I will remember 2017 for… the continued focus of the Victorian Government as they strive to meet the Education State school targets reflecting their focus on excellence and equity, and the goals to equip all students with the personal and practical skills that allow them to develop and achieve their best. This has been supported by increased state investment in education.

Our proudest achievement at VPA this year has been… the work that we have undertaken with government and the bureaucracy to guarantee that the voice of school leaders is heard and considered throughout the reform agenda. On a personal level as a new president to the VPA, I have relished the opportunities to meet with members across the state and at the national level advocating for, and on behalf of school leaders.

I think the biggest issue for our members in 2018 will be… ensuring that we all work together to develop a strong system that provides for safe, healthy, resilient and connected school leaders.  The massive intensification of workload has been a real concern throughout 2017 and despite most leaders reporting that the job is extremely satisfying the ability to sustain the workload, manage ‘society’ pressures and meet constant demands is damaging to the future of the profession.      

What I am really looking forward to in the coming year is… working as a collective system to develop a system-wide Principal Mental Health and Wellbeing Action Plan. This will ensure the profession reinforces positive approaches to mental health and wellbeing, and that as a sector we lead through the complex external stressors that affect schools on a daily basis and address the challenges and opportunities for our school leaders.