Congratulations to our Head of Malvern Campus Simone Reilly, who has been shortlisted as an Excellence Awardee for the Australian Education Awards 2023 – Primary School Principal of the Year (Non-government). 

Simone represents all the qualities that make a great leader. She has the rare ability to be both a visionary and a down-to-earth ‘do-er’ with tireless drive and infectious enthusiasm. Simone is deeply connected to our community and brings new ideas every week, from the small to the most ambitious.  

In addition to the countless ways she has continued to build a wonderful learning environment for students and staff, Simone steered a comprehensive review of the entire primary school curriculum, working with colleagues across the School to lead significant improvements including: 

  • The introduction of a STEM specialist department and dedicated STEM classes. 
  • A renewed focus on Drama and Health & PE.  
  • Advocating for and supporting the introduction of a language subject, French, and integrating it into our secondary campus so students can continue post-primary school. 
  • Initiating the inaugural Canberra Study Tour for Year 5 – offering students (who had not had a camp since pre-COVID) a range of immersive experiences and explorations to learn more about leadership as they become the emerging student leaders for the Junior School. 
  • The introduction of a Wellness Week once a term – providing staff with a meeting-free week, giving students a home-learning free week, organising a morning tea for staff and families, encouraging staff to write thank-you cards to each other, and supporting a local business by offering staff free lunch there every day. Simone also brings her dog to school as a ‘Wellness animal’ for students. 
  • Restructured schedules to give teachers more quality planning time. 
  • Renewed her qualification as an IB Consultant, Workshop Leader and School Visit Team Leader, helping other IB schools. 
  • Developed a new Transition Week to improve student transition from primary to secondary school.  
  • Ensuring she was always accessible and had a genuine understanding of parent needs through, for example, fortnightly meetings with the Parents & Friends committee President and twice-a-term meetings with the committee.  
  • Strategic scheduling of community events without impact on academic learning time. 

In 2022, Simone was awarded the Primary School Leaders Award by the School Library Association of Victoria alongside Malvern Campus Learning Area Leader Jacinta Crimmins, with judges describing her as “proactive, visionary and committed to quality educational programs”. 

We congratulate Simone on this wonderful recognition of her commitment to our students, staff and School community. 

Australian Education Award winners will be announced in August.