The Principals Australia Institute (PAI) was set up as the Australian Principals Associations Professional Development Council (APAPDC Inc) in 1993.
It was established at the national conference of the Australian Principals Associations to provide support for principals for their own professional development.
APAPDC became Principals Australia in 2008 and then Principals Australia Institute in 2012.The principals' associations that founded PAI are:
- Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA)
- Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA)
- Australian Secondary Principals Association (ASPA)
- Catholic Secondary Principals Australia (CaSPA)