The mission of Principal for a Day is to increase and strengthen relationships, based on knowledge and understanding, between the private sector and education. Partnerships between key leaders in education, business and the wider community are especially important. There is ample evidence, from OECD in particular, on the strong relationship between education and employment, and social harmony and economic prosperity, at individual and societal levels.

The GLLEN has played a significant role during 2016 and 2017, matching school hosts with local business and industry leaders. The matching has been purposeful, linking schools and business/industry leaders who are involved in partnerships with the Bendigo Tech School and Passions and Pathways. 20 matches have been made over the past two years.




Today I had the pleasure of hosting Graeme Wiggins, Director of the Bendigo Tech School, as part of the Principal For A Day program. Having Graeme immersed in our school for the day created a unique and rich opportunity to take advantage of his knowledge and experience in design thinking, pedagogy and space and to talk with him about our own STEAM program and vision for inquiry learning across our school. Staff and students were able to share valuable time with Graeme learning more about the new Tech School, and plans to develop strong partnerships with schools to give students opportunities to learn new skills and apply high level digital technologies to collaborative learning and problem solving. This was my first experience in the program and I would highly recommend it to other school Principals thinking of taking part next year.

Danielle Derksen, Acting Principal, Eaglehawk Secondary College (September 7, 2017)



SCHOOLS throughout Bendigo opened their doors to new leaders on Thursday.

Big Hill Primary School and Crusoe College were among those that invited business and industry leaders to take on the role of principal for the day.

An interest in the next generation of workers inspired…


Sincere thanks to all the educator and industry matches. Strengthening partnerships with education and business/industry can only benefit the education journey of our students as they embrace a rapidly changing “world of work”.

Below are some of the reflections shared by participants:

  • Impressed with the design and learning spaces of a recently built/modern secondary college
  • Interested in the approach to pedagogy (teaching and learning)
  • Increased awareness and appreciation of the focus of STEM and STEAM curriculum in a secondary school setting including drones, robots and coding
  • Developed an understanding of the opportunities available and embraced by senior students at the Bendigo Schools’ Trade Training Centre, with links to industry
  • Increased awareness of need to provide significant student well-being support and the amount of time a Principal may spend on a day supporting and resolving student management issues
  • The length of a day in the life of a Principal and the myriad of demands; one Business leader hosted by a Primary School Principal left for her home at 9.15pm
  • Developed strategic insights into ICT needs of a school; business leader was able to offer current and possible ongoing support re ICT advice
  • Business leader was able to offer some insights into work experience preparation prior to the students going out to work places the next day
  • Another business leader was able to offer some suggestions re Strategic Planning processes
  • It was agreed that the timing of the day was beneficial
  • Possible strategy for Business /Industry leaders to host Principals early next year.