John Laing Award

November 06, 2016 0 comments
On Wednesday 26th October I was incredibly pleased and proud to have been awarded a John Laing Award.
The annual John Laing Awards for Professional Development acknowledge principals in every state and territory who demonstrate outstanding leadership in providing professional learning in schools. They celebrate the contribution of school leaders who have undertaken, and supported the professional learning of teachers and other school leaders.
The Awards were set up in 2004 in honour of John Laing, a former Tasmanian school principal worked for Principals Australia Institute (then the Australian Principals Association Professional Development Council) in 1993. He was the driving force behind the first cross-sectoral professional learning projects for all principals in Australia, and was a pioneer in recognising excellence in educational learning for school leaders.
My award was for my contribution to professional learning across the educational spectrum of South Australia through:

Our work at Mark Oliphant College where we

  • Hosted our own major annual two day conferences (2013-2015). A key feature was not only national and international speakers but also showcasing the work of our own staff. Over 30% of the staff presented at every conference. Over 600 conferees attended over the three years. International and national speakers included Stephen Heppell, Dan Haesler, Craig Smth (Autism Education)
  • Developed and offered master classes across the five years including John Fleming (Explicit Teaching) Geelong Grammar (accredited training on Positive Education), Laura McBain (High Tech High-project based learning) Computer Science (R-10) @MOC and finally Social Media.
  • Embedding Thinkers in Residence within our school community to work with our staff on an ongoing basis both in person and on-line. The three key personnel were Professor Stephen Heppell, Laura McBain and John Fleming as well as our long term association with Geelong Grammar
  • Spoke and led conferences and workshops throughout Australia on “Doing Schooling

My leadership in the establishment of

  • Leadership Advisor program – formal mentoring and coaching for new school leaders by experienced school leaders.
  • Professional Acceleration program – a targeted career acceleration strategy to support secondary Deputy Principals become School Principals

Finally I have also been committed to my own personal professional development through

  • Traditional methods (Certificate in Management and Organisational Leadership, Team Leadership Trainer and Coaching Accreditation)
  • Using and promoting new media through my use of twitter (symolyn) and Facebook.
  • Successfully modelling the development of digital portfolios (websites) and blogging with my staff through developing my own website in which all my presentations (PowerPoints, videos, podcasts) are housed and freely available for use by others. This complemented the work of the highly commended MOC website –

It was fabulous to be able to share the event with a number of close colleagues and members of my long suffering family.

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