CPP has been developed by principals for principals.

Principal Certification is awarded by the CPP Board, an independent panel of industry experts.

The CPP Board ensures appropriate standards are met and that the quality and integrity of the CPP award are consistent with best practice.

The CPP Board includes a variety of members of the profession who consult actively with their peers.

Meet the Chair of the CPP Board

Neil McDonald

QELi CEO Neil McDonald is the independent Chair of the Certified Practising Principal (CPP) Board.

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CPP board members

Neil McDonald

Neil is the CEO of an innovative not-for-profit institute known as QELi. The Queensland Education Leadership Institute, or QELi, is committed to supporting educators through the delivery of high-quality leadership and capability professional development programs that drive collaboration and school improvement. Prior to becoming CEO of QELi, Mr McDonald was Executive Director, Organisational Transformation and Capability, in the Department of Education. As the Acting CEO of the Queensland Studies Authority (QSA) he transitioned that organisation to the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA). Mr McDonald was also a key leader in the development of Queensland’s Curriculum into the Classroom (C2C) initiative.

Susan Copeland

Susan has been principal of six schools, ranging from small to medium country schools and large metropolitan schools. She has served as an Assistant Regional Director and is currently a School Review Principal. An Executive member of the South Australian Primary Principals’ Association, she is the convenor of the SAPPA Professional Learning Group.

Dr Amanda Heffernan

Amanda’s career in schools was spent in rural, remote, and isolated schools in Queensland where she was a principal as well as a coach and mentor for other principals. Now a researcher, she has developed a focus on the working lives of school principals. She undertakes research into the everyday practices of principals, as well as the impact of the principalship on other aspects of school leaders' lives. She is working in partnership with the Australian Secondary Principals’ Association to explore principal autonomy in Australian schools, and to better understand the types of support principals need at different stages of their careers

Michael Lee

Michael has been principal at Mount Carmel School and Hennessy Catholic College, both in rural New South Wales before taking up his current role. A past Director of CaSPA, Michael is also a Fellow of ACE and ACE, a member of the Board of the Teacher Quality Institute of the ACT and Council member of John XXIII College at ANU.

Jenny Lewis

Jenny is a national and international consultant and provides leadership, coaching and facilitation for state, national and international education systems, and individual schools to develop innovative and sustainable practices to cultivate flourishing schools. She has led organisational and systemic reviews and implementations and has been a member of global leadership teams that have assisted governments in Abu Dhabi, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the Solomon Islands, South Africa and Tonga to implement micro and macro leadership reforms. Jenny is currently working with the Technical Assistance for Education System Strengthening program to develop system and school leadership with the government of Indonesia and is a research partner for the Pacific Education Research Network.

Micheal O’Sullivan GAICD

Micheal has been an educator since 1994 in schools in three Catholic dioceses across Australia. He has served as Principal, Acting Principal and Assistant Principal over the past 20 years in five different schools. Prior to taking up his current principalship, Micheal worked in the area of School Improvement for Brisbane Catholic Education’s 141 schools, using the National School Improvement Tool to enhance and facilitate better learning for students.

Mandy Reynolds-Smith CPP

Principal of six schools at both primary and secondary level across Tasmania, Mandy has a track record of building individual, group, and team effectiveness, bringing unity and success to failing and merging schools and achieving targets across diverse, high ENI school communities. Mandy achieved certification as a CPP in 2017 when she was also received a John Lang Award and a Hardie fellowship. She served on the Executive of the Tasmanian Principals’ Association for many years. Mandy is a Fellow of ACEL.

Annette Rome

Adjunct lecturer at the Melbourne Graduate School of Education, Annette has held senior leadership roles at Lauriston, MLC, Korowa, Carey, and Wesley College. Past President, Australian College of Educators (Vic), Annette has co-ordinated Centre for Strategic Education Focus Groups on International Education and on Indigenous Education. Her awards include the International Baccalaureate Jeff Thompson Research Award, a place on the 2018 Educators Hot List and being named among the 2019 Knowledge Review Top 10 Influential Educators in Australia. Annette is an active member of NFPs including the JMB Foundation, ACE, ACEL and The Songroom.

Robyn Thorpe CPP

Robyn is an Executive member of the NT Principals’ Association and has held numerous leadership roles in a number of schools across the Northern Territory. Robyn is a Certified Practising Principal and achieved her CPP while working as principal of a rural remote school in the Northern Territory. In 2017 Robyn was named Regional Principal of the Year (Palmerston) by the Department of Education and also received a John Laing Award. Robyn has been leading ongoing school improvement in the Northern Territory for many years.

Cheryl Townsend

Cheryl has taught and held leadership roles in a range of secondary settings around Western Australia for many years. She was principal of Ballajura Community College for six years before being seconded into her current role providing high-level specialist advice and support on the Western Australian Public School Leadership Strategy 2018 – 2021 and related initiatives.

Dr Fiona Walsh

Fiona has extensive experience in senior leadership positions within schools and served as Acting Principal of Callaghan College before taking up her current role. She is currently the leader of the New South Wales SPC Professional Learning Reference Group and Executive member of the NSWSPC. Fiona has been a consultant for the Quality Initiatives and Promotion of Public Education Directorate and has served as Public Education Ambassador and Change Agent.