PASS 2019 Lifetime Membership Awards
The granting of PASS Life Membership is a great honour. In this, PASS’s second year of Life Membership Induction, we congratulate the following members in this wonderful achievement. It’s poignant to remember that these members are well deserving of this acclimation, having been nominated by their peers for their commitment to PASS over the years.
Each of these members, as is typical of leadership in our schools, brings great history and depth to PASS. They have been involved in many stakeholder reference groups and PASS related projects – all with the aim of improving the outcomes of students with special needs. They all work on a school level and on an organisational level and typify what every educational organisation needs – hard working, enthusiastic, passionate and committed to improving the educational outcomes for all students. As PASS representatives, they always finds an effective way to push the inclusion agenda to ensure students with disabilities are not discriminated against and are accommodated to participate in education on the same basis as their peers. Their approach to specialist education is evident in their own schools and they enable all students to be welcomed, accepted and engaged so that they can participate, achieve and thrive in school life.
Di Bassett, Principal, Hume Valley School
Di has served as an active member on the committee for over 12 years. As a member of the team that assisted with the development of ABLES, Di was actively involved with the research and ensured staff from her school and other specialist schools participated in the project from conception to what it is today. Her commitment to this project which aimed to develop the knowledge of teachers and school leaders to effectively promote and advance the learning and development needs of students with disabilities was critical.
We have great pleasure in awarding Di Bassett PASS Life Membership
Peter Bush, Principal, Kalianna School
During Peter’s time as President of PASS, the organisation adapted and adjusted to meet the changing landscape and lift its influence on inclusive education practices in our schools and across the state. Noteworthy achievements during his tenure include:
Additionally, during his time as PASS Treasurer, prior to President, Peter instituted the PASS Awards. Peter has always been a strong advocate of celebrating Specialist Schools and their achievements and the PASS Awards was his brainchild. Peter was the driver in establishing, promoting and building these awards up each year to what they are today. Peter must be commended for his part in doing the heavy lifting in getting our organisation to celebrate and promote its achievements through these awards
Jackie Lowther, Principal, Springvale SDS
Jackie began her career at Emerson School in 1982, was appointed Leading Teacher in 1996, Assistant Principal in 2001 and in 2006, The Principal of Noble Park SDS. By 2012, Jackie had planned and coordinated the building of Springvale Park SDS which was a mammoth task. To this day she remains the Principal of that school.
At school, Jackie’s hard work is appreciated and evident on a daily basis. She continues to dedicate her time and skills to improving specialist education. Jackie has an enormous capacity to budget and resource for the school. She is a visionary, constantly contemplating changed to ensure greater learning outcomes of all students. This includes additional classrooms to support the growing population, support for families and appreciation for staff by acknowledging their hard work and the challenges they face. She is a great advocate for encouraging staff to further their education in Special Education.
Within the Greater Dandenong Network, Jackie has been a member of the SSSO Management Group and a member of the SEVR Principal Reference Group as a representative of the Greater Dandenong Network. For the past 5 years, Jackie has been an Executive Member of the Australian Specialist Education Principals’ Association (ASEPA) contributing at a National Level. She is renowned for her commitment to ensuring students with disabilities have the same opportunities as their mainstream peers.
As part of her work for PASS, Jackie has been an active member of the HR Stakeholders Reference Group, transition to school advisory group, PASS History Committee Member, Inclusive Education Study Tour Group, PASS Representative with VASS, VPA, APF, DET, Child Safe Standards and new school cleaning arrangements. She has been on the PASS Committee for 15 years, being Vice President for 3 years. Jackie has significantly contributed to the work willingly giving many hours of her time.
In January, 2019 Jackie received an Australia Day Honour for outstanding public service to education through the promotion of improved outcomes for students in special developmental schools in Victoria. She humbly accepted this award being a truly worthy recipient without any fuss
Jackie is generous, considerate and respectful. She is professional in all dealings and a woman of outstanding integrity. Her style of servant leadership is what makes her stand out as not only an exceptional Principal but also a leader of leaders.
Jackie is legendary for exemplary cooking and culinary skills. A common sight is with her apron tied, high heels clicking and making a simple BBQ into a gourmet dining experience. Her greatest passion are her granddaughters and family. She extends this family focused philosophy into the school.
Helen McCoy Principal, Monash SDS
Helen has been an active member of PASS and a member of the PASS Committee serving for many years.
Over the years, Helen has been an excellent representative of Specialist Schools. Helen worked for many years as the PASS representative during the time of the Early Childhood Education reform. Helen showed her persistence and resilience at these meetings and always represented the needs of students with learning disabilities and their families. Helen has always been willing to help and guide other Principals and to offer them support in a time of need.
Helen was very involved in the development of ABLES. She supported the research and ensured many of her staff participated in the project from conception to what it is today. Her commitment to this project typified her commitment to the advancement of specialist education in Victoria. She is an innovated Principal who leads with excellence.
Helen typifies a PASS Principal as someone who is always ready to help others, always ready to encourage others and always ready to question the educational provision for students with disabilities. Helen has helped many new Principals to become experienced Principals with her careful guidance and encouragement.
John Mooney, Principal, Emerson School
John has been an active member of PASS and a member of the PASS committee, serving as Vice President for some years. John has the “big picture” of specialist education in Victoria and is always keen to talk about the needs of students with learning disabilities. He is not afraid of bringing the needs of students to the forefront of discussions at a school level, regional level and central level. John is always willing to help and guide other Principals. He is passionate and enthusiastic and committed to improving the educational outcomes for all students.
As a long time PASS representative, John ensures that students with special needs are on the agenda at every meeting. He is actively involved in many committees and encourages his staff and those around him to develop their knowledge and to effectively promote and advance the learning and development needs of students with disabilities.
As a long serving member of PASS, John is not afraid to ask the hard questions of those who make the decisions at a central level. John is a fine example of a PASS member and Specialist School Principal who leads excellence and innovation. He not only promotes the role and status of specialist education leaders he advocates for a range of educational provision for students with disabilities
Susi Wirth, Principal, Broadmeadows SDS
Susi has been an active member of PASS, a member of the PASS Committee and is the current longest serving PASS Secretary. She has served on the committee for over 12 years and she brings great history, experience and depth to PASS. As the Secretary, she has been involved in many stakeholder reference groups and PASS related.
As a PASS representative, Susi always finds an effective way to push the inclusion agenda to ensure students with disabilities are not discriminated against and are accommodated to participate in education on the same basis as their peers.
Susi was also a member of the team that assisted with the development of ABLES and she was actively involved with the research and ensured staff from her school and other specialist schools participated in the project from conception to what it is today.
Susi has also worked very hard over the last few years advancing the needs of Principals and ensuring our workplaces remain safe for all. This has been a big task with many hurdles to overcome as she pushed this agenda through for the benefit of all