We are thrilled to announce the appointment of Pauline Dinale as the new Principal at Holy Family Catholic Primary School, Lindfield. With extensive leadership experience from Sydney Catholic Schools, Pauline is dedicated to creating a dynamic community that nurtures student growth and achievement. Her passion for whole-school strategies in literacy and numeracy outcomes, as well as teacher wellbeing support, is truly inspiring.
What inspired your path into education?
My mother’s love of learning influenced my decision to become a teacher in a Catholic school at a very young age. I was also inspired by teachers who were enthusiastic, dedicated and their love of God was inspirational. I believe that learning is lifelong and that as a teacher you can see the impact you have on the students’ learning and their lives. These inspirational people created outstanding learning environments for their students so they could take risks in a safe place and flourish.
How have you grown as a principal?
A principal’s position is definitely a privilege with great responsibility, knowing and understanding your personal values and having integrity and respect for others is paramount. Having a shared vision and mission for the school, known by all stakeholders is critical. Most of all, understanding the reason you are there is for the students, and at all times, to always make decisions based on what is best for the students and their learning.
Gratitude is a daily focus; I make sure I reflect on what has been achieved each day and consider how things could improve next time. I have learnt that it is important to work collaboratively, celebrate successes, be grateful, forgiving, calm and be curious to ask questions before I act on important decisions. I try to be the best I can be and know that I don’t have all the answers and definitely value the strengths of others.
How do you engage parents/ carers, students and staff?
Celebrate successes, achievements and learning gains – students, teachers and the whole school. Building relationships based on trust and respect within the school community really matters. Spending time to learn and value the school’s traditions, culture, mission and vision, successes and being approachable, decisive and willing to listen to students, parents, staff and the parish is hugely important.
Be visible, ask questions, value and praise the students for their positive attitudes towards learning and their learning gains. Praise teachers and staff for their effective teaching and learning practices, hard work and commitment. Treat each person with respect and dignity and establish caring, professional relationships and listen to each person’s story and support them.
Be inspiring, create enthusiasm and optimism to work in partnership for the future direction of the school. If there is an underlying problem, take action to be curious, work collaboratively to solve problems and be willing to acknowledge mistakes and reflect on continuous improvement.
It is important to engage all stakeholders: CSBB staff, parish, students, staff, P&F, Parent Advisory group and parents to lead the school successfully into the future. Working with people who are forward thinkers, intelligent, creative, strategic with different personalities and strengths and who see things from different perspectives opens greater possibilities and opportunities.
What makes working within Catholic Schools Broken Bay different to working somewhere else?
Catholic Schools Broken Bay has an explicit strategy Towards 2025, to ensure an authentic, inspiring Catholic education for all students. The vision is known and shared with compassion by all stakeholders. There is a genuine culture of collaboration and partnership with a relentless focus on the students’ lifelong learning and faith development. Colleagues feel valued and appreciated for their experience, knowledge, strengths and commitment to ensure an excellent Catholic education for all.
How does your faith impact your leadership style?
I try to live my life in a way that is consistent with my Catholic beliefs and values. This is my moral compass with Christ at the centre, this allows my actions to speak for who I am and permeates my whole life. I try to lead the school community with integrity that is consistent with what I believe.
If we asked your closest friends, how would they describe you as a person?
I think my friends would say that I’m loyal, dependable, kind and hard working. That I focus on what is important and I’m passionate about wanting to help people flourish.
What do you hope to achieve as Principal at your school?
I am committed to ensure students receive a Catholic education that promotes excellence and equity in a safe, nurturing and caring environment where they are encouraged to follow unique learning paths to accomplish their personal best. I aim to provide excellent academic and co-curricular learning programs to empower students to try new things while building on their confidence, social skills and emotional wellbeing. I hope to create a school culture where parents and teachers work in partnership to strive to empower students to become resilient, creative, confident, lifelong learners who are optimistic about their future and the positive impact they can have on the world.
My aim is to establish a professional learning community at Holy Family and always model learning myself. As principal, I will mentor and assist teachers to adopt best practices that positively impact students’ learning outcomes and growth. I want to create a learning environment which is authentic, challenging, innovative and caters for the diversity of all learners with high expectations that all learners can and will learn and flourish in a safe, effective and fun learning environment.
What will you hope to leave as your legacy in education leadership?
I hope to leave a legacy where decisions are made based on students’ needs with Christ at the centre. I would like to see Catholic values as the cornerstone of our school where the community values a positive relationship with God regardless of being Catholic or non-Catholic. I would like to see students as respectful citizens with a passion for lifelong learning and a genuine commitment to social outreach and stewardship.
Finish these sentences…
My greatest achievement is… showing gratitude daily for all the positive things in life.
I am currently reading… Dare to Lead by Brene Brown
I enjoy spending time… out of work having fun with my family and friends.