The 2013 Bill Kennedy Medal is awarded to Dianne Hennessy who was a principal in three schools in three different regions and a member of NSWSPC from 1994. It is a privilege for the NSWSPC to recognise a member with such a distinguished record of voluntary service to our professional association.
Dianne was an elected member of the NSWSPC state executive from 1997 – 2002 and again from 2004 – 2012, a total of 15 years. She was secretary of the Council in 1998 and 2999 with responsibility for coordinating all documents, state assembly meetings and professional learning. She was a highly effective state executive representative whose executive responsibilities during her long tenure included assets, WH&S, staffing, Institute of Teachers liaison, EPAC and (from 2009 – 2010) executive liaison with Sydney region.
Dianne was a delegate to ASPA in the late 1990s; she was the elected representative of NSW secondary principals on the Quality Teaching Council from 2009 – 2012; and she is an ACEL NSW Fellow. From 2009 until her retirement this year, Dianne was the Principal Liaison Officer, Student Engagement, with recognised academic and professional expertise in middle years learning, thinking, student retention, the Higher School Certificate requirements and learning transitions. She was a source of advice, information and support to principal colleagues across NSW.
In all her roles Dianne has been a loyal, strong, fearless and determined advocate for secondary students, principals and schools. She has given high level policy advice on behalf of the NSWSPC to the employer, government, government boards including AITSL, the Ombudsman and the Auditor General. She has prepared major position papers for the NSWSPC and lobbied for secondary principal priorities. She is an expert in persisting for good sense in the face of silliness, needless bureaucracy and wasteful programs.
Colleagues within the NSWSPC have also recognised her compassion and intellect, her wicked sense of humour, her flapping foot and her courage as a leader within the Council. She has modelled professional leadership at the highest level and made the kind of difference that honours the values, achievements and passion for secondary government education that are the hallmark of the recipients of the Bill Kennedy award.