BENDIGO and Adelaide Bank chief executive Marnie Baker got a change of scenery last week when she spent the day at Weerona College running the school instead of the bank, with the Principal for a Day program.
The program is an Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) initiative in Victoria, funded by the state government and aims to give businesses and the wider community a taste of what leadership in primary and secondary education is like.
It also promotes the excellent work of schools, and fosters ongoing relationships between principals and leaders from other parts of society.
"I was really excited," Ms Baker said of being a principal, even just for the day.
"I'd always wanted to be a teacher, and then had gone on a different path into banking."
Ms Baker said part of the interest in the program was to foster a strong relationship with schools and students, who they look to as prospective recruits to work in the financial sector in the future.
"I was keen to make sure that we've got really close connections with the education providers, and we're in a college is a really good example of that, where we actually draw our kids from or young people from that to come into our workforce," she said.
Although it's a different environment being a chief executive of a bank as opposed to being a principal of a school Ms Baker said there are still some similarities in terms of being in a leadership role, something the program highlights.
Weeroona College principal Jason Bysouth said being a good principal is about being flexible and being able to switch gears when needed.
"It's just a really good opportunity to see what happens in schools now, and what the role of a principal is," he said.
"It's certainly a lot different to what I expected to be prior to being a principal."
A piece of advice from his years in the role, "the more planning you're having in your diary, the less likely it is that it's gonna go according to plan".
"So it's just been prepared for the unpredictable, but that's what I love about it."
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