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Principal of the Year Awards (now WA Education Awards)

Details Directorate: Vocational (& Youth)

Project Leader: Heather Leaney, Tony Moore et al


Documented: N/A (?)

Project Team: 2-3 (generally Heirisson Past Presidents)

Total Hours pa: N/A (??)

Member Involvement: various members on specific tasks and events etc

Approved: ?? 1992

Status: Transferred to EDWA 2007-08


Description The Rotary Club of Heirisson conceived the prestigious annual Principal of the Year Awards (POYA) for school principals in the WA government school system in 1992, first awarded them in 1993, and ran them until 2007.


Past winners of the Heirisson Principal of the Year awards


Year Winner School
2007 Linda Crombie Babakin Primary School
2006 Allan Blagaich Melville Senior High School
2005 Beth Aitken Pinjarra Senior High School
2004 Terry Sanbrook Warnbro Community High School
2003 John Duzevich Dardanup Primary School
2001 Graeme Smith Duncraig Senior High School
2000 Joseph Martin  
1999 Ron Chamberlain

Cesare Di Giulio

East Waikiki Primary School

Carine Senior High School

1998 Ian Allardyce

Rod Baker

Lockridge Senior High School

Dudley Park Primary School

1997 Raymond Maher

Suzanne Saunders

Lesmurdie Senior High School

Harvey Agricultural Senior High School

1996 Don Riley

Jan Thompson

Beldon Educational Support Centre

Mount Barker Senior High School

1995 Ian Mansfield

Barry Wells

Rockingham Primary School

Girrawheen Senior High School

1994 Cathy Bamblett

James Hurst

Bridgetown High School

Kardinya Primary School

1993 Lorraine Hams

Paul Meacock

Cyril Jackson Senior High School

Yarloop Primary School


Until1999, separate awards were made for primary and high school principals.


Heirisson Principal of the Year Awards


In overview, the process and criteria used for these awards are outlined below:


Who could be nominated?

Any principal of a government school in Western Australia.


Who could nominate a Principal?

Although only one person prepared the nomination it carried more weight if it was supported by a cross section of the school community (ie: students, staff members, P&C members, etc). The person preparing the nomination addressed each of the selection criteria using examples provided by the various supporters.


How was someone nominated?

School principals were nominated via a comprehensive downloadable application form.


How were the Awards judged?

The project was run with the support of the Education Department of WA. Each year a selection panel, consisting of representatives of the Rotary Club of Heirisson, senior members of the Education Department and the President of the Western Australian Council of State School Organisations was formed to judge the nominations according to the following selection criteria:

· Motivates and guides the school community in the development of a school ethos which fosters the social and educational growth of students

· Harnesses community support and resources to assist in school programs

· Demonstrates outstanding commitment to adding value and making a difference to the school community

· Provides excellent leadership to staff


What was the Award?

The Award consisted of an individual trophy and the winner’s name was added to the perpetual trophy, which is kept on display at the Education Department’s central office. In addition each year the short-listed finalists each received a Certificate of Recognition at the award function. In latter years a sizeable financial award was also provided with the Department’s assistance.


Heirisson’s role and criticality to success


Heirisson conceived and initiated the awards and was a key driver of their first decade.
Part of a strategic relationship or partnering/alliance? A collaborative arrangement with the:

· Education Department of WA (EDWA),

· WA Council of State Schools Organisations (WACSSO), the peak body representing all parents of students in state schools, and

· in latter years, several corporate sponsors.


What difference will the Project/Program make? The awards recognised the value that principals add to the education of children in government schools. They sought to recognise principals who were outstanding educators and who worked closely with their local community to improve learning opportunities for children.


The Awards are widely acknowledged as leading to improvements in education outcomes through the identification of ‘best practice’ in school leadership.


Other Benefits (Include sustainability of benefits, fun to do, recognition for Heirisson) Following involvement of the Minister, Alan Carpenter (later Premier of WA) the POYA awards were subsequently extended.


The project as now been adopted by the WA Department of Education, initially sponsored by BHP Billiton Iron Ore. It now forms part of the broader WA Education Awards (for which our project was a catalyst).



Updated: 2015-07