Queenstown to host principals

More than 500 principals from around the country and Australia will attend the first New Zealand Principals' Federation Conference to be held in Queenstown, during the Winter Festival in late June-early July this year.

The principals will tour Queenstown, Arrowtown and Remarkables primary schools and Wakatipu pupils would be involved in the conference opening ceremony, Wakari School principal and conference convener Brent Caldwell said yesterday.

Mr Caldwell said the theme would be "truly remarkable", a celebration of what was happening in schools regarding the new curriculum and the "work life and work load" of primary school principals.

The conference would also celebrate tangata whenua, the best of leadership and teaching in Otago-Southland and welcome North Island and Australian counterparts.

The keynote addresses will begin with Dr Tom Mulholland, on healthy thinking and emotional management.

Andrew May, former middle-distance athlete turned co-founder of Australia's largest corporate health promotion company, will discuss his "Switched On" philosophy of understanding the power to control internal thoughts, energy levels and personal leadership abilities.

Allison Mooney will encourage delegates to "speed read" others, to find out what they really want, talk to others in a way that makes them want to listen, and relate better by seeing things through their eyes.

Denise Quinlin will explain positive psychology and her training of Australian and British teachers in the University of Pennsylvania's "Positive Education" programme.

"We've chosen the four key speakers because they are truly remarkable in their fields and will give new perspectives on leadership, teaching and self-awareness for principals in their schools," Mr Caldwell said.

Dr Wendy Bamford, principal of Wanaka Primary School, will join five peers on "the Ariki Team", to talk about "how to be successful at leading learning and still enjoy your job" in one of the sessions.

The conference will be held at the Queenstown Events Centre, between June 29 and July 2.

It was held in Palmerston North last year and is planned for Wellington next year.

Principals were given accommodation options at 10 hotels, motels and apartment complexes in Queenstown.

More than 300 principals have registered so far.

The social programme includes live music performances and dinner at the Skyline Restaurant, on June 30, and the closing "Winter Wonderland" three-course gala dinner, at the events centre, on July 2.

The timing of the conference with the Queenstown Winter Festival, from June 25 to July 4, offered "fantastic synergy" and an opportunity for North Island and Australians to experience the festivities, Mr Caldwell said.


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