found much to consider in this presentation, especially the practical ideas that could be used to drive whole school improvement.
In addition, the Principals were reminded to be authentically present when engaging with people, the importance of a morning check in circle with your staff and to be collaborate with people who have a different point of view, so as to have active constructive interactions. These are powerful strategies to build relationships and empower others to thrive in schools.