Tanya has over 35 years’ experience in education and has served learning communities across New South Wales and Queensland. She was most recently Principal of St Ursula’s College, a Catholic Day and Boarding school in Queensland. Tanya was awarded the ACEL Educational Research Leadership Award in 2023 and her school recognised for Australian Best Boarding School Award, Best Well-Being Program Finalist and The Educator’s Most Innovative School Award in 2022. Tanya brings all this to her Principalship at MacKillop Catholic College in 2024.
What inspired your path into education?
My career path as an educator has been inspired by the enduring belief that education has the capacity to change the trajectory of people. I believe teachers, have the ‘super power’ of igniting creativity, arousing curiosity and promoting learning. I have throughout my career, strived to be a committed and compassionate educator, always aware of the responsibility that I have in nurturing the learning experiences and opportunities of students. My career path is inspired by my students and my desire to serve them.
How do you engage parents/carers, students and staff?
I believe that engagement with our families, students and staff is critical to developing a rich and collaborative community. I hope to be a visible and active College Principal by being approachable and invitational in my manner. I enjoy catching up with families in informal situations and will strive to build collaboration with families, students and staff in multiple ways. I believe that the first step in engaging with others is to become an attentive and respectful listener. I have much to learn from others in my new community.
How does your faith impact your leadership style?
I am a faith-filled woman who is guided by the Gospel teachings in my life. My leadership style is greatly influenced by the understanding that we have each been created in the image of God. We have, as a result, been created with so much potential and this fills me with hope and joy.
If we asked your closest friends, how would they describe you as a person?
My friends would describe me as energetic, positive and kind. They would say that I enjoy a good laugh, love music, dancing, singing and making time to know people so that I can better understand them. As a person, I am an extrovert with a passion for social justice; a creative leader with a deep desire for continuous improvement.
What do you hope to achieve as Principal at your school?
I aspire to develop a united, harmonious, aligned and innovative K-12 school community. A school that is a lighthouse for excellence in learning, with a strong commitment to student leadership and advocacy. I hope to continue to build on the spiritual, wellbeing and pastoral needs of students and staff. I am excited about the prospects of leading a K-12 learning community and supporting the interaction between the Primary and Secondary parts of the College.
What will you hope to leave as your legacy in education leadership?
I hope to leave a legacy that facilitates the professional and personal development and growth of educators and students. I hope that my legacy will inspire others to strive to change the world around them by advocating for the needs of those who are marginalised and/ or are voiceless in seeking justice. I hope to inspire others to grow in their potential by enabling their gifts and talents to shine, so that they may positively influence others to develop a better and kinder world.