There are exciting changes happening on the national front in 2015.
In WA, the local Principals’ Federation (PFWA) has finally received news that their 20 year quest to become a state industrial body has been approved. PFWA is now in that frenetic phase of setting up as a new player on the industrial scene. While the WA branch of the AEU (SSTUWA) will no doubt continue to appeal the decision, PFWA remains a registered organisation and is already gaining membership. We all wish PFWA president Bevan Ripp, all the best in mapping out this new frontier.
In South Australia, the State School Leaders Association (SASSLA) has begun the huge task of applying for state registration. The AEU is once again opposing registration and they, like WA and Victoria before them, will have a David versus Goliath battle to gain the right for Principal Class Officers to determine their own direction. Chairperson Marion Coady and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Wait have been strong supporters of the APF and we wish them and their board all the best in their application.
In Victoria, we have a major change with Chris Cotching retiring as President. Chris has been instrumental in putting APF (Vic) on the map and showing first-hand how vital it is to have an industrial organisation focussed on the Principal Class. Chris worked tirelessly on the road supporting Principals across the state dealing with governance issues and the fact that the Principal Class receive little or no support from the department bureaucracy. If APF had a meritorious service medal Chris would be a prime recipient. Now Chris is taking some leave to recuperate. Peter Kearney has taken the helm and will no doubt build on the hard work Chris and others have started.
At a forum at the end of last year WA, Victoria and SA decided to develop a way to influence national education policy. The way forward is in social media as it already has a positive track record in influencing governments around the world. This year we aim to release quality research based propositions on topics such as school governance or Principal workload and stress and start social media campaigns within the Principal Class across the country. This is a new way of operating for many of us and may take some time to get started but the prospects are tantalising. If we can influence Australian policy and not just react to government decisions then APF will truly realise its potential.
It is a year of development for the APF and I hope all members continue to support the great organisations that are emerging for Principal Class employees across the country.
APF Federal President