I could outline the advantages of being part of an organisation that looks after Principals and Assistant Principals, but thought instead I’d tell you a very personal story.

I loved my work at a Victorian Primary School, and invested my heart and soul into both the teachers and students. I had been a member of the APF for 5 years, and never thought I’d ever need them. Until I did.

An increasingly militant staff, did not like my change agenda, and were outraged when I reported a teacher for misconduct towards students. I was accused of bullying and harassment, and a vote of no confidence was passed at a well-attended sub branch union meeting. Parents and School Council became embroiled, and the community quickly became divided. It rapidly became an untenable situation for me as I suffered anxiety, chronic sleeplessness and depression.

With the APF’s support, I applied and was granted Work Cover as a result. Eighteen months later, the APF were there to broker my gradual return to work in a different area of education. This deeply wounding experience would have been greatly exacerbated had I not had my Principal-only union. Their advocacy and return to work involvement changed this helpless situation into a story of personal triumph and success.