By Amanda Murthy
Principals from across the nation gathered at Perth Crown Complex for the annual Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA) National Conference from 17 to 21 September.
The theme for the conference – “Inspire, Engage Visionary Leadership” – offered a packed program comprising of meetings, forums, talks by notable guest speakers, activities, and appearances by students and religious leaders.
The Hon Sue Ellery, Minister of Education, was present at the opening ceremony to officiate the conference, followed by a keynote address by global education consultancy NoTosh founder Ewan McIntosh.
Mr McIntosh lent his expertise, providing solutions on how to put school plans into action, and prevent great ideas from slipping between the cracks in the busyness of school in his address titled “From One Day to Day One”.
Among the notable speakers present were Donalyn Miller, Lee Watanabe-Crocket, Suzanne Waldron, Matt Church, Rabia Siddique, and Lisa Rodgers.
Conference participant Deacon Mark Powell, Principal of Matthew Gibney Catholic Primary School, said the conference was a great way to celebrate the Catholic school system, and serve as a reminder of his purpose as an educator.
Dcn Powell said he took away many lessons, including an important message from Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton’s homily at the Ecumenical Service held on the Wednesday.
“Those who were present were invited by Bishop Sproxton to make certain that the students in our care were not only given the opportunity to develop academically, but also given the opportunity to develop spiritually,” Dcn Powell said.
“Bishop Sproxton reminded us that in the midst of being so educational focused – we have to remember to protect our students and give them the best schooling experience.”
He said the keynote speakers challenged participants to look forward into the future in order for their students to be prepared for a future that is unclear and unchartered.
Following the service, the Catholic principals from across the country had the opportunity to engage in a social gathering at the Royal Hotel in East Perth.
“The network session was great as we had the chance to renew old acquaintances and develop new ones,” Dcn Powell added.
The 2019 national conference is set to take place in Adelaide.