Introducing Inclusive, Engaging and Respectful Schools Webinar

– Thursday 10 March 2022

This P&C Federation webinar, especially for parents and carers, will feature a panel with representatives from the NSW Department of Education who will share information about the Inclusive, Engaging and Respectful Schools package which includes three new policies that help our schools manage the diverse spectrum of student needs to improve outcomes for all students in public schools across New South Wales. Based on international and Australian best-practice, the policies have been developed with the input of teachers, principals, parents, carers and leading educational experts.

Webinar Presentation Slides

Questions asked but not answered at the webinar

Yvonne Hilsz

Vice-President, P&C Federation NSW

I have been championing children’s well being and their access to education for many years. I was inspired to what is possible for their future when I was GM for a global teen charity stepUP and saw first hand what a difference can be made with education, support and resources.
Recently, my efforts have been channelled in my daughters primary school, Birchgrove Primary School. When we joined Birchgrove in Feb of 2018, I became the head of fundraising and then President by November 2018.

My motivation is to provide support to students so they can thrive in the school environment and with an emphasis on improving their learning outcomes through increased resources, such as equipment, staffing levels or specialist programs.

I see the purpose of a P&C to be collaborating with the school’s vision and needs to elevate possibility to new levels with funding opportunities and support through partnering with the Principal and faculty to work cohesively as much as possible.

I continually seek innovative ways to engage the community including facilitating fundraising events utilising technology and pivoted us quickly to develop strategies to robustly continue funding the big projects within the school despite a global pandemic.

The community has stayed strong and continued to support the initiatives as part of the strategic plan already in place and we have achieved significant improvements and provided much needed resources despite these unprecedented 18 months.

Through my leadership skills, I foster strong connections between P&C and the school which I see as an opportunity to help a broader sector within the NSW P&C Federation to make a difference.

I have a core belief that through engaging and being inclusive with an open mind to seek solutions we have an opportunity and responsibility to enhance the learning and education of our children; and provide a safe and aspirational environment for them to thrive.

Laura Milkins

Executive Director, Inclusion and Wellbeing

Laura leads the Inclusion and Wellbeing directorate in Education. She is responsible for a broad remit of strategy and policy covering the departments inclusion and wellbeing agenda including student participation, behaviour, inclusion mental health and wellbeing.

Dr Sylvia Corish

Executive Director, Student Support and Specialist Programs

Dr Sylvia Corish is the Executive Director, Student Support and Specialist Programs. In this role, with the support of eight Directors, she leads work across the state of a range of diverse areas including Arts, Sports, Community Languages, DE International, Assisted School Travel, Child Wellbeing and Mental Health Services and Delivery Support.

Previously Sylvia has held many challenging leadership roles in State Office and in schools including most recently Executive Director, School Performance, Metropolitan South, Director of three diverse Principal Networks as well as Director of the Inner City Strategy, working very closely with School Infrastructure NSW.
Sylvia brings an exceptional understanding of the role of school educator to her state-wide responsibilities. She was a Principal for 14 years serving two very different communities (Lakemba Public School and Bangor Public School in the Sutherland Shire) and for 13 years as direct line manager for principals in three networks in the inner city, eastern suburbs and Sutherland Shire.

Ruth Owen CBE

Deputy Secretary, Learning Improvement

Ruth Owen, Deputy Secretary, Learning Improvement, is responsible for driving development and delivery of evidence-based programs and initiatives to improve educational standards, quality of teaching and learning, and creating a student focused, inclusive education system. Ruth also is responsible for the regulation of early years childhood education and care. Since June, Ruth has also been leading the Department’s COVID taskforce, enabling all students to learn from home and planning the subsequent safe return to school.

Ruth has spent more than 30 years leading service delivery and reform in the UK government, primarily in welfare and employment services. She was also the Head of Profession for operational delivery across the UK civil service, leading professional development and learning for all colleagues in front line customer facing roles (around 280,000 people).

After moving to Australia four years ago, Ruth led the Human Services team in consulting firm EY across Australia and NZ, advising government clients across Commonwealth and states/territories on how to deliver and embed their reform objectives in child protection, disability, welfare, and social housing. She joined DoE in January 2021.

Professor Donna Cross

Professor, School of Global and Population Health, University of Western Australia and Program Head, Health Promotion and Education, Telethon Kids Institute

Dr Donna Cross is a behavioural scientist and Professor at the University of Western Australia, and the Program Head of Health Promotion and Education at the Telethon Kids Institute. Her research addresses children’s and adolescents’ social and emotional wellbeing, mental health promotion, bullying prevention, and positive and safe online behaviour.

For her leadership improving children’s mental health and wellbeing, Donna was awarded the 2012 WA Australian of the Year. She is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Science.

Dean White

Executive Director School Performance (Rural South and West Health)

Dean White is the Executive Director for the Departments Rural South and West – School Performance Directorate. Dean works across Offices in Albury, Broken Hill, Deniliquin, Dubbo, Griffith, Orange, Queanbeyan and Wagga Wagga.

Dean was a classroom teacher in Western and South Western Sydney before becoming a Principal in Northern Sydney. As a Director Educational Leadership, Dean led three Northern Sydney Networks. He has had experiences working in the Departments Leadership and High Performance Directorate and Murat Dizdar’s, Deputy Secretaries Office, prior to working in Minister Stokes’ Ministerial Office.

Dean has also been the President of his children’s School P&C. Dean was recently awarded the prestigious Australian Council of Educational Leaders – Leadership Fellowship Award and prides himself on visibility in leading improvements in education.

“As Executive Director, Asset Management I’m responsible for ensuring delivery of all asset management services to government schools through our eight Asset Management Units, and delivery of a number of programs relating to general maintenance, capital works, compliance, and heritage and government initiatives across the state”.