Meet the Principals For A Day making a difference in Vic schools 

10 October 2018: Goldfields region schools participating in Principal For a Day will hand over the reins to business and community leaders tomorrow. 

The popular annual program is now in its eighteenth year and participants in 2018 include members of government, business executives, community leaders, entrepreneurs and CEOs from a range of commercial and not-for-profit organisations – and one leader taking part for the seventeenth year. 

Each volunteer will shadow a Victorian government school principal on Thursday 11 October to experience the realities of this crucial but challenging role. In return, they will share insights from their lives in business and community leadership and, in many cases, forge the beginnings of an ongoing relationship. 

Chief Executive of the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) Professor Geoff Masters AO said the program demonstrated the value of community engagement in learning. 

“Participants tell us they benefit from a better understanding of the important role school leaders play in society, while principals appreciate the chance to compare management and leadership perspectives with people who have achieved so much in other arenas,” Professor Masters said. “Taking advantage of the professional development opportunities afforded by strong networks beyond school is a crucial characteristic of highly effective schools.” 

Anne Brosnan, Executive Officer of the Goldfields Local Learning and Employment Network, said Principal For A Day creates reciprocal benefits for both school and business leaders, with the potential for continuing partnerships. 

Participants in this year’s Principal For A Day program include: 

  • Trevor Schwenke, CEO, Bendigo Kangan Institute, attending Castlemaine Secondary College with Principal Paul Frye 
  • Carolyn Stanford, Managing Director, Stanford Marketing, attending Lightning Reef Primary School with Principal Julie Hommelhoff 
  • Liz Hamilton, Executive Director of Integrated Care Services, Bendigo Health, attending Bendigo Senior Secondary College with Principal Dale Pearce 
  • Vicky Mason, Director, Health and Wellbeing, City of Greater Bendigo, attending Eaglehawk Secondary College with Principal Danielle Derksen 
  • Martin Collins, Manager, Youth Pathways and Transitions, North-Western Victoria Region, Dept of Education & Training, attending Maryborough Education Centre with Principal David Sutton 
  • Paul Chapman, Executive Chairman, Australian Turntable Company , attending Crusoe College with Principal Brad Madden 
  • Trevor Budge, Manager, Regional Sustainable Development, City of Greater Bendigo, attending Weeroona College Bendigo with Principal Leanne Preece 
  • Chris Keating, CEO, Victorian School Building Authority, attending Kennington Primary with Principal Travis Eddy. 


The 2018 Principals For A Day will meet students, take classes, talk to parents and teachers – perhaps even take up canteen or yard duties – and discuss the everyday challenges principals face in their work. 

Principal For A Day is a partnership between ACER and the Victorian Department of Education and Training through the Bastow Institute of Educational Leadership. For more details, see A full list of participants is available on request, and participants may be available for interview.