WRITTEN BY Gabrielle Sullivan
At the heart of Australia, the Canberra local community encompasses a diverse range of professions, all united by initiative, ambition and drive. Such traits have recently been seen in a meeting of the minds between the ACT Public School Principals, and Canberra’s largest local law firm, Bradley Allen Love Lawyers (BAL), in an initiative created to exchange knowledge between the managers of legal practice and the manager of schools.
Gabrielle Sullivan and Jason Holmes at the seminar: Principals with Professional Principles.
Although at first glance it may seem odd for lawyers and teachers to come together – the world of corporate law seems poles apart from primary and secondary school educators – reflection on the role of principals reveals some areas of intersection. School principals are managers (amongst many other things). They need to make peace and order through setting standards and resolving disputes. When you think about, this is not so different from what lawyers do every day.
The professional learning program of the ACT Principal’s Association acknowledges the increasingly complex and diverse role of principals. It aims to engage principals with other non-teaching professionals, to broaden their horizons and learn how the work practices of non-teaching professionals may strengthen their own work.
On a cold winter’s afternoon this week, Gabrielle Sullivan , lawyer and Director in BAL’s Employment and Investigations Group, volunteered her time to welcome the ACT Principals to BAL’s city boardroom. Over wine and hors d’oeuvres, Gabrielle initially noted the ‘unusual gathering’, and commented that such a meeting is ‘potentially highly constructive – when we realise that we all have something to offer to others and to learn’
Gabrielle shared her insights as to how lawyers ‘get the facts straight’, how they negotiate, and how they manage time, staff, documents and emails. Acknowledging that that how principals relate to their staff, students and parents is critical to inspiring Australia’s next generation of leaders, she concluded with tips for persuasive personal and virtual presentation.
The Principals were very engaged in the presentation, and honest and lively exchanges were had. BAL Lawyers was delighted to provide their offices and event coordinator on a pro bono basis for this community –building event.
Attendees of the Principals with Professional Principles seminar.
Mr Jason Holmes, principal of Harrison School, who initiated the venture with BAL, was delighted with the event. He and the ACT Principals Association are looking forward to continuing to explore more professional linkages with the Canberra community.
If you would like more information about this seminar, or have a speaking request, please contact our Employment and Industrial Law Group or call 02 6274 0999.