Amanda Madden

Position Dean of Students
Organisation Perth College
Location WA

Amanda is a skilled, dynamic, forward thinking, enthusiastic, self-motivated educational leader who strives for excellence by undertaking learning and research every day. She has a strong interest in helping students reach their full potential and gravitate towards roles that allow her to mentor and assist in this area. Amanda is a dedicated, detailed and capable researcher with four years of experience in graduate-level education research. She is a confident presenter at conferences and teacher in classrooms, able to explain complex information to audiences of all levels. This confidence and understanding is based on her extensive experience as a researcher in postgraduate studies, providing me with research skills and as a classroom practitioner and educational leader. She has taught the WA and Australian curriculum at years 7 through to 12 as well as developing programmes, resources, assessments and acting as Chief Examiner for WACE Examinations and been a member of the Course Advisory Committees. In 2017, Amanda was named Business Teacher of the Year. She is also working in the University sector delivering lectures to Post Graduate Students to develop their professional knowledge in both theory and essential practice within real classrooms, providing students with the necessary tools to become successful and confident teachers. This opportunity provides the ability to highlight the importance of student wellbeing and the pastoral issues teachers experience in their classrooms.

Amanda has a passion for learning and teaching and inspiring those in her team and the students she comes into contact with every day. Through her Masters, her roles within the education sector and within her PhD she has been transformative and responsive to the needs of her teaching, students, staff and her research. Her research skills have been utilised extensively through research projects, specific education focused policy development, curriculum reviews and through her work towards the completion of her PhD, demonstrating excellence in educational leadership research. Amanda has a proven track record in teaching, research and in a wide range of roles within the secondary and tertiary education sectors that recognises her experience and expertise. The roles she has performed have enabled her to gain the necessary skills of research, supervision and working collaboratively with other School, University, internal and external parties. She uses her natural strengths in analysis creative thinking and interpersonal skills to achieve change whilst building and maintaining positive relationships with others that are based on trust.

Through her role as an educational leader Amanda looks to measure student success with a whole-child lens. Putting students at the forefront of everything she does, taking action every day to support and guide students. Over the past six years she has introduced wellbeing surveys, feedback forums after all mental health and wellbeing workshops and programs focus groups and on-going conversations with student leaders and staff to ensure student voice is echoed through all areas of policy, teaching and learning, cocurricular and pastoral care. She believes every student is worthwhile and makes sure that she values every student, watching them blossom and flourish over their time at school and knowing that she can directly or indirectly have an influence on them is just wonderful.

Her ability to lead and work in a team is evident through the roles she has held. In her role as Dean of Students, she manages multiple staff focused on student pastoral care. The role focuses on policy development, development of evidence based pastoral care and wellbeing programs and communicating and working alongside teachers, parents and other members of the school leadership team. Her day-to-day work varies from teaching in the classroom, to developing pastoral programs to enhance the wellbeing of students to working with students, their families and outside stakeholders to provide opportunities to maximise student success.

As an educational leader Amanda utilises her skills and knowledge by working with teachers and students to develop their wellbeing. Her role sees her working with the right tools and training teachers to allow them to gain insights into students’ physical, social-emotional, and mental wellbeing. More importantly, as an educational leader it is crucial to remain relevant and responsive which has driven her to undertake research utilising what we see and do as educational leaders to ensure that we are at the forefront leading educational research and ensuring that it is forward thinking and responsive to what is needed within the educational sector.

Learning is a very vulnerable thing, and non-academic factors like mental health, physical well-being and social-emotional development, can greatly impact students’ readiness to learn and their ability to demonstrate what they have learned. Through the research Amanda is undertaking, schools will be made aware of the potential impact of non-academic factors as they look to evaluate student learning—and as they seek to develop healthy, capable lifelong learners. Her research will assist schools to identify effective programs based on student voice which will assist in improving student outcomes. Through her roles within the education sector, she understands the importance of student voice. Adolescents today have more ways to share their voice than ever before. Social media offers a potent tool for broadcasting messages and organizing collective action, culminating in mass movements. Yet when it comes to their education, students often have limited opportunities to share their opinions and experiences, even though students are, in many ways, the most informed when it comes to how the education system is functioning. Through her research, student voice provides student lived experience and perspective which is crucial to ensure schools develop programs and policies that echo the voice of those that they are aimed at assisting. Educational research is critical in ensuring we remain relevant and responsive to the needs of our clients and although undertaking a PhD while working fulltime is hard work, Amanda has found being part of Australia’s research community as an early year’s researcher is a privilege. It is wonderful to be able to investigate the things she is passionate about and give back to the profession and the community.

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