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Business leaders address a matter of principal

Media release 3 minute read

More than 150 Victorian business and community leaders will connect with local schools and become Principal for a Day tomorrow.

7 September 2015: More than 150 Victorian business and community leaders will connect with local schools and become Principal for a Day tomorrow.

Business and community leaders participating in Principal for a Day will shadow school principals and take part in the day-to-day activities of running a school, including in-depth management discussions, taking classes with students, talking with parents and staff, or even doing yard duty.

Principal for a Day gives business and community leaders a first-hand experience of the strengths and challenges facing Victoria’s government schools, and provides school principals with an opportunity to compare management and leadership perspectives. The program also helps schools to develop ongoing partnerships and networks with businesses and the wider community.

Chief Executive of the Australian Council for Educational Research, Professor Geoff Masters AO, said research shows that improved leadership and community partnerships lead to better teaching, learning and student performance.

“Schools can certainly benefit from the expertise and resources of the corporate world. Equally, it is valuable for industry leaders to better understand and forge links with schools and the students in them who represent the next generation of potential employees or clients,” Professor Masters said.

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

  • James Merlino, Victorian Minister for Education
  • Tim Wilson, Human Rights Commissioner, Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Marina Prior, Australian soprano and musical theatre actress
  • Michelle Plane, CEO, Netball Victoria
  • Monte Olson, Longford Plants Manager, Esso Australia
  • Sue Medson OAM, CEO, Gippsland Lakes Community Health
  • Matt Comyn, Group Executive, Retail Banking Services, Commonwealth Bank
  • Ange Barry, CEO, Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation
  • Emma King, CEO, Victorian Council of Social Service
  • Prof Leon Sterling, Pro Vice Chancellor (Digital Frontiers), Swinburne University
  • Adrianne Fleming, Chief Flying Instructor and Operations Manager, Tristar Aviation
  • Thomas Dobson, Head of Marketing Planning and Performance, National Australia Bank
  • Jurgen Schneider, Head of Market Development – Pacific, Siemens
  • Mandy Burns, CEO, Ardoch Youth Foundation

Members of Parliament – Commonwealth and state – and Mayors and Councillors from local councils are also among the pool of Principals for a Day participating in this year’s program.

Principal for a Day is a partnership between ACER and the Victorian Department of Education and Training, and has been held annually in Victoria since 2001. The key event will be followed by a forum in October in which guest panellists will discuss the leadership challenges highlighted by the Principal for a Day 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

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