I have over thirty years experience in the country educational sector as a teacher, school principal, educational consultant and leadership advisor which has given me a deep understanding of people living and working in rural communities and regional cities.
Since 2004 I have worked as a leadership coach and mentor in my business "Leadership Essentials", continuing to gain qualifications and experience in supporting women in leadership. I believe that the essence of effective leadership is self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. Each person can reach her potential as a leader by becoming more confident in her unique way of working with others, building on her strengths and developing the skills essential for the workplace.
My one-on-one work with school principals and school leadership team members enables these leaders to clarify their goals and follow through with action plans while keeping a balanced life. I also love working with whole school staffs on personal and team development programs to achieve harmonious and productive working environments.
In the previous years my work for Women in Education had been through the National Gender Equity Network in Catholic Education and I combined my drive for providing better conditions for women and girls in the Catholic sector with the wider dimensions offered through AWE.
My involvement in AWE commenced in 1996 after I attended a great AWE Conference and decided it was time to revive AWE in Victoria. In 2004 I convened the AWE biennial conference in Melbourne.
Having taught in pre-primary, primary, secondary and special sectors across regional and urban Queensland, teacher quality and professional development are my passions. In my roles as classroom teacher, Advisory Teacher, Deputy Principal and Principal I have advocated for practising teacher issues at the local level, on the four (now three)committees of the Queensland Teachers Union of which I am a member, at AEU Federal Conferences, AEU Federal Women's Conferences QTU Biennial Conferences and QTU Women’s Conferences and as a QTU Officer.
I’m also Vice President of the Beenleigh Branch of the Queensland Association of State School Principals and Principal Welfare contact for the branch, an ASEAQ (Association of Special Education Administrators Queensland Management Committee member (2006-2009), a member of the Board of the Queensland College of Teachers (2009), Acting Deputy Chair of the Board and Chair of the QCT Internal Review Committee, and a member of the Brisbane branch Executive of Emily's List.
I advocate strongly for the local, state, national and international issues affecting women and girls in education. In this role I represent the AWE on Security 4 Women, a federally funded alliance of women's organisations. The focus for this Alliance under the auspices of the Minister for Women, and the Federal Office for Women is 'Lifelong Economic Wellbeing for Women'
I am currently a Deputy Principal in a large Primary school just outside of Brisbane.
I have an enthusiasm for supporting the induction of beginning teachers and was the founding President of the Beginning and Establishing Teachers’ Association. I have represented Education Queensland on a number of forums aimed at investigating and enhancing the provision of support for beginning teachers in Queensland. In 2007, I was invited to take on the role of Principal Project Officer for the Queensland College of Teachers to assist with the implementation for the new process for moving provisionally registered teachers to full registration. I am a QTU activist and a member of the QTU Professional Issues and Educational Administrators Committees.
During my career I have enjoyed working with universities and their teacher education programs and have collaborated on a small number of published texts.
Outside of education, I enjoy indulging in the realms of visual arts and camping trips with family and friends.
I am a working Mum with two teenage daughters – life is wonderfully busy.
After two+ decades as an infant teacher, and with a PhD in Women's Studies, I 'graduated' to working with women at Deakin. Honed my acting skills with a role in the Uni production of "The Vagina Monologues" and as an aspiring politician.
I completed my secondary education when working class girls didn't. I combined a career and marriage and family when most women couldn't. And I’ve spoken out for the rights of women and girls, probably when I shouldn't!
Decamped from Victoria, with family in tow, for the warmth and tranquillity of Cairns and what my children laughingly describe as semi-retirement. I enjoy combining community activism, social analysis and occasional lecturing, with a diverse range of personal pursuits: pilot training, Amnesty International, politics, ‘Pyjama Angel’; grandmother, MEd (Hons) research, letter writing, volunteer classroom helper, co-ordinator of Cairns Women’s Network and secretary of the Peninsula Branch of the Association of Women Educators.
The AWE has provided a framework and motivation for my passion: not only to make gender visible in education but to promote positive change in educational opportunities for women and girls.
I have always been concerned with gender issues in education. At high school we had to seek permission to play on the basketball courts that were, as we were told; ‘really for the boys’. As a teacher I aimed to promote learning for both genders and focussed this interest in my research work in writing a thesis on Technology Education. I aim to further this in my doctoral research.
My involvement in AWE has furthered my awareness of social and economic issues for women and girls and I never cease to learn. I have attended network meetings and promoted AWE issues in my role in Western Qld and have been happy to organise the Ipswich Branch on moving back to my home area.
I work for Brisbane Catholic Education (BCE) as a teacher, a consultant, the Coordinator of Curriculum Services in its formation and the Principal Education Officer for the Curriculum Section at BCE. Having retired from that position 5 years ago, I now undertake a publications role as well as managing a number of projects concerned with teacher professional development and electronic communication - a role I love!
A strong believer in the value-added-ness that professional associations provide for teachers, I continue to advocate for professional colleagues to join AWE and participate in the social and professional growth and the network opportunities readily available. AWE is a positive and secure environment to gain experience and skills in leadership (and other areas) and you have the knowledge that you work with others to improve the 'life' opportunities for girls and women.
I also have a weakness for good wine, AFL football and tennis, and love 'reading fiction' and the movies...
Asked to join the Association of Women Educators by a colleague many years ago, I became aware of the broad outreach this association provides for women in education. In 2007 I was a recipient of the AWE Pam Gilbert award which acknowledged the work of AWE for educators and girls across the educational systems and sectors. This acknowledgement included the work on the Present Pregnant and Proud project, Girls and women educators access to ICT learning, career education and vocational education and training in schools for girls, career and promotion support for women teachers and the opportunities provided to respond to and influence policy at both national and state government level.
I have worked in both Queensland and NSW in school leadership roles including principal-ships in the Mackay region and director positions in Mackay and Townsville in Queensland and most recently in the Hunter Central Coast region of NSW.
Having taught gender studies at CQU to undergraduate students, been involved with merit selection in early 90's, developed curriculum materials to address sex based harassment in mid 90's and leadership courses for girls and women, I now also work as a private consultant in my own business.
Concerned about post school options and harassment and violence issues for girls, and the imbalance of women in senior educational positions, my passion has always been to ensure that all women and girls can access education and benefit from the common wealth in our community.
I’ve long been a member of a union, a political party and women's networks and have been a member of AWE for more than 10 years.
As an early years teacher at heart, I believe investing in early intervention offers society the greatest chance for a brighter future for all. As a woman, daughter, sister, mother, aunt and friend, I advocate for the rights of women and girls in whatever situation I find myself using the prompt “If not you…who?” to incite me to act. I have marched for the rights of women to feel safe, and listen to many women tell their story.
Through my actions everyday, I try to model self respect and strength through unity and action. I attended an all girls high school and have felt the power first hand, which women and girls possess when they join together, sharing an authentic desire to make a difference in their own lives and those of others globally. I set high expectations for myself and am persistent in my search for equity for women in girls, to pursue their chosen paths and fulfill their individual and collective destinies.
Several decades ago, as an early career teacher, I was invited by an experienced female colleague to attend a local AWE branch meeting. As the women gathered, exchanging welcoming introductions, I found myself surrounded by strong, articulate and proactive women from across the education field. I felt inspired by the company then, and equally inspired by the women I meet through AWE today. I have been a member of AWE for the most part since those early days and together with Louise Wilkinson coordinate the Northern Branch events.