ACT principal honoured at 2017 John Laing Awards

A respected school leader from the Australian Capital Territory has been officially recognised for his dedication to education and professional learning in the annual John Laing Awards for Professional Development, managed by Principals Australia Institute.

Michael Battenally, principal of Melba Copland Secondary School, had his consistent demonstration of outstanding school leadership recognised at a special presentation in Canberra today. Michael is also the co-president of the Australian Capital Territory Principals Association.  

Michael Battenally being recognised by PAI at the ACT John Laing Awards

Michael Battenally with Natalie Howson, Director General of the ACT Education Directorate (left), and Gianna Ferrara, General Manager Marketing and Brand, Principals Australia Institute (right).

The John Laing Awards acknowledge principals in every state and territory who demonstrate outstanding leadership in providing professional learning in government, Catholic and independent schools. They celebrate the contribution principals make to support the professional learning and development of teachers and other school leaders.

Set up in 2004, the Awards honour John Laing, a former Tasmanian school principal who worked for PAI (the then Australian Principals Association Professional Development Council). He was the motivating force behind the innovative initiative in the early 1990s to bring principals together for national professional learning projects and programs to support their role as school leaders.

A brief bio of Michael follows.

Michael Battenally (Melba Copland Secondary School)
Michael is passionate and reflective about his leadership character and is a fervent supporter of high quality principal education.  He works with his network principals and secondary school principals across the ACT and indeed, nationally and internationally to engage them in continuous improvement cycles.
He is an exceptional professional and he has high expectations of himself and others, and works hard to support colleagues across the system. Michael is highly respected by colleagues and he has a personality that encourages and motivates. He can tell the story of why it's important and why it matters with great clarity, expertise and enthusiasm.

Through his representation on national boards of professional associations, Michael has developed a strong commitment to strengthening his knowledge about organisational governance. He undertook the intensive Australian Institute of Company Directors course and subsequently established a local ACT partnership with AICD to foster high quality school leader governance professional learning. He has also shared this strategic partnership with fellow directors from school jurisdictions represented on the Australian Secondary Principals Association (ASPA).

As an experienced principal Michael believes strongly that government schools benefit significantly from strong community governance and he has subsequently established a close liaison with the ACT jurisdiction’s school legal and governance division. This has contributed to a comprehensive review of the school board member training program and current documentation supporting the informed roles of school board members. As an extension of his school leadership role, Michael is also Chair of Menslink, a significant local not-for-profit charity organisation that provides support services to males aged 10-25 throughout the Canberra region. He actively promotes community board role opportunity to principal colleagues.

He is a leader within our Australian public secondary school community who has many skills, incredible tact and thoughtful sensitivity.

Find out more about Principals Australia Institute's John Laing Awards for Professional Development.