About Us

The Principal Futures website is an initiative of the

NSW Secondary Principals’ Council and is provided

as a service for current and past members.


The content and development of this site is being undertaken by current and past principals and is overseen by the NSWSPC Senior Executive.

The website content in many areas relies on contributions from current and past principals who are encouraged to provide articles, stories, news and advice on all aspects of retirement.

History of the project

The idea of a Principal Futures website first arose as a result of the formation of the NSWSPC Principal Futures Reference Group, which was established in late 2015 by Cassy Norris, Principal of Ryde Secondary College. Its initial aims were to provide retirement information to soon-to-retire principals and also investigate possible work opportunities and other options for principals post retirement.

This concept was strongly supported by the NSWSPC Executive which recognised the value of such information to principal wellbeing and support. The Executive also recognised the value of continuing to support principals in their post retirement years and, in particular, encouraging them to remain engaged in public education.

Critical to the future success of the reference group was access to research and data about retired principal experiences plus a strong link to our retired principals. Warren Marks, Life Member of the PPA, provided significant data at the first meeting about retired principals as a result of the PhD he had undertaken soon after his own retirement from the Department. Brian Ralph, Life Member of the NSWSPC, had successfully coordinated a large group of retired secondary principals since 2010 and was therefore quickly invited to join the new Principal Futures group.

After considerable discussion of many possible options and directions it was decided to survey all current SPC members and the members of the retired secondary principals’ group about their needs, interests and expectations around retirement.

This was undertaken by Cassy and Brian in May and June 2016, with no less than 116 current and 101 retired principals participating in the survey. In July 2016 Brian undertook a detailed analysis of the survey results and wrote these up in a report that recommended that the reference group should focus on a website catering for retired and soon-to-retire principals that would address six broad areas of interest:

  • Managing your retirement
  • Keeping in touch with people
  • Exploring your post-retirement options
  • Seeking further employment either within or outside education
  • Staying up-to-date with education and pursuing further learning opportunities
  • Tours and travel.

The website was to be supported by a contact database of current and retired principals, plus an e-list (now called the p-futures e-list) that would allow everyone to communicate easily with each other and for any paid or unpaid work opportunities to be broadcast to those who had registered for the website and the e-list.

Members of the retired principals’ group have undertaken most of the writing of materials for this website. A small group of current principals has also been very actively involved in supporting the development of the website. We thank all of them for their enormous commitment to their colleagues and for their work in researching and writing up topics and in sharing their expertise, wisdom and experiences.

We also thank the SPC Executive – particularly Chris Presland (President) and Craig Petersen (Deputy President) – for their outstanding support of this project, plus Terry Tunkunas (Principal Futures website manager and former SPC website manager) for his advice and excellent work on the technicalities of the website over many months.

Our final thanks go to the many retired and current principals who have provided us with their stories, advice, reflections and recommendations which have allowed this website to truly be a shared website of information and support for principals in their pre and post retirement years.

April 2018 update

With the launch of the website in February 2018, responsibility for the ongoing development of the website has now passed to Brian as the Website Team Leader, with the support of Terry as Principal Futures Website Manager and the highly valued contribution of the Website Writing Team comprising both past and present principals.

The reference group will cease operation during 2018 as its major aims have now been achieved and the Website Team is now reporting direct to the NSWSPC Senior Executive. Cassy continues to act as the contact person for any external organisations interested in advertising jobs for retired principals. To make contact with our team please see Contact Us or email principalfutures@nswspc.org.au

Cassy Norris and Brian Ralph

Cassy Norris (left)

and Brian Ralph