Forging stronger school-community partnerships

Media release

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Tuesday, 13 Aug 2013

13 August 2013: More than 200 business and community leaders will become Principal for a Day in schools across Victoria tomorrow to gain a first-hand, behind-the-scenes experience of the strengths and challenges facing our schools every day, and an insight into and better understanding of the young people who represent the future.

By becoming a Principal for a Day, business and community leaders shadow school principals during a typical school day, experiencing in-depth management discussions, taking classes with students, talking with parents and teachers, or even doing canteen or yard duty. It also provides school principals with an opportunity to compare management and leadership perspectives, and helps develop partnerships with businesses and the wider community.

Principal for a Day is a partnership between ACER and the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development and has been held annually in Victoria since 2001.

ACER chief executive Professor Geoff Masters said strong school-community partnerships, such as those fostered by Principal for a Day, are recognised as a characteristic of highly effective schools and are part of the ACER-developed National School Improvement Tool that has been endorsed by the Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood for use in all Australian schools.

“Principal for a Day enables schools to develop strategic partnerships to address identified student needs by providing access to expertise and resources that might not be available within the school. It also enables business and community leaders to better understand and support schools in their work of improving student outcomes,” Professor Masters said.

The Principals for a Day in this year’s program include:

  • Sir Gustav Nossal, internationally acclaimed scientist and Australian of the Year 2000
  • Dr Margaret Shiel, Provost, University of Melbourne
  • Jane Rocca, Contributing Fashion Editor & Music Features Writer, The Weekly Review
  • Susan Allen, Executive General Manager, RACV
  • Anthony Sterpin, MD, PSW Pty Ltd
  • Dr Rob Moodie, Professor of Public Health, University of Melbourne
  • Dr Nurin Veis, Manager Scienceworks, Museum Victoria
  • Ricky Campbell-Allen, Director, The Foundation for Young Australians
  • Superintendent Malcolm Menzel, Divisional Commander, Victoria Police
  • Kim Wilson, Chief Editor, New Idea, Pacific Magazines
  • Dr Sherene Davansen, CEO, Peninsula Heath
  • Melinda Cilento, Co-Chair, Reconciliation Australia
  • Ahmed Ibrahim, Program Manager, Ozcare Family
  • Bruce Saward, Partner, Saward Dawson Chartered Accountants
  • Graeme Chipp, MD, Growth Solutions Group.

Members of Parliament, Mayors and Councillors from metropolitan and regional councils, DEECD Executives and more than 30 National Australia Bank Executives are also Principals for a Day in this year’s program.

A full list of participating schools and Principals for a Day is available at


Media enquiries: Steve Holden, 03 9277 5582 or 0419 340 058